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

Deborah Shaar / KMUW

The Sedgwick County Zoo reopens to the public Thursday with new COVID-19-related safety precautions.

The zoo closed to visitors March 14 to help slow the spread of the coronavirus in the community.

Members were the first to return during a soft opening this week. Zoo executive director Jeff Ettling says the staff has been working on a phased-in reopening plan since the first day of the shutdown.

Hugo Phan / KMUW

People across south-central Kansas had a chance to see Wichita’s hometown military aircraft in flight Wednesday morning.

Three tankers from McConnell Air Force Base and the restored B-29 bomber named “Doc” flew in formation to honor frontline COVID-19 workers.

The special flyover began in Newton shortly after 10 a.m. and ended in El Dorado. The planes flew single file over Wichita, Derby, Andover, Garden Plain and Haysville on a path that took them past 11 hospitals.

Fernando Salazar, File Photo

Now that Kansas is slowly reopening, health officials are preparing for what could be a busy few months of COVID-19 investigations.

Hugo Phan / KMUW/File photo

A special military air convoy is scheduled to fly over south-central Kansas on Wednesday morning.

Two KC-135 Stratotankers and a KC-46 Pegasus tanker from McConnell Air Force Base along with the restored B-29 bomber known as “Doc” are taking part in the flight.

The team wants to honor health care workers, first responders and other essential personnel for their response to the COVID-19 crisis.

The aircraft will fly over 11 hospitals in Wichita, Derby, Newton, Andover, Garden Plain, Haysville and El Dorado. The flight begins around 10 a.m. and lasts about an hour.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

Sedgwick County is not imposing any additional local restrictions or policies to Gov. Laura Kelly’s phased-in plan for reopening the community unveiled Thursday night.

The statewide stay-at-home order that went into effect on March 30 will expire Sunday, allowing most restaurants, stores and other idled businesses to reopen if they use industry-specific safety protocols. A limit on gatherings of more than 10 people remains in effect through at least May 18.

KMUW File photo

Wichita hospitals and dental offices are making plans to end their coronavirus pause and begin a return to full operations.

Wesley Healthcare CEO William Voloch says elective surgeries and imaging will resume Monday on a limited basis.

"We’re not going to go full-scale," he says. "We are not going to be doing everything that we were doing, but this is a way for us to start."

He says the hospital group has enough capacity and ventilator supply to serve a greater number of patients. Wesley also plans to reevaluate its restricted visitation policy.

KMUW/File photo

Sedgwick County leaders say the COVID-19 crisis could impact the county’s budget through 2022.

The projection comes as county staff begin the process of establishing next year’s budget, fiscal year 2021, while still navigating the current challenging situation. Sedgwick County’s costs and responsibilities have grown each week since the beginning of March as the coronavirus spread throughout the community.

Hugo Phan / KMUW

The unexpected and abrupt end to the school year last month means the Class of 2020 will miss spring milestones like prom, awards banquets and graduation.

We asked Maize High School seniors Abby McCoy and Casey Loving to check in with their peers at high schools throughout the Wichita area on how they're coping with the loss of end-of-school traditions.

flickr/Creative Commons

The Sedgwick County Health Department is investigating five specific locations in the county linked to multiple coronavirus infections.

Health officials say the latest cluster of cases originated at the Clearwater Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. One resident has died from COVID-19, and four others have tested positive for the disease.

Carla Eckels / KMUW/File photo

Sedgwick County is checking into nearly three dozen businesses that might be violating the statewide stay-at-home order.

Gov. Laura Kelly issued the public health order last week to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Businesses and services defined as essential are allowed to stay open while nonessential businesses were supposed to temporarily close. The stay-at-home order is in effect until April 19.