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 “played 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, Lucy, and Zoe. 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.

Michael Spooneybarger/CREO

In Washington, the House’s 216-212 passage of a four trillion dollar Republican budget last week appears to pave the way to begin tax reform.

Florida’s 1st District Representative voted with the minority.

“Right now we’ve got $20 trillion in debt; in the next ten years we’re going to $30 trillion in debt unless we cut spending,” said Cong. Matt Gaetz (R-Fort Walton Beach). He’s one of 20 Republicans who joined Democrats in opposing the Senate Amendment to House Con Resolution 71.

Gaetz voted in favor of the original House measure, before its trip to the Senate.

VT-MAE

As construction rolls on at the VT Mobile Aerospace Engineering aviation plant in Pensacola, company officials and local leaders provided an update on the project on Friday at Pensacola State College.

Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward was the M.C. at groundbreaking ceremonies near Pensacola International Airport one year ago.

“Today marks an important milestone for a project that we first started talking about close to five years ago,” Hayward said at the groundbreaking. On Friday at PSC, he spoke of the plant’s role in helping create and bolster a business environment.

gonuke.org

Representatives from the Department of Homeland Security were joined by local officials, for a cybersecurity roundtable and career information expo Wednesday at the University of West Florida.

Government, business, and academic leaders from around the Pensacola area got the latest on fighting battles in cyberspace, which can affect everyone whose lives, part or all of it, are on a computer or mobile device.

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum brought his gubernatorial campaign to Pensacola recently. 

Gillum, 38, is seeking the Democratic nomination to succeed Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who is termed out in 2018. He says serving three years as mayor and 12 on the Tallahassee City Commission has given him a front-row seat at what’s been happening at the Capitol.

U.S. Air Force

Resolutions are being introduced in both houses of the Florida Legislature, aimed at keeping the eastern Gulf of Mexico open for military training.

At issue is a long-time moratorium against oil drilling in that part of the Gulf. State Sen. Doug Broxson (R-Gulf Breeze) is the sponsor of Senate Resolution 550. He says there’s pressure from big oil to open up the area.

cdc.gov

Flu season is getting underway and health officials at all levels are sending out the word for people to get their vaccinations.

During the first week of the 2017-18 season – October 1-7 -- influenza activity remained at low levels across Florida. But it’s expected to increase heading into the fall and winter months.

“We usually say beginning at the end of September through the end of April,” says Dr. John Lanza, Director of the Florida Department of Health-Escambia County.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

Elections officials in both Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties plan workshops next week, for those interested in running for office in 2018.

These workshops are useful because many who seek public office have not done so before, and for political veterans it’s a refresher course.

“We have a lot of people that come into our office; obviously, they’re curious about what offices are up for election and what it means to be a candidate,” said Tappie Villane, Elections Supervisor in Santa Rosa County.

wfsu.org

In part two of our series on the local fight against human trafficking, Dave Dunwoody looks at getting such cases into the legal system.

In 2013, the Florida Legislature passed a bill making human trafficking a first-degree felony carrying a maximum 15-year prison sentence upon conviction.

transgenderlawcenter.org

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month nationwide. Locally, the City of Pensacola and NAS Pensacola joined forces (Tuesday) in issuing a proclamation and recognize first responders.

Pensacola Fire Station Number-1 hosted the second annual observance, with Fire Chief David Allen greeting the visitors.

“We’re so excited to have everyone here,” said Allen. ”It’s evidenced by those people in the crowd in attendance today, just how important this issue is to the citizens and to the government here in Pensacola.”

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

In a somewhat-anticipated move, an outgoing Escambia County Commissioner is seeking the Pensacola mayor’s office in 2018.

Grover Robinson announced eleven months ago that his fourth term on the Commission would be his last. While he had no concrete plans at the time, he did say that he wasn’t ready to give up on public service.

fbi.gov

Child advocates and law enforcement officials in Santa Rosa County have organized a task force on human trafficking. 

CAUTION: Some of this story may be disturbing to some readers.

