Deborah Shaar

News Reporter

Reporter Deborah Shaar joined the news team at KMUW in September 2014. She spent more than a dozen years working in news at both public and commercial radio and television stations in Ohio, West Virginia and Detroit, Michigan. Before relocating to Wichita, Deborah taught news and broadcasting classes at Tarrant County College in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area.

Deborah’s reporting has been featured on NPR newscasts and Morning Edition. In 2016, she earned a regional RTDNA Edward R. Murrow award for investigative reporting (Searching for Zebra Mussels in Wellington Lake). The Kansas Association of Broadcasters recognized her reporting with two awards in 2016 (Hesston: Sounds of Resilience and FAA Airport Weather Observer Series) and one award in 2015 (Hesston’s Recovery 25 Years after an F-5 Tornado Hit).

She began her on-air career as a news reporter and anchor at several small market TV stations in southeast Ohio and West Virginia. She fine-tuned her writing and producing skills while working on a highly rated three-hour morning news show at the Fox TV affiliate in Detroit, Michigan. From there, she put her on-air, writing and producing skills to good use: training and developing broadcast news students at Ohio University. As managing editor of the WOUB radio and television newsroom, Deborah served in a crucial role as supervisor of the student-staffed nightly television newscast. Many of her student anchors, reporters and producers earned prestigious national, state and regional awards—and still work in the news business today. She continued her on-air work as a fill-in anchor for a statewide TV news network in Ohio.

Deborah earned Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in journalism from Ohio University. Her master’s thesis is a historical narrative about the transformation of journalism training at the University of Leipzig, Germany as a result of Germany’s reunification.

Ways to Connect

Wichita State University / Facebook

Wichita State University has created a new law enforcement resource center at its West campus building in Maize.

The new space will be called the WSU West Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Resource Center.

The resource center was developed to provide a convenient place on the west side for local law enforcement officers to write reports or take a break from street patrols.

Sedgwick County has released its first strategic plan in more than 20 years. The plan outlines the county’s priorities and sets goals for the next five years.

The 12-page plan from the Sedgwick County manager’s office establishes the county’s new mission and explains its organizational values.

The county says it wants to be a “value driven, regional leader” that uses partnerships to deliver services to the public.

Deborah Shaar

The Libertarian candidate in the race for the 4th Congressional District is ramping up his campaign now that the special election is less than a month away.

Chris Rockhold says his interest in politics and the Libertarian Party began in high school.

He says his message is safeguarding personal liberty and working toward an efficient government.

Rockhold has been attending candidate forums lately and plans to increase his public activities in the days leading up to the April 11 special election.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

Sedgwick County commissioners signed off on two grants on Wednesday for programs at the County Health Department and the Regional Forensic Science Center.

The commissioners voted 5-0 to accept a $1.9 million grant from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Health Department Director Adrienne Byrne told commissioners the grant is a longstanding funding source for various health department programs.

"Without this funding, many of our programs would be drastically reduced or services not be able to be provided," Byrne said.

Pat Roberts / Twitter

Clark County ranchers are beginning to assess their financial and livestock losses due to last week’s grass fires.

Clark County shares a border with Oklahoma.

The Ashland area is home to many family ranches that go back several generations, as well as some large commercial ranches, including the 21,000 acre Gardiner Angus Ranch.

Randall Spare of the Ashland Veterinary Clinic and his team have been helping ranchers dispose of cattle killed by the fire last week.

Spare says more than 3000 cattle have been lost in Clark County, and the number could grow.

Stephanie Huff / Wichita Public Library

Libraries in Kansas and across the country are trying to help children improve early literacy skills by offering a reading challenge: to read 1000 books before kindergarten.

Reno County Fire District #6 / Facebook

Editor's note: This post was updated on Wednesday at 7:22 p.m.

More than 650,000 acres have burned during the course of multiple wildfires that have moved across Kansas since Saturday.

Reno County Fire District #6

Editor's note: This post was updated Tuesday at 3:40 p.m.

Reno County officials are starting to assess the damage caused by a large grassfire that has burned more than 6,000 acres since Saturday.

Hugo Phan / KMUW, File Photo

Construction is underway on a new building to serve patients of Hunter Health Clinic in Wichita.

The new clinic for patient services will be north of Hunter Health’s clinic on East Central.

Hunter is a community-based health center that provides primary medical, dental and behavioral health services on a sliding fee scale. Hunter focuses on providing care to people who are uninsured or underinsured.

Hunter Health officials say they’ll be able to serve more patients and expand services once the new building opens in about a year.

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts is endorsing the Republican candidate in the 4th District congressional race. He said in a statement that he’s supporting Ron Estes because he believes Estes will fight for Kansas agriculture and against government regulations like ones from the EPA.

Roberts, a Republican, is the senior member of the Kansas congressional delegation and the chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee.