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.

Karen Kasler

Republican state lawmakers are hoping to help send a particular group of at-risk kids to college – those whose parents are addicted to opioids and other drugs. They'd do it with a program that they hope to create with legislation being introduced soon.

Karen Kasler

Wednesday’s execution for Raymond Tibbetts of Cincinnati has been put off because of a letter from a juror asking Gov. John Kasich to spare the convicted killer’s life. The execution is delayed until the parole board can hold a hearing on the issues raised in that letter.

Karen Kasler

Ohio is the only Midwest state that’s had a sales tax holiday for the last three years. And now the Senate has unanimously approved a bill that would guarantee it would be an annual event.

Daniel Konik/OGT

January was a huge month for the state’s personal income tax collections.  The state’s budget office has been close on its forecasts so far this fiscal year, but last month was unusual.

Daniel Konik

The Ohio Supreme Court has made two big decisions on abortion involving two separate but related cases, by ruling on a case involving one of Ohio’s eight clinics and not ruling in another.

ODRC/Tibbetts family via OTSE

A juror who recommended death for a Cincinnati killer who’s set for execution next week now says he’d like the governor to spare that condemned man’s life.

Statehouse News Bureau

State lawmakers have added a rare Monday session, in case they need to vote on changing the way Ohio’s Congressional map is drawn. One former lawmaker calls the current map the most gerrymandered one in state history, and has suggestions for his former colleagues and a coalition of citizens’ groups who want to take their plan to voters in the fall.

Karen Kasler

Gov. John Kasich says he’s willing to step in to help Republican lawmakers and citizens’ groups work out a deal on drawing Ohio’s Congressional map-drawing process.

Daniel Konik

The governor's race is shaping up to be expensive, according to the campaign finance filings for the last six months of last year. And the money leaders in the Republican and Democratic primaries easily outraised their opponents.

Karen Kasler

Gov. John Kasich covered a lot of ground in speaking at a forum for journalists today – talking about jobs, the economy, the opioid crisis and his future plans.

Karen Kasler

The state has announced the entries that won money for ideas and projects that could make a difference in the fight against opioids. It's the first round of awards in a contest that will take years to complete.

Ohio Secretary of State

A coalition of citizens’ groups had been talking with state lawmakers for days about a compromise to change the way Ohio’s Congressional map.  But both sides now say efforts to reach a deal have failed.

Ohio’s Republican US Senator has once again endorsed a candidate in this year’s race against Democratic incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown. Sen. Rob Portman sided with a colleague who just joined the race over the candidate who’s been in it for months.

"The State of Ohio"

The state budget director is pushing back on a bill that environmental advocates and the oil and gas industry say would streamline the process of capping some 600 old oil and gas wells that don’t have owners. The bill would also triple the amount of money set aside to cap those wells.

Ohio House

A longtime state representative is formally apologizing for comments he made at a going away party earlier this week – comments that had other lawmakers fuming and calling for an investigation.

Karen Kasler

The shutdown of the state’s largest online charter school – which owes tens of millions of dollars to the state – has thousands of students searching for options in the middle of the school year. And there are also some 800 teachers and faculty from the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow who are now looking for work.

Ohio Department of Natural Resources - Oil and Gas Division

An environmental group and an oil and gas industry lobbying group are both praising a bill that passed the House that would streamline the process of capping some 600 old, unused wells that don’t have owners. And they also want more money put toward that process.

Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction

A convicted killer is claiming that since the US Supreme Court struck down Florida’s capital punishment sentencing law in 2016, Ohio’s death penalty law is now unconstitutional. He’s claiming the ruling that a jury must sentence a defendant to death makes Ohio’s two-part sentencing process illegal.

ohioelectionresults.com

History suggests that the party not represented in the White House does well in midterm Congressional elections – and this year Ohio’s five executive offices, including governor, are also on the ballot, along with US Senate. And national experts will be watching.

Daniel Konik/OGT

The budget passed last year requires the state to apply for permission to impose work requirements on able-bodied Medicaid recipients. That could mean thousands of Ohioans could lose their health care coverage. While some support the idea, it's controversial to others.

Karen Kasler

National stats estimate 1 in 25 people is threatened or harassed by the sharing of explicit images of themselves online without their consent or knowledge. And right now, it’s not illegal in Ohio to do that. But there’s a new bill that hopes to ban so-called “revenge porn”.

Kabir Bhatia, WKSU

The only Democrat on the Ohio Supreme Court is speaking out after the Republican-dominated Senate voted yesterday to take the first step to remove him from the bench.

Karen Kasler

State Senators have taken the first step toward removing Ohio Supreme Court justice Bill O’Neill, who has announced he’s a Democratic candidate for governor and has picked a running mate but hasn’t officially filed paperwork to run. But the move seems to be at a dead stop in the legislature for now.

Karen Kasler

State stats show overdoses from opioids – including heroin and fentanyl – are killing at least nine people a day. And that figure is likely to rise by the time new numbers are released this summer. The crisis brought advocates to Columbus for a daylong conference on how local groups and communities can fight it.

ohiochannel.org

The annual statewide Martin Luther King Jr. oratory contest brought out some strong words from its student winners.

ohiochannel.org

The state has honored seven people for carrying on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Twitter: @DoreyScheimer

The US Supreme Court heard arguments today in a case challenging Ohio’s controversial method for maintaining its voter rolls. 

Karen Kasler

Former Cleveland mayor, state lawmaker and congressman Dennis Kucinich has taken the first steps toward joining the already-crowded field running for the Democratic nomination for governor.

Now that Treasurer Josh Mandel has announced he’s out of the race for the Republican nomination for the US Senate, there are lots of questions about who might jump into it.

Karen Kasler

The state budget office’s forecasts of how much money would come in each month continue to be very close to reality, as of the totals from the first six months of this fiscal year.

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