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. She won a national Sigma Delta Chi award from Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) in 2017 for investigative reporting for her story “FAA Plan to Shift Weather Observations at Airport Raises Safety Concerns." She also won first-place in the Kansas Association of Broadcasters (KAB) 2017 contest for news feature with her story “Sedgwick County Takes Integrated Approach to Mental Health Crisis Intervention.

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

Rosmarie Voegtli / flickr Creative Commons

Young people who are interested in learning performing arts skills will have a new option in Wichita next year.

Deborah Shaar / KMUW

Hurricane Harvey and the massive flooding in Texas are driving up gas prices in Kansas and nationwide.

If you’ve passed a gas station lately, you’ve seen it: Gas prices are inching up. The average price per gallon in the Wichita area is $2.26.

Jennifer Haugh with AAA Kansas says they’re tracking changes daily.

"Overall Kansas average, we’ve gone up a nickel so far," Haugh says. "We are definitely still behind the national average that’s jumping too, so we are still in a good place."

Houston Food Bank

Kansas Red Cross disaster relief workers are in the Houston area to help with flood recovery efforts. Several other volunteers are on standby for possible deployment.

The Red Cross is providing shelter, meals and comfort to people impacted by the catastrophic flooding in Texas. The South Central and Southeast Red Cross chapter sent four emergency response vehicles and about two dozen volunteers.

Executive director Jennifer Sanders says more than 30 shelters are open in the Houston area.

Hugo Phan / KMUW

Downtown Wichita is getting more art sculptures--but you won’t find these installations on city streets or near buildings.

Wichita Police / Facebook

Wichita police officers and firefighters are visiting the communities they serve to deliver books as part of a literacy program.

The book drop is for the Building Bridges through Books program.

The Wichita Police Department and Watermark Books and Café are working together to help elevate literacy skills while creating a connection between first responders and families.

Hugo Phan / KMUW

The Sedgwick County Zoo wants your used protective eclipse glasses.

The zoo is collecting the special glasses for the Astronomers Without Borders group.

The nonprofit distributes the glasses to people in other countries so they can safely view future solar eclipses.

You can drop-off glasses at the zoo in Wichita through August 28.


Follow Deborah Shaar on Twitter @deborahshaar


Deborah Shaar / KMUW

Senior Services of Wichita has started the first phase of a $6 million renovation project for its downtown senior center.

The building on South Walnut in the Delano District dates back to the 1950s.

Senior Services is working to remodel and expand the facility to meet the needs of the growing senior population in the community.

Executive director Laurel Alkire says the kitchen that’s used in the Meals on Wheels program will triple in size.

Derek Gavey / flickr Creative Commons

U.S. House and Senate lawmakers are still months away from passing a new Farm Bill. The legislation, which governs an array of federal agricultural and food programs, is set to expire in 2018.

Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. That committee and the House Committee on Agriculture are currently working to rewrite the Farm bill.

Roberts says his goal is to get the bill passed in October, or at the very latest, early next year.

Deborah Shaar / KMUW

Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas wants to see the North American Free Trade Agreement improved, but not terminated.

Roberts says he supports modernizing and fixing NAFTA, but he doesn’t want to do away with the trade pact.

Agricultural products are among the state’s top ten export commodities, and Canada and Mexico are consistently the top two export markets for Kansas.

Roberts is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. He says he spoke to President Donald Trump about NAFTA recently.

Deborah Shaar / KMUW

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas says local governments should enact hate crime laws to give law enforcement more options when protests and demonstrations turn violent.

Kansas’ senior senator called the weekend violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, a “terrible tragedy.”

He said cities should enact ordinances on hate crimes so that law enforcement could step in ahead of violence, which he said was not done in Charlottesville.