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.

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.

Florida Senate

The panel charged with overseeing one and a half billion dollars from the BP oil spill settlement is now fully staffed – including one member who helped create it.

Our story begins in 2010, shortly after the Deepwater Horizon explosion, which sent massive amounts of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. State Sen. Don Gaetz asked colleagues to approve a bill anticipating damage to the Panhandle coast.

Four hundred and fifty eight years after being sunk by a hurricane in Pensacola Bay, archeologists are working to make sure some undiscovered ships in Tristan de Luna’s fleet won’t face a new, twenty first century threat.

Three of de Luna’s vessels, of the six scuttled by the hurricane in 1559, have been discovered and are under investigation, including one discovered in 2016. There is speculation that the other three could be in the general area of the new Bay Bridge construction site.

SAFER Santa Rosa

Work is underway in Santa Rosa County to help residents with property damage from severe weather, but who are ineligible for government assistance.

The program is called SAFER, Support Alliance for Emergency Readiness, and in a broad sense is the next generation of the Santa Rosa Long Term Recovery Organization which developed after Hurricanes Ivan and Dennis.

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.

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