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.

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.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Pensacola-area residents curious about plans to spend $627 million of BP fine money on Gulf Coast projects can get answers Monday night. Part of that is being sought for an aquaculture operation in Pensacola.

Officials with the State Department of Environmental Protection and Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will host the meeting, which kicks off at 6:00 p.m. at the Pensacola Bay Center.
The Early Restoration funds total $27 million for nine projects in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties – $19 million of which is proposed for a fish hatchery in Pensacola.

Rebecca Brasch for NorthEscambia.com

CSX Railroad is taking the lead into the investigation of Tuesday night’s train derailment in a remote part of Escambia County.

The accident, involving 23 of the 69 cars in the train, occurred near the McDavid Sawmill. Nobody was injured but along with the cars, a bridge and tracks were also heavily damaged. It may take crews several weeks to make repairs.

Winter precipitation is moving into the Florida Panhandle, the produce of frigid arctic air and Gulf moisture.

Escambia County’s Emergency Operations Center activated at midnight. Emergency Management Chief John Dosh says they’re at level-2, with only key agencies on hand for now.  

Throughout the year the Escambia EOC conducts table-top exercises to cover a number of scenarios – hurricanes and other natural and man-made disasters. Dosh says those – and the current winter storm development – are all part of what he calls “consequence management.”

weather.aol.com

Officials in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties join the rest of the Florida Panhandle in bracing for a rare taste of winter precipitation.

A winter storm warning is in effect for the western Florida Panhandle for all day Tuesday and Wednesday morning, as moisture from the Gulf of Mexico joins forces with another blast of Arctic air. That, says Dave Eversole at the National Weather Service, means sleet, freezing rain and possibly some snow.

N. Tackaberry

It’s back into the deep freeze for northwest Florida and south Alabama, as another round of frigid weather is on tap this week. But this time, there’s a little extra.

Here’s something you don’t hear every day: the National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for the Gulf Coast, including Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa Counties. Forecasters say a mix of freezing rain and snow is expected Tuesday through Wednesday.

Dave Dunwoody / WUWF News

The Naval Education and Training Command is under new management. A change of command ceremony was held Friday at the Museum of Naval Aviation aboard NAS Pensacola.

After two years on the job, Rear Adm. Donald Quinn stepped down at NET-C commander in a traditional Navy ceremony. He was succeeded by Rear Adm. Michael White. Quinn is also retiring after a 35-year naval career.

If you thought the ceremony would be one of solemn talk and sad faces, then you would have had another think coming. And it was led by Quinn, whose nickname is “DQ.”

Pensacola International Airport

The Pensacola City Council Thursday evening deadlocked in voting on a food and drink concessions deal for Pensacola International Airport. The 4-4 outcome means the proposal fails.

Council members PC Wu, Megan Pratt, Charles Bare and Sherri Myers voted against the connection plan. Those voting in favor were Jewell Cannada-Wynn, Larry B. Johnson, Andy Terhaar and Gerald Wingate. Councilman Brian Spencer abstained.

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