Sandra Averhart

News Director

Sandra Averhart has been News Director at WUWF since 1996. Her first job in broadcasting was with (then) Pensacola radio station WOWW107-FM, where she worked 11 years.  Sandra, who is a native of Pensacola, earned her B.S. in Communication from Florida State University.

For several years, Sandra was co-host of “Inside UWF” on WUWF TV. Also, she has partnered with WSRE TV to serve as co-host of their “Rally” candidate forums, most recently in 2012. Sandra also lends her voice to the University of West Florida athletics program.  She has worked as public address announcer for Men’s and Women’s Basketball, and continues to “work the mic” at UWF Volleyball and Softball games. Along the way, she has been P-A announcer for four NCAA Division II national championships, to include two each in volleyball and softball.

In her spare time, Sandra continues to enjoy playing softball. She lives in Milton with her husband Charles and two dogs, Beau and Mollie.

Ways to Connect

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

The new Covenant Inpatient Hospice Center at Sacred Heart Hospital began accepting patients earlier this month.

When the grand opening celebration was held days before, Brian LeBlanc attended as a representative of Covenant.  

WUWF has been following LeBlanc’s journey with Alzheimer’s disease, and so we joined him there.

It was a bittersweet occasion.

Before the ribbon-cutting, LeBlanc worked his way through the crowd gathered for the Open House..

“How you doing friend,” an acquaintance asked. “I’m good; I’m good,” he replied.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

In the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey, dozens of individuals have been lining up locally to become American Red Cross volunteers. For some, it’s a first time experience, while others are refreshing their training.

Still others are already in the trenches, and loving every minute of it.

Meet the Hinds.

“My name is Kaffey,” said Kaffey Hinds, introducing herself.  “It’s K-a-f-f-e-y. And, this is my husband Lee.”

In the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the American Red Cross of Northwest Florida has ramped up their recruitment and training of volunteers.

“Thank you all for coming,” said volunteer Sheila Mitchell, as she welcomed a group of prospective volunteers to the latest training session at the Pensacola office. “This is great to have this much of a turnout.”

Mitchell says losing her house in Hurricane Ivan is what drove her to become a Red Cross volunteer, which she’s done for the past three years.

Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

As Hurricane Irma, still a strong Category 4 storm as of Friday evening, continues to barrel toward South Florida, state and local officials have ramped up efforts to help those fleeing the devastating storm.

For the past week, Florida Governor Rick Scott has been traveling the state urging all residents to be prepared for Irma. On Friday, he conducted briefings in Tampa, Ft. Myers and West Palm Beach. At more nearly 400 miles across, Irma will impact almost every part of the state. 

Local, state and federal officials are continuing to urge all of the state’s residents to prepare for powerful Hurricane Irma, which is set to begin affecting South Florida by the weekend. Government authorities are gearing up, too.

In briefings on Wednesday, Florida Governor Rick Scott called Irma a massive, possibly devastating storm, with extreme winds and a projected storm surge that could go for miles. He compared it to Hurricane Andrew, which was a Category 5 storm when it struck Florida in 1992.

"The storm is bigger, faster, and stronger than Hurricane Andrew."

John Dosh: "Right now the present official forecast doesn't show much impact for us up to the end of the forecast period, which is typically five days, and looking at the information the hurricane center is putting out in long term modeling, it is looking like it should continue the trend of moving up through the peninsula of Florida and providing very little impact for the panhandle other than some gusty, notherly winds. So basically, at this point, we are just monitoring and trying to prepare for any Floridians who are fleeing from the peninsula who we might be able to help."

Linda Dunwoody / Sacred Heart Health System

The Pensacola community now has a new option for end of life care for seriously ill patients and their families with the opening of the Covenant Care Inpatient Hospice Center at Sacred Heart Hospital.

“When you look around, all I can say is wow,” said Covenant Care President and CEO Jeff Mislevy, referring to the new hospice center and the crowd of supporters gathered for the recent ribbon cutting.

