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.

Kay Forrest

An asteroid estimated to be three football fields in diameter flew by Earth earlier this week, missing our planet by “only” two million miles while traveling at roughly 27,000 miles per hour. Many consider the two million mile cushion a “close call.” Wayne Wooten, an astronomer at Pensacola State College, is not among them.

“Really far away,” says Wooten. “I think why this one got publicity when we actually had a bigger one come a lot closer just three or four days earlier was because it had been lost and then recovered. But this is not too unusual. These are small bodies.”

The deadline for public comment on 44 projects scheduled for Early Restoration Funding from BP is Wednesday. Environmentalists and public officials are calling on Gulf Coast residents to weigh in. WUWF’s Dave Dunwoody sat down with Keith Wilkins, the Director of Community and Environment for Escambia County.

U.S. Navy

Naval Air Stations Pensacola and Whiting Field, Corry Station and Saufley Field are taking part in the annual “Exercise Solid Curtain-Citadel Shield 2014,” which kicked off Tuesday morning and runs through February 28th.

Harry White, the public information officer aboard NAS Pensacola, says it’s a force protection exercise aimed at enhancing the training and readiness of Navy security personnel, conducted at every naval installation in the continental United States.

The watchdog group Integrity Florida is out with a study of the Department of Economic Opportunity’s attempts to lobby the Legislature for one billion dollars through 2020. The cash would be used for movies, TV shows, video games and other entertainment industry productions.

Television’s “Burn Notice,” the movie “Dolphin Tale” and the Madden football video game are produced in Florida.

ST Aerospace

 

The Escambia County Commission and City of Pensacola are now on the same page of the hymnal, in funding the attempt to bring an aircraft maintenance company to Pensacola International Airport.

“Project Stallion” was the code name for the talks with ST Aerospace, which operates a facility in Mobile that employs about 1,500 people. Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward announced in December that he had signed a Memorandum of Understanding – or MOU -- with ST Aerospace, capping two years of negotiations.

ricksblog.biz

The Pensacola City Council Thursday voted unanimously for an amendment to the homeless ordinance regarding “camping” on city property and the use of blankets and other covering while doing so.

The Council approved the ordinance last May, with strong backing from Mayor Ashton Hayward and his staff. Attorney Alistair McKenzie told the panel that the backlash from the ordinance has extended well beyond the city limits.

bbb.org

A “one ring” phone scam is being reported across the United States. The Better Business Bureau is alerting the public to this simple—yet extremely effective—ploy that can result in unauthorized charges on wireless statements.

Here’s how it works: automated dialers blast thousands of random calls to mobile numbers obtained from public listings or from black market dealers —who hustle “sucker lists”— the call disconnects after one ring.

wstribune.com

Although gas prices have remained relatively stable since the start of the year, Triple-A is predicting they will rise as spring approaches.

The auto club believes prices at the pump will rise to about three dollars-75 cents per gallon, a bit less than last year’s peak of 3.79. Spokeswoman Jessica Brady says motorists likely are facing a jump soon.  

fdle.gov

The head of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement told legislators Wednesday that the arrest of a former crime-lab chemist will lead to new precautions in handling drug evidence.

FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey gave the Senate Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice an update on Joseph Graves -- the Pensacola crime-lab chemist – who’s accused of compromising hundreds of state drug cases.

Graves is free on $290,000 bond, with arraignment set for February 25th in Escambia County Circuit Court.  More charges may still be pending.

weather.com

Unlike a couple of weeks ago when a winter storm glazed over the Pensacola area, Winter Storm Pax is concentrating on northern Alabama and Georgia. The storm is also being felt here.

More than 80 line personnel and support staff from Gulf Power Company departed on Monday, to help out fellow Southern Company utility Georgia Power. Pax is expected to dump as much as eight inches of snow and ice on the Atlanta area. Many of the Gulf Power crew members there now, got some practice here two weeks ago.

northescambia.com

Work is ongoing to clean up a load of phosphoric acid that spilled into Fletcher Creek during the January 28th train derailment near McDavid in mid-Escambia County.

