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
6:35 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Ohio Lottery Offers Veterans Posts Legal Gaming Option

There’s been a resolution proposed in the conflict over video raffle machines that veterans’ groups and fraternal lodges had been using to raise money for charity. The machines will be replaced by electronic games regulated by the state.

Some 1,200 so-called “next generation machines” will go out to those groups using raffle machines the Attorney General has ruled illegal. Danielle Frizzi Babb with the Ohio Lottery says the governor’s office approached her agency.

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Education
8:35 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Lingering Federal Shutdown Could Affect Head Start in Ohio Soon

So far, no Head Start programs in Ohio have been affected by the federal government shutdown. But Barbara Haxton with the Ohio Head Start Association says if there’s no resolution, 11 Head Start facilities across the state will shut down, stranding 2-thousand kids and over a thousand staffers.

"So if those agencies close, families will be lookng for additional care for their children during the day, staff will be laid off - hopefully collecting unemployment for the duration - and programs will be shut down.  It's really a bad scene.”

Politics
7:35 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Tea Party Getting Blame in Shutdown, But It May Not Matter in Next Year’s Elections

As the federal government shutdown drags on, polls are showing that voters are definitely assigning blame to one party or another. And some are already looking ahead to how the shutdown will play in next year’s big election.

Most credible nationwide polls are showing that overall, respondents blame Republicans more than Democrats or President Obama for the shutdown, and most surveys are also showing a strong streak of anger toward both parties for the situation. But a majority of those who identify as Tea Party members have responded that they support it.

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Statewide News
8:04 am
Tue October 8, 2013

New Security Measures In Place At Statehouse Two Years After Law Requiring Them

After more than 160 years of no searches at entrances to the Statehouse, visitors will soon have to open up their bags when walking in. A law stepping up Statehouse security passed two years ago, but the changes the law required are finally being put into place. Luke Stedke speaks for the agency that manages the Statehouse grounds, and says the new measures strike a careful balance.

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Politics
7:04 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Ohio Tea Party Convention Highlights 2014 Elections, Split With GOP

Tea Party activists are being told they have a lot of opportunity in next year’s elections, as they continue to oppose Republicans on several issues. But they also are being told they have a lot of work to do.

The Tea Party’s annual statewide We The People Convention was a sellout. More than 300 activists gathered in a ballroom at the Columbus Convention Center to talk about religion in politics, the economy, a Constitutional amendment for a federal balanced budget, Medicaid expansion and a preview of next year’s statewide ballot.

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