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

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.

Jim Good Flickr


A new conservative-leaning majority on the Sedgwick County Commission is changing the direction of some county business.

Since the new term began in January, several key items passed on a three-to-two vote…some involving the county health department. KMUW’s Deborah Shaar has the story.

The five-member Sedgwick County Commission makes decisions every week on how to spend taxpayer money. It’s their job to manage the county’s finances, roads and bridges, zoning policies and the county health department among other things.

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.