Dave Dunwoody

Journalist/Producer

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 “played 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, Lucy, and Zoe. Dave is also a passionate fan of Georgia Bulldogs, Atlanta Falcons, and West Florida Argonauts football; the Atlanta Braves, Pensacola Blue Wahoos, and Pensacola Ice Flyers.  His hobbies include comedy writing, guitar and computer sports games.

NextEra Energy

Florida Power and Light’s footprint across Florida could be getting bigger, through a proposed deal in which its parent firm would buy Pensacola-based Gulf Power Company as part of a $6.5 billion package.

Jim Robo, Chairman and CEO of NextEra Energy, spoke with shareholders on Monday.

“NextEra has agreed to acquire Gulf Power; Florida City Gas, and ownerships stakes in the Oleander and Stanton natural as power plants,” Robo said in a conference call.

NextEra will acquire 100 percent of the Oleander plant near Cocoa, and 65 percent of Stanton near Orlando.

In a major move in the state’s utility industry, the parent company of Florida Power and Light is acquiring Gulf Power Company as part of a $6.5 billion dollar deal.

NextEra Energy plans to buy Gulf Power, along with ownership interests in two Southern Company power plants – Oleander near Cocoa, and Stanton Energy Center near Orlando. NextEra wants to buy a 100 percent interest in Plant Oleander, and 65 percent of Stanton.

Florida City Gas rounds out the package. It serves about 110 thousand natural-gas customers in Miami-Dade, Brevard, St. Lucie and Indian River counties.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is out with its 2017 Boating Accident Statistical Report, in time for National Safe Boating Week, which runs through Saturday.

Florida had 766 boating accidents last year, a seven percent rise from 2016, but there was no jump in fatalities -- 67 as with the previous year. Operator’s inattention was the leading cause of the 261 reported collisions among other accidents, and drowning was the most prevalent cause of death.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

It began as the annual hurricane drill by Gulf Power Company Wednesday morning. But participants were thrown a curveball that a major league pitcher would have been proud of.

The original scenario: Hurricane Irma-2, a Category-3 storm, is bearing down on the Gulf Coast.

“When we got into the briefing room, we found out that the hurricane had made a [sic] easterly turn and was going out into the Atlantic,” said Gulf Power spokesman Jeff Rogers. “However, at four a.m. this morning, as part of the drill, we had a cyberattack. And so everyone had to shift gears.”

National Hurricane Center

The 2018 hurricane season could be getting a two-week head start. Forecasters are watching a system in the southeastern Gulf of Mexico.

Among those keeping tabs is Don Shephard, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Mobile. He describes it as a non-tropical, weak area over the Gulf.

Western Gate Chapter, FTA

Two centuries after Andrew Jackson’s march into northwest Florida, a local historical group plans to re-trace his steps next weekend.

Jackson’s march through the Panhandle in May of 1818, near the end of the First Seminole War, is now the 17-mile Andrew Jackson Red Ground Trail in the Blackwater River State Forest.

“There had been numerous skirmishes that were along the border of Alabama, Georgia and Florida between Indians and the settlers,” said Helen Wigersma, who chairs the Western Gate Chapter of the Florida Trail Association.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Organizations across the United States are banding together this week to increase awareness of jobs and career development programs that enhance local economic impact. Florida West is among them.

This is National Economic Development Week, with the spotlight on just what such agencies do in their community or region. It’s the third annual observance, which was begun by the International Economic Development Council -- the largest professional membership organization for economic developers.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Ground was broken Monday for the Bayview Resource Center at Bayview Park. Once the work begins, completion is expected to be in about a year and a half. 

Covering 19,000 sq. ft., the facility will replace the old community center, which was damaged by a sewage backup in 2014 and demolished a year later, in the same footprint.

noaa.gov

It’s May and that means officials in Florida are gearing up for hurricane season. That includes Wednesday morning’s annual exercise in Escambia County.

Packing Category-4 winds of up to 150 miles an hour, Hurricane Coleman is a mirror image of 2004’s Hurricane Ivan in a statewide tabletop scenario. And, according to that scenario, Coleman has inflicted major damage on Escambia County.

noaa.gov

Several key offshore drilling safety regulations established by the Obama administration after the 2010 BP oil spill are being targeted for roll back by the Trump administration. That’s drawing fire from Florida’s senior U.S. Senator.

