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

Santa Rosa County

   Jayer Williamson has resigned from the Santa Rosa County Board of Commissioners, effective immediately. The move, announced Thursday, was necessary to move ahead with his plans to run for State House of Representatives District 3, but came a bit earlier than anticipated.

Also, it leaves the county commission with just four members, pending the election or appointment of a replacement by Gov. Rick Scott.

University of West Florida

As the University of West Florida looks to its 50th anniversary, it’s also considering its future. UWF has begun to lay the groundwork for the challenging task of achieving ‘emerging preeminent’ status as one of the top research institutions in the state and nation.

U.S. Navy Blue Angels

The Blue Angels have restarted training flights in preparation to resume their air show season schedule.

"We are back, Blue Angels Fans!" were the words beginning a Twitter post Thursday. "Today the team returns to the skies after our operational pause."

The U.S. Navy’s Flight Demonstration  Squadron flew its first training flight in a "Big V" formation, with five aircraft, over the Pensacola area Thursday Morning.  The flight took place at about 9:30 a.m. and was visible over downtown Pensacola, Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key.

 

The Federal Reserve met this week and decided once again not to raise interest rates, but the effect of that decision to do nothing is still making waves in the larger economy.

Lindsay Myers

A candlelight vigil is being held tonight in Pensacola’s Seville Square to honor the victims of Sunday’s massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando. The tribute is being presented by several local LGBT organizations, whose members are still reeling in the aftermath of the attack. 

The timing of the shooting is significant, in the middle of National LGBT Pride month. And, locally, Pensacola PRIDE week had just gotten underway says organizer Doug Landreth.

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the most recent unemployment benefits claim numbers, a sluggish jobs report, the chances for a recession and the second annual Community Summit being held this week in Pensacola.  

The U.S. Department of Labor said that jobless claims fell about 4,000 from last week, showing that employers appear to be holding onto workers despite a sluggish economy.

University of West Florida

It’s been about six months since University of West Florida archaeologists revealed the discovery of Tristan de Luna’s 1559 settlement on Pensacola Bay.

Earlier this week, property owners in the settlement area were updated on their findings and briefed on the next phase of their research.

Work at the site of the Luna settlement, also known as Santa Maria de Ochuse, is continuing as part of a 10-week terrestrial field school that began May 23 and will continue through July 29.

 

  

  Pensacola Habitat for Humanity is hosting its 2nd Annual Community Summit this week. The event is being presented in partnership with NeighborWorks America and Gulf Power Company. It opens on Thursday, June 9 at 1 p.m. at Gulf Power headquarters downtown, 1 Energy Place.

Habitat’s Executive Director Tim Evans stopped by the WUWF studios to talk about this follow up to their inaugural Affordable Housing Summit held in 2015.

This year, organizers opted to broaden the scope of discussion and fittingly are calling this year’s event a community summit. 

  In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses what Memorial Day tourism numbers are telling us about the 2016 tourist season. He also talks about the potential threat the Zika virus poses to Florida tourism, and he discusses new grants that could benefit the Gulf of Mexico’s ecosystem.

 

The Memorial Day holiday signaled the beginning of the 2016 tourist season, and it looks like the area is off to a good start.

 

Photo courtesy of Escambia County Emergency Management

The 2016 Atlantic Hurricane is underway. The six month period officially runs from June 1 – November 30. Local and state governments have been working hard to prepare, just last month participating in the annual statewide hurricane season exercise involving response to the fictionalized Category-4 Hurricane Kimo.

Locally, Escambia County took part in the drill.  John Dosh is the county’s Emergency Management Director and he spoke with Sandra Averhart about the exercise, the county’s general readiness, and his message to residents as hurricane season begins.

  In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper talks about the changes in overtime pay rules, the latest unemployment numbers and the prospect of the Federal Reserve’s next interest rate increase.

New federal regulations have nearly doubled the the amount of overtime pay employees are eligible to receive. Harper said the rules are drastic, in part, because they are cumulative.

 

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses record numbers of visitors in the first quarter of 2016 and the direct effect on Florida’s tourism job numbers.

 

Florida’s tourism business is booming. A report released by the governor’s office this week said that 29.8 million visitors came to the state in the first quarter of 2016, an increase of 4.8 percent over the same period last year.

 

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the 10th anniversary of the reefing of the aircraft carrier USS Oriskany and its subsequent economic impact, as well as a rise in applications for unemployment benefits nationally. 

The USS Oriskany was sunk in May 2006, about 20 miles off the coast of Northwest Florida, creating the largest man-made artificial reef in the world.

Harper said the Oriskany has been “a great innovation for our coastal tourism economy and also a great opportunity for research.”

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses underperforming job numbers and where job growth is – and isn’t – in Northwest Florida.

The Automatic Data Processing Inc. Research Institute latest monthly report, released Wednesday, showed that while job creation was still occurring in April, it was at a slower pace than expected.

Pensacola Children's Chorus

The Pensacola Children’s Chorus presents its 26th annual production of "Showtime" this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Pensacola Saenger Theatre.

"Showtime 2016" will be the final show for Founding Artistic Directors Susan and Allen Pote, who are retiring.  But, in rehearsals this week they’re working to make this last show one of their best.

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