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
5:35 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

School Board Hears Ideas on School Safety, Likely to Reject Arming Teachers

School safety was the top topic for the state board of education, which hoped to learn about how to make buildings, staff and students more secure. But Ohio Public Radio’s Karen Kasler reports, one idea that’s been making the rounds isn't likely to move forward

“Twenty-two seconds from the time the shooter shot the first bullet till the time he exited the school building. Twenty-two seconds.”

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Politics
6:35 am
Tue May 7, 2013

Split Among Conservatives Becoming More Pronounced

The rift among Republicans over the Ohio GOP's stance on major issues and its support of Gov. John Kasich is starting to look like a serious split. And some Republicans say they're ready to run away.

Tea Party leader Tom Zawistowski says he met this past weekend with the Ohio Constitution Party and is talking with others about finding a new political home for activists he calls “the force of the party”. And he says he doesn’t worry that this split is making conservatives look divided going into next year’s campaigns.

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Statewide News
8:04 am
Tue April 30, 2013

DeWine Backs Proposed Law That Could Lead to Longer Sentences for Career Criminals

Most violent crimes in Ohio are committed by people who have at least two felony convictions. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports on a bill coming this week that seeks to cut down on gun-related crimes by locking up those people.

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The Economy & Business
6:35 am
Tue April 23, 2013

Economic Experts Debate Whether Income Tax Cuts Create Jobs

The House has approved its version of the budget, and now the Senate will make its changes. One idea that’s been suggested by Senate President Keith Faber is to replace the House’s 7% income tax cut for all Ohioans with a 50% income tax cut to small businesses, which had been in Gov. John Kasich’s budget.

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Education
12:05 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

School Board Hires New Superintendent Away From Governor’s Office

Ohio's state school board has picked a top education adviser to Republican Gov. John Kasich as the new superintendent of public instruction. Richard Ross was selected over Acting Superintendent Michael Sawyers on Tuesday by a 10-6 vote of the State Board of Education. Democrats are blasting the choice of Ross, who has worked closely with Gov. Kasich on his budget and other education policy. But Ross says he's been hired by the state school board now, and is not an agent of the governor.

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