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 cat Callie. Dave is also a passionate fan of Georgia Bulldogs and Atlanta Falcons football; the Atlanta Braves, Pensacola Blue Wahoos and Pensacola Ice Flyers. His hobbies include comedy writing, guitar and computer sports games.

The return of winter weather the next few days is opening the doors to cold weather shelters across the Florida Panhandle.

Lows Friday evening are expected to drop to near freezing, and not much of a rise on Saturday night according to Dave Eversole at the National Weather Service in Mobile.

“We’re getting a really big chance in the Jet Stream pattern over the central and eastern United States,” says Eversole. “Which is allowing for surges of progressively colder air to move down into the region.”

UWF

The University of West Florida Wednesday announced its second recruiting class, seven months to the day before the first-ever football game.

Beginning at six o’clock Wednesday morning, 16 high school seniors declared to Head Coach Pete Shinnick their intention to suit up for the Argonauts,

“We wanted to be able to add depth at certain positions,” said Shinnick, “While also continuing to build a roster that we feel can be competitive next year in the Gulf South Conference.”

Pace Fire Rescue District

Fire chiefs and top administrators in the Pensacola Fire Department and Pace Fire-Rescue are on paid leave in two separate investigations.

Santa Rosa County officials confirm that Pace Fire-Rescue Chief Donnie Wadkins and Sec. Pat Watkins are under investigation for an undisclosed reason or reasons. Assistant State Attorney Greg Marcille confirms that the investigation has been ongoing for a period of time.

Pensacola residents appreciate their law enforcement and parks, but are less pleased with transportation and infrastructure, according to a new citywide survey.

The University of West Florida’s Haas Business Center was commissioned by the city to conduct the telephone survey during the last quarter of 2015. A similar review was done the previous year, which project leader Amy Newburn says had more components.

ufweather.org

In what could be described as a dress rehearsal for the spring tornado season, stormy weather is on tap for the next couple of days in the Florida Panhandle and south Alabama.

Warm air that’s raising daytime temperatures into the 70s for the next couple of days is clashing with an upper level system whose northern half, the remains of Winter Storm Kayla, is spreading blizzard conditions through the Plains and Upper Midwest.

Photo via Flickr// NadineOG / https://flic.kr/p/dpFYRg

There are two weeks left to register to vote in the Florida primaries on March 15th. By Florida law, the registration books have to close 29 days before an election. In this case, that’s February 16.

Escambia County Elections Supervisor David Stafford says only voters registered as Democrats or Republicans can vote in this primary. About 21% of the county’s registered voters are either No Party Affiliation, or belong to a minor party.

Photo via Flickr// chapstickaddict / https://flic.kr/p/4GQuSZ

Passenger rail service could be returning to Pensacola and other Gulf Coast cities. An “inspection train” is scheduled to travel across Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida next month to gauge that possibility.

Hosted by Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman, a group of elected officials, community leaders and others will have a close-up look at CSX infrastructure and get an idea of the economic, cultural and mobility advantages rail has to offer.

Photo by Steve Droter/Chesapeake Bay Program / https://flic.kr/p/C4gy6E

Fifteen projects approved by the Santa Rosa County Commission to share $4.3 million in RESTORE Act funding are now up for federal scrutiny.

Water quality enhancements, oyster bed development, and a job training program are among the projects being green-lighted. Commissioner Lane Lynchard, a member of the county’s RESTORE Council, says this is the culmination of a three-year process.

Monday kicks off a brand new month, and aboard Naval Air Station Pensacola, a return to a previously-used traffic pattern and an exercise aimed at beefing up security.

Beginning February 1st, visitor traffic will be routed to the entrance on Blue Angel Parkway. Commander and Executive Officer Shawn Dominguez says that includes all unescorted visitors going to the most popular attractions aboard base: the National Naval Aviation Museum, Pensacola Lighthouse, and Fort Barrancas.

Florida Department of Economic Opportunity

Florida's unemployment rate continues to nudge down slightly from November to December, from 5.1% to 5% even. It’s the lowest figure in seven years, according to the Department of Economic Opportunity.

The state added nearly 22,000 jobs last month, but there remained 487,000 people out of work, about a thousand higher than the previous month. In December, Florida’s two dozen regional workforce boards reported nearly 35,000 were placed in jobs.

Susan Nelms, Director of CareerSource EscaRosa, said their job openings are across the board in almost all fields.

Santa Rosa Island Authority

After a decade on the job, Buck Lee retired earlier this month as Executive Director of the Santa Rosa Island Authority. He recently sat down with WUWF’s Dave Dunwoody to look back, and to look forward.

Did the takeovers of the Santa Rosa Island Authority’s Public Works and Public Safety Departments hasten your decision to step down?

Photo via Flickr// Thomas Hawk / https://flic.kr/p/gYYzoZ

Escambia County officials are working on ways to prevent any increase in the number of inmate deaths at the county jail and to find and alleviate the causes as much as possible.

That’s part of an overall revamping of the jail’s medical facilities.

Twenty four inmates have died while in custody since 2007: 11 since control of the lockup was shifted from the Sheriff’s Office to the County, and seven of those since last November. Director Michael Tidwell was fired in December, with Assistant County Administrator Chip Simmons taking over.

Sheriffs’ offices in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties are among the agencies teaming up to form the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program that serves the Gulf Coast.

HIDTA is a federally-funded operation that provides resources to link together local, state, and federal law enforcement to disrupt and dismantle drug trafficking. Chris Canova, the acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, says there are only 28 such programs nationwide.

Photo via Flickr// Marc West / https://flic.kr/p/9HbSJi

If you’re up a little before dawn over the next month, you may want to go outside and view another celestial treat, compliments of most of the solar system.

Five planets will span the sky together in the early morning hours: Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars, and Jupiter will all be visible to the naked eye from January 20 to February 20.

Photo via Flickr// Bart van Maarseveen / https://flic.kr/p/28ZDjA

The Florida Institute for Child Welfare is giving a $60,000 grant, aimed at enhancing the work of Early Childhood Court Teams serving Escambia and Okaloosa Counties.

ECCT’s goal is to improve the overall well-being of children from birth to three years old, who have been removed from their homes due to maltreatment.

“There has to be a verified finding of abuse, neglect or abandonment,” said Program Facilitator Margot Doelker. “And in order to be eligible to be in an early childhood court team, it has to be a removal from both parents.”

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