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

Deborah Shaar

For the past 15 years, a non-profit program in Sedgwick County called Project Access expanded options for uninsured patients by increasing access to health care and coverage. Now, the program is forced to retool its budget after unexpected cuts from the city and county. KMUW’s Deborah Shaar has the story...

Dr. Debra Messamore is doing a final re-check on her patient, Stephanie.

It’s been about two months since Dr. Messamore performed a much-needed operation on Stephanie, ending five years of pain and suffering.

A non-profit group of doctors in Sedgwick County is moving forward with a federal health grant; the same one that the county rejected last month. KMUW’s Deborah Shaar has the story....

The Medical Society of Sedgwick County negotiated with the state of Kansas to be the lead organization for the $2.3 million dollar grant.

The money will be distributed over four years and is expected to bring about specific steps to combat the high rates of obesity, diabetes and heart disease in the county.

Sedgwick County Zoo

A final report on the death of an elephant at the Sedgwick County Zoo has been released. Cinda died in November after living nearly all of her life at the zoo.

KMUW’s Deborah Shaar has the story.

The veterinary staff at the zoo says Cinda likely died of a chronic age-related heart disease.

The report says tissue samples were analyzed and it appears that Cinda may have experienced an irregular heart beat and that led to her sudden death. Cinda was 43 at the time.

Alexodus, flickr Creative Commons

A proposal to reduce penalties for marijuana possession will be on the ballot for Wichita in the April election.

KMUW’s Deborah Shaar reports.

The ordinance that the City Council considered Tuesday would make marijuana possession a criminal infraction with a $50 fine for adults charged with a first-time offense.

Under current city and state laws, that crime carries a penalty of one year in jail and a $2,500 fine.

The Marijuana Reform Initiative submitted the petition with enough valid signature to bring the issue before City Council.

City Of Wichita / Facebook

Wichita’s airport officially began using its new name on Monday, even though the new terminal is still a few months away from opening.

KMUW’s Deborah Shaar has the story.

On Monday morning, airport and city leaders unveiled the new airport logo complete with a new name: the Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport.

The city legally changed the name last April, allowing the Federal Aviation Administration to update its documents and navigation charts in November.

A Sedgwick County program that coordinates medical and dental care for uninsured people is being forced to retool its budget for the year.

This came after the county commissioners voted on Wednesday to reduce funding. KMUW’s Deborah Shaar has the story.

Project Access receives funding from the City of Wichita, Sedgwick County, the United Way and private donors for its annual operating budget.

On Wednesday, the organization found out that commissioners voted to cut funding for Project Access this year by $34,000.

Simon Li, flickr Creative Commons

Despite our mild weather lately, winter is far from over. Now’s the time to apply for a program that offers help when it comes to paying heating bills this year. KMUW’s Deborah Shaar reports.

The Kansas Department for Children and Families is now accepting applications for its Low Income Energy Assistance Program or (LIEAP).

New classes designed to promote civic engagement are being offered in Wichita. KMUW’s Deborah Shaar has the story.

This new series of classes is called City 101 and organizers hope they inspire community involvement through information.

The program is a partnership between the Wichita Independent Neighborhoods and the Wichita Public Library.

A series of five classes, all free, are offered twice a month for the next five months.

Organizer Don Landis says participants will get an inside look at how the city of Wichita works.

Carla Eckels

A public ceremony is planned for Friday afternoon in Wichita to mark the 50th anniversary of the Piatt Street plane crash.

As KMUW’s Deborah Shaar reports, Wichita’s mayor issued an official Proclamation during Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

Mayor Carl Brewer designated Friday, January 16, 2015 as the Piatt Street Plane Crash 50th Year Remembrance.

“I call upon the people of Wichita and McConnell Air Force Base to mourn and to give tribute to those who lost their lives," Mayor Brewer says. "To honor those who violently fought the fires to rescue the living.”

Courtesy photo

Wichita is moving forward with plans for a new Central Library and is expected to put the project to bid by end of the year.

City Council approved the next phase Tuesday morning by a vote of five to two.

The city also entered into a new partnership with the Wichita Public Library Foundation, a non-profit, to pay for the upcoming work.

KMUW’s Deborah Shaar has more on the council's action and the features visitors may see at the new library.