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

The Ross County Coroner has ruled the death of a Chillicothe man pulled from his burning home in October is a homicide. The coroner says 89-year-old Harry Smith died of blunt-force trauma after several fires were set in his home. Smith's family claimed county sheriff's deputies moved too slowly, and the family subsequently hired a private investigator.  

A Reynoldsburg man will be sentenced in August for causing a fatal crash while he was texting. 58-year-old Daniel Jacobs pleaded guilty yesterday to texting while driving along I-270 in 2010 and crashing into a parked drivers' education vehicle. The crash killed 16-year-old driving student Dalton Ludwig. Prosecutors say the conviction for aggravated vehicular homicide while texting is the first in Franklin County. 


The Upper Arlington School Board voted last night to place an operating levy on the ballot in November. If approved, the 5.8-mill levy would cost the owner of a 100-thousand dollar home an additional 178 dollars a year. It's the first school money request to go before Upper Arlington voters in five years. 

The mayor of Columbus and several city council members want to create a domestic partner registry for Ohio's capital city.

Candidates for the Ohio Supreme Court usually do not campaign on controversial issues that may come before the court. That often leaves voters with few ways to assess them. Attorneys try to have some influence over the vote by rating the candidates' abilities and backgrounds. The Ohio State Bar Association has released its latest rankings. Statehouse correspondent Bill Cohen reports. 

Operators of the new Cleveland casino have posted a dress code. Jim Letizia reports.


A group that wants Ohio to ban dog auctions says it's short on funding and has decided not to gather the petition signatures needed to get the issue on the November ballot. The Coalition to Ban Dog Auctions gathered 118-thousand signatures over two years to put a related bill before state lawmakers, who did not take action. The coalition then could have collected a similar number of new signatures to try to get the issue on the ballot. A spokesperson says the group is not sure it has the time needed for a successful petition drive over the next few months.

A Columbus police detective is free on bond after being charged with domestic violence. Pickerington police say 44-year-old auto theft squad detective Robby Warnick choked, hit, and pushed his wife during an argument at their Pickerington home. 45-year-old Terry Warnick told police she was upset because he had struck her 9-year-old nephew. Columbus police say Warnick has been reassigned to desk duty and Internal Affairs will investigate. 

Final preparations are underway for the weekend opening of four Columbus city pools. The Dodge, Marion Franklin, Tuttle and Windsor pools will open Sunday. The Dodge pool will open with a brand new bath house, slides and play structures for kids. City officials say the Glenwood, Lincoln and Maryland pools will open June 17th. 

Columbus Police are searching for suspects in an early morning shooting. Police say an unnamed man was shot and wounded in the 3-hundred block of Loeffler Avenue. The man is hospitalized in critical condition. Police have released no other details. 

A new study out of Columbus shows doctors may be closer to understanding why patients with mild asthma have difficulty breathing in the summer. Mike Foley reports. 

760-thousand low income Ohioans are enrolled in a plan allowing them to get free cell phones. The Lifeline Program is funded with fees paid by telephone companies, which are often passed on to wireless consumers. The idea is to make sure people regardless of income have access to affordable telephone communication. The participating companies decide what types of phones and services will be offered. Public Utilities Commission of Ohio spokesperson Matt Butler talks about it with Ohio Public Radio's Jo Ingles. 

Among the 17 bills signed by Governor John Kasich this week are changes and tweaks to a variety of taxes. Not included was the Governor's proposed severance tax on oil and gas drillers. Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler has an update on the status of that proposal. 

The Ohio High School Athletic Association's board has approved a recommendation to allow wheelchair athletes to compete at a state track and field tournament for the first time next year. The association will add eight wheelchair championship events. Participants will wear school uniforms and be awarded individual honors but won't score points for their teams. The top eight boys' and top eight girls' performances in each event during the regular season will qualify eligible athletes to participate in the state finals regardless of their schools' athletic division assignments. 

Update on Inman trial

Jun 8, 2012

Logan Police say the vehicle believed to be used in an woman's abduction was an old police cruiser with no door handles in the back seat. Detectives testified Thursday in the trial of 27-year-old Will Inman II, who along with his parents has pleaded not guilty in the death of his estranged wife, 25-year-old Summer Inman. Authorities say she was abducted, strangled and dumped in an underground septic tank behind an Athens County church. Detectives say the car was taken as evidence from the Akron house where Inman was staying with his parents last year. 


A former teacher at a Columbus school for special-needs students will serve seven years in prison after entering Alford pleas to charges of gross sexual imposition. An Alford plea is not an admission of guilt, but a recognition that prosecutors have sufficient evidence. Prosecutors say 61-year-old Nick Wickerham groped seven, ten and 13-year-old girls last year in his office at Summit Academy. Prosecutors say Wickerham was the girls' martial-arts instructor. 

Wisconsin-based American Family Mutual Insurance has told state officials it will close its claims operation in Westerville, costing approximately 50 people their jobs. The office on Polaris Parkway will close in early August, but the company says it will retain some of the employees. 

A Franklin County Judge has sentenced a man to 21 years in prison for a 2009 beating death during a robbery attempt. 23-year-old Timothy Hall was sentenced this week for the beating death of 30-year-old Randy Frisby at an apartment on Stevens Avenue in Franklinton. Police say a second suspect in the case has yet to be charged. 

Columbus police have made an arrest in connection with a January shooting death on the Hilltop. 33-year-old Rozell Dotstry is charged with the January 26th slaying of 40-year-old James Maynard on West Mound Street. Police say the two were involved in a dispute 

Another Ohio racetrack is getting video slot machines. Jim Letizia reports.

A teen who survived a fatal crash over the weekend is now out of a hospital, while services are being held for those who lost their lives. Jim Letizia reports.

Inman Trial Continues

Jun 7, 2012

Testimony resumes today in the Logan County trial of a man accused of killing his estranged wife. Jim Letizia reports.


After removing a lesbian mom in Bridgeport Ohio as a den leader this spring, the Boy Scouts of America says it is now reviewing a proposal allowing individual units to decide whether to accept gay and lesbian adult leaders. Alison Holm reports.


An auto parts company executive doing business in Columbus will plead guilty to price fixing. Federal prosecutors say Kazuhiko Kashimoto has agreed to serve 14 months in prison, pay a fine and help the government in its ongoing investigation. Kashimoto worked in Yazaki Corporation's west side office where he allegedly ripped off Honda by inflating parts prices. He's the fifth person to plead guilty in the scheme against several automakers.  

Columbus Police are investigating the death of a man whose body was found in front of an east side home early this morning.  Police have released no other details in the death of the man found outside a home in the 700 block of South Napolean Avenue.