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

Beth Golay / KMUW/File photo

A new COVID-19 health order for Sedgwick County limits public gatherings to 25 people and continues current restrictions for businesses.

The mandates are in effect Friday through Jan. 9. This latest health order from Sedgwick County Health Officer Dr. Garold Minns replaces directives that were in effect since Nov. 13.

Deborah Shaar / KMUW

  

Voters elected Democrat Sarah Lopez to a four-year term on the Sedgwick County Commission.

Official election results certified Monday confirm Lopez won the close 2nd District race over Republican Michael O’Donnell by 264 votes.

Fernando Salazar / Wichita Journalism Collaborative

In response to the rising number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the area, Sedgwick County is tightening restrictions on bars, restaurants and businesses that draw large crowds.

Fernando Salazar / KMUW

Preliminary voter turnout numbers in Sedgwick County show more votes were cast in Tuesday's general election than in the 2016 presidential election.

The Sedgwick County Election Office says about 61% of registered voters participated in Tuesday's general election. Officials expect turnout to rise to about 65% once pending mail and provisional ballots are counted. 

Sedgwick County had more than 322,000 registered voters this year — an increase of 28,000 since the 2016 election.

Deborah Shaar / KMUW/File photo

Voters re-elected two commissioners in Sedgwick County, but it’s not clear if one of them will actually serve a second term.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW/File photo

  

This will likely be the last term for Sedgwick County Commissioner Michael O’Donnell.

He announced on social media Saturday that he will not accept a second term representing the 2nd District should he be reelected Tuesday. He did not resign from his current term, which ends in January.

Sedgwick County / Youtube

Sedgwick County commissioners formally asked their colleague Michael O’Donnell to resign immediately due to his actions involving a negative campaign video last year.

Commissioners adopted a resolution Wednesday that censures O’Donnell and calls for him to decline a second term representing the 2nd District should he win re-election next week.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW/File photo

The attorney for Sedgwick County Commissioner Michael O’Donnell says a civil lawsuit filed against O’Donnell and two other elected officials is frivolous and won’t be successful in court.

Mark Schoenhofer contends in a court filing that Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple filed the lawsuit with the main objective of impacting the results of the Sedgwick County Commission 2nd District election.

O’Donnell, a Republican, is seeking a second term representing the 2nd District. His opponent is Democrat Sarah Lopez.

Deborah Shaar / KMUW/File photo

A majority of Sedgwick County commissioners have lost trust in commissioner Michael O’Donnell to continue in his elected position and are exploring official options.

Deborah Shaar / KMUW

The race for Sedgwick County’s 3rd District is between a current commissioner and a retired TV news journalist.

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