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.

Forecasters say wind gusts of up to 60 miles an hour could down trees and cause other damage in Ohio as Hurricane Sandy moves in. And Ohioans in low-lying areas and around Lake Erie are being warned to be ready. 

Tamara McBridge with the state emergency management agency says the office has been in contact with local EMAs throughout the state.

Ohio has been a key swing state in the last three presidential races. As with many elections, there are reports of stolen yard signs and clashes between supporters of the candidates at rallies.

With all the ads, calls and fliers for the Presidential and US Senate races in Ohio, there’s little room for the two statewide issues that are also before voters. And Issue 2 has strong coalitions of supporters and opponents working for and against it. Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler moderated a debate over Issue 2 before the Columbus Metropolitan Club.

Advocates for the federal health care law are celebrating the start of the countdown toward October 1 of next year, when 1.5 million uninsured Ohioans can start shopping a health insurance marketplace called an exchange. But there’s still a lot of uncertainty about who will set up and run that exchange.

Former Gov. Ted Strickland appears to be continuing the “attack dog” role he took on at the Democratic National Convention, going after Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney. Strickland sounded off on the video that’s surfaced of Romney at a dinner for wealthy donors in Florida, in which he characterized the 47 percent of Americans who don’t pay income tax as “victims” who don’t take responsibility for their lives. Strickland said he feels Romney’s comments make him unqualified to be president.

The Romney campaign sent an up-and-coming Senator from Florida to Ohio to counter the twin visits of President Obama. Marco Rubio spoke to about three hundred people at the Statehouse at almost the same time Mr. Obama was speaking about a mile away. Rubio talked about the concerns of unemployed college graduates and workers with dwindling savings. And Rubio said things can get better only by returning to what he called the principles that made Americans prosperous and different - limited government and the free enterprise system, which he praised as offering huge opportunity.

Labor Day marks the traditional beginning of campaign season. But the campaigns have been running strong for weeks in Ohio – and have been fueled by ads that critics are calling factually faulty at best, and outright lies at worst. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports on what some see as “bad ads”.

The Ohio Democratic Party has sued Governor John Kasich for what Democrats call his refusal to release his public schedules.

Ohio Democratic Party spokesman Jared Kertz says the suit filed in Franklin County Court is part of an effort to see if Governor Kasich has used taxpayer money to campaign for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

This was the week that many thought likely Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney would select US Senator Rob Portman of Cincinnati as his running mate. On Saturday, Romney announced Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin would be joining him on the ticket.

David Cohen is a professor of political science at the Bliss Institute for Applied Politics at the University of Akron. Cohen says he thought Romney would pick Portman, who Cohen describes as the “safest” choice”. And he says while Ryan will rile up the Republican base in Ohio, he’ll be a target because of his controversial budget.

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