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

Voters in Hutchinson overwhelmingly passed a sales tax increase earmarked for $29 million worth of renovations to the Hutchinson Sports Arena. KMUW’s Deborah Shaar has more...

Unofficial returns show nearly 75 percent of the voters supported a .35 percent increase to the local sales tax. That means when it takes effect in July, the city of Hutchinson’s overall sales tax rate will be 8.75 percent.

The tax will pay for additional gyms, a brand new entrance and infrastructure improvements among other things.

Duane A. Graham /

Rebuilding a community after a direct hit from a tornado is not easy. In 1990, an F5 tornado wiped out hundreds of houses, businesses and iconic landmarks in Hesston, Kansas.

But Hesston bounced back fast and the small community north of Wichita today looks back on that dark day with some happy memories. KMUW’s Deborah Shaar shares the story.


"If you can imagine...where we are standing right now...if you look to the west, southwest, that’s the path that it took and pretty much came right over where we are standing," Hesston EMS Director Russ Buller says.

The Sunflower

Wichita State students returned to campus from Spring Break last night, coinciding with the Shockers' big win over the Kansas Jayhawks. Captain Guy Schroeder of the Wichita State University Police says despite the high energy, there was nothing out of the ordinary on campus.

"I think there was a lot of excitement throughout campus and on, but everything was fairly civil all night long," Schroeder says.

Brenda Buller,

On March 13, People who live in Hesston will be marking the anniversary of the tornado that destroyed their town 25 years ago.

First responders credit the advance warning about the “F5” tornado for the low number of injuries and fatalities.

KMUW’s Deborah Shaar has the story.

Hesston EMS Director Russ Buller was a volunteer firefighter at the time the tornado was gathering strength in Reno County and heading toward Hesston in Harvey County on March 13th, 1990.

Tom Magliery, flickr Creative Commons

Two community health programs in Sedgwick County could come to an end next year.

The county commissioners voted 3-2 on Wednesday to remove the programs from the health department’s state funding proposal for the fiscal year, beginning July 1.

KMUW’s Deborah Shaar has more.

The commissioners voted to cut the Chronic Disease Risk Reduction program and Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) from the health department’s grant proposal.

One of the oldest community dance studios in Wichita, Amira Dance Productions, will present a special 40th anniversary show this weekend at the historic Orpheum Theatre downtown.

To celebrate this milestone, nearly 90 performers will take the stage, and a slideshow will look back at the studio’s beginnings and its dedicated dancers.

KMUW’s Deborah Shaar recently visited the studio to watch a rehearsal.

Deborah Shaar

Wichita’s Envision is expanding its services for visually impaired people with a new $3,000,000 research institute.

KMUW’s Deborah Shaar has the story.

Envision is renovating an entire floor at its downtown Wichita headquarters for its new Envision Research Institute to conduct national studies.

The new space will include up to ten physical labs and a multi-purpose room that can transition into different real-life environments for testing.

Portland General Electric, flickr Creative Commons

Updated on 02/24/15: 

Siemens Energy officials say they plan to end furloughs that had been implemented because of a dockworkers labor dispute on the West Coast.

The company said the plant in Hutchinson is expected to be back in full operation by Monday.

Original Story:

The West Coast labor dispute at the seaports is affecting one of Reno County’s largest employers…the Siemens Wind Energy Plant in Hutchinson. Sean Sandefur has the story.

Ryan Hyde, flickr Creative Commons

Next week is National Consumer Protection Week, and the Kansas Attorney General's Office has a plan to help residents protect themselves from identity theft.

KMUW’s Deborah Shaar reports.

Attorney General Derek Schmidt says his office is offering free document destruction events throughout the state for one week beginning Monday, March 2.

Schmidt says shredding personal documents is an important step in keeping people’s information from falling into the wrong hands.

The Attorney General's Office will be offering ten shredding locations throughout the state.

Kansas lawmakers are proposing a funding cut to a national medical research program based at Wichita State University. KMUW’s Deborah Shaar has the story.

The Kansas House Education Budget Committee voted to drop its $1,000,000 in funding for the National Center of Innovation for Bio-materials in Orthopaedic Research, better known as “CIBOR”.

The program involves researching and developing composite materials used in bio-science and medical products such as orthopaedic implants and devices.