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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Statewide News
8:04 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Survey Shows Ohio Boomers Are Worried They’ll Never Retire

A new survey shows a majority of voters over 50 in Ohio and across the country have serious reservations about when – or if – they’ll be able to retire. And because of that, they’re saying the presidential candidates need to talk more about Social Security and Medicare. The poll commissioned by AARP surveyed voters in Ohio and five other states, and pollster Guy Molyneaux says overall, baby boomer voters are pessimistic.

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Politics
10:52 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Liberal And Conservative Groups Join To Stop Kasich's Jobs Program

A coalition of progressive groups and a pair of Democratic state representatives are going back to the Ohio Supreme Court over the state’s job creation agency JobsOhio. But as Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports, this time they have some unlikely help.

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Health
6:30 am
Mon July 30, 2012

Ohio Medicaid to Become Stand Alone Agency

The plan is to make Ohio Medicaid a cabinet-level agency starting halfway through the next two year budget cycle on July 1, 2014. Right now Medicaid is housed in the Department of Job and Family Services, but is also administered by five other state agencies.  Greg Moody is the head of the Governor’s Office of Health Transformation.

“We realized that the organization of the program itself was stifling innovation," says Moody.

Medicaid is a nearly $19 billion program – it’s a third of the state budget and growing. But Moody says this move isn’t designed to cut the budget.

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Statewide News
8:03 am
Thu July 12, 2012

Ohio Supreme Court to Decide If Tax Can Be Applied to Gasoline Sales

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.

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Around the Miami Valley
7:27 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Dayton Air Show Evokes The Past

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

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