Dave Dunwoody

Assistant News Director

Dave came to WUWF in September, 2002, after 14 years as News Director at the Alabama Radio Network in Montgomery, Mobile and Birmingham and a total of 27 years in commercial radio. During that time, he also served as Alabama Bureau Chief for United Press International.

The Trion, Georgia native was news director at stations in Anniston, Scottsboro and Fort Payne in Alabama, where he also broadcast football, basketball and baseball play-by-play. Dave also “spun the hits” at rock and country music stations in Lafayette, Albany and Rome, Georgia and in Burlington, North Carolina.

During his time at WUWF, Dave has earned a B.A. in Communication Arts/Journalism at the University of West Florida (Class of 2012).  He’s married to the former Linda Shiell, a Pensacola native, and they live in Pensacola with their cats Gigi and Lucy. Dave is also a passionate fan of Georgia Bulldogs and Atlanta Falcons football; the Atlanta Braves, Pensacola Blue Wahoos, Pensacola Ice Flyers, and Tampa Bay Lightning. His hobbies include comedy writing, guitar and computer sports games.

Pensacola Ice Flyers

For a second consecutive off-season, the Pensacola Ice Flyers have the “Help Wanted” sign hanging behind the bench.

Team owner Greg Harris announced Monday that Rod Aldoff would not be returning for the 2017-18 season.

“I had a feeling it was going to happen, but I wasn’t too sure,” said Harris. “I know it took a little longer than we had wanted to, but I fully respect his decision. We both knew when he came back in mid-February that it was only for that three-months or so to finish off the season, and we would reassess in May and June.”

Gulf Islands National Seashore

Three areas in Gulf Islands National Seashore remain closed due to the impact of Tropical Storm Cindy.

The three areas on Santa Rosa Island, Ft. Pickens, Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa, are still heavily inundated by the significant amount rain that’s fallen over the last couple of days.

Park spokesman Brent Everitt says the high waves and tides continue to push water across the roadways, causing a lot of issues in those areas. One of the problems is 3-6 inches of standing water over a three-mile stretch of Fort Pickens Road.

National Hurricane Center

Torrential rain from Tropical Storm Cindy continues to soak the Florida Panhandle and south Alabama. 

Some areas could see as much as ten inches of rain or more, but there could be some light at the end of the tunnel.

“Thursday is going to more partly sunny, very humid, very breezy with some squalls moving through,” said Meteorologist Jeff Huffman with the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network. But he adds that Cindy’s calling card is still out there for now.

National Hurricane Center

Closings, detours and advisories are the results of torrential rain that’s pelting northwest Florida – part of the system that is Tropical Storm Cindy.

A flash flood warning is in effect until 6:00 this evening; a tornado watch goes until 7:00 p.m.

“The band of heavy rain continues to come ashore; some of the heaviest rain is now shifting back. After moving to the east, is now moving back a little to the west,” said Jeff Huffman at the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network (FPREN).

wuwf.org

Plans for a land swap between Escambia County and the U.S. Navy are moving forward, after unanimous approval by the County Commission to continue the project. 

Initially, the Navy was to give the landing field near Navy Federal Credit Union to Escambia County. In turn, the county would spend $1.9 million to buy a 600-acre tract in Santa Rosa County near Ard Field Road.

Another five million was earmarked for getting that property up to speed as a landing field. That extra cost placed the deal in jeopardy, until Monday’s special meeting.

Moto Electric Vehicles

The plug has been pulled on a plan to use electric trolleys in downtown Pensacola this summer. But that’s not necessarily the end of the line.

A half-dozen shuttles borrowed from Gulf Islands National Seashore were to have served the 39-block downtown area.

“Since the ferry service has been delayed a year, until spring 2018, we didn’t want those trams to just sit there unutilized. So we did reach out to the City of Pensacola, to see if they might have a need or an interest,” said GINS Director Dan Brown.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

International Paper is off the hook with the feds, over last January’s explosion at its Cantonment plant.

The company will not be fined or otherwise sanctioned by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. In a letter sent to International Paper, OSHA confirmed that the cause of the blast was a buildup of gases in a pulp digester, which took out the device along with a power house.

Plant Manager Brett DeJong said just after the incident that the rupture caused the release of a mixture of wood, wood chips and a liquid known as “black liquor.”

escambia.floridahealth.gov

Beginning next month, kids from low-income families in the western Panhandle will get better access to medical and dental care.

Sacred Heart Health System’s Pediatric Care Center is moving from its Pensacola campus to the Florida Department of Health-Escambia’s main office on West Fairfield, to join in a new partnership with Escambia Community Clinics.

