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 community action group Movement for Change has been a fixture in Pensacola since the 1990's; officially established in 1997. Led by activist Leroy Boyd, who died in 2010, their original mission was the renaming of Pensacola’s Alcaniz Street in honor of slain civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Over the years, members of the organization have tackled numerous social justice issues, ranging from disparities in education, law enforcement, and the voting process.

Warren Jerrems

More than 200 youth volunteers from churches in nine states around the country are in the local community this week, participating in the inaugural Pensacola Workcamp.  The project is providing free critical home upgrades for over 30 local elderly, handicapped, and lower-income residents.

University of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the factors behind Florida’s inclusion on a list “The Biggest Losers: The 5 Worst State Economies,” as reported by CNN Money.

Each of the states is listed in part due to the decrease in their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) between 2007 and 2013.

Nevada topped the list, with a 10% drop in GDP. Florida followed with a GDP of -7%.  Also in the top five are Connecticut, Arizona and Michigan.

Gulf Coast Veterans Healthcare System

Earlier this week, when the Veterans Affairs released the results of a nationwide audit of VA healthcare facilities, two local clinics in the Gulf Coast Veterans Healthcare system were on a list of 112 that had been flagged for further investigation. Since Monday, a lot has been done to deal with the VA health care system to deal with issues such as the back log of veterans waiting to be seen and problems of questionable practices that have been uncovered.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

About 180 area residents, concerned about the possibility of increased military training in the Blackwater River State Forest, filled the Bagdad Recreational Facility in Santa Rosa County Thursday night for the final public hearing on the Air Force plan.

University of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses more signs of a strengthening economy on a national level.

Florida Forest Service

The Air Force is holding a series of public hearings this week to provide information and receive public comment regarding plans for additional military training in the Blackwater River and Tate’s Hell State Forests in Northwest Florida. The final hearing will be held this Thursday evening (June 6) at the Santa Rosa County Recreational Facility in Bagdad. 

Let’s review. The Air Force held so-called “scoping” meetings in August of last year, followed by town hall meetings in Milton and Apalachicola in December of 2013.

UWF

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses a report that shows the nation’s economy shrank in the first quarter of 2014, the first downturn since early 2011.

The government initially said first quarter GDP grew at a 0.1% annual rate. That figure was revised downward to -0.1%.

Belle is a 2013 British drama now playing at select theaters across the country; it opened in Pensacola over the Memorial Day holiday weekend and is now back at the Gulf Breeze Cinema. And, it’s a film that Pensacola area residents may want to see because of its local connections.

The film is of note because of its connections to the city of Pensacola.  

UWF

This weekend is Memorial Day Weekend which we traditionally think of as the kickoff to the summer tourist season so we checked in with Dr. Rick Harper about how the season is looking.

UWF

In this week's Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses more of the economic fall out from the April 30 storm and flooding. The destruction of such natural disasters typically generates spending that is funded primarily through insurance claims, individual savings, and FEMA assistance. Earlier this week, President Obama signed a Disaster Declaration for Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, clearing the way for federal aid.

Marine Corps Band

The Marine Corps Band New Orleans is visiting Fort Walton Beach High School this Friday, May 9. The band will be performing a free concert at the school at 7 p.m. Also, during the visit, the musicians will share their expertise with the members of the school's band program.

There are only ten Marine Corps bands world-wide, including Japan, Hawaii, and eight across the continental U.S. One of them is located in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission// Lt. Brian Lambert

Santa Rosa County

Damage assessments from last week’s storms continue to roll in. Looking at private property, Escambia is now reporting more than 3,200 homes damaged, with 13 destroyed; 117 businesses were damaged. Okaloosa is reporting a $3.3 million in damage to at least 285 homes. For more on Santa Rosa County, WUWF’s Sandra Averhart spoke to Property Appraiser Greg Brown.

Office of Don Gaetz

The 2014 Florida Legislative Session came to a close late Friday, with lawmakers’ passage of a balanced budget totaling $77.1 billion.

Gaetsz' thoughts on the budget:

University of West Florida

In this week's Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the recent flood event and the expected high cost of repairing the damage to roads, infrastructure and other government and private property, likely in the hundreds of millions of dollars in each case.

The unexpectedly large volume of rainfall, up to 27 inches in some areas, brought floodwaters to some areas that had never flooded before. That means many homeowners will be forced to foot the bill for repairs themselves. 

Residents Clean Up After Flood

May 2, 2014
Joshua Condon

After Tuesday night’s deluge, local government officials, business owners, and residents across the region had little rain to deal with as they began to pick up the pieces from this week’s floods.

As much as 27 inches were recorded in some areas over a 30 hour period.

The floodwaters left some residents stranded. While many were pulled to safety on Wednesday, with equipment and assistance from the state, a final round of checks was underway on Thursday.

Daniel Hahn, Emergency Management Plans Chief for Santa Rosa County.

Copyright 2017 WUWF-FM. To see more, visit WUWF-FM.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Jonathan Thompson

Update 4/30/14 4:20 p.m.

Public schools in Escambia, Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa Counties will remain closed on Thursday, May 1. School officials say more time is needed to evaluate flood damage to some schools and the condition of roads and bridges to ensure safe transport of students.

The University of West Florida will open on Thursday.  A revised final exam schedule and additional details are available at uwf.im/weather2014.  The John C. Pace Library reopens today at 6 p.m. for students' use.

Uiniversity of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the work to be done to come up with a budget agreement during the final week of the 2014 Florida Legislative Session.

Unlike the federal government, the state must have a balanced budget. According to Harper, one indicator of a healthier state economy since the Recession is that Florida no longer has to dip into its reserves to pay the state’s debt service. “We’re now back down to the level where the state is actively contributing to reserves,” he says.

Brian Spencer

It was one year ago that two pressure cooker bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring more than 260 others. This week, the city of Boston is marking the one-year anniversary of the April 15, 2013 bombing and preparing for this year’s race.

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