“I was 13 when I met my boyfriend. He said I was beautiful, and I believed him,” said a human trafficking victim in a public service announcement in Florida.

“He said I could be a model, and I believed him; he made me feel so good about myself,” said the unidentified female. “It was my real-life fairy tale, and I believed all of it.”

scouting.org

Beginning next year, girls will have the opportunity to join the Cub Scouts, and a new program for older girls will be established using current Boy Scout curriculum.

Wednesday’s announcement follows months of outreach by the BSA to discuss the possibility of expanding girls’ participation beyond existing programs, such as Venturing and Sea Scouts.

Visit Florida

A new plan from Pensacola’s Downtown Improvement Board offers, among other things , a bicycle share program scheduled to take effect next spring.

South Carolina-based Gotcha Bikes Company will provide the two-wheelers. DIB Executive Director Curt Morse says the program will be similar to what they provide at several universities.

“Auburn, Clemson, Ole Miss; lots of universities not only here in the South but across the country,” Morse said. “And now they’ve branched out into some of the smaller municipalities. Certainly, Pensacola kind of falls under that.”

WUWF Public Media

Damage assessments are underway at Gulf Islands National Seashore in both Florida and Mississippi after Hurricane Nate. The park’s Florida portion remains closed for the next several days.

Here’s what we know, from park spokesman Brent Everitt:

“We did get a significant impact from the hurricane, and now they’re trying to evaluate what that exact damage is, and how it’s going to take us to get back up and running,” said Everitt.

Emerald Coast Utilities Authority

About 100,000 gallons of partially-treated effluent that discharged into Santa Rosa Sound is being considered some of Hurricane Nate’s handiwork.

“We talk about it being ‘the beach plant’ but we actually have two plants located there, side-by-side,” said ECUA spokeswoman Nathalie Bowers. “To serve as redundancy should we have any issues at the plant.”

The release -- from Plant Number-1 at the utility’s Pensacola Beach Water Reclamation Facility -- involved water that had undergone secondary level treatment,

  

Speeding north-northwest through the Gulf of Mexico, Hurricane Nate is expected to make landfall late [Saturday] evening. Preparations are underway in northwest Florida for come what may.

Packing 90 mile an hour winds, Nate is moving toward land at a breakneck 26 miles an hour.

“The [National] Hurricane center is tracking it right into the coastline tonight, and then probably by late evening coming ashore along the Mississippi Gulf Coast,” said Meteorologist Jeff Huffman with F-PREN – the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

For a second consecutive day, Gov. Rick Scott told residents in the western Panhandle to prepare for whatever Tropical Storm or Hurricane Nate throws their way. There’s a state of emergency for 29 counties in Florida – including those the western Panhandle.

Speaking again from the Escambia County Emergency Operations Center, the Governor quoted the National Hurricane Center’s forecast of Nate turning into a hurricane after it moves into the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday. That could mean tropical storm-force winds in the Panhandle this weekend.

theadvocate.org

After Hurricane Irma slammed into south Florida last month, local governments across the Southeast rushed in people and equipment to begin the rebuild. Among them was a team from Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties in northwest Florida.

Irma was also the most intense Atlantic hurricane to strike the United States since Katrina in 2005, and the first major hurricane to make landfall in Florida since Wilma that same year.

Pensacola High school plays host to a health fair next weekend, sponsored by Sacred Heart Health System, and aimed in part at giving residents a more permanent medical structure.

The event is part of a nationwide "Medical Mission at Home" by Sacred Heart’s parent firm, Indianapolis-based Ascension Health.

“I don’t like to think about it as a ‘health fair,’ but a ‘medical mission,’” said Susan Davis, Sacred Heart President and Chief Executive Officer.

guyfrog.org

When Hurricane Maria slashed her way through the Caribbean, one Pensacola resident got an uncomfortably close-up view of the storm’s fury and the resulting destruction.

The powerful storm made landfall on the island nation of Dominica the night of September 18 as a Category-5 hurricane, with sustained winds at a record 160 miles an hour, according to the National Hurricane Center

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