Deborah Shaar

Deborah joined the news team at KMUW in September 2014 as a news reporter. 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 in 2013, Deborah taught news and broadcasting classes at Tarrant County College in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area.

She began her on-air career as a reporter and anchor at various small market 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 later went back on-air as a fill-in anchor for a statewide 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 reunificiation.

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.

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

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.

The number of Kansans affected by coronavirus-related work disruptions keeps growing.

Restaurants, businesses and city facilities across the state are adjusting to government restrictions to keep the virus from spreading. That means temporary closings, canceled events and reduced business hours — all changes that directly affect employees.

Testing for the coronavirus in Kansas has so far been done at the state level, but health leaders say that could change in a few weeks.

McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita says it has increased its safety procedures for personnel who work in an aircraft hangar where a cancer-causing chemical is present.

The Kansas Division of Vehicles added two new options to reduce wait times and long lines at driver’s license offices across the state.

The agency launched a scheduling platform so people can make appointments instead of showing up at a DMV office and waiting in line.

Division of Vehicles director David Harper says the service is available in Wichita, Andover, Derby, Topeka, Kansas City (Kansas), Lawrence, Manhattan, Mission, Olathe and Overland Park.

A historic steam locomotive is headed to Kansas as part of a tour to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Union Pacific transcontinental railroad system.

Large-scale commercial wind farms won’t be built in Sedgwick County.

A task force begins work next month on updating the Kansas Alzheimer’s Disease Plan.

A statewide plan to address anticipated growth in the number of Alzheimer’s patients was released earlier this year but was never implemented.

The Regional Forensic Science Center is getting new equipment to help identify opioid drugs that are circulating in south-central Kansas.

Sedgwick County commissioners voted Wednesday to accept a $155,017 federal grant to pay for the machine. The Wichita-based crime lab will use the new device to streamline testing processes and reduce analysis time.

Tim Rohrig, director of the Regional Forensic Science Center, says the equipment will target the opioid abuse problem.

Kansas lawmakers restored mental health funding for Sedgwick County’s Community Crisis Center and two other mental health centers Wednesday.

A portion of Kansas State University’s fire-gutted Hale Library is expected to reopen this fall.

After months of demolition work, the restoration project has moved into the rebuilding phase. This will be the fourth time Hale Library, K-State’s flagship library, endured extensive renovations.

A fire struck the library’s roof on May 22, 2018. While the flames were contained to the roof, the university says several hundreds of thousands of gallons of water flowed through the 550,000-sq. ft. building during the firefighting efforts.

A new Kansas law is scaling back the requirements for safety drills in public and private schools.

The move comes a year after the Kansas Legislature added crisis drills to prepare students for active shooters and other threats.

Kansas voters might have more flexibility when it comes to where they cast ballots in future elections.

The Kansas Legislature approved an update to a state election law that gives counties the option to adopt open polling. The bill is now awaiting the governor’s signature.

The city of Hutchinson is set to become a test site for new technology that’s designed to improve public safety and city operations.

AT&T selected Hutchinson to try out its new Smart City program beginning this summer. The company will provide and install sensors, cameras and communication technology at no cost to the city.

Hutchinson Police Chief Jeff Hooper presented the proposal to city leaders at a council meeting last Tuesday.

Veterans who struggle with substance abuse disorders will have a new treatment option in south-central Kansas.

The Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center is building a residential rehabilitation facility on its Wichita campus.

When it opens next year, veterans will no longer have to drive to Topeka, Leavenworth or Kansas City for inpatient VA care.

Dr. John Chelf, associate chief of staff for behavioral health, says the unlocked facility fills the gap between outpatient counseling and locked inpatient treatment.

A task force that studied the increasing youth suicide rate in Kansas released its final report and recommendations Tuesday to improve the state’s response.

The Youth Suicide Prevention Task Force says youth suicide is a major public health issue, and the state needs to take immediate action.

The Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) is asking the public for feedback on the use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS), or drones, in Kansas airspace.

