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.

The third and final debate between the major party candidates for governor gets underway Monday night in Cleveland. And it’s perfect timing – since voter registration closes tomorrow.

Watch the debate live on the Ohio Debate Commission's website.

A two term Democratic state representative from Cleveland has suddenly resigned his seat.

Some 750 doctors say they’re endorsing Democrat for governor Richard Cordray, breaking with the Ohio State Medical Association, which is backing his Republican opponent Mike DeWine. The doctors split over protections for people with pre-existing health conditions.

The Republican and Democratic candidates for governor met for their second face-to-face debate, this time taking questions from an audience and via social media at Marietta College.

The Republican leader of the state Senate says he’s confident that new central Ohio Congressman Troy Balderson will win in November, even as he’s announcing that Balderson’s replacement in the Senate won’t be picked until after the election.

Gov. John Kasich says his Medicaid department has made some changes in required background checks on behavioral and mental health providers – a requirement that came from an executive order he signed in July. Hundreds of providers said the change made them fear for their jobs.

The five statewide executive offices will all turn over this year because of term limits on their occupants. And the person elected treasurer will oversee Ohio’s $21.5 billion-dollar portfolio of investments, and will manage the collection of billions in state revenues.

4,854 people died of accidental drug overdoses in Ohio last year, according to official stats from the Ohio Department of Health. That’s more than 13 people a day, and a 20 percent increase over 2016. But Gov. John Kasich says there is good news in those numbers.

The Republican candidate for governor is now clarifying his earlier statements about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, saying there should be no rush to confirm him.

Two public school districts say Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine shouldn’t handle the state’s lawsuit seeking to recover millions of dollars from the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow. They’re asking a Franklin County court if they can take over the lawsuit against the now-closed online charter school.

Gov. John Kasich talked about one of his favorite subjects – partnering with community colleges to develop workers’ high tech skills – as he opened the Midwestern Governors Association workforce summit Wednesday.  But he also talked about what he says won’t be changing when it comes to Ohio’s workforce.

Hundreds of mental health and addiction counselors could lose their jobs because the state is now requiring criminal background checks for people who provide Medicaid services. Some of those counselors and their employers who’d be affected by the new policy are asking state lawmakers to step in.

The Republican ticket for governor wants to bring together business and technology entrepreneurs to advise the state on creating high-tech jobs and improving state services. But right now that won’t help more than a million people who don’t have high speech internet in their homes.

The Republican candidate for governor says Ohio should be a leader in using technology to improve government services and the climate for business. And he wants his running mate to head up the effort to do that.

The term limited state treasurer has revealed what he may be planning as his next move. But though Josh Mandel filed paperwork that suggests he’ll run for the 11th Congressional district near Cleveland – that may not be the case.

A dozen high-tech ideas for fighting the opioid crisis have each been awarded $200,000 from Ohio’s Third Frontier fund. The winners were picked in a contest announced last year, and there’s still a final round of cash to come.

The term limited state treasurer has revealed what he may be planning as his next move.

Gov. John Kasich participated in a 9-11 ceremony at the Statehouse, joined by both Republicans and Democrats who stood on the west side of the Statehouse, overlooking a field of nearly 3,000 small flags.

The Ohio Department of Education will release report cards on the state’s more than 600 school districts this week. Meanwhile, a Republican lawmaker is still pushing his bill that would once again overhaul the report card system, saying those simple-to-understand letters are hiding essential information about schools.

Two months into the fiscal year, the state budget department says its forecast for tax revenues is close to on track.

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