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.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Almost a year after plans were announced to sever ties with Sacred Heart Health System, Nemours will partner with West Florida Hospital to provide specialized care for children beginning this fall.

The care provided by the new partnership will extend beyond Pensacola to the rest of the western Panhandle, says Carlton Ulmer, West Florida President and CEO.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

The University of West Florida is playing host this weekend to an exercise by local emergency response organizations, which is aimed at beefing up community resilience.

Santa Rosa County Emergency Management is teaming up with SAFER – the Support Alliance for Emergency Readiness, and BRACE – the Be Ready Agency Coordinating for Emergencies.

“The Advanced Citizen Corps Academy started years and years ago, when we had excess grant money at the state level, and they asked if anybody wanted to do anything with it,” said SAFER Administrator Daniel Hahn.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

State and county health officials are sending out words of caution, after a case of vibrio vulnificus was confirmed in Escambia County.

No information is being released about the patient, other than it’s the sixth vibrio case in Escambia in the past three years, including another case earlier this year and the death of a resident in 2015. Last year, two Santa Rosa County residents died from the bacteria.

In the third and final installment of our “Back to School” series, we take a look at the Escambia County District.

With more than 40,000 students, Superintendent Malcolm Thomas oversees the largest district in the western Panhandle. And he adds there’s always a special enthusiasm at this time of year, just before the first class bell rings.

In part two of “Back to School,” WUWF’s Dave Dunwoody sits down with Santa Rosa County Superintendent Tim Wyrosdick, and what that district is facing in the new term.

For one thing, Wyrosdick is looking at higher numbers district-wide when classes kick off August 14.

“We’ll bump close to 29,000 students this year, and maybe go over that,” he says. “Our growth this year, probably in the neighborhood of 550-600 students.”

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

U.S. Senator Bill Nelson visited Pensacola State College on Monday, meeting with local officials and residents on a number of issues. While there, Nelson had one bit of good news for the area’s military bases.

“BRAC’s not coming; it’s not going to pass in the next [election] cycle,” said Nelson. “So y'all can stop worrying about that.”

Classes resume this week and next in public schools across Florida’s western Panhandle, with the usual challenges that a new school year brings the districts. In the first of our three-part series “Back to School,” Dave Dunwoody spoke with Okaloosa County Superintendent Mary Beth Jackson.

It’s a busy start to the new term. The biggest challenges, says Jackson, are getting rid of 160 portable classrooms on campuses; and 770 more students than in 2016-17 and growing at the rate of 100 per day. That brings the district’s total student population to more than 31,000.  

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Groundbreaking was held Tuesday morning near Milton, for construction of a Native American cultural center that’s due to be opened later this year.

Chief Blue Eyes, tribal leader Tom Nichols, and Dan Helms, an officer with the Santa Rosa County Creeks greeted the audience in both Creek and English on a warm, sunny morning at the construction site on Willard Norris Road.

“We started the tribe in 1990 with three members; today we have over 1,200, I believe,” said Blue Eyes. “We hoped and prayed and worked our tails off to get what we’ve got today.”

C-SPAN

The U.S. Senate is immersed in work on reforming healthcare, and at the same time dismantling the Affordable Care Act. And the chamber faces a long road ahead.

Florida’s two senators voted on either side of the measure, as expected. Republican Marco Rubio has been a longtime opponent of ACA.

ECUA

Water and sewer customers with Emerald Coast Utilities Authority could be shelling out more for those services in the near future.

When the board overseeing the agency meets on Thursday, it’s expected to take up a proposed capital improvement fee, $5 per month, to pay for upgrading water and sewer lines throughout the service area.

Lois Benson chairs the ECUA Board.  

Santa Rosa Creek Indian Tribe

If all goes as planned, a Native American cultural center will open near Milton by the end of this year. Groundbreaking is set for August 1 at 10 a.m. at the site, 4750 Willard Norris Road.

Dan Helms, an officer with the Santa Rosa County Creek Indian Tribe, says the center’s main mission is to stem the loss of Native American culture, artifacts and education.

“We have been accumulating, for more than 20 years, records, Census data, deeds, birth certificates, death certificates and all sorts of things that establish Native American bloodlines,” said Helms.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

About three dozen businesses in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties are getting together to form a private-sector entity, aimed at supporting economic development in the two counties.

First Place Partners has been in the works since last fall. The group’s president is former Gulf Power executive and Pensacola Chamber of commerce Chairman John Hutchinson.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

The return of passenger rail service to the Gulf Coast appears to be getting some mixed signals among the agencies and groups studying the matter.

Congress on Monday received the final report by the Federal Rail Commission’s Gulf Coast Passenger Rail Working Group, which is said to provide a positive endorsement of the Southern Rail Commission’s long standing call for restoration.

The next step, says Southern Rail Commission Chairman Greg White, is how to pay for it.

cdc.gov

The Florida Department of Health in Escambia County is out with a rabies advisory for the Warrington and Navy Point areas, and is on the lookout for any further such cases.

County Health Director Dr. John Lanza says the cases involved a pair of foxes in separate encounters with humans. The most recent attack resulted in the death of that fox.  As for the fox in the first attack, there is uncertainty.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

The high cost of going to college is the subject of legislation proposed by U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, who was at the University of West Florida Friday morning.

According to Nelson, student loans are the second-largest debt in America, only behind home mortgage debt.

“And if you took all the credit card debt in the entire United States combined, student loans are larger than that: $1.3 trillion,” said Nelson.

In the final installment of our “Beyond Park East” series, the focus is on dollars and cents in the LGBT community.

Lee Kafeety, the owner of the Cactus Flower Café on 12th Avenue in Pensacola, has been overseeing construction of a bar area in the restaurant. The San Francisco native says as an openly-gay business owner, locating in East Hill, called by some “The Gayborhood,” was something of a no-brainer.

In the fourth installment of “Beyond Park East,” we look at the spiritual side of Pensacola’s LGBT community.

On its website, Holy Cross Metropolitan Community Church in Pensacola is described as a Christ-centered church of inclusion, community, transformation, and justice, where the message is: everyone is loved, worthy, and welcome.

That runs contrary to the messages on homosexuality from some, including televangelist Pat Robertson on his program “The 700 Club.”

The third installment of “Beyond Park East,” features what the justices hath brought together -- same-sex marriage.

On a 5-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court in June, 2015 extended marriage equality to all 50 states and territories.

“This affirms what millions of Americans already believe in their hearts; when all Americans are treated as equal, we are all more free, said President Obama just after the court’s decision.

In part two of “Beyond Park East,” the spotlight is on the military, and how it has dealt , and is now dealing, with its LGBT members.

Gays and lesbians have served in the American military and in supporting roles dating back to the Revolutionary War. Prior to World War II, there was no written policy.

During World War II, Korea and Vietnam, the military defined homosexuality as a mental defect based on "medical criteria". Many gays and lesbians served honorably during those conflicts, but when the need for combat troops declined, they would be involuntarily discharged.

Today we kick off “Beyond Park East,” a five-part series on northwest Florida’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community.

On Memorial Day weekend, the LGBT community is out in force at Pensacola Beach’s Park East, for four days of sun, fun, and revelry. But when the beach chairs, towels and coolers are packed up, what happens the other 361 days of the year?

“The fact of the matter is, there’s an LGBT community in Pensacola 365 days a year,” said Louis Cooper, President of Gay Grassroots of Northwest Florida.

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