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

Lisa Edmonds, flickr Creative Commons

An agency that helps older adults navigate life transitions is adjusting to meet current and future needs in the community.

The Central Plains Area Agency on Aging serves people aged 60 years and older in Sedgwick, Butler and Harvey counties.

The agency says it’s noticing a change when it comes to nutrition programs offered in the tri-county area.

Agency executive director Annette Graham says more seniors are using a home-delivery meal program instead of going to community sites where meals are offered.

People who live in Sedgwick County will have an opportunity to give their opinion about the proposed 2018 budget at two public hearings and through an online forum.

The county budget released last week totals about $425 million dollars.

Courtesy photo

A family-owned manufacturing facility in Moundridge represented Kansas at President Trump’s “Made in America Product Showcase” at the White House on Monday.

Grasshopper Mowers makes zero-turn commercial-grade lawn equipment.

Grasshopper’s Mike Simmon says the company is a perfect fit for the showcase because every mower is designed, manufactured and assembled in Kansas, and sold throughout the world.

A new $17.5 million training facility at McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita is included in a 2018 budget proposal working its way through Congress.

Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas authored an appropriations bill that supports housing, infrastructure and facilities for U.S. military forces.

One of the projects is to build a combat arms training facility at McConnell Air Force Base.

Wichita Police / Facebook

Wichita Police officers will be making the rounds in neighborhoods next month to deliver books.

The Building Bridges Through Books program is a partnership between the Wichita Police Department and Watermark Books and Café.

Police officers will drop off free books for all ages with a family and then follow up a few weeks later with a community gathering and book discussion.

Watermark owner Sarah Bagby says the officers will be reading the books as well.

Abigail Beckman / KMUW

The new superintendent for Wichita Public Schools presided over her first Board of Education meeting on Monday.

Alicia Thompson told board members she plans to launch a series of listening sessions this fall.

District Spokeswoman Susan Arensman says Thompson will use the community feedback to help guide her plan for the district.

"She wants to go out in the community and listen to what parents, community members, business partners and teachers say, what their vision is, what their needs are and what they want to see the school district do," Arensman says.

Hugo Phan / KMUW

The Wichita Public School District is moving its administrative offices to the former Southeast High School on Edgemoor.

They’re packing up desks, shelves, files and everything else in the Wichita Public Schools’ downtown offices on north Water Street. The district offices have been at the building for more than 20 years.

District Spokeswoman Susan Arensman says moving out will take place over the next two months because they’re relocating department by department, as well as about 240 employees.

Wikimedia Commons

Big handbags and backpacks are no longer allowed inside Wichita’s Intrust Bank Arena.

The venue made the policy change on Monday in an effort to increase the level of safety for patrons and employees.

Arena General Manager AJ Boleski says bags must be within 14-inches long and 14-inches wide or smaller.

"All the bags–we'll be searching, and then no backpacks will be allowed whatsoever. We will allow diaper bags and medical bags, but they will be searched as well."

Boleski says the change in security measures is in line with industry standards.

Kansas’ largest electric utility, Westar Energy, is proposing a merger with Great Plains Energy to create a new company worth about $14 billion.

The deal comes less than three months after a Kansas regulatory agency rejected the original plan to have Great Plains buy Westar.

The new company headquarters would be in Kansas City, Missouri. Westar’s presence and about 500 employees would remain in Topeka as one of two operating headquarters. The other will be in Kansas City, Mo.

Marissa Elkind / flickr Creative Commons

Sedgwick County fire officials are issuing a reminder about the dangers of fireworks and hand-held sparklers that are often used to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday.

Division Chief Robert Timmons of Sedgwick County Fire District 1 says keeping a bucket of water nearby will help prevent injuries and fires during home celebrations.

Sparklers may seem like a less-risky firework alternative, but Timmons says it’s important to remember that sparklers burn at 1200 degrees, which is hotter than the temperatures needed to burn wood.