Karen Kasler

Ohio Public Radio and TV Statehouse Bureau Chief

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets.  She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.

Karen is a graduate of Otterbein College, and earned her Master’s as a Fellow in the Kiplinger Program for Mid-Career Journalists at The Ohio State University. Karen has been honored by the Associated Press, the Association of Capitol Editors and Reporters, the Cleveland Press Club/Society of Professional Journalists, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences/Ohio Valley Emmys, and holds a National Headliner Award. 

Ways to Connect

An image of money.
SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

The five statewide executive offices will all turn over this year because of term limits on their occupants. The person elected treasurer will oversee Ohio’s $21.5 billion-dollar portfolio of investments, and will manage the collection of billions in state revenues. 

Ohio Senate / Ohio Senate

The Republican leader of the Ohio Senate says he’s confident that new central Ohio Congressman Troy Balderson will win in November, even as he’s announcing that Balderson’s replacement in the Senate won’t be picked until after the election.

President Larry Obhof says resumes from those who want to fill Balderson’s Senate seat will be accepted until November 16.

A photo of Jim Tassie, assistant director of Ohio Medicaid, and Gov. John Kasich talking about the change in the rule requiring background checks on Medicaid providers.
KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Gov. John Kasich says his Medicaid department has made some changes in required background checks on behavioral and mental health providers – a requirement that came from an executive order he signed in July. The change is good news to hundreds of providers who feared for their jobs.

photo of Attorney General Mike DeWine
KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to vote Friday on whether to recommend to the full Senate that Judge Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court be confirmed. 

The committee heard compelling testimony Thursday from Kavanaugh and Professor Christine Blasey Ford, who accuses him of sexually assaulting her in 1982, when the two were in high school. 

Mike DeWine had praised President Trump’s nomination of Kavanaugh in July, and then again at a debate Sept. 19 with Democratic opponent Richard Cordray.

Karen Kasler / Statehouse News Bureau

The Ohio Health Department puts the official death toll  last year from accidential drug overdoses at 4,854 people. That’s more than 13 people a day, and a 20 percent increase over 2016. But Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports Gov. John Kasich says there is good news in those numbers.

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