Deborah Shaar

News Reporter

Award-winning news reporter Deborah Shaar covers Sedgwick County, and produces short and in-depth stories about government, education, health, politics, arts and community topics. She joined the KMUW News team in 2014. Before that, Deborah spent more than a dozen years working in newsrooms at both public and commercial radio and television stations in Ohio, West Virginia and Michigan. She also taught news and broadcasting classes at a Texas college.

Deborah’s reporting has earned prestigious national, regional and state awards for excellence in journalism. She won a national Sigma Delta Chi award from Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) in 2017 for investigative reporting.

Her reporting has earned three regional RTDNA Edward R. Murrow awards: in 2018, for hard news and news feature; and in 2016, for investigative reporting.

Since 2015, the Kansas Association of Broadcasters (KAB) has recognized Deborah’s reporting annually with awards in categories such as spot news, hard newsnews featuresports feature and severe weather coverage.

Deborah 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 leveraged her on-air, writing and producing skills to train and develop broadcast news students at Ohio University for the WOUB radio and television newsroom. As managing editor, Deborah supervised a student-staff that produced a nightly television newscast, and radio stories. A move to central Ohio brought an opportunity for Deborah to work as a fill-in news anchor for a statewide cable TV news network.

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

Hugo Phan / KMUW

Sedgwick County is lining up more staff and volunteers for its COVID-19 vaccination clinics.

Fernando Salazar / Wichita Journalism Collaborative

Sedgwick County’s new COVID-19 public health order relaxes some business restrictions and allows larger gatherings.

Health Officer Dr. Garold Minns issued the six-week health order Tuesday. It takes effect Sunday after current safety restrictions expire.

Minns recommended the changes due to the continued local decline in new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

Deborah Shaar / KMUW/File photo

Former Sedgwick County Commissioner Michael O’Donnell was fined $25,000 by the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission for violating campaign finance laws.

O’Donnell admitted to nine campaign finance violations during two elections. The state panel said the fine will be cut in half if O’Donnell pays within 90 days.

Sedgwick County Health Department workers set up a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Intrust Bank Arena.
Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service

The Sedgwick County Health Department expects to receive more COVID-19 vaccine this week.

The county is in Phase 2 of the state vaccination plan but will continue to prioritize older people for appointments. 

The vaccine supply to Sedgwick County has been unpredictable the past month since the public vaccination clinic opened at Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita.

Sedgwick County via Twitter

Sedgwick County held an oath of office ceremony on Sunday for two commissioners who are beginning their new terms.  

Commissioner David Dennis is serving a second term representing the 3rd District. Sarah Lopez begins a new career in public service representing the 2nd District.

KMUW/File photo

A mandatory face mask policy and restrictions on restaurants and bars in Sedgwick County will continue for at least another month.

Sedgwick County Health Officer Dr. Garold Minns issued a new health order Wednesday that maintains policies that have been in place since early November.

Fernando Salazar

The 2020 general election set records in Sedgwick County for early voting and the overall number of ballots cast.

A post-election report presented to Sedgwick County commissioners this month shows for the first time, more voters cast ballots during the early voting period than on Election Day.

Sedgwick County Election Commissioner Tabitha Lehman says 70% of registered voters participated in November’s election, and 68% of those voters used mail-in ballots or in-person early voting.

Sedgwick County 2020 General Election by the numbers:

Deborah Shaar / KMUW

Bowling alleys in Wichita and across the county are facing their darkest winter yet. They are not only trying to survive the pandemic, but they also have to rebuild a customer base that took decades to grow.

Wichita Eagle

Health care workers in Wichita were among the first in the state to get the new COVID-19 vaccination.

Five employees of the Ascension Via Christi health system received shots at St. Francis Hospital Monday.  The hospital says a critical care nurse, a housekeeper for a COVID-19 unit and a respiratory therapist were among those who were vaccinated.  Frontline health workers at other Ascension Via Christi facilities in Kansas will receive the vaccination later this week.

Courtesy

Sedgwick County Republicans selected their former leader to serve the remainder of the term for the 2nd District seat on the county commission.

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