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


Wichita’s police chief wants the state Legislature to clarify laws on video taken by officers with body-worn cameras.

In an eight-minute video posted on the Wichita Police Department social media channels this week, Chief Gordon Ramsay talks about transparency issues and the use of body-cam video. He says he supports the use of body cams but does not think the video should be available to anyone who asks for it.

City of Wichita

A woman will be leading the Wichita Fire Department for the first time in its 131-year history.

jphilipg, flickr Creative Commons

Drivers in east Wichita will notice a change in the traffic pattern around the Kellogg and Greenwich Road area beginning Saturday.

New frontage roads along the north and south of East Kellogg are opening from Greenwich to Zelta.

Wichita officials say moving traffic to the frontage roads means construction work on Kellogg can begin.

The City of Wichita, the Kansas Department of Transportation and the Kansas Turnpike Authority started projects to improve travel in east Wichita about two years ago.

Bloomsberries / flickr Creative Commons

A man from Georgia was sentenced on Thursday to more than two years in prison for an email scheme that stole about $566,000 dollars from Sedgwick County.

George James pleaded guilty to wire fraud but denied that the scheme was his idea.

Sedgwick County received an email in October 2016 asking for a bank account change for electronic payments for a Wichita construction company.

The county issued the payment to what it thought was Cornejo and Sons’ new account, but the money instead was deposited into James’ bank account.

Jim McLean, File Photo / KHI News Service

Last week’s election was a test of the new voting schedule in Kansas. The new plan moved local elections to the fall instead of the spring during odd-numbered years.

State lawmakers changed the election schedule in 2015 as a way to increase voter turnout. In Sedgwick County, only eight percent of registered voters cast ballots last week.

Aaron Harmon/Flickr

If you lost money to a scam using Western Union’s wire transfer services, you might be able to get your money back.

The U.S. Department of Justice is using a $586 million victim fund to offer compensation for fraud-induced transfers dating back to 2004.

Western Union admitted to processing hundreds of thousands of fraudulent wire transfer transactions as part of scams that directed people to wire money.

Some of the schemes involved someone posing as a family member in need of immediate financial help or the promise of prizes.

INTRUST Bank Arena

Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita re-opened its north entrance Monday with upgrades to keep up with the increasing crowds coming from downtown.

Intrust General Manager A.J. Boleski says expanding and renovating Entrance C took seven months.

"It should make the flow in and out of the building much easier," he says.

He says there’s a new plaza outside of the building where guests can line up to get in, similar to the plazas in front of Entrance A and Entrance B on the south side of the arena.

There are also more doors.

Voter turnout for Tuesday’s local elections in Sedgwick County was low, but up slightly compared to a similar election cycle four years ago.

There are more than 292,000 registered voters in Sedgwick County. Only 8 percent of them cast ballots this election.

Sedgwick County Election Commissioner Tabitha Lehman says sometimes getting people to the polls comes down to what’s on the ballot.

Voters in the Wichita School District elected three new members to the Board of Education and re-elected the board president to a second term.

Deborah Shaar / KMUW/File photo

The City of Wichita is beginning the process of gathering community input on what’s next for its downtown Century II Performing Arts and Convention Center.

City Council approved an agreement on Tuesday that lays the groundwork for upcoming public engagement opportunities.

The city plans to hire a project consultant who will design and implement what it calls a “transparent public engagement process.”

Wichita City Manager Robert Layton recommended that the engagement process be led by an independent third party to ensure neutral framing of the issues.