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
7:36 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Questions About Transparency at JobsOhio

The continuing questions surrounding transparency at JobsOhio came up again in a routine meeting about money that goes to an agency that partners with the controversial job-creating entity.

The Development Services Agency’s requests to the Controlling Board included money for loans it administers for the public-private entity JobsOhio. State Rep. and Ohio Democratic Party head Chris Redfern grilled the Development Services Agency about whether its funds could be audited by the state auditor.

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Politics
8:35 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Budget Gurus Analyze Kasich’s Second Budget Through Agreement and Argument

Gov. John Kasich has long said Ohio needs to be competitive when it comes to taxes – it’s his argument for lowering and eventually eliminating the state income tax. With both tax cuts and tax increases in it, along with the expansion of Medicaid, Kasich’s second budget has generated both praise and controversy.

Neil Clark was the chief financial officer for the Ohio Senate Republican Caucus in the 80s, and is an expert on budgets and taxes. He doesn’t have much love for the plan to levy sales taxes on services where there were no sales taxes before.

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Statewide News
7:35 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Kasich To Release Budget on Monday Afternoon

Gov. John Kasich will unveil his second budget today, and it’s expected to include changes in the state income tax and an increase in the severance tax on oil and natural gas drillers. Budget director Tim Keen wouldn’t give any hints in a recent interview, other than to say that the governor is focused on economic competitiveness and job growth.

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Education
7:04 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Kasich Will Unveil His School Funding Plan This Week, Culminating In Town Hall Thursday

This week, Gov. John Kasich releases his long-awaited school funding formula to school superintendents and officials, and then statewide in a live virtual town hall meeting Thursday night. Details are scarce but there is a lot of speculation on what might be in this plan.

Gov. Kasich has referred to his formula several times, including in a speech last month.

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Statewide News
7:35 am
Wed January 23, 2013

Former Rep. Clayton Luckie Pleads Guilty to Ethics Charges, Faces Three Years in Prison

Rep. Luckie in court.
Credit Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

For the second time in a year, a former state representative is headed to prison for ethics problems while he was in office.

Former state Rep. Clayton Luckie pleaded guilty to eight charges out of 50 and got a three year prison sentence for skimming as much as 150-thousand dollars out of his campaign fund over a six year period. Luckie told the court he wanted to apologize to his constituents, his family and his colleagues at the Statehouse for what he called his errors in judgment.

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