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
7:35 am
Tue September 24, 2013

State Bill Proposes New Rules for Minor Party Candidates

A Republican Senator has proposed new rules for minor party candidates that would take effect for next year’s big statewide elections. But one of the parties that would be affected says it’s a strategy to keep its candidates out of next year’s tough elections.

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Politics
7:04 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Leaders on Both Sides of Medicaid Expansion Debate Key Issues

A coalition of backers of Medicaid expansion has started its petition drive to put the issue before voters if lawmakers don’t expand the program to 275,000 low income Ohioans as Gov. John Kasich had proposed in his original budget.

Medicaid expansion supporters have been battling arguments against it for months. But one of the main debates is over the $13 billion in federal dollars that they say Ohio could capture over seven years if expansion were in place by January 1.

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Politics
7:04 am
Mon September 16, 2013

Lone Republican To Publicly Back Medicaid Expansion Speaks Out

As lawmakers prepare to come back to the Statehouse after summer break, they’re readying for big discussions on Medicaid – there are at least four bills dealing with Medicaid reform or expansion. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler talked with the only Republican lawmaker who’s come out in support of expanding Medicaid to 275-thousand low-income Ohioans.

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Statewide News
8:04 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Income Taxes Go Down, Sales Taxes Go Up Statewide This Weekend

Two big changes are coming to taxes in Ohio this weekend – the state sales tax goes up, and the state’s personal income tax goes down.

The income tax for individuals will drop by 8.5%, while the state sales tax increases from 5.5% to 5.75%.
Tax Commissioner Joe Testa says most people won’t notice the sales tax increase unless they’re making major taxable purchases, such as buying cars. But he says even then it’s more than a wash.

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Politics
12:04 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

DeWine Admits Facial Recognition Software Could Have Been Handled Differently

For nearly three months, law enforcement around the state have been able to run driver’s license photos through a facial recognition software. The attorney general says it’s a good program to have, but critics are concerned about the way they found out about it.

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