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
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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Politics
7:35 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Husted, Elections Officials Have Wish Lists for New Lawmakers

A three day statewide conference of boards of elections members and workers concludes today in Columbus, just as state lawmakers prepare to come back to the capital for their first full week of work in this new General Assembly.

Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted has his own list of priorities for lawmakers, such as online voter registration, online requests for absentee ballots, uniform hours of operation for board of elections offices and new rules for provisional ballots.

“For reasonable people, there is nothing controversial here,” says Husted.

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Statewide News
8:05 am
Tue January 8, 2013

130th General Assembly Starts Its Work

State Senator Keith Faber (R-Celina) was sworn in as President of the Ohio Senate. He was joined in the Senate Chamber by his wife, Andrea and their two children.

It’s going to be a busy year at in the House, says Republican Speaker Bill Batchelder.

“Well, there’s no question. I think we’re going to see some exciting announcements this week, and I think we’re going to be looking at very important questions about the structure of state government,” says Batchelder.

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Politics
7:30 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Senate Leaders Look Back On 2012 And Look Forward to Next General Assembly

2012 was supposed to be a slow year at the Statehouse, with half of the seats in the Ohio Senate on the ballot, and with the two-year budget firmly in place. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler sat down with the departing Senate president and the minority leader to talk about the year that was – and what’s ahead.

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