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
7:30 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Kasich Won't Push Heartbeat Bill

The so-called "Heartbeat Bill" is dead in this session of the legislature, according to Republican Senate president Tom Niehaus. But its backers say they won't give up, and are still hoping for a last-minute maneuver to get it to the Senate floor before the end of the year. But one supporter of restrictions on abortion who's not getting involved is Gov. John Kasich.

"I let the legislature do its job, and then I respond.  I try not to wade into the legislature," says Kasich.  "I don't get in the middle of legislative activity."

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Education
9:59 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Ohio Higher Education Presidents Meet To Discuss Incentivizing Graduation

There was quite a meeting of the minds in Gov. John Kasich’s office, as the presidents of many of Ohio’s public universities and community colleges gathered to put forward their ideas on improving Ohio’s public education system. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports on their reform plan.

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Politics
9:37 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Ohio Supreme Court Rules On Legislative Map Constitutionality

The Ohio Supreme Court has made a long-awaited decision on whether the maps for state House and Senate districts drawn by elected leaders last year are valid. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports.

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Statewide News
8:35 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Road Deaths Down This Holiday Weekend, But Troopers Still Worried

Fewer people were killed on Ohio's roads this Thanksgiving holiday period, compared with the past three years. Lt. Ann Ralston with the Ohio Highway Patrol says it’s good news, but it could always be better.

"We've been steadily decreasing since 2009," says Ralston.  "We decreased pretty significantly this year.  We recorded 11 fatalities on Ohio highways, and the year prior we were at 17.  The year prior to that we were at 18.  So while the numbers are going in the right direction, we still have a lot of work to do."

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Election 2012
8:35 am
Thu November 8, 2012

ODP Chair Redfern Says Issue 2 May Have Failed, But It’s Not Going Away

Issue 2 may have failed last night, but one of its backers says the issue behind it isn’t settled. Issue 2 would have taken the authority to draw district maps for state and federal lawmakers out of the hands of elected officials, and it lost by a 2-1 margin, according to unofficial results. But Ohio Democratic Party chair Chris Redfern says he thinks another move to change the map-drawing method will happen soon.

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