Bob Barrett

News Anchor/Reporter

Bob Barrett has been a radio broadcaster since the mid 1970s and has worked at stations from northern New York to south Florida and, oddly, has been able to make a living that way. He began work in public radio in 2001. Over the years he has produced nationally syndicated programs such as The Environment Show and The Health Show for Northeast Public Radio's National Productions.

As well as reporting news and hosting afternoons for WUWF, Bob is the producer and host of The Best Of Our Knowledge, a syndicated program about education ... and produces podcasts for the medical journal Clinical Chemistry. He lives in Gulf Breeze with his family and is currently devising methods of keeping the squirrels off his bird feeders.

  The race for School Superintendent in Okaloosa County will be decided on primary day this year. Earlier this year, the Okaloosa County School District was one of only three districts in the state with an “A” grade. There are two candidates vying to lead the district for the next four years. One is current Superintendent Mary Beth Jackson, who is seeking a second term after defeating Alexis Tibbits in 2012. She says voters should judge her on her actions not her words. "In the last four years we've moved academically from number 11 to number 2 in the state.

Bob Barrett / WUWF News

  It was back in April when the Downtown Improvement Board announced it would end sponsorship of the popular monthly street party and the final Gallery Night would be September 16. At the time, John Peacock, the Chairman of the DIB left the door open for someone else to take over the event saying "If the bars and restaurants for example wanted to put on a street party, there are avenues to do that."

Florida Senate

The committee leading the search for the next president of the University of West Florida met Tuesday to start the process of reviewing candidates and coming up with a short list of names. The informal deadline for candidates to apply was Monday, and that’s when a very high profile resume was added to the pile: former Florida Senate President Don Gaetz.

Bob Barrett talked to Senator Gaetz about why he wants to be the next president of UWF. In the interview, Gaetz said:

    When Congressman Jeff Miller announced his retirement earlier this year, it started a domino effect in local politics. One of those dominos is Jayer Williamson, a former Santa Rosa County Commissioner who left his seat to run for the Florida House in District 3. 

 

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the surprisingly strong monthly jobs report and the future of parking in downtown Pensacola.

 

The Department of Labor’s monthly jobs report smashed estimates for July, with Florida near the top of the U.S. in growth.

 

“It was a great first Friday jobs report,” Harper said. “We came in at 255,000. The consensus among analysts had been for about 180,000 job growth.”

 

hhs.gov

 Sacred Heart Medical Group has been approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to participate in a new program called the Million Hearts Initiative, part of a nationwide initiative to prevent one-million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. Dr. Andrew Henson, a family physician at Sacred Heart Medical Group in Pace, shared information about the progarm. You can learn more about the program at millionhearts.hhs.gov.

Dianne Krumel

The conventions are done and the 2016 general election season is under way. But before we put the big parties in Cleveland and Philadelphia to bed, we thought we’d get a first-hand account of what it was like in the middle of the action on the convention floor. 

FL GOP

  The conventions are done and the 2016 general election season is under way. But before we put the big parties in Cleveland and Philadelphia to bed, we thought we’d get a first hand account of what it was like in the middle of the action on the convention floor. 

UWF

  The University of West Florida is moving closer to a decision on a new president. On July 22 the UWF Presidential search Committee held their third meeting to update the search process. Mort O’Sullivan is the Vice Chair of the UWF Board of Trustees and the Chairman of the Presidential Search Committee.  He says things are progressing as planned. "We mapped out a very detailed time schedule and we are on pace with what we laid out for our timetable."

  As Republicans begin unpacking from their four day party in Cleveland, local Democrats are getting ready for their convention next week in Philadelphia. There will be three delegates to the Democratic National Convention from Pensacola. Two are pledged to Hillary Clinton, one to Bernie Sanders.

Luis Llerena via unsplash / https://unsplash.com/photos/6g0KJWnBhxg

  A national IT and cybersecurity company is holding a job fair in Pensacola this week. CSRA is a giant in the cyber fields, with contracts in the defense, intelligence and homeland security fields among others. They and other companies will be looking to fill a number of local openings at the job fair, scheduled for Wednesday morning at the Pensacola Grand Hotel. Doug Underhill is the Manager for Security Services for CSRA in support of the Department of Homeland Security in Pensacola. He says this is not a job fair where they are collecting resumes and farming them out.

   In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the July tourism boom, the effect of Brexit on the U.S. housing market and the call to repeal the commercial real estate sales tax.

July means big business for tourism and leisure and hospitality industries in the Panhandle, and this year is no exception.

Escambia County Republican Executive Committee

A group of Republicans from Northwest Florida are packing their bags and heading to Cleveland for next week’s Republican National Convention. The convention gets going on Monday and, for the first time in awhile, nobody really knows what to expect.

Photo via Flickr//Allison Meier / https://flic.kr/p/5KRnrx

  First, the good news: statewide, the number of failing schools was cut in half. When it comes to school districts, the results were mixed. Not a single district in the state improved its grade and half of them went down.

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