The rollback announcement came Friday, a week after the eighth anniversary of the explosion which killed 11 workers. More than 210 million gallons of oil poured into the Gulf of Mexico for nearly three months, killing massive amounts of wildlife. Speaking on the Senate Floor, Bill Nelson said the damage was both environmental and economic.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

For the first time in six decades, there’s a change at the top in Cuba, involving someone not named Castro.

Miguel Diaz-Canel was born in 1960, one year after Fidel Castro took power, and has served as First Vice President since 2013.

“To call [Diaz-Canel] a leader, I think really is a misnomer; he’s just basically a figurehead,” said Cuban-born Alfred Cuzan, a Professor of Government at the University of West Florida.

Despite the newly minted president, Cuzan says the Castro family’s fingerprints remain on the regime.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Eight years ago Deepwater Horizon exploded off the coast of Louisiana, killing 11 and sending crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. A group of Pensacola-area environmentalists want to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Christian Wagley with the Gulf Restoration Network, was among those speaking to the media Friday at Casino Beach on a picture-perfect day.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Is 13 a truly unlucky or lucky number? In one instance, Florida voters will make the call.

The latest incarnation of the state Constitution Revision Commission is history. The 37 members adjourned last week after settling on eight proposed amendments for the November 6 general election ballot.

“We were called the ‘Tribal Elders of the State’ in the sense that we were people who broadly represented the state and broadly represented different interests,” said Former state Senator Don Gaetz of Niceville, the lone CRC member from the Panhandle.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

The University of West Florida celebrated the grand opening of University Park Center on campus, part of the school’s inaugural Founders Week observance.

Ground was broken in October, 2016 for the  $7  million, 33,000 square foot facility, which brings extra space for a couple of growing health care programs.

“It brings Florida State University to our campus,” said UWF President Martha Saunders. “The FSU College of Medicine’s Pensacola Regional Campus will use this space as the home base of the FSU Physician Assistant Program.”

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Coming off an appearance in the Division II national championship game, the University of West Florida Argonauts wrapped up drills on Saturday, with the annual Blue-Green spring football game. WUWF’s Dave Dunwoody was there.

About 1,000 fans, in folding chairs and on blankets, watched the Argos’ take Pen Air Field, exiting from the brand new University Park Center clad in Blue and Green jerseys.

It was 50 years ago that the United Methodist Church was born out of two separate congregations.

On April 23, 1968, the Uniting Conference between the Methodist and Evangelical United Brethren Churches was held in Dallas, Texas.

“Here we are this morning, gathered together from all over the world and from all sorts and conditions of men, to celebrate a birthday – our birthday – as the United Methodist Church,” said Rev. Albert Oliver, who delivered the sermon at the ceremony.

Animal Allies

Numerous animal rescue organizations are teaming up this weekend, seeking forever homes for a literal menagerie from around the Pensacola area. One of those groups is Animal Allies, which provides shelter to cats – and now to pigs.

It’s mid-morning at an undisclosed location and Crystal Ellard is handing out treats, cabbage and cucumbers, to the two dozen or so pigs of all ages and sizes. Like dogs, Ellard says pigs can be taught some basic commands.

UWF

New flags representing the University of West Florida were unfurled Monday in downtown Pensacola for the school's inaugural Founders Week.

Howard Reddy, Vice President for University Advancement, welcomed those gathered in front of the T.T. Wentworth State of Florida Museum on a windy, chilly morning.

“This week, Founders Week, we are celebrating our history,” Reddy said. “We celebrate our beginnings, our history, and most importantly our future.”

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

On a unanimous vote, the Pensacola City Council made history Thursday night, approving the first woman to lead the city’s Fire Department. WUWF’s Dave Dunwoody reports.

Ginny Cranor is a 20-year veteran of the department, and moves up from Battalion Chief.

“There have been other female fire chiefs in [Florida]; there was a female fire chief in Tallahassee that’s retired,” said Cranor. “But it’s a limited number. It’s an average of a little over 50 nationally from what I’ve heard.”

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

The ribbon was cut at Baptist Cancer Institute, for its new and improved Cancer Infusion Center.

The renovation was two years in the making, at a cost of more than one million dollars. One hundred thousand of that came from businessman Quint Studer and his wife Rishy. The Studers contacted Baptist President and CEO Mark Faulkner about their planned gift, and asked Faulkner if he could come up with the best use for it.

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