KDOT’s Division of Aviation has a 10-question online survey about drone use and areas of concern like personal privacy or safety. The survey is open until Feb. 28.

The agency and its partners are interested to find out if there is support for using drones in firefighting, agriculture, law enforcement or other activities. They also want to know Kansans’ experience with drones and knowledge of FAA regulations.

A task force created by the Kansas Legislature recommends adding inpatient psychiatric beds immediately to help solve the ongoing crisis in the state’s behavioral health system.

That’s one of 23 recommendations in a new report presented to the state Senate Ways and Means Committee Wednesday.

Kansas education officials are launching a yearlong study to improve early childhood programs and services.

The goal is to get a better understanding of the overall federal, state and local childcare and learning programs available for children under five.

A new Emerson College poll finds the Kansas governor’s race remains tight, and Democrats might get a win in a Kansas congressional race.

Emerson researchers heard from nearly 1,000 registered voters last weekend who said they were very likely to vote or have already voted in the midterm elections.

Results show the governor’s race continues to be a dead heat between Republican Kris Kobach and Democrat Laura Kelly. The poll suggests Kobach has a slight lead of 44 percent to Kelly’s 43 percent.

Independent candidate Greg Orman captured 8 percent of the vote.

A Hutchinson company helped set the scene in the new movie “First Man.”

The film tells the story of astronaut Neil Armstrong and NASA’s mission to land a man on the moon.

Scenes from the mission control room feature consoles from the Cosmosphere museum in Hutchinson. A team with the museum’s SpaceWorks division refurbished 13 consoles for the movie.

A new poll by Emerson College in Massachusetts finds the Kansas governor’s race is a statistical tie with five weeks to go until the general election.

The poll reports 37 percent of voters surveyed chose Republican Kris Kobach and 36 percent chose Democrat Laura Kelly if the election was held now.

Independent candidate Greg Orman received support from 9 percent of voters. About 15 percent of those surveyed are still undecided.

The poll indicates President Donald Trump is popular in Kansas with a 55 percent approval and 45 percent disapproval rating.

Starting next year, Kansas counties are required to do post-election audits. The check will make sure the voting process — from equipment to office procedures — is done correctly, and the election results are accurate.

According to legislation approved earlier this year, a county election board will review at least one contested race on federal, state and county levels.

According to legislation approved earlier this year, a county election board will review at least one contested race on federal, state and county levels.

A prescription drug monitoring program in Kansas will receive a federal grant worth more than $736,000 to expand.

The Kansas Board of Pharmacy oversees K-TRACS, a system for monitoring prescriptions for controlled substances.

Tuesday is National Voter Registration Day, a single day set aside for a coordinated awareness campaign to get more people registered to vote.

American Red Cross chapters in Kansas are sending volunteers and equipment to the East Coast ahead of Hurricane Florence.

The massive, slow-moving hurricane is set to plow into the southeast coast by Thursday.

Rachelle Lipker, interim communications director with the American Red Cross of South Central and Southeast Kansas, says the goal is to get disaster relief crews and emergency response vehicles in place before the hurricane hits.

Kansas farmers are heading to Washington, D.C., next week to meet with members of Congress and the Department of Agriculture.

The family farmers and ranchers will attend the National Farmers Union's Legislative Fly-In.

Kansas Farmers Union President Donn Teske says the team from Kansas will focus its discussions with lawmakers on several priorities.

"The farm economy is first and foremost," Teske says, "and an appropriate Farm Bill with an adequate safety net, which is what the farm program was designed for."

A Kansas trade expert says a new U.S. trade agreement with Mexico could help grow Kansas companies and the economy of south-central Kansas.

Karyn Page, president of Kansas Global Trade Services, says the tentative agreement announced Monday is a sign that trade negotiations are moving forward.

Representatives from the U.S., Mexico and Canada began talks to update the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) more than a year ago. The trilateral trade pact was implemented in 1994 to eliminate barriers to trade and investment.

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