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

Escarosa Coalition on the Homeless

The 2018 Point-in-Time count of homeless persons soon will take place in communities across the country.

Conducted on a cold night in January, the annual survey is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or HUD.

Florida Highway Patrol

The Florida Highway Patrol is working to address its current shortage of troopers throughout the state. Much of what they’re doing is aimed directly at the northwest region, which is one of the areas with the greatest need.

A series of recruitment videos is available on YouTube. The videos highlight the fast cars, motorcycles, military-style vehicles, and planes used for enforcement and show male and female troopers in action; making arrests, working traffic stops and wrecks, and firing off rounds during weapons training.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

As the 2017 calendar year drew to a close, flu activity levels in Florida continued to increase sharply for the fourth week in a row, including a spike locally. For public health officials, it’s a good time to remind residents to protect themselves from the flu by getting vaccinated.

Institute for Women In Politics of Northwest Florida

As of 2017, women hold about 20 percent of all 535 seats in the U.S. Congress. According to Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University, the number is 84 in the United States House of Representatives and 21 in the U.S. Senate.

Local and state level statistics on average aren’t much different. But, efforts are underway to increase the number of women in politics.

alz.org / Alzheimer's Association

There are more than 5 million people living with Alzheimer’s disease in the U.S. and that number is projected to reach 16 million by 2050.

Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s and it is the only leading cause of death that cannot be prevented, slowed, or cured.

However, thanks to national and international awareness efforts, a lot more is known about the disease and momentum has been building in the field study.

Alzheimer's Association

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the disease has become a public health crisis in the U.S.  

For National Alzheimer's Awareness Month, WUWF  is taking a closer look at the prevalence of the disease and the toll it takes on the brain of an individual who's been diagnosed with it.

UWF Institutional Communications

The University of West Florida is hosting an event this weekend aimed at increasing the number of local students applying for aid to go to college.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

Veterans Day 2017 will be observed at ceremonies and celebrations across the region this weekend (Saturday). Events include the annual Veterans Day parades in Pensacola, Milton, Crestview, and Mary Esther.

The Military and Veterans Resource Center (MVRC) at the University of West Florida held its annual observance on Thursday.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

There’s an effort underway to make it easier for Escambia County residents who can’t afford an attorney to access to legal help on various civil matters. The Escambia Project is taking ‘justice to the people’ through a series of legal aid pilot programs, including Justice on the Block.

Florida Bar Foundation

The Escambia Project is an ongoing initiative to provide Escambia residents with greater access to civil justice. It utilizes a unique community approach to developing new legal help services that are accessible and easy to use.

Mike Papantonio is out with a new novel. Law and Vengeance (SelectBooks, Inc.) is his second legal thriller and seventh book overall.

To tell the fictional story, the renowned trial attorney at the Levin Papantonio law firm has to look no further than his own case files.

Law and Vengeance is based on a real case that actually I handled here in this law firm, just as the first book, Law and Disorder, was also based on actual cases that our law firm handled,” Papantonio said.

Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival

The 2017 Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival gets underway this weekend at Seville Square in Historic Pensacola. One of the highlights of the annual event is the Invited International Artist.

This year’s special guest artist is Yume Matsuo.

Matsuo is from Wakayma, Japan, which is a sister state of Florida. She left the prefecture only briefly to go to college in Osaka and she lived in Ireland for a year and a half.

Florida Legislature Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

A coalition of groups, including the Pensacola Bay Area League of Women Voters, is presenting the eighth program in their series of “Pipeline to Prison” community forums Monday evening at Franco’s Italian Restaurant on Gregory Street.

UWF Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program

Military veterans who are interested in starting their own businesses are invited to take part in the Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program, which is presenting a series of workshops through January.

The next session locally will be held this Saturday morning at the University of West Florida Conference Center.

Escambia County

When a gunman opened fire on a country music festival in Las Vegas Sunday night, at least 58 people were killed and nearly 500 injured.  It was the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history and overwhelmed first responders and hospitals in the area.

In the wake of the tragedy, WUWF sought to find out about local preparation and experience dealing in with a Mass Casualty Incident.

Santa Rosa County

Santa Rosa County is now in the midst of closing on the purchase of a 19-acre parcel on Avalon Boulevard to be the future site of a new judicial center.

Commissioners were divided over the issue of location, but are now looking to move forward together.

Chairman Rob Williamson set the tone for the work ahead, before entertaining a motion for this month’s final vote to approve the purchase.

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. 

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