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.

Daniel Konik

The state’s jobless rate has fallen to 4.7 percent, its lowest level since last March.

Ohio Democratic Party via Twitter

The four major candidates in the Democratic primary for governor met for their first debate of the year last night at a high school in Toledo – and it was the first meeting for this group of contenders. And the event got heated a few times.

Office of Budget and Management

After a huge haul to start the year, income tax collections for last month came in below estimates. But the state is still in the black halfway through the fiscal year.

Statehouse News Bureau

The issue of guns and gun violence has energized some Republicans such as Gov. John Kasich. But it’s sparked real interest among Democrats, whose views on guns can run the gamut. And the issue is becoming a huge one for the four major candidates in the Democratic race for governor, who will meet in their first debate together on Wednesday.

Karen Kasler

Among Republican Gov. John Kasich’s new proposals on gun laws are a ban on accelerators called bump stocks” and a so-called “red flag” bill, which would allow law enforcement to seize guns of people deemed to be dangerous. But these ideas have already been proposed by minority Democrats in the Republican dominated legislature.

Daniel Konik

The former Republican California governor who’s better known as a movie star and bodybuilder has delivered on a promise he made regarding redistricting. 

Karen Kasler

Gov. John Kasich has put out a package of gun law changes he hopes to get through the Republican-dominated state legislature. This comes after several weeks of talking about a private group he convened to discuss gun laws, and after a very public pivot on gun regulations after the Florida high school shooting on Valentine’s Day.

Karen Kasler

Republican state lawmakers say they have a plan to give Ohio’s 88 counties millions of dollars to replace thousands of voting machines that were bought more than a decade ago. And they could be ready in time for the 2020 presidential election.

Jo Ingles

The leader of Republicans in the Senate says he thinks a “stand your ground” bill that Gov. John Kasich said he wouldn’t sign will pass anyway.

Andy Chow

A Cleveland doctor whose paperwork to run for governor was rejected has filed a challenge in the Ohio Supreme Court. He’s hoping to get back into what is officially a six-way race for the Democratic nomination.

Ohio Department of Public Safety

Some big changes are coming for Ohio drivers’ licenses this summer. Ohio will be one of 42 states that will be mailing drivers’ licenses and state ID cards instead of printing them at the state’s 180 deputy registrars’ offices.

Karen Kasler

The state auditor says he wants Medicaid providers to insure that they’ll do the work the state is paying them for by putting up some money to prove it. He’s backing a bill that he says will help the state recover money spent on fraudulent payments.

Ohio has joined communities around the state, along with cities, counties and some other states in suing four companies that distributed prescription painkillers that they say helped fuel the deadly opioid crisis. And two of the targets of the suit are Ohio-based.

MSNBC

Gov. John Kasich has gotten even more direct in his statements suggesting his views on gun regulations have changed. Though he’s signed every law expanding gun rights he’s been presented with as governor, he says he won’t sign a controversial bill currently under consideration

Anatoly Vartanov/shutterstock.com

Democratic state lawmakers are trying again to pass an assault weapons ban in Ohio, and say they think an apparent change of heart by Gov. John Kasich announced over the weekend might help the bill this time.

John Kasich .com

Gov. John Kasich has appeared to have changed his views on gun regulations, after years of saying he was a strong Second Amendment supporter on the rare occasions that he talked about it at all.

OGT/Ohio Channel

On "The State of Ohio" this week, one of the Republican candidates for governor pulled back an earlier statement in which she said she wouldn’t vote for her primary opponent if he becomes the party’s nominee. 

Karen Kasler

It’ll be a while before the state puts out new official numbers on Ohio’s deadly opioid crisis. But the federal Centers for Disease Control says it has new stats that show the epidemic is nowhere close to slowing down.

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.

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