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WBBH Meteorologist Jim Reif Injured in Bike Accident

jim reifWBBH director of meteorology Jim Reif was injured in a bike accident Sunday afternoon, the Fort Myers NBC affiliate reports.

Reif was thrown to the ground after his bike hit a sign on Ben Hill Griffin Parkway. According to WBBH, he hit his head on the curb and suffered traumatic injuries to the head.

Reif joined Waterman Broadcasting, WBBH’s parent company, in 1999 as chief meteorologist for WZVN, the ABC affiliate in Fort Myers. Currently, he serves as director of meteorology for both stations. He recently got engaged to be married.

Watch WBBH’s report after the jump. Read more

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Florida GOP Tells WINK to Stop Running Political Attack Ad


Lawyers representing the Florida GOP told Fort Myers, FL, CBS affiliate WINK to stop airing an ad attacking Florida Senate majority leader Lizbeth Benacquisto (R).

The letter tells WINK the ad makes false accusations that “Senator Benacquisto is ‘running for congress’ and ‘pretending to run for re-election to the Florida Senate.’” The Congressional seat in question is the same one occupied by former WINK anchor Rep. Trey Radel, who said he would step down today.

When contacted by TVSpy, WINK didn’t seem too worried about the complaint. “We commonly receive these type of letters for nearly every issue/candidate when they attack each other and each side have their attorneys send letters claiming how their commercial is legal or not,” Jim Schwartzel, WINK’s director of sales, said. He added the spot ended its run Wednesday.

Click here to view the letter from the Florida GOP.

Rep. Trey Radel to Resign from House

trey radel wink interviewRep. Trey Radel (R-FL) will resign from Congress today, according to Politico.

The former anchor for CBS affiliate WINK in Ft. Myers, FL, recently completed a stint in rehab after being arrested for buying 3.5 grams of cocaine from an undercover agent as part of sting operation in Washington, D.C.

He pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of possession of cocaine and was sentenced to one year of supervised probation.

Earlier this month Radel told WINK’s Amanda Hall in a one-on-one interview, “This is embarrassing. I’ve dragged my family through a lot, I have made a real conscious effort at times to shut off the computer, not look at the internet and not watch the TV because I know that I’ve caused a lot of pain.”

After Completing Rehab, Rep. Trey Radel Sits Down With His Former Station

trey radel wink interviewRep. Trey Radel (R-FL) met with the media Wednesday for the first time since he completed his substance abuse program following an arrest for cocaine possession in November. Radel gave an emotional one-on-one interview to his former station, Fort Myers CBS affiliate WINK.

“This is embarrassing. I’ve dragged my family through a lot,” he told WINK’s Amanda Hall. “I have made a real conscious effort at times to shut off the computer, not look at the internet and not watch the TV because I know that I’ve caused a lot of pain.”

Watch the interview here (WINK’s video player does not allow embedding).

Rep. Trey Radel, Former WINK Anchor, Pleads Guilty to Cocaine Posession

trey radelRep. Trey Radel (R-FL), a former anchor at WINK, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of cocaine possession this morning, USA Today reports:

“I’ve hit a bottom,” Radel said, as he appeared in District of Columbia Superior Court. The freshman congressman, who represents a solidly Republican district in southwest Florida, said he’ll enter an in-patient rehab program in his home state.

Radel was caught buying drugs in what a senior Drug Enforcement Administration official described as a sting operation that was part of an investigation by several federal agencies into a drug ring in the nation’s capital. A drug dealer who told law enforcement officials that one of his customers was a member of Congress helped set up a buy on Oct. 29 and Radel bought the cocaine, the official said.

“I’m profoundly sorry to let down my family, particularly my wife and son, and the people of Southwest Florida,” Radel said in a statement released Tuesday. “I struggle with the disease of alcoholism, and this led to an extremely irresponsible choice. As the father of a young son and a husband to a loving wife, I need to get help so I can be a better man for both of them.”

Rep. Trey Radel, Former WINK Anchor, Arrested for Cocaine Possession

trey radelRepresentative Trey Radel (R-FL), a former WINK anchor, was arrested for possession of cocaine in Washington, D.C., Politico reports. Radel was charged with misdemeanor possession in Superior Court today and is scheduled to appear again tomorrow.

Radel was the evening anchor at the Fort Myers CBS affiliate from 2007 to 2010. When he signed off from the station, he said his true passion was politics He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012.

Radel is married to Amy Wegmann, a former anchor at rival WFTX.

WINK Reporter Injured in News Van Rollover Updates Viewers on Facebook

Vanessa Ruffes, the WINK reporter who, along with photographer Lucas Bogg, was injured when the station news van blew a tire and flipped over on I-75 yesterday morning has updated fans on how the two are doing following the accident.

Ruffes told viewers on the station’s facebook page, “I’m very glad to report my photographer Lucas Bogg and I are resting up and doing well today after our news truck rolled on I-75. Right now, I’m home nursing a fractured collarbone and can’t wait to return to work.”

The reporter for the Fort Myers, FL, CBS affiliate also thanked two people who pulled over and called 9-1-1 after the crash along with emergency crews, “to the firefighters, deputies, troopers, and medics who attended to us on scene; and to the ER staff at Naples Community Hospital for patching us up so well. Thank you for making a frightening experience much more bearable,” she said.

Two Injured After WINK News Van Flips on Freeway

WINK Reporter Vanessa Ruffes and photographer Lucas Bogg were injured this morning when their news van crashed on I-75 around 6:00 a.m.

The Fort Myers, FL, CBS affiliate reports the Florida Highway Patrol said the van lost control and flipped over after a tire blew out. You can watch the station’s report by clicking here. Their website doesn’t allow embedding.

WINK said both Ruffes and Bogg were treated for minor injuries at Naples Community Hospital and have been released.

Watch a report about the accident and traffic backup it caused from NBC affiliate WBBH after the jump. Read more

Julie Salomone Joins WFTV From WFTX

Julie Salomone is joining Orlando ABC affiliate WFTV, the Orlando Sentinel‘s Hal Boedeker reports.

Salomone, a Florida native, starts October 1 as a general assignment reporter at WFTV. She comes from WFTX in Fort Myers, where she has been a reporter and fill-in anchor since 2010.

Before joining WFTX, Salomone spent two years in La Crosse, Wisc., where she was a reporter, anchor and ph0tographer at ABC affiliate WXOW.

Bob Irzyk Ditches Sports to Anchor Weekends for WINK

Bob Irzyk, former sports director at Oklahoma City ABC affiliate KOCO, will anchor the WINK weekend news with co-anchor Haley Hinds beginning September 30.

Irzyk announced the move to the Fort Myers, FL, CBS affiliate on his facebook page while addressing the switch away from sports, “Yes you read that right..NEWS.. I guess I’m Re-Inventing myself at this stage of my career after doing Sports for 25 years. I’m Very Excited About this new Challenge!”

Irzyk left KOCO earlier this month after three years there. Hinds had been anchoring the WINK news solo since Jeremiah Jacobson left for KARE in November 2012.

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