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 police have identified the body of a teenager who was pulled Friday morning from the Scioto River near downtown. 


Ohio is the second largest egg-producing state in the U.S., and that means big industry changes as consumer demand pushes more retailers to move to cage free hens. 

Sam Hendren / 89.7 NPR News

City officials today said the annual summer anti-crime program will begin May 29th. The Community Safety Initiative is designed to reduce crime during the time when children are out of school.

Sam Hendren / 89.7 NPR News

Shareholders arriving for the annual meeting at Wendy’s headquarters in Dublin Thursday were met by picketers. The protesters want Wendy’s to exert more pressure on suppliers to provide better working conditions for farm laborers.

Voting booths / Flickr

A federal judge today struck down an Ohio law that trimmed early voting.  The judge called the law that shortened the so-called “Golden Week” unconstitutional.

Sam Hendren / 89.7 NPR News

This story is part of the Curious Cbus project. You ask the questions, you vote on one of the questions, and we answer. To ask your question, visit The first question came from Jon Hsu:

What happens to our waste (trash, recycling, yard waste) once it's collected? Where does it actually go?

Centerplate has been removed as the food vendor at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.   Board members of the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority made the decision at a special meeting Thursday night.

The authority’s executive director, Don Brown, says improper influence was involved in the awarding of the contract two years ago. 

The parent company of Columbus Castings has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.  Constellation Enterprises LLC said the foundry, located on South Parsons Ave., would halt production there as it “pursues a sale of the business.”

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther says he’s delivered on a major campaign promise.  On Tuesday Ginther released new ethics policies for certain city employees by way of his first executive order.

Harness racing season at Scioto Downs officially kicks off this afternoon.  Just five years ago, the track was struggling to stay afloat. As attendance fell, prize money dried up and owners were taking their horses to “greener” pastures.  Then so-called “racinos” came along and brought with them a horseracing revival. 

Sam Hendren / 89.7 NPR News

There were embraces, tears and fond memories Friday night in Piketon at a candlelight vigil for eight members of the Rhoden family who were killed a little more than a week ago. 

Sam Hendren / 89.7 NPR News

Authorities in Pike County are urging residents to be cautious as the search continues for whoever fatally shot eight members of a family at four different properties.  The victims found yesterday were all shot in the head; some were killed as they slept.

Sam Hendren / 89.7 NPR News

A door-to-door campaign to install free smoke detectors continued today in the Franklinton neighborhood near downtown Columbus.  The program is a joint effort of the American Red Cross, the Columbus Fire Department and volunteers from Nationwide Insurance.

Sam Hendren / 89.7 NPR News

70 percent of trees in the U.S. are found in urban areas.  And where there are people there are bound to be disputes. Sometimes those disputes end up before Columbus attorney Victor Merullo who specializes in tree law.

Grahm S. Jones / Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

The Columbus Zoo says its polar bear cub named Nora will make her first public appearance on Friday, April 15 at 9:30 a.m. The zoo says visitors will be able to see Nora in the polar bear habitat at Polar Frontier every day thereafter from 9:30 a.m. for approximately one hour.

Ohio State University seal on The Oval
Ohio State University

Tuition and mandatory fees for Ohio State University’s in-state undergraduate and graduate students will be frozen for the fifth consecutive year.  The university’s board of trustees made that decision April 8. In addition, housing costs will remain unchanged for a second year.

Sam Hendren / 89.7 NPR News

About 98 percent of Ohioans have access to basic broadband internet.  But some rural Ohioans struggle to get any sort of connection at all.  Now satellite-to-dish internet service providers are scrambling to fill the void.

Columbus City Hall

The Ohio Ethics Commission says it has found no wrong-doing by Columbus City Council members.  The Ethics Commission was investigating council members who work for non-profits organizations which receive city funding. 

Wikipedia Commons

Ohio's Bureau of Workers' Compensation has about $25 billion dollars in assets to assist workers who've been injured on the job.  Last week, the bureau announced it would reduce rates that private employers pay the state.

Sam Hendren / 89.7 NPR News

After several days of mild temperatures, the first official day of spring – Sunday, March 20th – saw sub-freezing lows in parts of Ohio.


A network of radio and television stations operated by Ohio University says it’s implementing corrective measures stemming from sexual harassment allegations. 


A Lawmaker, Ohio’s Governor and a former U.N. ambassador all are calling on North Korea to release a Cincinnati-area man. Otto Warmbier is a University of Virginia undergraduate sentenced Wednesday to 15 years’ hard labor by the Communist government.

A heavy turnout in parts of Franklin County this morning caused some voters to wait nearly two hours to cast a ballot.  In Blacklick lines at East Pointe Christian Church stretched out the door.

A new marijuana constitutional amendment could soon begin its journey through Ohio’s certification process. The measure, sponsored by the group Grassroots Ohio, deals with medical marijuana. 

Flickr Creative Commons

Former president Bill Clinton campaigned in Columbus Wednesday seeking to bolster the political aspirations of his wife, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Micheal J / Flickr Creative Commons

A new electricity contract will save Franklin County government more than $100,000 over 26 months and will help protect the environment.


  Traffic deaths across the U.S. are on the increase. The National Safety Council says deaths in 2015 were up eight percent over the previous year.  But the death rate in Ohio for the same period was several points higher.  Pinpointing the reasons why can be difficult.

Cincinnati City Council Member and U.S. Senate candidate P.G. Sittenfeld surrounded by gun control advocates
Jo Iingles / Ohio Public Radio

Cincinnati City Councilman and U-S Senate hopeful P.G. Sittenfeld says his Democratic opponent Ted Strickland in the upcoming primary is wrong on a host of issues.

Ohio Republican Party

In advance of Trump’s campaign stop in Columbus on Tuesday the head of the Ohio Republican Party held a teleconference conference denouncing Trump. GOP Chair Matt Borges says he believes Governor John Kasich can unify the party. 

Approximately 4,000 people gave Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump a rousing welcome at a Port Columbus hangar just after noon today.