The state of Florida is getting set to roll out newly designed driver’s licenses and state I.D. cards. Beginning Monday, Aug. 28, the Okaloosa County Tax Collector’s Office will be one of eight around the state that will begin issuing the new credentials.

Pensacola Habitat for Humanity wants to engage area residents in a discussion of issues that will lead to a more compassionate community at their Third Annual Community Summit. “Building Community: Enhancing Our Sense of “We” will be held this Wednesday at the Sanders Beach-Corrine Jones Resource Center.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

After the recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia over removal of a Confederate monument, efforts to remove a Confederate memorial in downtown Pensacola are gaining steam.

Pensacola’s Confederate monument is located at Lee Square on Palafox Street, downtown. It was dedicated back in 1891, more than a quarter-century (26 years) after the Civil War.

John Worth / UWF Archaeology Institute

University of West Florida archaeologists spent the summer uncovering more details about Tristan de Luna’s 1559 Settlement in Pensacola. Much of the story of the ill-fated Spanish colony is being told through the artifacts that have been discovered.

John Worth / UWF Archaeology Institute

University of West Florida archaeology students and researchers have spent the summer uncovering more details about the 1559 Luna Settlement.

The Tristan de Luna Settlement overlooking Pensacola Bay existed for just two years until 1561.

Center for Research & Economic Opportunity (CREO)

Raising the minimum wage appeals to many in the workforce, but what are the risks of raising it too much, too soon?

Phyllis Pooley, director of special projects with the University of West Florida’s Office of Economic Development and Engagement, reviewed a recent study by the University of Washington on the subject and surveyed local labor market data. She discussed her observations with WUWF’s Sandra Averhart.

Michael Spooneybarger/ CREO

Housing market data for Escambia and Santa Rosa counties over the past decade show an increase in the total number of housing units in the two counties, with a growing number of those units occupied by renters and not owners. Phyllis Pooley, director of special projects with the University of West Florida’s Office of Economic Development and Engagement, reviewed data from the U.S. Census and the Shimberg Center for Housing Studies and found that there are significant changes in the housing market for the two counties.

Jessica Williams

At approximately 10 a.m. Wednesday, a fire and explosion occurred at McKinley Climatic Lab at Eglin Air Force Base.

Eglin officials say there were no “significant injuries” reported.

The explosion, which occurred in a support building near the lab, resulted in a huge plume of black smoke. Officials initially identified the source of the smoke as methyl chloride.

The Pensacola Symphony Orchestra is issuing a community call for photographs of Pensacola to feature in a performance this fall called “Pensacola: Then & Now.”

For details, PSO music director Peter Rubardt recently stopped by the WUWF Studios.

Courtesy, The Oplontis Project

Dr. Kristina Killgrove, a researcher from the University of West Florida, is preparing for the trip of a lifetime. She’s heading to Italy soon to study skeletal remains of victims of the 79 A.D. Mount Vesuvius volcano eruption.  

Killgrove is a biological anthropologist and assistant professor in UWF’s Anthropology Department. Her classes include Intro to Anthropology, Bioarchaeology, and Human Osteology.

School districts across Florida have turned out their latest crop of graduates. When it comes to graduation rates, the Escambia County School District has been working to catch up to the state and neighboring counties. For an update on how the district is doing, WUWF recently caught up with Superintendent Malcolm Thomas.

UWF

Despite the loss of $3 million in budget vetoes, the University of West Florida appears to be on solid footing heading into next fiscal year.

The 2017 legislative process was the first for UWF with Dr. Martha Saunders at the helm. After the dust settled from last week’s Special Session, WUWF invited President Saunders to discuss how the university fared.

Escambia County Sheriff's Office

The search for 12-year-old Naomi Jones has now shifted into a homicide investigation, following the discovery of her body Monday afternoon in Eight-Mile Creek.

Naomi’s body was located in the water around 4 p.m. by two local fishermen scouting a place to fish in the creek near the intersection of Detroit Boulevard and Ashland Avenue. The location was approximately four miles from her home at Aspen Village Apartments on East Johnson Avenue and one mile outside the main search area, which was a radius of 3 miles.

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