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.

Elections officials and lawmakers will be scrambling to deal with an Ohio Supreme Court decision on Friday. Ohio Public Radio’s Karen Kasler reports the high court ruled unanimously that Democrats can take the new Congressional district map to the ballot.

Duke Energy

There was a wide variety of opinion at the Governor’s summit on energy and the economy in Columbus. Ohio Public Radio’s Karen Kasler reports most of it dealt with the effect of energy policies on the state’s economy, but not all of it.

Karen Kasler

Backers of what would be the farthest-reaching ban on abortion in the country were back at the Statehouse today. Ohio Public Radio’s Karen Kasler reports on the newest effort to push the so-called "Heartbeat Bill" through the Senate, almost three months after it passed the House.

School districts and townships are outraged at the change in the rate of state auditors to $41 an hour – some were paying more than that, but some were paying less. But Sue Cave is the executive director of the Ohio Municipal League says her membership had mixed reactions.

“When you take a look at the fee that they developed, you’ll find that it affects different communities in different ways. So some of them will receive a larger increase than others,” says Cave.

Data on how much money state and local public employees make has been online for a while. But Ohio Public Radio’s Karen Kasler reports that data is getting a lot of new attention thanks to a link on a state officeholder's website.

The left-leaning group Progress Ohio says 24 million dollars in public money will go from the high-tech job creating Third Frontier program to local chambers of commerce. Brian Rothenberg says many of them support Ohio’s collective bargaining reform law.

“This is now a laundering scheme that allows for public money to flow into organizations that will be compromised in their decision-making over issues like Senate Bill 5 in the future,” says Rothenberg.

The volatile stock market and the recession have brought lots of new customers to a business that didn’t need any. Ohio Public Radio’s Karen Kasler has details.

The state greatly increased the number of taxpayer-paid vouchers available for students in failing schools. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports the final numbers are in from the latest round of applications, and the message isn't clear.

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There are 83 days till election day, and the fight for and against Ohio's new collective bargaining reform law is gearing up. Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler reports Republican leaders are just now asking the leaders of the group that put Issue 2 before voters to come to a meeting to talk about a compromise.

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