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 panel that manages the Ohio Statehouse grounds has proposed a way to petition for the removal of statues on Capitol Square – including the monument to Christopher Columbus, the only Columbus statue left in the city. 

Gov. Mike DeWine’s Wednesday evening speech seemed to be a warning to Ohioans to wear masks or risk another round of shutdowns and closures. DeWine’s fellow Republican Speaker Larry Householder has been critical of some of DeWine’s COVID-19 responses.  But in an interview for "The State of Ohio", Householder said he thought the speech was good.

It’s state and federal tax filing day – delayed by three months because of coronavirus.

The nation’s nursing homes lobbying group has written to Ohio’s Mike DeWine and other governors, warning that without action now there will be more outbreaks, especially if visitors are allowed back in to see loved ones after months away.

A conservative think tank has filed a lawsuit against the city of Columbus and the state of Ohio, claiming that its employees who live outside of Columbus shouldn’t have paid city income taxes while working during the state’s stay at home order.

The state reported just under 1500 confirmed new coronavirus cases Friday, as mask mandates go into effect in 12 counties at 6pm. Ohio joins a growing number of states setting single-day records for new coronavirus cases.

Ohioans in a total of 12 counties will be required to wear masks starting Friday at 6pm. But there continue to be questions about the enforcement and legality of that and other public health orders, as lawmakers push back on some of the state’s COVID-19 responses.

The number of counties where masks are required in indoor business spaces and public places has gone up to 12, with one county falling off the initial list and five more being added.

Gov. Mike DeWine’s requirement that people in seven hot-spot counties wear masks inside businesses and in public places starting Wednesday night at 6 has raised the question of how it will be enforced.

Nearly three quarters of all confirmed COVID-19 deaths in Ohio have been in nursing homes. Ohio National Guard personnel have been helping with testing in long term care facilities, but the funding for them to continue that and other pandemic related missions runs out in a month.

With cases of COVID-19 rising and the average age of those contracting the virus getting younger, Gov. Mike DeWine is ordering masks for people in counties considered "level 3 public health emergencies" - but not statewide.

Some state leaders are angry over damage at the Ohio Statehouse after protests in Columbus – and one has suggested the state consider a form of secession from the capital city.

The Ohio National Guard will soon have to end its pandemic-related missions, including its first assignment in the coronavirus crisis – helping Ohio’s 12 food banks with the huge job of getting food to increasing numbers of people who need it.

A new Quinnipiac poll of registered voters shows Ohio may be a swing state once again. The race between President Trump and likely Democratic nominee Joe Biden is a virtual dead heat with a little over four months to go before the November election.

The Ohio Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that Toledo can no longer send appeals of traffic camera tickets to a city-paid administrative hearing officer. The attorney who won the case says it could shut down traffic camera programs in any city with a similar process.

A bill that would allow bars and restaurants to use parking lots, green space and even streets for social distancing for customers is now being considered by the Senate. But there’s a provision in the bill that didn’t get much attention till it was on the floor – a plan to extend the hours that bars can stay open.

The fund that the state uses to pay jobless benefits is now broke – which was predicted even before the pandemic. And now state leaders are struggling with how to pay back the money being borrowed to keep those unemployment checks coming.

The state’s largest law enforcement organization says it’s cautiously on board with a lot of ideas being pushed out at the local, state and federal levels on police reforms.

The state of Ohio has not been denying anyone jobless benefits for COVID-19 related reasons, such as concerns about contracting coronavirus on the job or being ordered to quarantine. But that is changing for people who can’t find child care.

The former head of the Ohio Republican Party is spearheading an effort to get Democrat Joe Biden elected president.

Pages