Karen Kasler

Bureau Chief

Credit Kristen Kasler Peters

Contact Karen at 614/578-6375 or at kkasler@statehousenews.org.

Karen Kasler is a lifelong Ohioan. She grew up in Lancaster, attended Otterbein College in Westerville, and found her first professional break at WCBE-FM, Columbus. Karen was selected as a Fellow in the Kiplinger Program for Mid-Career Journalists at The Ohio State University in 1994. After earning her Master's Degree in that program, she worked at WBNS-TV in Columbus and then moved north to become the afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor for WTAM-AM, Cleveland. Karen followed the demolition and rebuilding of Cleveland Browns Stadium, produced award-winning series on identity theft and the Y2K panic, covered the Republican National Convention in 2000 and the blackout of 2003, and reported annually from the Cleveland National Air Show each year, often going upside down in an aerobatic plane to do it. In 1999, she was a media witness to the execution of Wilford Berry, at the time the first man put to death since Ohio re-instated capital punishment. Karen frequently reported for ABC Radio News, and also co-produced an award-winning nationally-distributed documentary on the one-year anniversary of September 11, 2001, which featured her interview with Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge from the West Wing of the White House.

Since returning to Columbus, she's covered major elections and the controversies surrounding them. Each year she anchors the Bureau's live coverage of the governor's State of the State. She was a moderator for US Senate debates in 2012 and 2010, participated in several debates in 2010, and has led debates over statewide issues. She's produced features for NPR and "Marketplace", and has been interviewed by NPR, the BBC, NBC and several local and regional stations around the country. She's a regular panelist on WCPN/ideastream's "The Sound of Ideas", a frequent guest on WOSU-TV’s “Columbus on the Record” and has appeared on WBNS-TV's "Face the State".

She's been honored by the Association of Capitol Editors and Reporters, the Cleveland Press Club/Society of Professional Journalists, the Ohio Educational Telecommunications Commission, and holds a National Headliner Award. She's won several awards from the Ohio AP, and is a four-time winner of the AP's Best Broadcast Writing award. She's a three-time Emmy nominee for "The State of Ohio". She's a past president of the Ohio Associated Press, and currently on the Board of Directors for the Central Ohio Society of Professional Journalists. Karen is also a former adjunct professor at Capital University in Columbus.

Karen, her husband and their son Jack live on Columbus' northeast side.

Karen Kasler

The state parole board has voted 11-1 to recommend Gov. John Kasich deny clemency to Alva Campbell Jr., the next inmate scheduled to be executed in Ohio. The report follows the clemency hearing for Campbell last week.

Daniel Konik/OGT

Buzzfeed is reporting that Gov. John Kasich met yesterday with foreign policy and national security experts in Columbus, apparently looking toward a possible run for president in 2020. This report came just hours after Kasich talked about his future on "The State of Ohio", and he shared some different information.

Daniel Konik

A report from 60 Minutes and the Washington Post on Sunday suggested central Ohio based Cardinal Health and other opioid painkiller distributors persuaded Congress to weaken the Drug Enforcement Agency’s authority. Gov. John Kasich talked about that today in an exclusive interview.

ideastream

In spite of having plenty of opportunities to gamble, Ohio has a rate of problem gambling that’s less than half the national rate of 2.2 percent, according to a study just released by the state. But the state is still keeping an eye toward developing problems.

Twitter

There’s more information out today about why Republican state Sen. Cliff Hite of Findlay suddenly resigned his seat, just a month after saying he would run for re-election next year.

Karen Kasler

Ten months ago state lawmakers created a bipartisan panel with the power to review the state budget and make recommendations for ending billions in tax loopholes. Now that group has met for the first time.

Karen Kasler

A longtime Republican Senator from northwest Ohio has abruptly resigned his seat.

Tiffany O'Neill Scullen

It’s likely Ohio’s only statewide elected Democrat will enter the race to become his party’s nominee for governor.

Office of Budget and Management

The state budget office says its required analysis of Issue 2 shows Ohio could save money if voters approve the drug price initiative next month. But the report says there are many variables that make it impossible to predict how much the state would save.

