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

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. 

Sam Hendren / 89.7 NPR News

  Thousands of immigrants call Columbus home.  In conjunction with WOSU-TV’s documentary Columbus Neighborhoods – New Americans, 89.7 is profiling immigrants who have settled here.  In the final installment of 89.7’s New American Voices series, a profile of an Ethiopian physician who brought his passion for caring to Columbus.

Dole Incorporated has shut down its production facility in Springfield, Ohio, due to listeria contamination.  18 people in 9 states were hospitalized.   Of those 18, one person in Michigan has died.

Two fractions of the Franklin County Democratic Party have emerged due to the candidate endorsement process.
WOSU News Composite

A rift in the Franklin County Democratic Party appears wider as various factions vie for seats on the party’s central committee.

Thousands of immigrants call Columbus home.  In conjunction with WOSU-TV’s documentary Columbus Neighborhoods – New Americans, 89.7 is profiling immigrants who have settled here.  In the latest installment of 89.7’s New American Voices series, WOSU's Sam Hendren speaks with a man who came to Columbus from war-torn Somalia.

Columbus City Hall
Derek Jensen / Wikimedia Commons

Columbus City Council President Zach Klein held a public hearing Wednesday on proposed changes to the city’s ethics rules. Klein says work began in October to strengthen regulations of lobbyists and to make campaign finance disclosure more transparent. 

Ohio State Alumni Association

Ohio State officials have chosen Archie Griffin’s replacement to head the OSU Alumni Association.  Sports marketing industry veteran Jim Smith will become president and CEO of the association March 21st. 

In the latest installment of 89.7’s New American Voices series, a profile of Tursunay Awut, a member of the Eurasian ethnic group known as Uyghurs. She and her family left China several years ago and eventually settled in Bexley.

Capital University

Capital University has a new president.  The board of trustees has unanimously elected Elizabeth Paul as Capital’s 16th president.  Paul, who takes office July 1st currently serves as executive vice president and provost at Stetson University in Florida. 

Thousands of immigrants call Columbus home. In conjunction with WOSU-TV's documentary Columbus Neighborhoods: New Americans, 89-7 is profiling immigrants who have settled here. The latest installment of 89-7's New American Voices series profiles husband and wife Ahmed Al Qazzaz and Shahd Rdawi who came here from Iraq.

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown plans to introduce legislation this week that would quickly alert citizens if their drinking water is unsafe.  Brown's amendment comes in response to lead contamination of tap water in Flint, Michigan and now in Sebring, Ohio.

  Columbus is home to thousands of immigrants. In conjunction with WOSU-TV's documentary "Columbus Neighborhoods - New Americans," 89-7 is profiling immigrants who have settled here. In the latest installment of 89-7's "New American Voices," WOSU profiles Richard Mbuluku who came here from The Congo.

Sam Hendren / 89.7 NPR News

Forty Four-year-old Kashi Adhikari was born and raised in Bhutan. The country is nestled in the eastern Himalayas between India and China.  When he was 18 his family fled Bhutan because of government persecution. Beginning in the early 1990s, the Bhutanese army regularly terrorized the large Nepalese-speaking population.

Steve Francis, Columbus' first chief diversity officer, speaks to a press conference on Tuesday. Behind him are Mayor Andrew Ginther and Congresswoman Joyce Beatty.
Sam Hendren / 89.7 NPR News

Columbus mayor Andrew Ginther has created a new cabinet level position in his administration.   On Tuesday, Ginther introduced Steve Francis as the city’s new chief diversity officer.