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 “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, 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.

cdc.gov

Flu season is getting underway and health officials at all levels are sending out the word for people to get their vaccinations.

During the first week of the 2017-18 season – October 1-7 -- influenza activity remained at low levels across Florida. But it’s expected to increase heading into the fall and winter months.

“We usually say beginning at the end of September through the end of April,” says Dr. John Lanza, Director of the Florida Department of Health-Escambia County.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Elections officials in both Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties plan workshops next week, for those interested in running for office in 2018.

These workshops are useful because many who seek public office have not done so before, and for political veterans it’s a refresher course.

“We have a lot of people that come into our office; obviously, they’re curious about what offices are up for election and what it means to be a candidate,” said Tappie Villane, Elections Supervisor in Santa Rosa County.

wfsu.org

In part two of our series on the local fight against human trafficking, Dave Dunwoody looks at getting such cases into the legal system.

In 2013, the Florida Legislature passed a bill making human trafficking a first-degree felony carrying a maximum 15-year prison sentence upon conviction.

transgenderlawcenter.org

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month nationwide. Locally, the City of Pensacola and NAS Pensacola joined forces (Tuesday) in issuing a proclamation and recognize first responders.

Pensacola Fire Station Number-1 hosted the second annual observance, with Fire Chief David Allen greeting the visitors.

“We’re so excited to have everyone here,” said Allen. ”It’s evidenced by those people in the crowd in attendance today, just how important this issue is to the citizens and to the government here in Pensacola.”

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

In a somewhat-anticipated move, an outgoing Escambia County Commissioner is seeking the Pensacola mayor’s office in 2018.

Grover Robinson announced eleven months ago that his fourth term on the Commission would be his last. While he had no concrete plans at the time, he did say that he wasn’t ready to give up on public service.

fbi.gov

Child advocates and law enforcement officials in Santa Rosa County have organized a task force on human trafficking. 

CAUTION: Some of this story may be disturbing to some readers.

“I was 13 when I met my boyfriend. He said I was beautiful, and I believed him,” said a human trafficking victim in a public service announcement in Florida.

“He said I could be a model, and I believed him; he made me feel so good about myself,” said the unidentified female. “It was my real-life fairy tale, and I believed all of it.”

scouting.org

Beginning next year, girls will have the opportunity to join the Cub Scouts, and a new program for older girls will be established using current Boy Scout curriculum.

Wednesday’s announcement follows months of outreach by the BSA to discuss the possibility of expanding girls’ participation beyond existing programs, such as Venturing and Sea Scouts.

Visit Florida

A new plan from Pensacola’s Downtown Improvement Board offers, among other things , a bicycle share program scheduled to take effect next spring.

South Carolina-based Gotcha Bikes Company will provide the two-wheelers. DIB Executive Director Curt Morse says the program will be similar to what they provide at several universities.

“Auburn, Clemson, Ole Miss; lots of universities not only here in the South but across the country,” Morse said. “And now they’ve branched out into some of the smaller municipalities. Certainly, Pensacola kind of falls under that.”

WUWF Public Media

Damage assessments are underway at Gulf Islands National Seashore in both Florida and Mississippi after Hurricane Nate. The park’s Florida portion remains closed for the next several days.

Here’s what we know, from park spokesman Brent Everitt:

“We did get a significant impact from the hurricane, and now they’re trying to evaluate what that exact damage is, and how it’s going to take us to get back up and running,” said Everitt.

Emerald Coast Utilities Authority

About 100,000 gallons of partially-treated effluent that discharged into Santa Rosa Sound is being considered some of Hurricane Nate’s handiwork.

“We talk about it being ‘the beach plant’ but we actually have two plants located there, side-by-side,” said ECUA spokeswoman Nathalie Bowers. “To serve as redundancy should we have any issues at the plant.”