“We’ve partnered with Sacred Heart on a couple of venues with residency, one being internal medicine, and then the OB-GYN,” said ECC Executive Director Chandra Smiley.

Escambia County residents have until July 19 to weigh in on how the more than $8 million in RESTORE Act money should be spent.

The 45-day public comment period is mandated under U.S. Treasury Department rules, in regard to ten projects that have been culled from the 124 submitted to the County Commission.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Governor Rick Scott Monday held a pair of ceremonial signings, for legislation he signed for real last week to allow Triumph Gulf Coast to receive its first payment,$300 million, from the $1.5 billion BP oil spill settlement.

Gulf Power Company President Stan Connally kicked off the ceremony at Pensacola International Airport, after the event was moved from the VT-MAE construction site because of inclement weather.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Ramadan 2017 begins at sundown on Friday and will end at sundown on Sunday, June 25. 

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting during the day, to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad according to Islamic belief.

“We fast in May or July; it depends on the [lunar] calendar,” said Hosny Ibrahim, the Imam at the Islamic Center of Northwest Florida in Pensacola.

Warm waters in the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico are expected to fuel an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season, which kicks off Thursday, June 1.

One tropical storm, Arlene, formed in April and spun harmlessly around the Atlantic.  The next named storms are Bret, Cindy, Don, Emily, Franklin and Gertrude.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

The folding of a Pensacola-area historical foundation is providing a lovely parting gift for Pensacola State College.

Just before taking action to dissolve the T.T. Wentworth Jr. Historical Foundation Wednesday afternoon, one of its final acts was to award just over $100,000 to PSC for the creation of The Tom and Rosabel Wentworth Chair in American History.

PSC President Ed Meadows says the name “T.T. Wentworth Jr.” has been synonymous with history and learning for students of all ages.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Military-friendly northwest Florida will host a number of Memorial Day observances both this weekend, and on the actual holiday on Monday. 

Originally known as Decoration Day in the years after the Civil War, the holiday acquired its current name in 1954, and became an official federal holiday in 1971.

The Memorial Day ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park in Pensacola is Sunday afternoon at one o’clock – following the annual parade through downtown.

Sena Maddison, Florida West

Enterprise Florida was hit with a major funding reduction in the 2017 legislative session. One of the concerns is how local development agencies will fare with less state money.  

The state's economic development arm is getting around $17 million in fiscal year 2018, compared to the $24 million in this year’s spending.

“As I understand it the current budget has funds in for Enterprise Florida primarily for operations only,” said Scott Luth, President of Florida West, the economic development agency serving the western Panhandle.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam brought his campaign for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in 2018 to Pensacola Friday morning. It was one of the final stops on his 10-day, 22-city bus tour.

Unlike most of the previous appearances around Florida, such as his announcement in his hometown of Bartow, there was no cheering crowd to greet the 42-year-old Putnam in downtown Pensacola. Instead, it was a roundtable discussion with small business leaders at the Dog House Deli.

Governor Rick Scott has not yet taken action on the new budget and he fate of Visit Florida, the state’s tourism promotion agency, remains in limbo.

For every dollar Visit Florida spends, the state receives $3.20 in return, according to the Florida Office of Economic and Demographic Research. In 2015, the latest available year, that translated to $109 billion in tourist spending; $11.3 billion in tax revenue, and 1.4 million tourism-related jobs in 2015. 

Who will be hired as Escambia County Assistant Administrator? A search committee has narrowed down the list to the five finalists.

More than 300 applications were collected for the position, which will involve helping Administrator Jack Brown across a number of departments in serving a county with a population of more than 300,000. 

“Depending upon who we select and how we bring this person on, we’ll look at particular assignments that they’ll take off of my plate,” said Brown.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

U.S. Senator Bill Nelson was in Pensacola recently to get a firsthand look at the University of West Florida’s Center for Cybersecurity.

Center Director Eman El-Sheikh provided a briefing on the facility, one of only six National Center Academic of Excellence (CAE) Regional Resource Centers in the country, serving the Southeast and Puerto Rico.

“We’re thrilled about what we’re doing to cybersecurity, and we certainly want to help advance the state of it overall as a national leader in cyber-education,” said El-Sheikh.

With Governor Rick Scott termed out of office in 2018, there’s beginning to be a lot of jockeying for position in both parties for that race.

Two aspirants, each from high-profile Florida families, announced their intentions this week. Republican Adam Putnam currently is Agriculture Commissioner.

“It has been an honor to serve my community, to serve my friends and neighbors, to serve my state, and to serve my nation,” said Putnam at a rally in his hometown of Bartow. “But make no mistake; for me, it’s always been ‘Florida first.’ And it’s why I am running for governor.”

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