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.

Cliff Hite / Twitter

A high-ranking Republican senator from northwest Ohio has abruptly resigned his seat, apologizing for "inappropriate behavior" he had with a state employee.

In a statement released on Wednesday morning, Hite said he was "not proud of recent inappropriate conversations" he had with a woman, who he says worked in a nearby state office.

"After we met, I sometimes asked her for hugs and talked with her in a way that was not appropriate for a married man, father, and grandfather like myself," Hite said. "Beyond those hugs, there was no inappropriate physical contact."

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted
Statehouse News Bureau

The Department of Homeland Security has reached out to elections officials in Ohio and 20 other states, which have confirmed they were targeted by hackers during the 2016 election. But Ohio's chief elections official said he thinks the story isn't as shocking as it may seem.

Prison
Foreverdigital

Ohio has more execution dates set than any other state. And a new report from Harvard Law School shows most of those condemned inmates have serious mental and intellectual impairments. The report suggests that could pose a constitutional problem.

Of the 26 Ohio men set to be executed in the next three years, a review by Harvard Law’s Fair Punishment Project shows almost two thirds suffered serious childhood trauma. Nearly a quarter are likely severely mentally ill and 42 percent have other impairments such as brain injuries.

Karen Kasler

After years of big numbers, attendance at this year’s Ohio State Fair plummeted to its lowest number in 13 years.

During its 12-day run the fair brought in 801,031 people – the lowest number since 2004 and a 13 percent drop from last year.

Spokesperson Alicia Shoults says attendance fluctuates every year, but the breakdown of a Midway ride that left one person dead and several seriously injured was a factor. “I think that obviously, opening day’s tragic accident certainly contributed to that and accompanying that, the fact that the rides were closed for a few days.”

The state budget director was off by almost a billion dollars in its projections on tax collections for the fiscal year. But his prediction that the year that ended last week would close in the black was right.

Flickr Creative Commons User Thoth188

There may have been occasional disagreements between Ohio’s Republican-dominated House and Senate and Republican Gov. John Kasich, but he’d issued more than a hundred vetoes in his seven years in office without one being overturned. Yesterday, that changed dramatically.

Karen Kasler

Ohio’s largest online charter school has promised to continue its legal battle with the state department of education. But the state school board still voted today to require the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow to return $60 million in overpayments for students it couldn’t prove were enrolled full time.

traffic camera red light camera
Robert Couse-Baker / Flickr/Creative Commons

Once again, state lawmakers are trying to green light new rules for how communities can use speed and red light cameras, especially smaller communities that get a big percentage of their revenue from tickets.

Columbus Democratic Rep. Hearcel Craig is going after communities without mayors’ courts that are running traffic camera programs. He says some violations come with fines in the hundreds to thousands of dollars which he says is “abusive and excessive."

school transportation bus buses DPS public schools transit children kids education
Ohio Department of Transportation Facebook page

Next year’s graduating high school senior must get a good score over seven different final tests or on a college entrance exam, or earn an industry credential. As many as 47,000 high school juniors are potentially on track to fail to meet those standards. An amendment that may be attached to the budget in the Senate seeks to help those students.

The mayor says the city's education initiative is showing signs of early success in helping to prepare young people for higher education and entering the workforce.
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

A day after a second Republican came into the race for governor, a fourth candidate has announced campaign for the Democratic nomination.

Dayton mayor Nan Whaley announced her candidacy for governor Monday. In her campaign launch, she talked jobs and holding major drug companies accountable for the state’s opioid crisis.

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