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.

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Lawmakers are returning to Columbus after spring break amid mounting questions about the House Speaker and an FBI inquiry into activities he may be involved in. 

Karen Kasler

The three-member team comprising the Statehouse News Bureau covers the Governor and other executive officeholders, the General Assembly, the Supreme Court and state agencies, along with campaigns and elections. Here are three stories that showcase how we report, follow and explain the business of state government.

Karen Kasler

Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger has hired a lawyer after he says he learned the FBI is asking questions about activities he may be involved in. But Rosenberger says he hasn’t been told he’s under investigation. And Rosenberger’s second in command in the House isn't saying much about what’s next.

Karen Kasler

At this time last year, state lawmakers were in the midst of creating a two year budget with a deficit that was more than a half a billion dollars. It’s a different situation this year, but for the second month in a row, personal income tax collections came in at a rate lower than expected.

Jay Hanselman, WVXU

People who work in Ohio’s largest industry are getting hit with a triple threat – a bad economy, heavy rain and cool temperatures, and now the possibility of a trade war with their products in the middle of it.

Karen Kasler

Fifty years ago today, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on the balcony of a hotel in Memphis, where he’d gone for a march to support striking sanitation workers. Events were held around the country to remember King, including at the Statehouse.

Twitter

Democratic state lawmakers say they want to bring back guaranteed overtime protections that were supposed to be put into place two years ago but have been blocked by lawsuits in federal court.

Karen Kasler

Gov. John Kasich will speak Tuesday at a college in New Hampshire – which many are reading as yet another signal that he’s considering another run for president. This trip comes a day after Kasich spoke at a forum convened by a national news website at Ohio State.

Sarah Ramsey, WVXU

A bill halfway through the legislature would allow the state to deduct the amount cities take in from traffic cameras from their state funding. Even though only about a dozen or so communities in Ohio are using cameras, cities are fighting the proposal.

Twitter

FirstEnergy says it’s starting the process of shutting down its two nuclear power plants in northwest and northeast Ohio, saying it can’t compete with lower natural gas prices. But the company says it’s willing to work with lawmakers to find ways to keep them operating.

Twitter/Wes Goodman

Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor continues to call for a debate with Attorney General Mike DeWine – saying her opponent in the Republican primary for governor has been unclear and even flip flopped on Medicaid expansion. But it appears Taylor also has made a major change on that issue.

Medicaid expansion is one of Republican Gov. John Kasich’s signature accomplishments, but it’s unlikely to remain if either his lieutenant governor or the attorney general is elected to replace him. And that would create a crisis for some 700,000 Ohioans in Medicaid expansion, most of whom are chronically ill or drug addicted.

Daniel Konik

This weekend brought huge protests over gun laws and another appearance by Gov. John Kasich on a Sunday morning national TV news show, talking about his recent and public change of heart on gun laws. But it’s still unclear whether recently discussed gun law changes will move forward with state lawmakers.

Individual stories can be found here.

Individual stories/pics are located here:

Karen Kasler

Several cities are considering legislation on guns if state lawmakers don’t pass gun law reforms – though a state law from a decade ago prevents them from passing stricter laws. The Democrat who argued for that law is now running for governor, and is being asked about that.

twitter/youtube.com

There may not be any debates in the Republican primary for governor. So the two candidates are now going back and forth in TV ads instead.

Karen Kasler

For years, it seemed Mary Taylor and her boss John Kasich were a tight team. But in the last few months, as Taylor has been running an increasingly aggressive campaign to succeed Kasich as governor, she seems to be pushing away from him.

Karen Kasler

Advocates are pushing for the state program that would regulate medical marijuana to be ready to go as scheduled this fall, even though there are lawsuits and concerns over how the companies that won licenses to grow medical pot were selected.

@nirajantani via Twitter

Amid the debate over whether teachers should be armed in schools, a Dayton-area lawmaker says he believes some students could carry weapons as well.

Andy Chow/Jo Ingles

The Ohio Democratic Party will soon announce its fifth debate with its four major candidates for governor. But it’s starting to look like there won’t be one between the Republican candidates for that office.

Karen Kasler

A billionaire Democratic fundraiser who’s been running a TV and online campaign to impeach President Trump has launched what he says will be a series of at least 30 town hall meetings around the country, and he kicked it off in Columbus. He'll go to Cincinnati next.

Jo Ingles

A federal judge has ruled a new state law that would ban abortion after a fetal diagnosis of Down syndrome is unconstitutional, and has blocked it a little more than a week before it was to go into effect.

ohiochamber.com

The largest business group in the state has put together a free online toolkit for any employer who’s dealing with opioid problems in the workplace – showing just how serious the epidemic is to businesses in Ohio.

Karen Kasler

State lawmakers want more information about the billing practices of companies that handle prescription drug benefits for millions of Medicaid recipients in Ohio. That's because they’re being accused of using the pharmacies they operate to drive smaller pharmacies out of business.

Ohio Department of Natural Resources

Gov. John Kasich’s final State of the State speech last week has been praised and criticized for what it included and what was left out. But there was one bit of news – the announcement of a new state park that could become Ohio’s largest.

Karen Kasler

The state school board has voted to oppose a controversial bill that would give the governor more authority over a new education and workforce agency. And there are questions about the relationship the state’s education leader has with Gov. John Kasich.

Karen Kasler

Gov. John Kasich is sounding off about a report over the weekend saying that his job creation record for the last two years is only slightly better than that of his Democratic predecessor, Ted Strickland.

@Save_The_Crew via Twitter

The lawsuit filed by the state over the possible move of Columbus’ major league professional soccer franchise could be the first test of a law that’s more than twenty years old.  The suit involves the 1996 measure passed after owner Art Modell moved the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore.

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