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.

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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.

via Sam Kessler

Bubba Watson won the 2014 Masters Golf Championship Sunday; his second win at August National in three years. Watson’s first Masters’ win in 2012 was also the first win of a major tournament on the PGA Tour.

He’s now just the seventeenth golfer to win the Masters - and its iconic green jacket - more than once.  Also, he’s just the fourth player in history to earn victories at the tournament in their first six or fewer appearances.

Office of Don Gaetz

The Florida Legislature is taking a break this week in observance of the Passover and Easter holidays. But, Senate President Don Gaetz plans to remain in Tallahassee and work through the holiday week. In WUWF’s weekly update, Gaetz (R-Niceville) outlines the Senate’s approval of two education bills, extension of the historic ethics reform legislation that was passed last year, and the status of gaming legislation.

Uiniversity of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the latest report from the U.S. Labor Department regarding the number of Americans filing for first-time jobless claims. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 32,000 to a seasonally adjusted 300,000 for last week. That was the largest decline since December 2012, and marked the lowest level since May 2007.

Office of Don Gaetz

State lawmakers are beginning their sixth week of work during the 2014 Florida Legislative Session. During the session, WUWF is checking in with Senate President Don Gaetz (R-Niceville).

University of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper reflects on the latest comments by Janet Yellen, Chair of the Federal Reserve.  Yellen says there’s still a need to boost the nation’s job market, with a continuation of low interest rates until it improves.

Festival on the Green

Office of Don Gaetz

Governor Rick Scott signed the Florida GI Bill into law during a ceremony this Monday (March 31) morning in Panama City. Florida Senate President and House Speaker Will Weatherford were on hand for the bill signing, which kicked off week five of the 2014 legislative session.

President Gaetz and Speaker Weatherford put the Florida GI Bill atop their “Work Plan Florida 2014” legislative priority list and ensured that it passed on the House of Representatives on the first day of the session and by the Senate soon after.

Uiniversity of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper looks at the latest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures. According to revised data released Thursday (March 27) by the Commerce Department, GDP grew at an annual pace of 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013. The growth rate is slightly better than the 2.4% estimate published in February, but was down from 3.2% originally reported in January. Harper says “Overall, it’s a pretty good report,” noting increases in 1) consumer spending, 2) business investment spending, and 3) exports.

Office of Don Gaetz

The Florida Legislature is entering the fourth week of the 2014 legislative session and will reach the half-way point on Wednesday, March 26. During the session, WUWF is checking in with Senate President Don Gaetz (R-Niceville).

Before exploring what’s ahead, Sen. Gaetz reflects on third week highlights, which includes the Florida Senate’s budget proposal for Fiscal year 2014-2015.

University of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses U.S. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen’s first press conference on Capitol Hill. “It’s steady as she goes for Janet Yellen,” says Harper. He says it wasn’t notable for any change in policy, but for the same rookie error made by her predecessors Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke. “She made the mistake of being too direct in a response to a reporter’s question, and that sent the financial markets into a bit of a tizzy.”  

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