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

Restoration of passenger rail service along the Gulf Coast is the focus of meetings this week by Amtrak and the Southern Rail Commission.

Six meetings, which began on Tuesday in Jacksonville and Live Oak, Florida, will feature what’s next in the work to get the trains back on track for the first time since before Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

“It’s been about 14 months since we ran the demonstration train across the route, and people are curious where things stand,” said Amtrak spokesman Mark Magliari.

Governor Rick Scott has placed Florida under a state of emergency because of recent wildfires and the high potential for increased wildfires to continue.

The fires across the state have burned more than two-and-a-half times more acreage in the first three months of 2017, than during the same period a year ago. Currently, more than 100 active wildfires are scorching over 20,000 acres statewide.

Street performers in downtown Pensacola appear to be getting a new rulebook on plying their art.

Street performers, called “buskers,” play music or otherwise perform for voluntary donations.

“It looks to me, that over the course of over the last 450 some-odd years, there’s been street performance regularly downtown; and we want to preserve that, because that’s authentic to Pensacola,” said DIB Executive Director Curt Morse.

cdc.gov

U.S. Senator Bill Nelson is imploring his colleagues not to take up any bills that could undo recent progress in fighting the nation’s growing opioid problem. Similar concerns are found in northwest Florida.

Opioid-related deaths in 2015, the latest available numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, outnumbered those from gun homicides and vehicle crashes combined; and more than died from HIV/AIDS at its peak in the mid-1990s.

National Weather Service Mobile

Monday’s storms in northwest Florida and south Alabama gave way to fair skies on Tuesday, which are now giving way to another round of storms for Wednesday.

The best rainfall, will be over the Panhandle, probably 2-3 inches, and 2-4 inches in some areas, says Eric Esbensen, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Mobile.

Gulf Power Company

After rescinding its original $107 million rate hike request, Gulf Power Company’s compromise plan has received unanimous approval from the Public Service Commission. 

The settlement, crafted by Gulf Power, the Office of Public Counsel and other interested parties, goes into effect on July 1. Jeffery Stone is Gulf Power’s General Counsel, and had praise for the PSC staff.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

April marks the 15th annual National Donate Life Month, and Escambia County officials Monday morning kicked off the local campaign to increase the number of organ donors. 

Tax collector employees here and in Florida’s other 66 counties are participating in the month-long effort co-sponsored by Florida’s Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

Florida Senate

Senate Bill 364, which would ensure funds received in the BP Oil Spill settlement go to the eight hardest-hit counties, has cleared the first hurdle in the Florida Legislature.

The Recovery Fund for the Deepwater Horizon Incident was passed by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development. Its primary sponsor is Sen. George Gainer (R-Panama City).

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Forty-two years after the end of the Vietnam War, the names of 140 Americans who died in that conflict are being placed on the Wall South in downtown Pensacola.

An employee with GLMCO Memorials in DeFuniak Springs, dressed in a protective hood and work gloves, began the final part of the project at the half-size replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday. Company president Larry Mathews said the etching would be done in just a few hours.

www.defense.gov

Officials across military-friendly northwest Florida are watching the Pentagon closely once again, now that there’s renewed talk about another round of base closures and mission realignments.

Appearing before the House Armed Services Committee last month, several top military officials supported another round of BRAC: Base Realignment and Closure. Among them was General Stephen Wilson, Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force.

FL Department of Economic Opportunity

Florida’s unemployment rate remains at five percent even -- unchanged from January to February. But the numbers appear to be at loggerheads when it comes to actual jobs.

The jobless figure remains constant, despite the loss of five thousand jobs last month – which may be an indication that Florida’s economic recovery is losing some steam. At the Department of Economic Opportunity, Director Cissy Proctor says they’re looking at the big picture.

senate.gov

Supporters of LGBT rights are applauding the first federal hate crime conviction involving the murder of a transgender woman in the final days of the Obama administration. But they’re also concerned about the future of such prosecutions under Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

As a U.S. Senator, Jeff Sessions called a federal hate crime law passed in 2009 “overly broad,” and said there was no need to add protections for gay and transgender people.

Dave Dunwoody: "You had your first “Open Gaetz Day” last month in Santa Rosa County, and the next – for Escambia County – is set for next month."

Council on Aging

Meals on Wheels, a program that feeds about two and a half million older citizens nationwide, faces a funding cut in President Trump’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2018.

Almost 130,000 meals are delivered to 500 residents in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties each year, through the Council on Aging of West Florida, an independent, 501(c) (3) not-for-profit, where John Clark is President and CEO.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward could face his biggest political challenge, if he decides to seek a third term next year. That’s according to a recent survey commissioned by the Independent News.

The poll of 506 most likely voters conducted by Political Matrix shows Hayward on top with just under 28 percent. Two Escambia County Commissioners,Grover Robinson are Lumon May, are second and third at 20 and 18 percent, respectively.

Gulf Power Company goes before the Florida Public Service Commission in Tallahassee on Monday, seeking a $107 million increase in base rates.

If the PSC approves the hike, residential customers would pay an extra 10%, or about $14 per month. Average power bills would go from $144-$158.

“It’s never a good time to ask for an increase in prices, but it’s one of those things that we need to continue to invest in the long-term reliability of our energy infrastructure,” said Gulf Power spokesman Rick De La Haya.

sacred-heart.org

Sacred Heart Health System and University of Florida Health formally announce a new kidney transplant program in Northwest Florida – just over a month after the first such procedure was performed here.

Forty-seven-year-old Renwick Avant received a kidney on February 2, more than seven years after being diagnosed with end-stage renal disease, and four years after beginning dialysis treatments.

“I started dialysis January 15, 2013; I remember the day,” said Avant. “Three days a week, I was on the dialysis machine for three hours and 45 minutes each time.”

Town Of Century

The Town of Century faces numerous problems with its sewer system, which is unfixable without a massive amount of funding.

Alicia Jernigan, Century’s Water Superintendent, says the town’s wastewater system “is failing,” thanks in part to equipment that’s not been maintained properly over the years.

“The system is 25-30 years old,” said Jernigan. “Just like if you were to drive your car for 25 or 30 years, at some point the cost to repair and maintain it becomes more than the cost of replacing it.”

baptisthealth.net

Chest pains and head injuries require immediate, emergency care. But not necessarily a sinus infection or sprained ankle. The question is: how do you make the right health care choice when time and expense are of the essence?

Patients have a choice of emergency rooms, walk-in care centers or seeing their primary physician. But many are in the dark over what an emergency is and what urgency is.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Spring break season is underway at Pensacola Beach, and runs through mid-April for local schools, and until the end of April for others.

Allison Westmoreland is President of the Pensacola Beach Chamber of Commerce says local merchants are keeping their fingers crossed for that record crowd on beaches, and in stores and restaurants.

“A lot of the hotels are already booking up,” said Westmoreland. “Social media is huge right now, so even just sharing one event on social media gets 10,000 views. I think that’s going to attract a lot of people in as well.”

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