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.

Bob Barrett / WUWF News

Now that the roads and bridges have thawed out, it's time to think about summer.  People interested in becoming a lifeguard on Pensacola Beach for the 2014 season are invited to tryouts this weekend.  The sessions will be held Saturday morning at 7am at the University of West Florida Aquatic Center. 

Alexander Johnson, the senior lifeguard says candidates will have to perform a 600 yard swim in 10 minutes or less in the UWF pool, followed by a mile and a half run in 12 minutes or less on the track.  There's a half hour break between the swim and the run.

Florida DOT

Driving conditions are one of the main worries during an ice storm.  Once Tuesday morning's rush hour was over everyone had a short sigh of relief. There were no icy conditions and roads were relatively clear.  However preparations continue for the predicted freeze late this afternoon  and evening.

Santa Rosa County

Santa Rosa county joined an exclusive fraternity this week with a ceremony at Thursday morning's county commission meeting.   Donna Stein-Harris, the National Safety Council's Senior Director for Safe Communities America addressed the Commission officially designating Santa Rosa County the 24th "safe Community" in the US and the first in Florida.  Stein-Harris called it "a really big deal" and congratulated the people in the county who worked to earn the designation.

National Safety Council

An official from the National Safety Council will be in Milton tomorrow morning to officially honor Santa Rosa County for its record of safety. 

Santa Rosa County will become the first community in Florida to earn the National Safety Council's Safe Communities America designation.  The official designation will be made at Thursday morning's meeting of the county commission by Donna Stein-Harris, NSC's Senior Director for Safe Communities America.

Bob Barrett / WUWF News

What started out as a parade turned into a party in Downtown Pensacola as the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Day parade made its way down Palafox Street from Martin Luther King Plaza south towards the bay. 

Last August, Danielle Riggens called the Escambia County Animal Shelter to arrange pick up of her dog and found out that he had been euthanized my mistake. Since then there have been changes in management of the shelter and now an outside group is being asked to come in and help make the facility a no-kill shelter.
 

Bob Barrett / WUWF News

There was a snow bird sighting on Pensacola Beach on Wednesday.  The Pensacola Beach Community church hosted a snow bird event for winter visitors to the region.  The event was organized by Wyndham Vacation Rentals and featured a dozen or so vendors from around the region, as well as food and music.  Patricia and Joe Becker Austin, Minnesota were among the many winter visitors who attended the event.  They said they drove through the area last year and came back this year for a full month, attracted by the the weather and the fishing. Pete and Christine Lindstrom from Indianapolis, Indiana

Bob Barrett

Pensacola State College hosted an event Tuesday  to sign up people for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.  WUWF's Bob Barrett was there.

Kara Bryant is a health care navigator with Families Count in Pensacola.  As one of the trained navigators under the Affordable Care Act, she is able to help consumers and small businesses look for health coverage options through the national health insurance exchange, including completing eligibility and enrollment forms.

Bob Barrett / WUWF News

Manna Food Pantries will be serving up its seventh annual Fill A Bowl for Manna event this weekend.  The weather will be getting chilly again towards the end of the week, which means it's a great time to think about soup. 

US Department of Education

Schools across the country will be taking a new look at their discipline policies after an announcement by the Obama administration on Wednesday. 

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the Supportive School Discipline Initiative...a sweeping set of new school discipline guidelines that the administration hopes will end many schools' zero-tolerance policies that he says has created a school to prison pipeline. The secretary also talked about studies where African-American students were found to be more harshly and frequently disciplined than white students. 

Sacred Heart Medical Oncology Group

January has been designated by congress as National Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, and health officials nationwide are spreading the word that cervical cancer is preventable.

According to estimates from the National Cancer Institute, last year there were over 12,000 new cases of cervical cancer in the US.  Over 4,000 women died from the disease.  But those numbers used to be higher-- much higher.  Since the introduction of the Pap Smear test in the 1950s, cervical cancer rates in the US have declined by over 60%.

Red Cross

The Red Cross will be taking to the streets later this month promoting fire safety. 

Volunteers from the American Red Cross of Northwest Florida will be going door to door in Pensacola on Dr. Martin Luther King Day talking to residents and dropping off information about fire prevention.  Trevor Sikes from the local Red Cross chapter. says they will target neighborhoods that have had fires in the past 12 months as well as others that they deem at risk

University of West Florida

The University of West Florida has entered into a partnership with Stetson Law School in St. Petersburg to create a quicker and less expensive path to a law degree.  Dr. Kimberly Tatum, an Associate Professor of Legal Studies and the Associate Dean in the College of Professional Studies at UWF says the new program will be a "3 plus 3" situation, where students do their undergraduate studies for three years at UWF, then complete their undergrad work while working on their law degree at Stetson.

The White House

Thursday afternoon The White House announced that President Obama granted clemency to 21 individuals, including a Pensacola woman serving a life sentence. 

In 1997, Stephanie Yvette George went to trial in Pensacola on a relatively minor drug charge.  But...it was her third offense, so when she was convicted she was sentenced to the mandatory minimum sentence: life in prison.  Now, 16 years later, Stephanie received word that she will soon be released from prison.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/wysz/76816110/sizes/o/in/photostream/
Michael Wyszomierski

If you're planning on doing some traveling for the holidays you are not alone.  According to Jessica Brady, a spokesperson for AAA, this will be the busiest holiday travel season on record, with an estimated 94.5 million Americans traveling at least 50 miles from home during the two week period. They estimate the average round trip will be a little over 800 miles. In Florida the number of travelers will be up slightly from last year.

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