Sam Hendren

News Reporter

Sam Hendren brought more than two decades of experience to WOSU when he arrived in August of 2005. Born in Tennessee and raised in North Carolina, Hendren began his journalism career at the University of Alabama's public radio station (also his alma mater).

He's reported extensively from across the Southern U.S., the inter-mountain West and the Great Plains states. His work has appeared on NPR, Marketplace, and the Voice of America. He served as executive producer of the environmental radio magazine High Plains News, based in Billings, MT, and was news director at public station KMUW, in Wichita, KS.

Sam is the recipient of many national awards for journalistic excellence.

Ways to Connect

Columbus Downtown Development Corp

What once was vacant land adjacent to COSI, will, in a few years time, be a thriving urban neighborhood of high-rise residential buildings, shops and restaurants, office buildings and a hotel or two.  

Sam Hendren

Randy Rogers drives up to the Field family mausoleum, within Columbus' Green Lawn Cemetery. Its columns are covered by police tape, and the glass in one door is splintered.

But the worst of the damage is on the other side.

WOSU Archive

A major re-configuring of Central Ohio Transit Authority bus routes is in the final stages, with COTA refocusing away from downtown Columbus as it nears a launch date of May 1

The city of Columbus and a group that works to free wrongly convicted people ended a years-long fight this week. 

State of Ohio

Ronette Burkes, head of the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville, has been named Ohio's Warden of the Year. It's a long way from when Burkes started volunteering for the prison system nearly 20 years ago.

Hotel LeVeque

The interior of Columbus’ iconic skyscraper, the LeVeque Tower, is getting another makeover.  When renovations to the 90-year-old structure are complete in about a month, LeVeque Tower will feature a boutique hotel, apartments and condos and commercial office space. 

Sam Hendren

In a home in southeast Columbus, the cheery glow of a Christmas tree brightens the living room. The holiday may be more than a week away, but for Allison Carlisle’s family, gift-giving has already started.

And she has Nationwide Children's Hospital, not Santa, to thank.  

The Kaiser Family Foundation says that in 2014, Ohio had the highest number of deaths from opiate overdoses in the U.S.

YouTube/Columbus City Attorney's Office

The second-longest serving city attorney in Columbus history, Rick Pfeiffer, says he will not seek another term. 

Ohio State University

As Ohio State University recovers physically and emotionally from Monday's attacks, hundreds of people gathered at St. John Arena Tuesday night for a vigil that emphasized the campus's strength in unity.


The Ohio Department of Health said Wednesday that infant mortality has recently increased in the state as a whole. But in Franklin County, the number of deaths actually went down.

WOSU's Sam Hendren talks to Liane Egle, executive director of CelebrateOne, a group that was formed following the work of the Franklin County Infant Mortality Task Force.

With Republican control of the White House in site, several members of Ohio’s Congressional delegation anticipate a flurry of legislative activity that will undo elements of the Obama Administration’s social initiatives. Ohio’s Republican U.S. Senator says he’s excited by the prospect. 

Sam Hendren / 89.7 NPR News

A nearly 190-year-old grist mill in Fairfield County will spring back to life next month.  A $1 million restoration will soon be complete. 

Columbus City Hall
Derek Jensen / Wikimedia Commons

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther has released his first budget proposal as mayor today. Ginther has divvied up near $870 million and allocated funds to various departments and projects. 

Michael V. Drake
Kevin Fitzsimons / The Ohio State University

Ohio State University’s Board of Trustees is very pleased with the performance of university president Michael Drake. 

In a letter to Drake, dated November 4, Board Chair Alex Shumate said the president’s performance has been “outstanding.”

Ohio Public Radio Statehouse News Bureau

The latest Quinnipiac poll shows Portman leading Strickland by 18 points - not what one might expect from the challenger who was once a household name for Ohio voters.

Top5ive Photography

William B. Conner, Jr., the president and CEO of the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts as well as a leading figure in the Columbus arts community, passed away Friday after a two-year battle with cancer. He was 64.

Tasty Made

The burrito chain Chipotle is now betting on burgers.

Known for their massive burritos and trendy décor, the fast-casual restaurant is venturing into new territory with a new burger restaurant called Tasty Made. The first one in the nation opened Thursday in Lancaster.

DETROIT (AP) - South Korean automakers Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp. will pay $41.2 million to 33 states and the District of Columbia to settle an investigation into their fuel economy ratings.

The Margaret M. Walter Wing at the Columbus Museum of Art
Columbus Museum of Art

The Columbus Museum of Art celebrates an anniversary Thursday. It’s been a year since the Margaret Walter Wing opened to the public.

Museum executive director Nanette Maciejunes says the new addition has been a fabulous success.


The Columbus Division of Police on Wednesday host a conference that looks to teach people about the causes for and possible protections against domestic violence.

Columbus City Hall
Derek Jensen / Wikimedia Commons

On Monday, the Columbus City Council unanimously passed a resolution condemning Islamophobia.  Passage followed a roundtable discussion at Columbus City Hall conducted by various faith leaders in Central Ohio. 

2,869 central Ohio homes and condos were sold last month; an 8.3 percent increase over the previous year and the highest number of closed sales for the month of September ever recorded.


City officials say that Columbus has received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2016 Municipal Equality Index, the only nationwide rating system of LGBTQ inclusion in municipal law and policy. The index examines how inclusive municipal laws, policies and services are for LGBTQ people.

Cities are rated based on non-discrimination laws, the municipality as an employer, municipal services, law enforcement and the city leadership's public position on equality.

Prosecutors say it's one of the strangest scams they've ever seen.

A Central Ohio woman is accused of fabricating an elaborate story of aggravated robbery and attempted murder to try to bilk Ohio’s crime victims’ assistance fund out of thousands of dollars. 

Biologist Mike Graziano beside a vernal pool that he and others constructed.
Sam Hendren / 89.7 NPR News

Biologist Mike Graziano loves to explore the Clintonville area’s ravines. According to an acquaintance, this Ohio State University PhD candidate is the next E.O. Wilson.  

When it comes to women's and children's health in the state of Ohio, the diagnosis is not good.

The United Health Foundation recently released its 2016 Health of Women and Children rankings, and Ohio fell closer to the bottom than the top.  Ohio ranked 33rd among states.  

Ohio State University

Ohio State University announced on Tuesday that it will be undergoing a restoration of historic Mirror Lake.  The 18-month renovation will restore wetlands to the lakeshore and include renovations to nearby buildings.

Standing near the lake, WOSU’s Sam Hendren spoke today with OSU associate vice president Keith Myers about the upcoming renovations.


A new study by researchers at The Ohio State University puts firmer numbers on the phenomenon of implicit racial bias. Researchers believe an unconscious "white preference" could impede the entry of African Americans into the medical profession, where they and other minorities are underrepresented.

The study was published in Academic Medicine, a journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges. To discuss implicit bias in medical school admissions, WOSU's Sam Hendren spoke to Dr. Quinn Capers IV, lead author of the study and the associate dean of admissions at Ohio State’s medical school.

Cynthia Ravitsky in her car.
Nick Houser / WOSU News

Can public radio save a life? Maybe so. Just ask Cynthia Ravitsky of Westerville.