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.

The Ohio Supreme Court will again have to decide whether a state tax, the commercial activities tax – also known as the CAT, that was created in 2005 can apply to a specific product.

The suit was filed by an excavating company, and it was joined by truckers, builders and contractors.  Anthony Ehler said the constitution requires money from taxes on motor vehicle owners and operators go to roads. Since CAT revenues go to schools, local governments and the state general fund, Ehler said lawmakers couldn’t put the CAT on gasoline sales.

The Dayton Air show took place this weekend, and as Karen Kasler reports for Ohio Public Radio, it's a lesson in history.

The legislature has passed a package that sets new regulations on oil and natural gas drillers who are rushing into Ohio to explore the state’s big Utica and Marcellus shale deposits.

Senate President Tom Niehaus says it’s time to pass the recommendations that the management of the five pension funds have requested.
“I am personally embarrassed that we have not dealt with this issue before, because every day that we delay it’s costing some of these, it’s costing between a million and two million dollars a day.”

Senators wanted to double the current cap on credits offered to 20 million dollars a year. Republican Larry Obhof of Medina County says 27 films have been shot in Ohio in the last three years, accounting for more than 1,100 jobs.
“Then we have hundreds of additional people who are earning a wage that they weren’t before, who are paying taxes that they weren’t before.”

The presence of what could be massive amounts of oil and natural gas in shale deposits throughout Ohio has brought a gold-rush type interest in parts of the state.

The governor’s plan to take his annual State of the State speech on the road got mixed reactions in the state legislature. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports.

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.

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