WCBE

Jim Letizia

Reporter, News Anchor

Jim has been with WCBE since 1996. Before that he worked as a reporter at another Columbus radio station, and for three newspapers in Southwest Florida.

Ways to Connect

Columbus Police say a 13-year-old girl driving on Interstate 70 on the South Side rear-ended an unmarked police cruiser early this morning. Both drivers were taken to local hospitals as a precaution. Authorities have not release their names but say the girl will be cited. 

Central Ohio Transit Authority officials and the union representing its bus drivers and mechanics have scheduled contract talks for Sunday to resolve the salary issues that are holding up a new deal. The Transport Workers Union rejected a tentative agreement that included raises and higher worker contributions to pensions.  COTA's bus drivers and mechanics could walk off the job Monday without a contract. Columbus safety officials have encouraged those who plan on attending the July 3rd fireworks show downtown to carpool in case of a strike.  

A memorial service is scheduled today for a U.S. solder from Ohio who disappeared while boating near Hawaii's Big Island nearly 10 years ago. U.S. Army Second Lieutenant Jason Henderson went missing during a fishing trip, months after he was commissioned as an officer in the Hawaii National Guard. The service at a cemetery near Akron will include full military honors.  

Two aides at a Columbus school for children with behavioral issues will be fired for their treatment of a student. The Columbus Schools say Fred Harrison and Leslie Polk took a non-violent Beatty Park Elementary School student into a "seclusion room" and restrained him in a dangerous manner last March. The student sustained bruises and scrapes. Both aides say they'll appeal.
 

The State Auditor and the State Education Department say they will investigate allegations that Columbus schools administrators manipulated attendance records to improve the district's state report card. The district has two weeks to turn over records and communications related to the issue. The records affect state aid to the district. 

A Columbus Schools advisory committee voted this morning against placing a levy on the November ballot.  The committee says the district is fully funded for two school years. 

A plan to change how Columbus City Council members are elected is a step closer to going before the voters. 

More than a dozen Franklin County communities are being asked to upgrade their outdoor tornado warning sirens. 

Ohio Triple-A projects a record number of Ohioans will travel 50 miles or more away from home over the July 4th holiday. Spokesperson Kimberly Schwind attributes the increase to the holiday being in the middle of the week as well as the economy. And she says budget-conscious vacations remain popular.
 

The city of Columbus is extending from 2 to 3 years the term to final maturity for investors on municipal bonds.

Ohio Governor John Kasich is defending his decision to appoint former Ohio State quarterback Stanley Jackson to the state Board of Education, despite his apparent lack of an educational background. The State Education Department says the charter school for African-American males Jackson claims to have founded does not exist, and Ohio State says Jackson never graduated. The Republican-controlled Ohio Senate must still confirm Jackson's appointment to succeed board member Dennis Reardon. 

84 of Ohio's 88 Counties posted lower unemployment rates last month as compared with April. The Ohio Department of Job and Family services says Franklin County's rate is 6.1 percent, down three tenths of a percent from April. Delaware County's rate of 4.9 percent was the third-lowest in the

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says it agree with Akron-based FirstEngery's assessment that cracks found in the concrete shell of the Davis Besse nuclear power plant along Lake Erie can be traced to the blizzard of 1978. FirstEnergy says a lack of exterior weatherproofing coating at the plant caused the crackS. The company has won approval to apply a new coating and perform additional testing.  The plant reopened in December after a shutdown following the cracks' discovery last fall. Ohio Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich says he doesn't believe weather caused the
cracks.

Ohio utilities say they expect greater electricity demand today because of the heat. Jim Letizia reports.

The U.S. Senate Wednesday rejected a measure ending plans by the EPA to
 impose tighter restrictions on coal-fired power plant emissions. Jim Letizia reports. 

Vehicle thefts decline

Jun 21, 2012

An insurance industry group says vehicle thefts are down in central Ohio.  The Ohio Insurance Institute says 42-hundred vehicles were stolen in the Columbus area last year, down by more than 200 from 2010. Most were reported in the city of Columbus. The city ranks 104th on the group's list of 360 metropolitan areas for rates of theft, up from 99th a year ago. Statewide, Columbus ranks third for vehicle thefts, behind Cleveland and Toledo. The group says one reason for the decline may be new technology, which makes vehicles more difficult to steal.  

Cleanup is underway in several north-central Ohio counties from Monday's storms that swept the region. 

Greyhound is investigating the claims of a man who says he was left on the side of a road near Dayton after missing his connecting bus to Michigan.  

One of the nation's most politically active labor unions plans to focus its resources on fewer states this year in an effort to re-elect President Obama. 

The Ohio Supreme Court has denied a request by ESPN to order Ohio State University to release records related to the football memorabilia scandal and NCAA investigation. The cable television network wanted records related to the forced resignation of football coach Jim Tressel and star quarterback Terrelle Pryor. The justices say Ohio State properly shielded records as either protected by federal privacy laws or attorney-client privilege. Several national education groups had sided with Ohio State.

Ohio State released the following statement this afternoon:

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