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

Photo of fireworks for sale
KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

This Independence Day, many fireworks retailers in Ohio have abandoned the form that buyers had been required to sign saying they’d take their purchases out of state to set them off. The sponsor of a bipartisan fireworks bill hopes for a lot of changes by next year.

photo of puppy mill campaigner
KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

New regulations on so-called puppy mills will take effect in a few weeks, with Gov. John Kasich signing a bill into law this past Friday. That has animal rights activists who had been wanting to put a puppy mill crackdown before voters calling off their campaign.

Activists had wanted a constitutional amendment on high volume dog breeders. But campaigns are expensive.

Ohioans are now navigating a new process to get their driver’s licenses. It’s mostly the same, but with one big difference.

State BMV registrar Don Petit says instead of being handed a new license on the spot, drivers will walk out of a deputy registrar’s office with either their old license or a document – both good for 45 days – while they wait at home for the new license, like one would with a credit or debit card from the bank.

photo of Bill Seitz
OGT

Two Democratic women state representatives have asked Attorney General and Republican candidate for governor Mike DeWine to reopen an investigation into comments made by the Majority Floor Leader at a going-away party in January.

They’re concerned not only about the alleged conduct of Rep. Bill Seitz, but with a previous investigation that cleared him of wrongdoing.

photo of Gov. John Kasich
KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

A bill is now before Gov. John Kasich that would continue $2.5 million in funding for a 40-year-old program providing wraparound services for at-risk kids with severe behavioral needs in Cuyahoga County.

The program’s operator had said it was concerned that services would have to stop because of a dispute over who should pay for them.

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