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.

Liesl Bonneau, OGT

A huge bill that passed the House unanimously makes a big change in all of Ohio’s state laws. It replaces all references in state law to “mental retardation” with the term “intellectual disability”. 

Rep. Jonathan Dever (R-Madiera) is one of the sponsors of the bill. “As we learn more about those with disabilities and we work towards making Ohio a better and more responsive state for the developmentally disabled in our communities, our laws should reflect that collective wisdom,” Dever said.

Karen Kasler

There were more than 200 people identified as potential human trafficking victims in Ohio last year – nearly all of them female, and more than a quarter of them under 18. Those are the latest stats from a report presented to the state’s task force on human trafficking.

Karen Kasler

The endorsed Democrat in the primary for US Senate has been blasted by his opponent and others for not being very visible in this campaign. He's now talking about that, and the candidate he plans to face this fall also has some thoughts.

Karen Kasler

Hundreds of cops, deputies and recovery experts packed a church in Columbus for what the Attorney General called an “emergency” meeting on heroin.

It’s standing room only in the sanctuary of Mt. Hermon Missionary Baptist Church, and it’s nearly silent, as hundreds watch a video on the state’s heroin crisis.

“I overdosed a dozen times, and was brought back with naloxone twice.”

Gary Musselman, City Club of Cleveland

The bitter US Senate campaign of 2012 – which was one of the most expensive in the country that year – could be back for a repeat in 2018.

Incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown and Republican state treasurer Josh Mandel raised $44 million, and another $52 million in outside money poured in.

Ohio Department of Administrative Services

Each year, the state of Ohio honors the work and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with an oratory contest for kids around the state. And just before the day named for him, the winners come to a downtown Columbus church to perform their essays.

Election Day 2015

Jan 15, 2016
Karen Kasler

Welcome to Election Day 2015 - 24 hours of non-stop news condensed to just under 12 minutes.

The Statehouse News Bureau is a three-member crew that provides coverage of government and politics for Ohio’s public radio listeners.  We are not a radio station, but produce spots and packages that air on Ohio’s 33 public radio stations.  We are the only broadcast journalists who are dedicated to daily Statehouse and government reporting.

Karen Kasler

The state’s chief election officer says the time is now to get ready for the role Ohio will play as a battleground presidential state.

Karen Kasler

The state’s elections chief says he needs lawmakers to approve an online voter registration process. But a Democrat who wants that job says she disagrees.

Karen Kasler

President Obama’s executive orders on gun regulations have people on both sides of the issue asking about Ohio’s gun laws.

Karen Kasler

Thousands of Ohio students are truant every year, and many are expelled because they don’t come to school. A trio of Republican lawmakers have a proposal to deal with the problem.

Karen Kasler

The lawsuit filed by Ohio’s attorney general, a county and four state universities over a provision in the Affordable Care Act isn’t over.

Ohio House, Ohio Senate

When lawmakers come back to the Statehouse, Republicans in the legislature are likely to push bills changing  the rules for unemployment compensation, on fetal remains from abortions and on public records and the missions of state agencies. But Democrats in the House and Senate have items they want to draw attention to as well.

Ohio House, Ohio Senate

Lawmakers will be coming back to Columbus later this month to pick up some bills left unfinished last year.  And Senate and House Republican leaders have a lot of bills they want to work on.

Andy Chow

2015 brought some controversial issues before lawmakers in the Ohio Senate, and some of them are likely to circle back around in the year ahead. The top leaders of the Senate debate how these decisions have effected Ohioans.

Andy Chow

It was a busy year in the Ohio House. More than 400 bills were proposed, dealing with some of the most challenging issues in the state. As part of our series “2015 in Review,” the top House leaders talk about what happened and what’s still ahead.

Andy Chow

It was a big year for cases involving public records, home rule, sex offenders and charter schools at the state’s highest court. Here's a rundown of the top news at the Ohio Supreme Court in our continuing series “2015 in Review.”

OGT/The Ohio Channel

The Ohio Supreme Court will decide if caps on damages to assault victims who don’t have permanent physical injuries are constitutional.

A hearing is set for January 5 in federal court on the temporary block put up to stop the state from taking legal action against Planned Parenthood.

Karen Kasler

A three-member panel appointed by the outgoing state school superintendent has come up with 22 ideas on how to reform and restore the public perception of Ohio’s troubled charter schools.

Karen Kasler

The state’s laws on economic development, jobs and business growth have been condensed into a 257-page book that’s being made available to local officials.

Planned Parenthood has fired back at Attorney General Mike DeWine, who has charged that the organization’s three Ohio abortion clinics mishandled fetal remains. It's filed a federal lawsuit against the state.

"Face the Nation", CBS News

Gov. John Kasich took a different tack in his continuing battle with fellow GOP presidential contender Donald Trump on the Sunday morning talk show circuit.

Karen Kasler

The backers of last month’s marijuana legalization issue spent a lot of money on a campaign that voters overwhelmingly rejected.

Karen Kasler

The chief strategist behind President George W. Bush’s campaigns has written a book about another president – Ohio’s William McKinley, elected in 1896. He was at the Statehouse today to sign that book, and talked about the upcoming presidential election.

The chair of the Ohio Republican Party has come out with some of his strongest language yet on his party’s leading candidate – Donald Trump.

Karen Kasler

The Ohio Supreme Court has ordered Cuyahoga County to release the data on the comings and goings of Democratic former candidate for governor Ed FitzGerald, the former county executive.

Screenshot, CNN's "State of the Union"

Republican presidential candidate Gov. John Kasich blasted President Obama’s speech last night, though he seemed to agree in part with one point of it earlier on Sunday. Ohio Public Radio’s Karen Kasler reports.

School districts around the state have been charging fees on kids in sports, music and theatre programs and other activities for years. But some state officials are now raising questions about whether “pay to play” fees are playing fair.

Karen Kasler

For the 50,000 men and women in Ohio’s 27 prisons, time behind bars is about accepting their sentences, considering the permanent damage they’ve done to their victims and finding ways to educate and improve themselves. But some of those who are incarcerated are creating incredible works of art.  And there’s a new exhibit that showcases some of the best.

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