Authorities say up to 30,000 gallons of the acid – which is used in various products, including foods, beverages and pharmaceuticals – leaked when three tanker cars plunged into the creek, which feeds into both Cotton Lake and the Escambia River.

brandonbaker.com

Naval Air Station Whiting Field has secured more than 490 acres, as part of its double mission of conservation and mission buffering.

That brings to roughly 3,500 acres the amount of land adjacent to the base that’s been purchased. Whiting Field worked on the transaction with Santa Rosa County, Navy Region Southeast and the Naval Facilities Command Southeast.

Total cost was $1.2 million. The money came from the Navy Readiness Environmental Protection Integration, and a grant from the Santa Rosa County Defense Infrastructure.

Florida Senate

Local school districts – and not the Florida Board of Education – would choose textbooks under legislation filed for the upcoming regular session.

About 30 states now use the local textbook-selection model. The measure would expand a law approved last year, which gives school districts the authority to review and select materials without state involvement. The districts would only have to certify that their choices complied with state standards.

Visit Pensacola Beach

The U.S. House voted 220-194 Thursday, to approve a bill that would allow residents of Pensacola Beach and Navarre Beach to get ownership of their leased properties, and to begin paying taxes on them. It now goes to the Senate, where its future is murky.

Sponsored by Congressman Jeff Miller, the measure would remove restrictions in the original 1947 deed barring Escambia County from issuing titles to land on Santa Rosa Island.

“Instead, the county began leasing the property to individuals, who could pay a lease fee, instead of being charged a property tax,” Miller said. 

ST Aerospace

Governor Rick Scott’s proposed budget for next fiscal year includes $325 million for aviation improvements, as part of a $9 billion investment in strategic transportation improvements throughout the state.

The announcement was made at Tuesday’s Florida Airports Council Meeting in Tallahassee, as part of Gov. Scott’s “It’s Your Money Tax Cut Budget.” Pensacola International Airport is in line for $14 million. Director Greg Donovan says the money is earmarked for expansion projects – including attempts to lure ST Aerospace.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Pete Shinnick was introduced Thursday, as the first head football coach at the University of West Florida. The work now begins towards the first game in September of 2016.

By her count, UWF President Judy Bense has waited five years, four months and 32 days for today’s announcement.

“I now can finally answer the question that I have been asked more as president than any other question,” said Bense. “”When are we going to start UWF football?’”

FDLE

Charges have been filed against a former supervisor at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s crime lab.

A prepared statement from FDLE said that investigators believe 32-year-old Gerald Graves replaced prescription pain pills with over-the-counter medications while processing drug cases since 2005. As a crime lab analyst, Graves had worked nearly 26 hundred cases for 80 law enforcement agencies in 35 counties, including Escambia and Santa Rosa.

Graves is free on 290 thousand dollars bond. State Attorney Bill Eddins says he faces a number of charges.

fda.gov

The Food and Drug Administration is launching an advertising campaign targeting at-risk youth highlighting the dangers of smoking. Similar efforts can also be found at the grassroots level.

FDA’s campaign, called "The Real Cost," is set to launch next week with ads on TV and radio in more than 200 U-S markets for at least one year. It also will use print and social media, using youth-oriented topics.

Wikipedia

Florida’s new second-in-command began work on Monday. Carlos Lopez-Cantera is the state’s 19th lieutenant governor and first Latino to hold that office.

The 40-year-old Lopez-Cantera -- a former state legislator and Miami-Dade Property Appraiser -- was sworn in by Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Ricky Polston in a small, private ceremony held in the governor's office. A public swearing-in was held Monday afternoon.

As part of his remarks, Lopez-Cantera recited some of the talking points he and Governor Rick Scott will carry onto the campaign trail this year.

FDLE

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has begun the examination of alleged evidence tampering by a former employee in its Pensacola crime lab. On Monday, Joseph Graves resigned as the lab’s analyst supervisor.

Graves’ resignation comes in the wake of allegations that he may have tampered with evidence from the cases. He had been suspended with pay.
Speaking Saturday in Tallahassee, FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey said the probe involves 80 law enforcement agencies in 35 counties, including Escambia and Santa Rosa. The reach is as far south as Monroe County.

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