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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Sandra Averhart

Santa Rosa County voters are being asked again to approve a sales tax to fund construction of a new judicial center. The referendum will appear on the August 30 Primary Election ballot. It has been the subject of continued debate among current Santa Rosa Commissioners and is one of the issues facing the candidates seeking election to the board. 

U.S. Navy Blue Angels

Navy Commander Frank Weisser has been tapped to return to the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, to serve as their new Blue Angel #6 Opposing Solo pilot for the remainder of the 2016 and 2017 seasons.

Weisser previously served with the Blue Angels from 2008 to 2010 and performed duties including Narrator, Key Influencer and VIP Pilot, Opposing Solo and Lead Solo.

He replaces Captain Jeff Kuss, who passed away June 2nd during practice for an airshow in Smyrna, Tennessee.

 

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the aftermath of the Brexit vote and the first-quarter revision of the GDP. Also, Northwest Florida’s economy is booming with Fourth of July on the horizon.

If you’re in the UK, the economic temperature is cooling, Harper said.

Bay County

When the dust settled after qualifying closed on Friday, June 24, a number of candidates won their races unopposed. Leading the way is Republican Bay County Commissioner George Gainer, who’s now set to take over the new State Senate District 2 seat.

With incumbent Don Gaetz unable to seek reelection due to term limits, the stage was set for a battle over the newly reapportioned District 2 seat between Gainer and Gaetz’ son, Matt Gaetz.

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.

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