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

The Race and Reconciliation group is moving forward with its community conversations about race and racism in Pensacola. They’re beginning a new Cross-Cultural Education Series this Thursday night at the Bowden Building downtown.

Julie Patton, an instructor in the UWF Social Work Department, joined with some friends and colleagues to form the Race & Reconciliation group.

Sandra Averhart

The demolition of the historic John Sunday House last summer meant the loss of a piece of Pensacola’s history.

While efforts to save it were unsuccessful, the public debate helped to inform today’s generation about this once very prominent African-American.

In observance of Black History Month, WUWF reached to a group of fifth-grade students from N.B. Cook Elementary School of the Arts, who took what they learned about the man and turned it into short play for this year’s History Fair.

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper looks at the Florida Legislature’s attempt to eliminate Visit Florida and Enterprise Florida.

A battle is brewing in Tallahassee as state lawmakers look to dismantle both Visit Florida, which supports tourism efforts in the state, and Enterprise Florida, which offers economic incentives to businesses in Florida. In a hearing this week, the committee responsible voted in a split decision to move forward with a bill to eliminate much of the state’s economic incentives.
 

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is held annually on Feb. 7.  The theme for 2017 is “I am my Brother’s and Sister’s Keeper.”

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, African Americans are the racial/ethnic group most affected by HIV in the United States. That’s also the case in Florida and Escambia County.

Michael Spooneybarger/ CREO

STEAM2017 is a five-week program of exhibitions, lectures, workshops and talks with artists and scientists at the University of West Florida that explores how art can be added to the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and math to explore issues related to water and the preservation of a clean environment.

Sandra Averhart

The EscaRosa Coalition on the Homeless (ECOH) conducted its annual Point In Time (PIT) count of homeless people in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties last week. Again this year, the count was capped off with their U-Count Homeless Resource Day, which serves as an expo for agencies offering services to the homeless.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

One week after the rupture of a digester at International Paper in Cantonment, plant officials continue working to restore the surrounding area and keep residents informed about their efforts.

Over the weekend, a Community Open House was held for residents and businesses in the affected area. Also, representatives of the Unified Command gave the media a first-hand look at the cleanup.

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper looks at a temporary reduction in the deficit, an unexpected drop in existing home sales and how the high cost of textbooks affects access to higher education.

This week, the Congressional Budget Office projected a slight drop in the U.S. budget deficit.

Lindsay Myers

On the heels of Donald Trump’s inauguration, hundreds of thousands of people gathered on the National Mall Saturday for the Women’s March on Washington. The event was organized as a grassroots movement to stand against Trump and for women’s rights and a variety of other causes.

In solidarity, “sister marches” were held in cities across the country, including Pensacola.

Picking up on Hillary Clinton’s campaign mantras, chants of “More love, less hate” and “Love trumps hate” filled the air as the marchers proceeded through downtown Pensacola.

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper looks at a recent uptick of economic development in the local area and a new solar project for local military facilities.

Two new upscale hotels, an Aloft and an Element, both Starwood brands, are planned downtown between 9th Avenue and Salamanca Street.

 Entrepreneurs can take their business ideas from inception to commercialization by participating in the Innovation Awards contest, one of the most lucrative business plan competitions in Florida. Tech and knowledge-based companies that have a promising product or service that can create local jobs can compete for cash prizes ranging from $5,000 to $100,000.

 

Michael Spooneybarger/ CREO

The pesticide DDT has been found in sediment samples from the Escambia River and its adjacent wetlands, a post-doctoral research associate at the University of West Florida has discovered.

Dr. Geoffrey Marchal, who was hired in April to begin the research, is now testing those sediment samples to see how readily available the pollutant is to the many diverse species that inhabit the bay.

“That’s the big concern,” Marchal said. “If the DDT in the sediment is bioavailable and can go through the food chain, then we have an issue.”

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper looks at the recent rise in unemployment numbers and what they mean in the long term, why job openings have risen and what Obamacare’s repeal could mean for Florida’s economy.

Weekly applications for unemployment benefits rose by 10,000 last week. But looking at historical data, the numbers are nothing to worry about, Harper said.

Sandra Averhart

Florida’s constitutional amendment expanding the scope of medical marijuana in the state took effect last week. Lawmakers now have six months to come up new rules for governing the industry.

In the meantime, local governments across Northwest Florida are taking a variety of approaches as to the establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries and many are considering temporary moratoriums.

Courtesy of EscaRosa Coalition on the Homeless.

The EscaRosa Coalition on the Homeless is gearing up for their annual "point in time" survey to take place on January 25 in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.

ECOH Marketing Director Serene Keiek and Housing Director Dianna Moore recently stopped by WUWF to talk with Sandra Averhart about the purpose and importance of the homeless count. Also, they’re seeking volunteers to help conduct the survey and to assist with their U-Count Homeless Resource Day event to follow.

Below is a transcript of their conversation.

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