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.

Pages

Politics
7:35 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Constitutional Modernization Commission Holding Big Meetings This Week

A panel of lawmakers and specially-selected Ohioans charged with recommending changes to the state constitution started a series of hearings this week.

Read more
Statewide News
7:35 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Kasich Signs Budget 4 Hours Before Start of Fiscal Year, Doesn’t Strike Abortion Language

Governor Kasich signing the budget. Behind him (l to r) Sen. Bill Coley (R-Middletown), Sen. Scott Oelslager (R-Canton), Senate President Keith Faber (R-Celina), Rep. Ron Amstutz (R-Wooster), Rep. Jeff McClain (R-Upper Sandusky) and OBM Director Tim Keen
Credit Karen Kasler, Ohio Public Radio

After months of discussion and debate and several days of lingering questions, the state has a new two-year, $62 billion budget. The signing came with just hours to go before the new fiscal year.

The budget includes a gradual income tax cut over three years for everyone, a 50 percent income tax cut for small businesses, an increase in the state sales tax along with an expansion to digital downloads and magazine subscriptions, and some property tax changes. Gov. John Kasich said he was pleased with it, though it didn’t include his proposed Medicaid expansion.

Read more
Politics
8:35 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Budget Passes House and Senate, Awaits Signature From Governor

After several long months and a very long day, the state budget is nearly finished. It includes income tax cuts of 8.5% the first year, 9% the second and 10% the third, with a 50% cut for small businesses, along with an increase in the state sales tax to 5.75% and some property tax changes. Republican Ron Amstutz chaired the conference committee.

“This is a very good package that’s being recommended to you,” said Amstutz.

Read more
Politics
8:35 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Traffic Camera Ban Voted Out of Committee

Lawmakers took the first steps to outlaw the cameras that several Ohio cities have set up to catch drivers who speed and run red lights. The bill goes to the House floor without the support of a key Republican.

Read more
Politics
12:06 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Updated Revenue and Medicaid Numbers in Final Conference Committee Version of Budget

The committee working out the differences between the House and Senate versions of the state budget now has updated estimates on tax revenues and Medicaid. Those numbers were higher than estimates, but they came with a caution.

The Office of Budget and Management estimates $709 million more in tax revenues above the original forecast, but budget director Tim Keen says after payments to the federal government for unemployment benefits, transfers to the rainy day fund and other issues are paid, there will only be about $397 million extra to do more tax cuts or spending.

Read more

Pages