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.

OGT/Ohio Channel

Gov. John Kasich’s budget includes a plan that would have businesses file a specific tax through the state, instead of through the municipality where they’re located. The state says it will save money, but communities say it’ll do just the opposite.

Ohio House

As a federal court fight continues over the state’s new proposed method of lethal injection, a freshman state lawmaker is proposing expanding the death penalty in Ohio.

Statehouse News Bureau

Gov. John Kasich’s proposed budget includes a change in the way a portion of the state’s local government fund is distributed to communities. But the leaders of some of Ohio’s biggest cities and a group that represents communities across the state are fuming over that formula.

Karen Kasler

A book released on Valentine’s Day is a bit of a bittersweet love letter from its author to its subject – his hometown. And the story it tells has been heard in towns all over Ohio and across the country.

Karen Kasler

In each of the last two legislative sessions, at least one Republican lawmaker has introduced a bill that would change the rules for union dues and membership for public employees.  But there are questions about whether this latest so-called “right to work” effort has a chance of passing this time.

Karen Kasler

A group representing 650,000 union members in Ohio opposed the nomination of Andrew Puzder, who's now withdrawn as President Trump’s nominee as the secretary of labor. But a progressive leaning think tank says whoever heads that agency is critical to working Ohioans.

Karen Kasler

A new report from a group representing 15 health insurers operating in Ohio says managed care is saving Medicaid a lot of money.

Karen Kasler

Gov. John Kasich has decided where and when he wants to deliver his seventh annual address to the legislature.

CAIR

The Council on American Islamic Relations says it wants investigators looking into vandalism found at a Columbus area mosque on Friday to consider it a hate crime.

Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction

The state parole board has released its recommendation on whether Gov. John Kasich should spare the life of a man who killed two people in back-to-back robberies in Parma almost exactly 25 years ago. And Kasich took some unrelated action on executions while waiting on that report.

Karen Kasler

In the last seven years, the number of children taken into custody by children services agencies in Ohio soared by nearly 20%, and half of those cases involve parental drug use. And the agencies charged with caring for those kids say Gov. John Kasich’s proposed budget doesn’t do enough to help them

Karen Kasler

There were a lot of topics covered by Gov. John Kasich in a speech to a group of newspaper executives and editors. He focused mostly on his budget, but also about who he wants to see replace him in 2018.

Karen Kasler

Republican and Democratic state lawmakers are working up dueling bills on sanctuary cities – communities that say they’ll shield undocumented immigrants from prosecution based on their illegal status. When asked about that at a speech before newspaper executives and editors, Gov. John Kasich was firm on where he stands.

Karen Kasler

A bill on religious freedom that was introduced last year and went nowhere is back.  The so-called “Pastor Protection Act” got its first hearing Wednesday, the day after it was introduced.  And now Gov. John Kasich has weighed in on it.

Karen Kasler

Gov. John Kasich talked to newspaper executives and editors about a variety of topics in his budget, including school funding.

Karen Kasler

Gov. John Kasich has warned this will be a difficult budget process, but has also touted the progress Ohio has made under tax reforms he wants to continue in his final budget. And comparing his statements with those from his budget director almost appear to be examples of “alternative facts”. But the budget director's office has a clarification.

Karen Kasler

Gov. John Kasich made a somewhat surprising statement this week about a pair of abortion related bills from last year’s lame duck session – one he signed and one he vetoed.

Karen Kasler

The number of reports of human trafficking in Ohio went up in the last year. Now a state lawmaker who’s been working on the issue for years wants to protect more minors who are victimized.

Karen Kasler

More than half of Ohio’s 610 school districts will lose funding under the budget proposed this week by Gov. John Kasich, and 73 won’t get any more money than they got this fiscal year.

Ohio Department of Education

The Ohio Department of Education has released its draft of new education policies to align with the federal plan known as the Every Student Succeeds Act. And it’s now open to public input.

Karen Kasler

The chairs of the two major political parties in Ohio appeared together for the first time today, at a forum for journalists in Columbus. And one of the topics was the 2018 election for governor.

Karen Kasler

The 2018 campaigns are getting underway, with another Republican lining up a run next year.

Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press

Since leaving the presidential race last May, Gov. John Kasich has been writing his fourth book, and it'll be out this spring.

OGT/Ohio Channel

Ohio leads the nation in opiate overdose deaths, with an average of eight people dying each day last year. And thousands more are addicted, and in many cases, those addicts have families. On this week's "The State of Ohio", two children services directors share stories from the front lines of this crisis.

Paul Hakimata Photography/Shutterstock.com

Six state senators and seven state representatives from Ohio will go to the inauguration, along with many state officeholders. They include Gov. John Kasich, who was the last candidate in the GOP presidential contest against Trump and publicly admitted he didn't vote for the President-Elect. But there will be many attending who aren’t elected officials, and aren’t even Republicans.

Statehouse News Bureau

The U.S. Senate is holding hearings on President Trump’s cabinet picks. His nominee for Secretary of Education is raising eyebrows because of a court case here in Ohio.

Karen Kasler

Ohio’s two members of the Congressional Black Caucus – both Democrats – are split over whether they’ll attend Friday’s inauguration of President-Elect Donald Trump. 

Karen Kasler

Worries about hacking and cybercrime resulted in the federal Department of Homeland Security naming voting machines and elections systems around the country as “critical infrastructure”, and therefore eligible for more federal help to protect them. But Ohio’s secretary of state has some concerns.

Karen Kasler

The state’s annual celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. featured four students who were awarded for speeches they wrote praising Dr. King’s work. The students shared their winning essays from the pulpit of Trinity Episcopal Church on Capitol Square in Columbus. Here are Columbus third grader Elena Earley, Columbus fifth grader Mackenzie Lewis, Columbus freshman Playon Patrick and sophomore Ivy Holley of Lima. The video of the ceremony is here.

Jo Ingles

An estimated two thousand people marched through downtown Columbus in a preview of the Women’s March on Washington this weekend after President-Elect Donald Trump’s inauguration.

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