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.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

January is usually the midway point of the flu season in Florida. The state Department of Health reports that levels of the disease remained elevated overall for a second consecutive week.

Mild influenza activity was reported in 51 counties, including Escambia and Santa Rosa, during the week of January 1-7, the latest available figures. Ten counties reported moderate influenza activity, and six reported no activity.

City of Pensacola

If you’ve made plans to ride the new ferry service between downtown Pensacola, Pensacola Beach and Fort Pickens, you have a bit of a wait ahead of you – until next year.  

Scheduled to begin this May, the project is now delayed in favor of beginning a new search for an operator. That emerged from a meeting last week among the National Park Service, Escambia County and the City of Pensacola.

NASA

Former astronaut Gene Cernan – the last man to set foot on the moon – died over the weekend at the age of 82 from ongoing heath issues.

Gene Cernan was the commander of Apollo 17 – the final lunar mission -- in December 1972. He and Jack Schmitt were the last men on the moon – Cernan the absolute last when Schmitt re-entered lunar module “Challenger” before him.

northescambia.com

Escambia County Administrator Jack Brown says the county faces a number of challenges in 2017 -- some holdovers from previous years, and others specific to this year.

One of the new challenges comes from Tallahassee for local governments seeking money for infrastructure projects. New House rules mandate that such projects be more tightly vetted. 

pensacolamardigras.com

Mardi Gras-Pensacola style kicked off January 6 and runs through Fat Tuesday, February 28. The merriment also provides help to local residents in need.

Behind the masks, the costumes, the beads and the floats that make Mardi Gras the biggest party of the year, there are also the charities and other organizations who benefit. Pensacola Mardi Gras President Danny Zimmern has overseen the event’s growth.

House.gov

 We begin a new, twice-a-month feature on WUWF with U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz. Dave Dunwoody sat down with the newly-minted Congressman to speak about the first days of the 115th Congress.

On being a freshman lawmaker in Washington:

mediatrackers.org

When the Florida Legislature kicks off the 2017 session on March 7, a full plate will greet them at the Statehouse.

Hall of Fame baseball manager Casey Stengel once said: “Never make predictions, especially about the future.”

But, here we go anyway.

watchdog.org

Florida’s Supreme Court, according to some observers, may have provided a glimpse into the future of the state's death penalty statute. 

The justices giveth, and the justices taketh away. The court voted 5-2 Wednesday to forbid the state from imposing the death penalty in pending prosecutions, only to withdraw the order a few hours later. In the opinion, the court wrote that the entire death penalty law was unconstitutional, but the withdrawal came because of “human error.”

AccuWeather

It doesn’t happen very often, but the Florida Panhandle and south Alabama could get a taste of Old Man Winter this weekend, as parts further north get hit even harder.

Meteorologists are watching a cold front, part of Winter Storm Helena, that’s forecast to ride the Jet Stream to the South and East later this week, bringing with it a massive amount of cold air.

“[It] will be accompanied by a pretty good chance of precipitation along with it, that we’ll be continuing to monitor over the next couple of days,” says Cody Lindsey at the National Weather Service in Mobile.

U.S. State Department / https://flic.kr/p/v53KLY

When Donald Trump takes the oath as the 45th president of the United States, the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community will be waiting to see what happens next.

At the Republican National Convention, Trump used the massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando to set up a promise to protect the LGBT community.

“As your president, I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful, foreign ideology,” said Trump at a rally after the attack.

UWF

January 1 marks a change at the top at the University of West Florida, when Judy Bense steps down as president after eight years.  Her latest honor is being named UWF’s second President Emeritus, joining the school’s first president, Morris Marx.

“It is a signal that you are liked, and that they want to have you keep that title, because you keep that title until you die,” said Bense. “There are some rights and privileges, so we’re working on fun list – one is a parking space.”

bbb.org

'Tis the season to be jolly-- and targeted.

The Better Business Bureau has some tips on how to get what you want for the holidays, and not what the scammers want. 

For Tammy Ward at the BBB office in Pensacola, it’s getting more amazing every year.

“The more technology we have it seems like the more opportunity for scammers to try to take our money from us.”

Ward adds that the overall rule of thumb when shopping online for those Christmas, Chanukah, and Kwanzaa gifts is to make sure you’re at the retailer’s actual website.

UWF Haas Business Center

Respondents to a survey to assess resident satisfaction with the City of Pensacola’s delivery of services and life in general were about as happy with things this year as they were in 2015.

The findings include 69.3 percent of those surveyed during a five-week period in October and November believe the City is heading in the right direction, and a 14 percentage point jump in those who say they’re “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the value of city services.

wuwf.org

Florida's 67 county election supervisors are seeking a change in the election laws in the upcoming legislative session, in hopes of joining the Electronic Registration Information Center.

ERIC is a non-profit organization that helps states improve voter roll accuracy and access to voter registration data. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have joined since its formation by the non-partisan Pew Charitable Trusts in 2012. As a result is the revelation that one in eight voter registration records is inaccurate.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

While many families are planning their holiday meals, for many others what they’re having remains up in the air – and dependent on local food banks.

Escambia County’s poverty rate is around fifteen percent, according to the latest available Census data. In Santa Rosa the figure is close to eleven percent.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Now that the inaugural season is in the books, the University of West Florida football program is preparing for 2017.

A dollars-and-cents study of that first year is also in the works.

The Argonauts went 5-6, tying Florida Tech and New Haven for the most wins by a first-year Division II program in the past decade. Head Coach Pete Shinnick says expectations were not solely based on the scoreboard.

Most of the United States, including Florida, is now subject to the coldest and most widespread blast of arctic air so far this season. Preparations are being made-- or should be.

The Jet Stream, that upper-level river of air on which storms travel, is dropping to the south and bringing Arctic air with it.

“We’ve pretty much had a cold front that’s going through the area [Thursday], and we’re looking at a freeze across the whole area, even down to the coast,” said Don Shepherd, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Mobile.

Bishop Gregory Parkes, who has led the Pensacola-Tallahassee Catholic Diocese since 2012, will be installed January 4 as the fifth bishop of the Diocese of St. Petersburg.

Appointed by Pope Benedict the XVI, Parkes became the fifth bishop of the Pensacola-Tallahassee Catholic Diocese. He succeeded Bishop John Ricard, who retired due to health reasons. The decision by Pope Francis to place him downstate, Parkes says, was unexpected.

U.S. Navy

Wednesday is the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor,  which brought the United States into World War II, and forever changed this nation and the world.

One day earlier, December 6, 1941, was a typical Saturday for many Americans.

“Much of life in the United States was proceeding as it had been; on a normal, peaceful day you had your football games, you had people enjoying the outdoors, and planning events,” said historian Hill Goodspeed at the National Museum of Naval Aviation.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

"Restoring home and hope" is the mission of World Renew personnel who returned to Escambia County last month. 

More than 150 homes in the Century area were damaged or destroyed last February, when an EF-3 tornado crashed through town with 155 mph winds.

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