Karen Kasler

Contact Karen at 614/578-6375 or at kkasler@statehousenews.org.

Karen Kasler is a lifelong Ohioan. She grew up in Lancaster, attended Otterbein College in Westerville, and found her first professional break at WCBE-FM, Columbus. Karen was selected as a Fellow in the Kiplinger Program for Mid-Career Journalists at The Ohio State University in 1994. After earning her Master's Degree in that program, she worked at WBNS-TV in Columbus and then moved north to become the afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor for WTAM-AM, Cleveland. 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. Each year she anchors the Bureau's live coverage of the governor's State of the State. She was a moderator for US Senate debates in 2012 and 2010, participated in several debates in 2010, and has led debates over statewide issues. She's produced features for NPR and "Marketplace", and has been interviewed by NPR, the BBC, NBC and several local and regional stations around the country. She's a regular panelist on WCPN/ideastream's "The Sound of Ideas", a frequent guest on WOSU-TV’s “Columbus on the Record” and has appeared on WBNS-TV's "Face the State".

She's 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's a three-time Emmy nominee for "The State of Ohio". She's a past president of the Ohio Associated Press, and currently on the Board of Directors for the Central Ohio Society of Professional Journalists. Karen is also a former adjunct professor at Capital University in Columbus.

Karen, her husband and their son Jack live on Columbus' northeast side.

60% of Ohio public school students living in poverty scored below proficient on required statewide tests, and the districts that have the lowest test scores have the highest percentages of poor students. That’s based on data from the Ohio Department of Education.  State lawmakers are now studying the connection between education and poverty.

Senators are expected to come back to the Statehouse on Tuesday and vote on at least one overrides that the House approved last month on 11 of Gov. John Kasich’s 47 budget vetoes. And as Republicans consider how and what they'll vote on, Senate Democrats are trying to figure out their strategy.

The central Ohio man who’s behind the white nationalist website "The Daily Stormer" has gotten a lot of attention since this weekend’s violence in Virginia. He’s now getting hit with a defamation lawsuit filed in Columbus by a well-known Muslim comedian, columnist and radio host.

It’s not unusual for pharmaceutical companies to offer payments to doctors – for speaking fees, for travel expenses, for lunches and for gifts. But a new study shows one in five family doctors in America have received a payment involving an opioid medication – and Ohio is among the top states in the country in terms of dollars involved in those payments.

*Editor's note (8/15/17): The Senate has now announced the voting session will happen on August 22, and the session on August 23 has been cancelled.

Last month, state representatives voted to override a budget veto for the first time in 40 years. They actually overrode 11 of Gov. John Kasich’s 47 vetoes. Senators are now deciding which of those overrides to vote on, and that they may ask the House to consider overriding more vetoes.

At one point, four in ten incoming freshmen on Ohio’s public colleges and university campuses needed refresher courses on things they should have learned in high school. That number is falling, but officials are still concerned about the number of kids needing remedial work – which can be costly.

There were a lot of cuts in this new state budget, largely because tax revenues were off nearly $850 million dollars for the last fiscal year. There’s one budget cut that’s small, but some worry it could have a huge impact on people who really need that money.

The November election is more than three months away. But there is action ongoing with the issue that’s likely to be the most expensive ballot question in state history – a proposed law that would force the state to only buy drugs at a discounted price.

After years of big numbers, attendance at this year’s Ohio State Fair plummeted to its lowest number in 13 years.

An outspoken advocate against the death penalty says though yesterday’s lethal injection of Ronald Phillips was problem-free, he worries that won’t be the case with the more than two dozen executions that are scheduled over the next three years.

The state auditor is warning local governments that they’re risking taxpayer money if they don’t have policies on employees’ use of debit or credit cards.

Gov. John Kasich calls it the worst tragedy in the history of the Ohio State Fair. One person was killed and seven were injured, three of them critically, in a catastrophic ride malfunction on the first night of the fair.

Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor says she’s still in the race for governor next year, though over the weekend she missed the largest statewide party event before the May primary.

The Ohio Supreme Court has upheld the right of cities to use traffic cameras without certain restrictions passed by state lawmakers, saying the state law that restricts those cameras is unconstitutional.

Nine months after lawmakers created a committee to examine state tax breaks and loopholes to see which ones should be abolished or closed off, that committee finally has some members.

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