Karen Kasler

The state’s largest online charter school said in court filings last week that it will close by January if it’s forced to pay back nearly $80 million to the state from two attendance audits. But the state auditor says that doesn’t mean the bill would be settled.

Karen Kasler

A Republican state senator wants to roll back almost a hundred requirements on school districts. They range from mandates on school personnel to directives for students in classrooms.

Statehouse News Bureau

The four candidates vying to be the Republican nominee in next year’s governor’s race sat down for separate twenty-minute interviews last night in a Columbus church before a crowd of more than 500 people.  And there was one theme in particular that stood out – and it was about the man they all want to succeed.

Ohio Department of Health

The number of abortions in Ohio last year went down for the fourth year in a row. Both sides in the debate are pleased, but have differing opinions on why.

Daniel Konik

A state budget provision just taking effect would change an 80-year-old policy, requiring those who want to dispute tax decisions go to one of 12 regional appeals courts instead of the Ohio Supreme Court. But businesses say that will hurt them.

Provided by Rob Richardson campaign

Democrats have candidates in each of the five executive statewide offices next year with a Cincinnati attorney’s kickoff of his campaign for treasurer.

Karen Kasler

The Ohio Department of Education says its latest audit of the state’s largest online charter school shows it once again inflated its attendance. And that means ECOT owes another big bill for the students it was paid to educate – but the state says it didn’t.

Karen Kasler

State legislative leaders have formed a four-member bipartisan group to work on creating a new way to redraw Ohio’s Congressional district map, which will be redone after the 2020 census. But supporters of an effort already underway to change the map drawing process aren’t backing down.

Statehouse News Bureau

The prosecutor involved in the case of the kidnapping, rape and murder of an Ohio State student in February is pleased with the introduction of legislation named for her. But he thinks changes relating to release and monitoring of accused criminals could have happened sooner.

Karen Kasler

State lawmakers overrode six of Gov. John Kasich’s 47 budget vetoes. But one headline-making veto may survive – the one that stops a plan to ask the federal government to increase the tax on managed care organizations.

Statehouse News Bureau

Democrats say they’ll join a bipartisan group of state lawmakers working on a new way to draw Congressional districts. But they are concerned about the timing.

Karen Kasler

Republican state legislative leaders say they’re putting together a bipartisan group to come up with a new way to draw Congressional districts. This comes as a citizens’ group frustrated with inaction on the issue is planning its own proposal to present to voters.

Andy Chow

The Department of Homeland Security has reached out to elections officials in Ohio and 20 other states, which have confirmed they were targeted by hackers during the 2016 election. But Ohio's chief elections official said he thinks the story isn't as shocking as it may seem.

YouTube

Sen. John McCain of Arizona has announced he'll vote 'no' on the latest Republican bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. He was one of five U.S. Senators targeted in a new ad from a health care consumer organization opposed to the latest Republican health care bill. Ohio's Rob Portman is another.

The bad grades for many school districts latest round of report cards has upset some parents and school officials. And now they’ve angered a state lawmaker who says he’s writing a bill to change the report cards. 

senate.gov

Democratic U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown says he’s very concerned about the latest Republican attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, which seems to have cautious support from his fellow Senator from Ohio, Republican Rob Portman. 

Ohio’s U.S. Senators appear to be split on the latest attempt to repeal and replace the federal Affordable Care Act.  Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown has been against it, but now we know more about how the state’s Republican Sen. feels.

Daniel Konik/OGT

With around 50 days to go till the November election and no major statewide candidates this year, that’s leaving plenty of space for opponents and supporters of a drug price issue on the ballot to hit the airwaves with millions of dollars in ads. But the main spokespeople for both sides have a lot to say that goes beyond those commercials.

Dan Konik

After several months of holding steady, the state’s jobless rate has climbed to its highest level in nearly three years.

Karen Kasler

Ohio’s school report cards are out, and the state says its 1.7 million school kids are doing better academically across all subjects, and across different economic and racial groups.  But there are mixed grades for Ohio’s public school districts, and mostly bad ones for charter schools.

ohiodems.org

There are nearly seven months till the primary for governor next year. But the four announced Democratic candidates for governor proceeded as if the race is well underway as they met for their first debate last night in Martin’s Ferry on the West Virginia border.

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