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 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.

Michael Spooneybarger/ CREO

The highlight of the legislative session for Northwest Florida was agreement on a plan for distributing oil-spill settlement funds by Triumph Gulf Coast to the eight most affected counties. Phyllis Pooley, director of special projects with the University of West Florida’s Office of Economic Development and Engagement, has been reviewing the list of requirements for proposed projects and how they’ll be applied. She discussed them with WUWF’s Sandra Averhart.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

The Pensacola-Tallahassee Catholic Diocese is getting a new Bishop. Pope Francis has appointed Bishop-elect William Wack to the position.

Bishop-elect Wack comes to the local diocese from Austin, TX, where he has been pastor of St. Ignatius Martyr Parish for the last eight years. He replaces Bishop Gregory Parkes, who was installed as Bishop of St. Petersburg in January of this year. 

Before a room of diocese administrators gathered at the Pastoral Center in Pensacola, Msgr. James Flaherty shared the news.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

Memorial Day Observance Features Newest Names On Wall South Vietnam War Memorial

Pensacola’s annual Memorial Day observance was held Sunday at Veterans Memorial Park in downtown. The ceremony featured a keynote speech by a former Blue Angels pilot and was highlighted by the unveiling of the newest names to be added to the Wall South Vietnam War Memorial.

UWF Athletic Communications

Update Monday, May 29:

UWF SOFTBALL:

Since this story was first reported, the No. 10 University of West Florida softball team ended its season on Saturday afternoon with a 1-0 loss to West Virginia Wesleyan in the NCAA Championships in Salem.

The Argonauts’ ended their season with a record of 46-15, giving the program its most wins and highest winning percentage (.754) since 2005, and UWF’s 88 wins over the last two years are the most in a two-year span since 2005-06.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

Opponents of offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico are mobilizing to fight the most recent threat. In Northwest Florida, it’s about protecting military training in the Gulf and preventing future disasters like the like the one caused the 2010 BP/Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

Standing at the water’s edge, with arms raised, about three dozen people take part in the culmination of the annual ‘Hands Across the Sand’ event Saturday on Pensacola Beach.

“I’ve been doing this drilling issue ever since the BP Oil Spill,” said Monie Russo. “I’ve been out here religiously.”

Florida lawmakers wrapped up the 2017 legislative session last week, three days behind schedule. This week, WUWF caught up with some legislators from Northwest Florida to get their impressions, as they wait to see what the governor will do and if they’ll be called back for a special session to deal with medical marijuana regulations.

Courtesy of Tobacco Free Florida

As part of Tobacco Free Florida Week, the Florida Department of Health is encouraging residents to ‘kick the habit’ by focusing on the ‘cost of smoking,’ both physically and financially, to help make their point, the Health Department’s Tobacco Free Florida education and prevention program is out with a public service announcement that invites viewers to “step into The Smoker’s Store,” where one can see the true cost of smoking.

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