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

Florida Governor's Mansion

Flags  are at half-staff at all local and state buildings are flying at half-staff to mark the passing of former Florida Governor Reubin O’Donovan Askew.  He died early this Thursday morning, March 13, at the age of 85. Last Saturday, Askew had been admitted to Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare to be treated for aspiration pneumonia. His condition worsened when he also suffered a stroke.

Governor Askew was the 37th Governor of Florida, and the first Governor to be elected to a second, successive four-year term in Florida history.

Office of Don Gaetz

During Florida’s 2014 Legislative Session, WUWF Public Media will provide highlights of action in the House and Senate.  Each week, we’ll conduct weekly interviews with Florida Senate President Don Gaetz (R-Niceville).

University of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses Florida Governor Rick Scott’s proposed 2014-2015 budget, as this year’s Legislative Session gets underway. Gov. Scott is proposing a spending plan of $74.2 billion.

Florida Senate

Florida Governor Rick Scott delivers his annual State of the State address Tuesday, March 4, signaling the start of the 2014 Legislative Session. His speech will start at 10 a.m. Central Time.  Again this year, Senate President Don Gaetz and House Speaker Will Weatherford have joined together on a priority agenda. “These are issues that rise above politics and we think they can get done. They must get done.  We will get them done,” says Gaetz, a Republican from Niceville.

Florida Public Archaeology Network

The Florida Public Archaeology Network (FPAN) has scheduled a full slate of events in March in observance of Archaeology Month 2014 in Florida.  During the month, FPAN joins with the Florida Division of Historical Resources, Florida Archaeological Council and Florida Anthropological Society to present a number of programs for the public.

University of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the proposed cuts to the U.S. Department of Defense announced by Sec. of Defense Chuck Hagel. The plan asks for $522 billion. Harper says, “If you look over time the draw down is substantial and a lot of it falls on the Army. We’re looking at moving from an Army of 520,000 troops down to one of about 450,000 troops.” That would take American military forces to the lowest level since before World War II.

Carl Brashear Foundation

“Overcoming Adversity” is the topic of a lecture and program this Wednesday, February 26 at the University of West Florida Conference Center. The featured speaker is Philip Brashear, son of the late Master Chief and Master Diver Carl Brashear who was the first African-American and amputee to become a U.S. Navy diver.

WUWF

Ladysmith Black Mambazo has been singing together for 50 years. The group was first brought together in 1964 and they are returning to Northwest Florida, following a performance in Pensacola in 2006. You can hear them again  on March 21 at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center.

Albert Mazibuko is a co-founder and one of the last original members of the group. Sandra Averhart spoke with Mazibuko last week.

Interview Highlights

On being back in America:

University of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the economics of the inaugural Pensacon convention. Organizers projected between 5,000 and 10,000 people would attend the event, which quickly filled the Crown Plaza Hotel and Pensacola Bay Center.  “It is big, and it’s rare that in February you have a downtown hotel reporting that it’s fully booked,” Harper says.

To further make the point on the significance of the event during the “winter visitation trough,” he says that there are just a few big weekends during the height of the tourist season that beach hotels fill up.

Hopjacks

The excitement is building for the first-ever Pensacon convention. The event will be centered in the Pensacola Bay Center and Crown Plaza Grand Hotel. But, the festivities will be taking place throughout Downtown Pensacola. This month’s Gallery Night is sponsored by Pensacon, and there will be a host of themed parties at downtown establishments.

John Blackie / UWF

Update: 

NBA legend Earvin "Magic" Johnson spoke to several thousand people Monday afternoon at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium at Community Maritime Park.  Those attending the free event included children, community and business leaders.

Johnson began his address by applauding Art Rocker and the work of his advocacy organization "Operation People for Peace" in addressing the needs of underserved and underrepresented communities and urging individuals to join in the effort. 

Santa Rosa County Board of Commissioners

Santa Rosa County Commissioners are now looking ahead and what’s next, following their selection Thursday of a site on U.S. Highway 90 for a new $35 million courthouse.

The board started out with six potential sites, but in recent weeks had cut the list down to two choices; the parcel on U.S. Highway 90 owned by Coldwell Banker and the JDL of Santa Rosa property on Avalon Boulevard.

University of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses a rise in initial jobless claims.  The U.S. Labor Department says the number of people seeking unemployment benefits rose 8,000 last week to 339,000.

IMPACT 100 Pensacola Bay Area

IMPACT 100 Pensacola Bay Area, a local women’s philanthropy group, is making a final push for its annual membership drive for 2014. The organization has set a goal of reaching the 1,000-member milestone this year. That would allow them to give away $1 million to non-profits in the community. Such an accomplishment would be a great way to mark the local chapter’s tenth year of giving.

University of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the proposal by the U.S. Air Force to reduce its active-duty force by 22,500 or 7 percent in 2014. The more aggressive one-year reduction plan compares to previously announced plans to reduce the force by about 25,000 over five years.

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