Karen Kasler (Ohio Public Radio)

Karen Kasler is a lifelong Ohioan with a passion for broadcast reporting. She left her hometown of Lancaster for Otterbein College. As News Director at WCBE in Columbus in the 90s, she covered a variety of events, including the local impact of the Gulf War, the financial problems of the Columbus Public Schools and the trouble-ridden Ameriflora exhibition in 1992.

Karen was selected as a Fellow in the Kiplinger Master's Program for Mid-Career Journalists at The Ohio State University in 1994. After a brief stint at WBNS-TV in Columbus, she moved to Cleveland and became the afternoon drive anchor and assignment editor for WTAM-AM. Karen followed the demolition and rebuilding of Cleveland Browns Stadium, produced award-winning series on identity theft and the Y2K panic, covered the Republican National Convention in 2000 and the blackout of 2003, and reported annually from the Cleveland National Air Show each year, often going upside down in an aerobatic plane to do it. In 1999, she was a media witness to the execution of Wilford Berry, at the time the first man put to death since Ohio re-instated capital punishment. Karen frequently reported for ABC Radio News, and also co-produced an award-winning nationally-distributed documentary on the one-year anniversary of September 11, 2001, which featured her interview with Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge from the West Wing of the White House.

Since returning to Columbus, she's covered major elections and the controversies surrounding them, the "Coingate" scandal and the resignation of former Attorney General Marc Dann. She's also produced features on "green" business, STEM education, campaign ads, the elimination of the state's anti-smoking agency and a demolition derby involving farm equipment.

Each year she anchors the Bureau's live coverage of the governor's State of the State. She was a panelist for the gubernatorial and the US Senate debates in 2006 and the Attorney General's race in 2008, and has also been interviewed by NPR, by the BBC and by Brian Williams for NBC's "Nightly News".

Karen has been honored by the Association of Capitol Editors and Reporters, the Cleveland Press Club/Society of Professional Journalists, the Ohio Educational Telecommunications Commission, and holds a National Headliner Award. She's won several awards from the Ohio AP, and is a four-time winner of the AP's Best Broadcast Writing award. She was nominated for an Emmy in 2006 for hosting "The State of Ohio". She's currently the president-elect of the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters.

Karen joined the Bureau in March 2004. She’s reported for NPR, Marketplace and the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, and is a frequent guest on ONN’s “Capitol Square” , WVIZ’s “Ideas” and WOSU-TV’s “Columbus on the Record”.

Karen is also an adjunct professor at Capital University in Columbus. Karen, her husband and their son Jack live on Columbus' northeast side.

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Education
9:07 am
Wed June 18, 2014

State Finds One In Three Dayton Students Fails Third Grade Reading Test

Credit tncountryfan / Flickr/Creative Commons

Nearly nine out of ten Ohio third graders have passed the state’s third grade reading test, which allows them to move on to fourth grade—but Dayton scored among the worst in the state.

Eighty-eight percent of the 110,000 kids who took the test statewide passed this spring. That’s up from a little over 63 percent who passed the test in the fall.

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Statewide News
7:26 am
Thu May 8, 2014

"Hang On Sloopy" Soon To Be State Rock Song—By Law

The OSU marching band made a visit to the House chamber at the statehouse this week.
Credit Karen Kasler / Statehouse News Bureau

The state of Ohio is closer to having an official official rock song. Just after the Ohio State University marching band deliberately stomped into and out of the House chamber Wednesday, representatives passed legislation making “Hang On Sloopy” the state’s official rock song.

Democrat Michael Stinziano of Columbus co-sponsored the bill, which he says came about when he heard it was the state official song only by resolution, not by law. To be sure, he consulted the man who came up with the resolution when he held that seat—his father Mike Stinziano. 

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Statewide News
6:04 am
Mon April 7, 2014

New Language For Same-Sex Marriage Amendment

The group that’s pushing a same-sex marriage amendment in Ohio says it’s retooling the language because of concerns about religious institutions.

Ian James of Freedom Ohio says language about recognition of same-sex marriages by religious institutions has been taken out, and that the group will start circulating the new petitions as soon as possible. But he says they still have the signatures they need to put the original issue on the ballot with a filing deadline of July 2.

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Politics
12:26 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Governor’s Budget Update Bill Includes Tax Cut, Cigarette And Driller Hike

The governor’s budget update bill includes another state income tax cut – paid for by increases in two existing taxes.

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Politics
7:35 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Libertarians Say They’ll Go To Federal Court To Get Back On Ballot

Secretary of State Jon Husted announced Friday that Libertarians Charlie Earl and Steven Linnabary won’t be on the May ballot in the races for governor and attorney general, respectively. The decision comes after hearings last week to protest the signatures that got them there. The ruling was a main topic of the Libertarians’ convention this weekend in Columbus, where Charlie Earl was one of the headline speakers.

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