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

In his State of the State speech last month, Gov. John Kasich announced he wants the state’s Third Frontier commission to spend $20 million toward high-tech solutions to the deadly opioid crisis. The panel has taken the first step toward doing that.

Leslie Adams

Political figures past and present were on hand in the Statehouse rotunda to honor seven former Speakers of the House, going back 50 years. The leaders, along with their families, friends and colleagues, were  there for the unveiling of their portraits.

tonefotografia/shutterstock.com

Next year’s graduating high school senior must get a good score over seven different final tests or on a college entrance exam, or earn an industry credential. As many as 47,000 high school juniors are potentially on track to fail to meet those standards. An amendment that may be attached to the budget in the Senate seeks to help those students.

Karen Kasler

There’s been a lot of discussion about when or if to use the $2 billion in the state’s rainy day fund. A national group has studied the impact of using rainy day funds in budget crises.

The jobless rate fell last month, but the state also lost jobs. That doesn't seem to make sense, but the state says there's positive news here.

Daniel Konik

The Ohio Supreme Court will rule on an interesting issue – whether the free speech rights of people living with HIV violated by a law requiring they disclose their status to potential sexual partners.

Statehouse News Bureau

Kids under 13 can’t be charged with rape in Ohio. But the Ohio Supreme Court will decide if they can be charged with other sex crimes if both involved in the act were under 13.  The court heard arguments in a case involving a 12-year-old and a nine-year-old.

Karen Kasler

Gov. John Kasich has ended the tour promoting his new book, but he’s not done talking about the campaign or the issues that concern him – including the actions of President Trump and some of his fellow Republicans in Congress.

Karen Kasler

A state hearing officer has dealt another blow to the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow - the state's largest online charter school - in its battle with the state.

Daniel Konik

The Ohio Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that a student’s constitutional rights weren’t violated by a search of an unattended book bag that led to the discovery of a gun.

Karen Kasler

The battle between the state and its largest online charter school brought supporters of the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, or ECOT, to the Statehouse. And the crowd of hundreds of students, parents and teachers also included a well-known but rarely seen figure.

A day after a second Republican came into the race for governor, a fourth candidate has announced campaign for the Democratic nomination.

jonhusted.com

There are now two Republicans officially in the race for governor to start this week, with the latest candidate starting a campaign tour of Ohio today in Dayton.

Karen Kasler

While members of the House say the state budget they passed is balanced, Senators are worried they’re going to have to cut as much as $400 million from it.  One research group is hoping lawmakers will look at closing some tax breaks before taking an ax to state programs.

Andy Chow

The groups working on a constitutional amendment to change the way Congressional districts are created in Ohio will spend this weekend managing a setback for their goal of a statewide vote on it.

Amy Cummings

The House budget is now in the hands of the Senate, which may have to cut as much as $400 million from it to make sure it’s balanced before it’s signed at the end of June. Gov. John Kasich talked a bit about the budget and what the House did to his proposal while on his book tour this past weekend.

Karen Kasler

Once again, for the ninth time in ten months, state tax revenues came in below estimates. And that's raising many questions among lawmakers trying to work out the upcoming state budget.

Ohio House/Butler County Jail

A state lawmaker was in court today to settle the case regarding the night he was found passed out drunk in the drive thru of a Butler County restaurant. He’ll lose his driver’s license till September, but that’s not all.

Daniel Konik

It took nearly three hours for the Republican-dominated House to pass its version of the budget, with 12 Republicans voting against it, and four Democrats breaking with the minority party and supporting it. And there were a lot of unnoticed items buried in it.

Karen Kasler

Gov. John Kasich continues his multi-state promotional tour for his book “Two Paths” through Friday. He’s appeared on national TV shows and done a number of interviews. And he’s talking about a lot more than just the book, sitting down for an interview in Westlake near Cleveland Sunday afternoon.

YouTube

There’s a provision in the House version of Gov. John Kasich’s budget that seems to have been inspired by a public service ad campaign last year. It featured Ohio State’s football coach and the state officeholder who’s announced he wants to try again to unseat Democratic US Sen. Sherrod Brown next year.

Karen Kasler

The House’s changes to Gov. John Kasich’s budget are going over fairly well with education leaders. That includes the $90 million in spending added to the $16.3 billion that Kasich initially proposed.

Daniel Konik/OGT

Gov. John Kasich’s $67 billion budget got ripped apart and put back together by House Republicans, who stripped out his key tax reforms and put more money into other areas. Part of the reason was because nearly a half a billion dollars had to be trimmed from it - and more cuts are likely to come later.

Ron Corby

After blocking executions in Ohio almost three weeks ago, a federal appeals court will reconsider that ruling on whether Ohio can use a new method of lethal injection.

Another Democratic member of the Ohio House has left her seat – the second since the two-year term began in January.

Joshua Rainey Photography/shutterstock.com

900,000 Ohioans live in mobile or trailer homes – manufactured homes, as they’re known.  Gov. John Kasich wants to merge the small nine member commission that oversees those homes with the Department of Commerce, which has more than 800 employees. 

Daniel Konik

The House version of Gov. John Kasich’s budget comes out tomorrow, and it’s expected to include a lot of changes. 

Screenshot, "Face the Nation", CBS

Gov. John Kasich begins his book tour this week – just as the House version of his budget is being released. And while it’s expected his fellow Republicans will make big changes in that budget, Kasich is talking about unity.

Daniel Konik/OGT

The most recent stats on drug overdoses in Ohio are from 2015, when more than 3,000 Ohioans died – and the 2016 numbers are expected to be worse. The head of the state’s drug addiction agency will be on "The State of Ohio" this weekend, talking about the opioid battle and the state budget.

Karen Kasler

State pension systems are underfunded by more than a trillion dollars nationwide, according to a new report. And taxpayers would have to make up that shortfall. But the study has some good news for Ohio.

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