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
7:35 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Balanced Budget Amendment Resolution Signed

State officials gathered in Lima Monday afternoon to celebrate the signing of a resolution directed at their colleagues in Washington. The balanced budget amendment resolution demands Congress pass such a requirement or allow the state to call a Constitutional convention. Gov. John Kasich has pushed for the resolution, and says it’s a bipartisan issue.

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Statewide News
7:35 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Constitutional Modernization Commission Looking At How Districts Are Drawn

The Constitutional Modernization Commission, a panel of lawmakers and private citizens that will be asked to recommend changes to Ohio’s Constitution, is looking at the way the lines for legislative districts are drawn.

Secretary of State Jon Husted says that plan should be bipartisan and transparent to create districts that are compact and competitive. And that means lots of campaigning, political ads and robocalls.

“In the end, we’ll have more democracy. And more democracy is likely more expensive,” says Husted.

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Statewide News
8:04 am
Tue November 12, 2013

Ohio Supreme Court Hears Complicated Case That Could Have Implications For “Snowbirds”

As the weather gets colder, there are more than a few Ohioans who are right now planning their annual extended stays in Florida or other warm climates. But there's a complicated case in the Ohio Supreme Court which hopes to answer the question where a person who has two homes actually lives.

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Law
5:08 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Federal Court To Weigh Ohio's Execution Drug Cocktail

Ronald Phillips, convicted of the rape and murder of a 3-year-old girl, is scheduled to be executed Nov. 14. A court hearing may decide whether the new drug cocktail can be used.
Ohio Department of Rehabilitations and Corrections

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 8:51 pm

In Ohio on Friday, a hearing in federal court could decide whether that state will become the first to use a particular cocktail of deadly drugs to execute an inmate. It's the latest chapter in what's become a troubled history of capital punishment in that state.

While Texas is far and away the busiest state in the nation for executions, Ohio is just seven spots behind it. It has carried out 52 executions since 1999 and three so far this year, with another one scheduled in two weeks. And that one, the execution of Ronald Phillips, could use a new drug cocktail.

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Statewide News
8:35 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Democrats Say There Must Be Early Voting This Weekend, But Secretary of State Says It’s Not Law

Though Ohioans have been casting ballots early for years, the weekend before election day has been a disputed time. And though this is an off year election, that’s no different this year.

Many counties won’t be allowing in-person voting the weekend before the election. Democrats including party chair Rep. Chris Redfern say a ruling in a lawsuit from last year requires in person voting this weekend.

“It’s time for Secretary Husted to tell the counties that are not following state and federal law,” says Redfern.

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