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

A national civil rights leader with ties to the Pensacola area passed away over the weekend. Julian Bond, a Tennessee native who lived part time on the Panhandle died last Saturday night in Fort Walton Beach. Mr Bond was 75. 

  He last made news in Pensacola two summers ago when he spoke at the Greater True Vine Baptist Church in Pensacola in August of 2013. He was there as part of a town hall meeting so citizens could express their concerns about incidents involving the Escambia County Sheriff's department, including the shooting of Roy Middleton at his home by two deputies.

Area police agencies are being specially trained to deal with mentally ill people and the program has cut down on violence and saved lives. "I have deescalated situations where the subject was armed, talked to him, had him walk to an ambulance and taken to get treatment...all without handcuffs." 

That’s what Lieutenant Patrick Vega of the Santa Rosa County Sheriffs' Department had to say about the training he and many other law enforcement officers in the area have received in dealing with mentally ill individuals.

Representatives from the Studer, Levin and Bear families as well as dozens of others gathered at a steaming hot parking lot on the corner of Tarragona and Intendencia Streets in downtown Pensacola Thursday morning for the groundbreaking of the new downtown YMCA. 

U.S. Department of Education

The new school year starts next week and area educators are hoping this year’s innovations will turn last year’s disruptions into distant memories. "We're looking forward to a very vanilla year, this year" said Santa Rosa Country School Superintendent Tim Wyrosdick. It's not that he has anything against the other flavors in the ice cream aisle, it’s just that last year had a little more flavor than educators were expecting.

Bob Barrett

There were rappers and dancers and dozens of community organizations on display Tuesday evening as Legion Field hosted an event for the 29th annual National Night Out. Officials were walking around the park, mingling with the crowd. Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan said the positive atmosphere at the park reminded him of simpler times. "We had these events in neighborhoods. It was Sunday in the park and people would get together and picnic. They were almost unplanned events." Morgan says now people live in neighborhoods for years and don't know who lives next door to them.

One Blood, the main provider of blood services to the Pensacola region is expanding its reach in the southeast.  Susan Forbes, the Vice president for Marketing and Communications for One Blood says they are merging with The Blood Alliance, a Jacksonville based non-profit that provides blood to more than 30 hospitals in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. The merger is complete as of July 31.

Bob Barrett / WUWF News

The Florida Department of Transportation has begun looking at ideas for changes on a major downtown Pensacola roadway. Ian Satter, a spokesman for the Florida department of Transportation says the department is studying ways to increase safety and mobility on Bayfront Parkway. "There are a lot of options out there that we presented to the public".

University of West Florida


  The University of West Florida is about to start turning out a lot more nurses. WUWF’s Bob Barrett spoke to Dr. Ermalynn Kiehl, the Associate Dean of Health, and Chair of the Nursing Department at the UWF about the current Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program at the university, and the planned expansion.

Eric Mccowan / YouTube

Before last Sunday’s game between the Blue Wahoos and Montgomery Biscuits, the scoreboard at Community Maritime Park took a direct lightning hit during a wild thunderstorm that delayed the start of the game for a couple of hours. The video of the hit was so, well, striking that it made national news on NBC’s Today Show with weatherman Al Roker.

Photo via Flickr// Apotek Hjartat /

Schools are still a month away from the being in session, but health officials are already reminding parents to make sure their child’s vaccinations are up to date. Sherry Smith, the Director of Student Services for the Santa Rosa County School District says the disctrict's school had a 98% vaccination rate for the last school year