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.

Last month, Gov. John Kasich has warned that a tough budget process is ahead. But other state officials have questioned the use of the word “recession” and have said they think the state’s economic situation is strong. In an interview for "The State of Ohio", the state budget director says all this is true, in a way.

Daniel Konik

A two-year old state law that sets rules on traffic cameras went before the Ohio Supreme Court, in a case filed by cities who claim the law actually amounts to a ban on those devices.

Dave Hewison Photography/Shutterstock.com

The Ohio Supreme Court will once again take up the issue of red light and traffic cameras Tuesday, deciding the constitutionality of a law that requires cities to post officers alongside those cameras if they want to continue using them. A trip back into the archives explains the basics of the case.

Karen Kasler/Twitter

Friday’s vote for chair of the Ohio Republican Party will be the biggest meeting for the party’s 66-member state central committee in several years. And both candidates say they have the votes to win.

OGT/Ohio Channel

State lawmakers have come back to Columbus to start their new year and new session, with the same House Speaker and House Minority Leader. The two recently sat down for an exclusive conversation for "The State of Ohio" about what happened in the long and confusing end of last year’s session, and what’s ahead.

Tiffany O'Neill Scullen

The only Democrat serving in statewide office - Ohio Supreme Court Justice William O'Neill - says he’ll spend this year deciding if he wants to run for governor next year. But he would have to quit that job if he does.

OGT/Ohio Channel

For the first time in four years, the Ohio Senate will have a new president. And he and the incumbent Minority Leader come out of this lame duck session with a lot of work ahead of them when they return in January. They recently sat down for an exclusive interview.

Karen Kasler

The feud between the Donald Trump campaign and Ohio Republican Party chair Matt Borges before the election has turned into a challenge over the state party’s leadership next month. Now the party’s top state officeholder has weighed in with an unsurprising but significant vote of confidence.

OGT/Ohio Channel

The Ohio Supreme Court has sharply split over whether a 112-year sentence for a teenager convicted of kidnapping and raping a Youngstown State student in 2001 is constitutional.

Statehouse News Bureau

The chair of the Ohio Republican Party is facing a challenge to his leadership at the state party’s meeting next month, after a public feud with the Donald Trump campaign during the presidential race. Matt Borges is now apparently campaigning to keep his job.

Statehouse News Bureau

Gov. John Kasich has denied mercy for the next inmate in line for execution. But his order also delayed that lethal injection.

Ohio Inspector General's Office

The state’s top watchdog says he wants some clarification on when state agencies can pay employees for denied vacation time.

Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction

A Dayton area federal magistrate has delayed the next three scheduled executions until a challenge to the state’s new three-drug lethal injection method is settled.

Karen Kasler

Gov. John Kasich spoke to Ohio’s electoral college, and then signed his name to a stack of bills passed by state lawmakers in the last two weeks.

Karen Kasler

One of Ohio’s 18 electors who will cast their votes for Donald Trump today is the target of a lawsuit announced over the weekend. But the situation described in the lawsuit is not new in Ohio.

Karen Kasler

State lawmakers are unlikely to come back to do any business before their next session starts next year. And the Republican who leads the House Education Committee says he wants to start a House Education Committee chair says he wants to start talking about school funding now – with a plan to overhaul of Ohio’s way of funding its public schools.

OGT/Ohio Channel

The Ohio Supreme Court says a state law capping damages in certain cases is constitutional. That means a 15-year-old Delaware County girl raped by her pastor in 2008 will get a quarter of a million dollars – not the $3.5 million the jury awarded her family.

Karen Kasler

Dozens of the more than a thousand bills proposed in the House and Senate this year passed in the lame duck session in the last two weeks. The rest all died. But there was one that didn’t make it, and it was a surprise to no one.

Karen Kasler

About 50 activists demonstrated around the Statehouse yesterday, hoping to send a message to Gov. John Kasich about two newly passed abortion bans.

Lightbox Productions/Netflix

A Netflix series exploring hostage situations premiered this weekend with an episode telling the story of the deadly prison riot at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville in 1993.

Ohio Channel

Tributes have pouring in from people who knew, worked with and admired Ohio’s John Glenn – the first American to orbit the earth, the oldest person ever to fly in space and the state’s only four term US Senator.

Karen Kasler

The state parole board has voted 10-2 to recommend to Gov. Kasich that Ronald Phillips of Akron be put to death on schedule next month for the rape and murder of his girlfriend’s toddler daughter in 1993.

Statehouse News Bureau

Among the flood of bills that passed this week in the lame duck legislature is a controversial proposal that would require state agencies to be abolished unless lawmakers approve their continued existence. 

The Ohio Channel

Fighter pilot, astronaut and former US Senator John Glenn has passed away.

City Club of Cleveland

Treasurer Josh Mandel has announced he wants a rematch against Democratic US Sen. Sherrod Brown in 2018 – though Mandel may have to survive a Republican primary this time around. And he plans to take a page from the President-elect’s playbook.

Karen Kasler

Gov. John Kasich made a surprise appearance on the floor of the Ohio House yesterday, to tell lawmakers to expect a tough budget because Ohio is on “the verge of a recession”. But a report from his budget office doesn’t back up that claim.

Karen Kasler

The head of the Ohio Republican Party is likely to have a challenger to his re-election to that position next month.

Karen Kasler

The first man scheduled to be put to death in Ohio since a problematic execution almost three years ago is asking for life without parole.  But the state parole board's recommendation may not even matter right away.

Karen Kasler

Nearly 5.5 million Ohioans cast ballots in the November presidential election, making the turnout in 2016 slightly higher than it was four years ago. And there are other highlights in the election results just made official by the Secretary of State.

ODOT

Gov. John Kasich is following up on the cautionary statements his budget director has made about challenges coming in the next budget.

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