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.

Screenshot, "Face the Nation", CBS

Gov. John Kasich didn’t do well in the South Carolina primary – finishing fifth. But his backers are staying positive about his chances going forward.

Ohio Department of Medicaid

The state will soon start the process that could allow for controversial changes for around a million Ohioans on Medicaid. But it’s a long, tough road to getting those changes put in place.

Karen Kasler

The state’s retailers are pushing lawmakers to put in place permanently a three-day sales tax holiday in August for clothing and school supplies. And they have a new study that shows big numbers to support it.

Ohio Secretary of State's Office

Voters approved a change in the way the maps for state lawmakers’ districts are drawn last month, sparking calls for a similar change to the maps for members of Congress. While Democrats are united in that push, there’s an apparent split among Republican leaders who could make it happen.

Andy Chow

It’s not often that the four Republican executive officeholders are together in one room – especially when all of them are expected to run for other offices when their terms end in 2018.

Karen Kasler

The four top elected officeholders in Ohio took questions together today at an annual event with reporters. And they were asked whether they support legislation for medical marijuana.

The Ohio Department of Education is working to keep a $71 million federal grant for charter schools. And the agency is saying Ohio has a lot more failing charter schools than it initially claimed.

"Chicago Tonight", WTTW

The current state treasurer is releasing the results of an independent investigation he ordered into activities by a top aide of the former state treasurer.

Screenshot, CNN

Gov. John Kasich hosted his 100th town hall in New Hampshire Friday – just days before the first-in-the-nation primary there on Tuesday.

Brian Bull, WCPN/ideastream

State lawmakers could vote this month on a bill that would ban cities from requiring contractors to hire a certain number of local workers for big construction projects.

StockMonkeys.com

The Secretary of State may soon have a decision on a proposal to cap the price Ohio pays for drugs it buys for Medicaid, prisons and other state-run programs. And while that decision might stop the proposal in its tracks, it’s already controversial.

Fox News

Gov. John Kasich wasn’t even in Iowa for the GOP caucuses last night – he was at the presidential campaign’s next stop, New Hampshire, which holds the first in the nation primary next week.

Jennifer Herold; Ohio Senate

The comments a Republican Ohio Senate leader made about his primary opponent in a House race have fired up a debate on how the GOP views women – in particular, working moms.

Karen Kasler

As committees led by Republicans considered bills related to abortion and guns, Democrats are drawing attention to their bills on economic and educational issues that they say are being ignored. 

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.

Pages