WYSO

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.

classroom
Patrick Q / Flickr Creative Commons

A report commissioned by three groups representing officials from traditional public schools shows what they call a strong link between student performance and household income - in other words, kids in wealthy districts do better on tests on average than kids in poor districts do.
 

Statehouse News Bureau

Ohio’s Attorney General has been doing events around the state in the last few weeks, to bring more awareness to the state’s drug opioid epidemic. That crisis was brought into a harsh spotlight recently thanks to a photo of two Ohioans who nearly died from their heroin use.

Mike DeWine says he has mixed feelings about the East Liverpool police photo that went viral, featuring a couple overdosing on heroin in a van with a four year old buckled in a seat behind them.

Mark Belokopytov / Flickr Creative Commons

At 4.8% for July, the Ohio unemployment rate is firmly in pre-recession territory, and the state is on a job-gaining trend. But that doesn’t give the full picture of how things are for working Ohioans, says the state’s leading labor policy issues think tank.

tncountryfan / Flickr/Creative Commons

Once again, kids are going back to school in Ohio. And once again, a state lawmaker is saying that school shouldn’t be starting in the middle of August.

jcaputo4

The Ohio Supreme Court says backers of a plan to cap the price Ohio pays for drugs it buys for Medicaid, prisons and other state-run programs fell short of the signatures they need to put it before voters next year.

Ohio House of Representatives

A group of state lawmakers will be studying jobless benefits to come up with ideas for their colleagues to consider when they come back to work after the November election. 

Ohio has paid back the $1.4 billion it borrowed from the federal government during the recession when the fund that paid benefits to jobless workers went broke. But Republican Rep. Kirk Schuring of Stark County says the crisis isn’t over.

“When you’re in a situation like this, it begs the question: What must we do to reform our system?”

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

Ohio’s senior US Senator got a prime time speaking spot on the final night of the convention, after his speech the night before had been scratched because the schedule got backed up.

Sherrod Brown admitted earlier in the week that he’d been vetted as a possible vice presidential candidate for Hillary Clinton, and told the DNC that he was completely behind Clinton’s economic plans.

“That’s why Hillary Clinton will win Ohio, because as everyone in this great hall knows, as Ohio goes, so goes the nation.”

Karen Kasler

One Ohio party leader who’s at the DNC as an elected delegate for Bernie Sanders says she’s very worried about the effect of the email scandal involving the outgoing Democratic Party chair. 

Former state Sen. Nina Turner of Cleveland is concerned. “The facade of unity is not going to carry out until some folks really start to address this issue and give voice to the issue.”

Karen Kasler

US Senator Rob Portman is facing a tough re-election fight this year – and some Ohio Republicans are worried that Donald Trump’s controversial candidacy may drag down Portman’s chances to beat Democratic former Governor Ted Strickland. The candidate popped in for a little campaigning on the first day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION

  As polls show likely Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is trailing presumptive Democratic choice Hillary Clinton, reports are again surfacing that Republicans will be making moves to try to change the rules for next month’s convention in Cleveland. And that’s a tactic that’s been used in past conventions too.

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