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.


One of the issues the legislature will take up in this year's session is Performance Based Funding for Florida's Universities.  And, if implemented, the system could cost the University of West Florida a lot of money.


Ground may be breaking soon on some long awaited commercial development at the University of West Florida.

Dr. Jim Barnett, the Interim CEO of the Business Enterprise Inc, or BEI, at the University of West Florida says the BEI Board of Difrectors approved the project at its February 17 meeting.  It goes to the full UWF Board of Trustees for final approval on March 26.  Barnett says that if approval is given, ground could be broken two days later. This would be the first phase of development at the University's Highway 90 and Campus Drive entrance.

Bob Barrett / WUWF News

Students across the state rallied today for more construction money for the state's universities.

Chris Hill is the Student Body President at the University of West Florida.He was one of the leaders of the rally at the UWF Commons Wednesday afternoon. He said the students "Hard Hat Rally" was to call attention to the need for more construction funds to improve university facilities at UWF, and across the state.

Bob Barrett / WUWF News

If you see Jerrod Vunovich on TV, chances are he won't look anything like his picture here. That picture was taken this weekend at Pensacon where Jerrod sat on a panel with other actors from the AMC series The Walking Dead. Vunovich has a recurring role as one of the zombies, or walkers on the show.

The 6' 3" actor from Pensacola says he got on the show by answering an internet casting call looking for actors who were "deathly skinny". He was contacted the next day and invited to attend AMC's "Zombie School" which led to being cast as a recurring role as a walker.


There's a good chance you're going to see a lot of people in interesting costumes roaming the streets of Pensacola this weekend as Pensacon takes over the Bay Center and the Crown Plaza Hotel. The multi-genre fan convention is the brain child of chairman Mike Ensley, who sat down with WUWF's Bob Barrett to talk about this first time event.


The Florida Board of Education Tuesday unanimously approved changes to the Common Core standards. The meeting in Orlando was tense and the public comment portion was dominated by anti-common core activists who wanted the standards rescinded. Teachers around the region and around the country are expressing frustration over Common Core, and for many the standards themselves are the least of their worries. It's the uncertainty of how the standards, and by extension the teachers, will be evaluated.

American Heart Association

What does a heart attack look like? I suspect that if you had to put a face on a heart attack it would look like a stressed out, chain smoking, hard drinking Mad Men type. But while those people exist and they certainly are at risk for heart disease...more and more the face is becoming female. A great deal of attention is brought to women's risk of breast cancer but the fact is that heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the US. 

Once almost universally accepted and praised, the Common Core educational standards have come under increased attack recently.  The latest comes from the New York State United Teachers, withdrawing its support for Common Core not because of the standards themselves, but because of what they call the State Department of Education's failed implementation of the plan. Other states, mostly led by Republican governors, call Common Core a federal intrusion and blame the Obama administration for trying to take control of state education standards.  But Common Core began IN the states.


A non-profit technology institute in Pensacola is set to begin a major expansion of its downtown campus. The Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition owns two acres of land bordered by Alcaniz, Romana and Flora Blanca Streets and is looking to bring its operations around the city together.


One of the world's largest internet giants is giving students a chance to become part of their famous front page.  Google is inviting students in grades K-12 to come up with a unique idea for a Google Doodle. The winning entry get a $30,000 college scholarship and a $50,000 technology grant for their school. 

Bob Barrett / WUWF News

A big cheer went up as the box office at Pensacola Maritime Park opened just before 5 on Saturday afternoon as tickets went on sale for this year's exhibition game between the Pensacola Blue Wahoos and their parent club the Cincinnati Reds coming up on March 28.  Fans were lined up pretty early to get one of about 25 hundred tickets that were made available for the game. Season ticket holders were given free tickets to the contest.

Carol Smith and her husband Todd were the first people in line. She plans on making the game a family event.

Pensacola Chamber of Commerce

The Pensacola Chamber of Commerce, the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Pensacola State College have announced a new business address in the city for young and growing entrepreneurs.

It's the introduction of a co-working space for freelance businesspeople or people who work at home and would like a more social work experience.  It's a new phase of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship's Business Incubator project in collaboration with the chamber and Pensacola State College. The business incubator has been in operation since 2008.

The Superbowl isn't the only big football story on the panhandle this week.  The University of West Florida has announced the hiring of its first ever head football coach. 

The announcement of the long anticipated hire came Friday afternoon.

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.