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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Politics
2:16 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Little Known Dayton Area Man Running For Governor After All

 

It appears that Ed FitzGerald will have an opponent in the Democratic primary for governor: Larry Ealy, a candidate many people expected wouldn't qualify for the ballot and most have never heard of. The 51-year-old Trotwood resident describes himself as a civil rights advocate who says he’s been helping people in his community deal with legal issues. 

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Politics
7:04 am
Thu February 6, 2014

With Filing Deadline Over, The Ballot Is Set For Fall Election

It’s official: the five Republicans and five Democrats who have been talked about for the five executive offices on the fall ballot have filed their paperwork, so the campaigns will soon begin in earnest.

The marquee race is of course Republican John Kasich against Democrat Ed FitzGerald for governor. Democratic strategist Sandy Theis says the fact that Kasich has raised five dollars for every dollar FitzGerald has campaign cash doesn’t mean much at this point.

“God, no, it’s not over," says Theis. "It’s very, very early. The incumbent always has a fundraising advantage.”

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Statewide News
11:56 am
Mon January 20, 2014

State Representative Wants Governor Present At Executions

Reaction is still coming to last week’s problematic and controversial execution, one of the longest ones on record in Ohio. And the troubles that Ohio has had in carrying out executions has led one lawmaker to propose adding to the audience of those witnessing the lethal injection process.

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Statewide News
6:35 am
Fri January 17, 2014

First Execution Using New Drug Cocktail Viewed As Problematic

A convicted killer from western Ohio became the first person ever to be executed with a two-drug mix that the state of Ohio adopted as its execution method late last year.

The execution of 53 year old Dennis McGuire began with him telling his family he loved them and thanking the family of his victim, Joy Stewart, for a letter they sent him. Columbus Dispatch reporter Alan Johnson says McGuire closed his eyes, and then seemed to have trouble breathing.

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Politics
7:35 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Looking Back on Year 2 For JobsOhio

The second full year of operation for the state’s public-private economic development organization was nearly as rocky as its first one. Gov. John Kasich has made it clear many times that he stands behind his keystone creation JobsOhio.  At his final public speech in December, he called it “the most important economic development tool in America.” 

“JobsOhio went through some political nonsense, and that – we’ve kind of cleared the brush on that, I guess they’ve kind of given up on that. And now this organization is starting to grow.”

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