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

UWF Innovation Institute

The University of West Florida is now offering its newest massive open online course (MOOC), Cross-Cultural Competency.

The nationwide course tackles sensitive subjects and helps participants learn how to navigate diverse people and environments encountered in their daily lives.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

State and local officials have unveiled plans to improve safety along Cervantes Street in Pensacola. The first step is the installation of new lighting along the roadway.

“And, today we’re making the announcement that a two-and-a-half mile stretch is going to be lighted with 72 lights and it started today,” declared state Senator Doug Broxson of Gulf Breeze.

He made the announcement at a news conference Tuesday morning at the Brownsville Community Center as dozens of neighborhood children looked on.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

Pensacola native Daniel “Chappie” James, Jr. rose to become the nation’s first African American four-star general. Now, the property where he grew up is now home to a museum and flight academy honoring his legacy.

Downtown Improvement Board

First, it was Spanish foodways, highlighting the discovery of the 1559 Luna Settlement.

This year’s Pensacola Repast dinner, held last month by the Downtown Improvement Board, explored the multicultural influences of what was cooking here two centuries ago, during the Early American period in the 1800’s.

University of West Florida

One of the ways Pensacola’s cultural heritage is celebrated is through the individual people who lived here generations ago.

A recent event highlighted the city’s culinary history through the lives of four unique and diverse women who made Pensacola their home in the early 1800’s.

We’re getting to know Victoire Le Sassier, Marianna Bonifay, Dorothy Walton, and Genevieve Ham. Their stories were featured during the 2018 Pensacola Repast event held May 6, downtown. 

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season is now officially underway. The six-month season runs from June 1 to November 30.

This year, emergency managers across Florida didn’t have to wait until June to deal with a tropical event as Subtropical Storm Alberto showered much of the state with rain as it tracked toward the Pensacola area for several days before drifting eastward and making a Monday landfall in Panama City.

Santa Rosa Island Authority

Three weeks into the 2018 season, the first sea turtle nests soon will begin to appear on area beaches.

Locally, Gulf Islands National Seashore is responsible for protecting and managing nests within the seashore and on Pensacola Beach. This year, GINS is implementing new sea turtle nesting protocols that limit human interaction.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

Second grade students from four Escambia County elementary schools were invited to the University of West Florida Aquatic Center recently to get a lesson in basic water safety skills.

What they learned could potentially save their life or someone else’s.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

The EscaRosa Coalition on the Homeless is no more. The agency has gotten a makeover, with a new name and a slightly new mission.

It’s now called Opening Doors Northwest Florida.

“The new name embodies being more open, not only for those that are homeless, making access to our organization more readily accessible,” said John Johnson, executive director. It also represents a focus on doing a better job serving the agency’s entire coverage area in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.

Larry Amado Photography / Latino Media Gulf Coast, Inc.

Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday that is observed annually across the U.S.  Locally, there are a number of events to mark the occasion, including Cinco de Mayo Festivals this weekend in Pensacola and Destin.

The festivals are being organized by Grace Resendez McCaffery, publisher of La Costa Latina Newspaper and founder of the Hispanic Resource Center.  In Pensacola, it’s McCaffery’s third such event for Cinco de Mayo, and it’s filling a gap locally in terms of a true celebration of Mexican heritage and culture.

Office of U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz

Northwest Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz led a bipartisan group of lawmakers at a press conference on Capitol Hill (Thursday) to unveil the Medical Cannabis Research Act of 2018.

Rep. Gaetz spent months working on the bill, getting feedback from local constituents and trying to come up with the right combination of provisions that his House colleagues could get behind.

“Today, 25 members of Congress have joined in filing the Medical Cannabis Research Act,” Gaetz said. “This is the cannabis reform legislation that has the greatest chance to pass this Congress.”

Gallery Night

Earth Day is being observed this weekend. Pensacola’s annual Earth Day Celebration is set for tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Bayview Park.  And,  this month’s Gallery Night event will feature an Earth Day theme.

"You know what we decided to do with Gallery Night is to spend each month 'theming' it, and this was just perfect with Gallery Night being one day from Earth Day," said Pensacola businessman Joe Abston, who's a volunteer member of the Gallery Night board.

Sandy Hollow Productions

The group Race and Reconciliation will continue its ongoing discussion of racial tensions in Pensacola this Thursday evening at the J. Earle Bowden Building, downtown.

The organization is now putting the spotlight on the history of racial violence in the community.

alz.org / Alzheimer's Association

A distinguished group of researchers wants to redefine Alzheimer’s disease by focusing on biomarkers instead of symptoms, such as memory loss.

Tobacco Free Florida

Tobacco Free Florida Week is taking place through this Sunday, April 8.

The 2018 observance marks the tenth anniversary of the Florida Department of Health’s Tobacco Free Florida Week.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

Humanitarian and activist Dr. Feride Rushiti from Kosovo is visiting Pensacola this week, hosted by the Gulf Coast Citizen Diplomacy Council.

Dr. Rushiti is one of ten women to receive the U.S. State Department’s International Women of Courage Award.

In Washington D.C. Friday, First Lady Melania Trump delivered special remarks at a ceremony in their honor.

Courtesty of University of West Florida

The University of West Florida is adding to its history as a military-friendly school by establishing the formation of a new Office of Military Engagement.

Additionally, retired Navy Capt. Chris Middleton has been tapped to serve as military liaison to the university president.

Danielle Laatsch

More than 500,000 teens and adults are expected to rally in Washington, DC, this weekend at the March for Our Lives, a national protest against gun violence.

A Pensacola woman is among the multitudes planning to attend.

Danielle Laatsch is a military spouse, who is well-traveled and previously lived and worked in the Washington D. C. area.

University of West Florida

Walker Wiggle will make his debut at this weekend’s Ciclovia event in downtown Pensacola.

Walker the dog is the main character of the new children’s book promoting physical activity among pre-school children. The title is Walker Finds His Wiggle.

“My name is Walker Wiggle and I live next to this park,” the story begins. “I’ve learned a way to meet new friends, just wag my tail and bark.”

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