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. 

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photo of Ohio Supreme Court
DAN KONIK / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The Ohio Supreme Court says a law requiring people living with HIV to disclose their status to potential sexual partners is constitutional and doesn’t violate free speech rights. 

Orlando Batista was sentenced in Hamilton County to eight years in prison for not telling his girlfriend he’s HIV positive. His lawyer Josh Thompson said his behavior was reprehensible, but the law perpetuates a stigma that keeps people from being tested and getting treatment.

photo of judge gavel
ESB PROFESSIONAL / SHUTTERSTOCK

A divided Ohio Supreme Court says juvenile courts can dismiss sex charges against a child under 13 if the kids involved in sexual conduct were close in age. The decision in the case involved a 12-year-old and a 9-year-old.

photo of gun-free zone
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The House has voted to change the rules by which Ohio’s 550,000 licensed concealed carry weapons holders have to tell police that they’re armed. 

Republican Scott Wiggam of Wooster says a CCW holder could face a first-degree misdemeanor, a $1,000 fine and the loss of the license for a year if they don’t promptly notify an officer that they’re carrying a weapon. But Wiggam said the law doesn’t define “promptly."

KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

As the opioid crisis rages on, public health officials have been urging people to get rid of prescription painkillers that are no longer needed.  Communities around the state are holding events this Saturday, which is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

photo of Amazon data center
WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Several Ohio cities put in bids with Amazon for its second headquarters, complete with offers of tax breaks. But Gov. John Kasich maintains, while he’s hoping high-tech firms are looking at Ohio, the state does not “buy deals.” Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler talked with Kasich about luring technology companies to the state.

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