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.

Gov. John Kasich says Ohio is seeing a record drop in the numbers of people who are unemployed. But Ohio Public Radio’s Karen Kasler reports one economist is saying the story behind those numbers isn’t anything to celebrate.

On their last day of work this year, state lawmakers have overwhelmingly approved a new map of Congressional districts and a new single date for the two statewide primaries that were scheduled next year. But as Ohio Public Radio’s Karen Kasler reports, the map flap finally came to an end in marathon sessions of the House and Senate.

Candidates who want to run for one of Ohio’s 16 Congressional seats have to file petitions today, even though the primary they’d run in isn’t set till June. Ohio Public Radio’s Karen Kasler reports that’s because there’s still talk about merging that primary with the ones set for March into some other springtime date.

Right now, there are two primaries scheduled in Ohio next year. A group of Democratic elections workers is pleading for state lawmakers to merge next year’s two primaries back into a single event. Ohio Public Radio’s Karen Kasler reports the situation is still fluid, with a key filing deadline just hours away.

Just after the departure of a well known global company based in Ohio, the state is ratcheting up its sales pitch to a familiar retailer. Ohio Public Radio’s Karen Kasler reports.

Just a week after voters sided with unions and voted down a collective bargaining reform law, the state and its largest state employee union have reached a tentative deal. But as Ohio Public Radio’s Karen Kasler reports, the governor isn’t saying much about how and why that happened.

Ohio voters rejected the first issue on the statewide ballot yesterday. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler has details.

The campaign of 2011 is just a few hours away from its conclusion, and there have been few reports of voters who waited till today to cast ballots experiencing problems. While elections officials in several counties did report heavy turnout for early voting, Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted says that’s not necessarily an indication of a huge number of people coming to the polls in an off-year election.

Karen Kasler

Food pantries around the state say they’re seeing unprecedented numbers of senior citizens needing help. Activists from across the state met for a summit on dealing with hunger among seniors today. Lisa Hamler-Fugitt with the Ohio Association of Second Harvest Food Banks says many seniors aren’t able to take care of their nutrition needs, which she says will cost Medicare and other programs in the long run.

The state’s four year old ban on smoking in most indoor places came before the Ohio Supreme Court today. Ohio Public Radio’s Karen Kasler says it’s being framed as a case pitting the rights of private property owners against a popular public health crusade.

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