The release -- from Plant Number-1 at the utility’s Pensacola Beach Water Reclamation Facility -- involved water that had undergone secondary level treatment,

  

Speeding north-northwest through the Gulf of Mexico, Hurricane Nate is expected to make landfall late [Saturday] evening. Preparations are underway in northwest Florida for come what may.

Packing 90 mile an hour winds, Nate is moving toward land at a breakneck 26 miles an hour.

“The [National] Hurricane center is tracking it right into the coastline tonight, and then probably by late evening coming ashore along the Mississippi Gulf Coast,” said Meteorologist Jeff Huffman with F-PREN – the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

For a second consecutive day, Gov. Rick Scott told residents in the western Panhandle to prepare for whatever Tropical Storm or Hurricane Nate throws their way. There’s a state of emergency for 29 counties in Florida – including those the western Panhandle.

Speaking again from the Escambia County Emergency Operations Center, the Governor quoted the National Hurricane Center’s forecast of Nate turning into a hurricane after it moves into the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday. That could mean tropical storm-force winds in the Panhandle this weekend.

theadvocate.org

After Hurricane Irma slammed into south Florida last month, local governments across the Southeast rushed in people and equipment to begin the rebuild. Among them was a team from Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties in northwest Florida.

Irma was also the most intense Atlantic hurricane to strike the United States since Katrina in 2005, and the first major hurricane to make landfall in Florida since Wilma that same year.

Pensacola High school plays host to a health fair next weekend, sponsored by Sacred Heart Health System, and aimed in part at giving residents a more permanent medical structure.

The event is part of a nationwide "Medical Mission at Home" by Sacred Heart’s parent firm, Indianapolis-based Ascension Health.

“I don’t like to think about it as a ‘health fair,’ but a ‘medical mission,’” said Susan Davis, Sacred Heart President and Chief Executive Officer.

guyfrog.org

When Hurricane Maria slashed her way through the Caribbean, one Pensacola resident got an uncomfortably close-up view of the storm’s fury and the resulting destruction.

The powerful storm made landfall on the island nation of Dominica the night of September 18 as a Category-5 hurricane, with sustained winds at a record 160 miles an hour, according to the National Hurricane Center

uwf.edu

University of West Florida President Martha Saunders delivered her first “State of the University” address on Thursday.

UWF’s sixth president spoke for about 15 minutes, beginning her remarks with a bit of a history lesson, on how the school became known as the “Argonauts” – think “Jason and the Argonauts.” Then it was time to outline the achievements of the past year.

 One week after the celebration of Rosh Hashanah, the most solemn holiday on the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur, begins at sundown Friday and goes to nightfall on Saturday.  

As is Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur – the Day of Atonement – is a biblical holiday with all sorts of customs. Rabbi Joel Fleekop at Temple Beth-el in Pensacola says in the early days, there were special prayers and sacrifices that were offered.

northescambia.com

Ten months after work began, Pensacola’s Habitat for Humanity is winding up construction of 16 news homes in Century, replacing some that were leveled by a tornado in February, 2016.

When Habitat Director Tim Evans and his team first got to Century, the one prevailing question was – where to start?

“That is exactly it – it’s just heartbreaking when we first got to the community,” said Evans. “Seeing the amount of damage and so much total destruction on so many homes; it really was kind of tough deciding how to begin.”

strongtowns.org

Tuesday night kicks off “CivicCon” – an initiative by the Studer Community Institute aimed at collecting ideas about handling future growth in Pensacola.

CivicCon is short for “Civic Conversations.” Organizer Christian Wagley says a number of decisions regarding Pensacola are looming on the horizon.

Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee

Four months after getting the call, the new Bishop for the Pensacola-Tallahassee Catholic Diocese is on the job. WUWF’s Dave Dunwoody recently sat down with Bishop William Wack at the Diocese’s Pensacola Pastoral Center.

Back in May, Father Bill was at his parish – St. Ignatius in Austin, Texas – working on the building’s air conditioning system after a lightning strike. Then his phone rang.

That phone call would change his life.

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