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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PPD Promotions
3:37 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Alexander Becomes Assistant Pensacola Police Chief

Alcuin Alexander (wife) pins on the new badge. They have been married 29 years.

The Pensacola Police Department has a new second-in-command.  David Alexander, III was promoted from captain to Assistant Chief, becoming the first African-American to be named to the post, since it was created in 1994.

Family and friends filled a large room at police headquarters on Thursday for a ‘badge pinning ceremony’ in honor of new Assistant Chief Alexander, and also to acknowledge Tommi Lyter’s advancement from Lieutenant to Captain.

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Economic Report
2:34 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Harper: August Job Growth Down; Still Decent Summer

Dr. Rick Harper
Credit University of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses job growth for the month of August.

This week, just days before the official U.S. Labor Department report, the payroll processing firm ADP (Automated Data Processing) released a report projecting that some 200, 000 new jobs were added in August.

“That’s a little bit lower than the consensus forecast by economists who track the job market,” says Harper.

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Economic Report
12:10 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Harper: Jobless Claims Down; Economy Relatively Healthy

Dr. Rick Harper
Credit University of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper, assistant vice president of economic development at the University of West Florida, discusses the latest jobless claims report.

The U.S. Department of Labor report for the week ended Aug. 23 showed that the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell for a second straight week last week to 298,000, with a four-week average at 299,750.

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Race Relations After Ferguson
8:28 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Pensacola Events Designed To Promote Racial Unity

Sandra Averhart

In the wake of the recent happenings in Ferguson, Missouri, St. John Divine Missionary Baptist Church and the Pensacola Branch of the NAACP is hosting  two events this week titled “A Time for Unity in Black and White” to promote racial unity.

“I think it’s an opportunity to share in a safe place” says Pensacola Unity Ambassador Dr. Eurydice Stanley. She’s been helping to organize the ‘community conversations,’ the first of which was scheduled for this Monday evening, just hours after the funeral of  unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, who was fatally shot by a police officer in Ferguson two weeks ago.

It’s a very somber time, a very critical time for all of us to think about what it is that we believe, what it is that we feel and how are we going to stand up for one another,” she says.

Also notable about the community conversations, “A Time for Unity in Black and White,” is that the guest speaker will be Deborah Watts, Founder of the Emmett Till Legacy Foundation and Till family member. Additionally, the local unity events are just days before the 59th anniversary of Till’s lynching, on August 28, 1955, reportedly for flirting with a white woman.

Till, who was 14 years old and visiting family in Mississippi at the time, was taken from his family’s home and brutalized to the point where his mother could only identify his body by the ring he had on. For his funeral, Mamie Till made the decision to keep the casket open, because she wanted to the world to see what happened to him.

“The lynching is not the physical lynching that it was before,” says John Veasley, President of the Pensacola Branch of the NAACP, which is co-presenting the events.  He adds there is still much work to do on the issue of race in America. “We want to make people aware that racial equality is not here. We are not a post-racial society, even though President Obama has been office for about six years," Veasley says.

And, Veasley adds that Pensacola is all too familiar with the controversy over law enforcement’s use of force within the African American community, noting the case of Roy Middleton, who was shot by Escambia County Sheriff’s deputies at  his Pensacola area home one year ago. The officers fired over a dozen shots and struck Middleton twice.

“That was a very unfortunate incident and somehow the grand jury said that was okay, that law enforcement had responded appropriately. We don’t think so,” he said.

Veasley says this week’s unity events provide a good opportunity for people in the community to voice their concerns and hear how law enforcement works, and civil rights works.  The first “A Time for Unity in Black and White” event on this Monday evening is focused specifically on youth, from age 5 to 18.

A separate event geared for adults will be offered Wednesday. Both events will be held at 6 p.m. at St. John Divine Missionary Baptist Church on 620 E. Jordan Street. Both nights will feature a viewing of the documentary, “Who Killed Emmett Till?”

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Economic Report
12:16 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Harper Excited About New Role With Studer Institute

Dr. Rick Harper
Credit University of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper, assistant vice president of economic development at the University of West Florida, discusses the announcement this week regarding his new position with the Studer Institute.

A partnership with UWF will allow Harper to become Director of the Institute.

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Cole vs. Melvin
10:03 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Incumbents Faceoff For Santa Rosa Commission District 2

Santa Rosa District 2 Commissioner Bob Cole and Santa Rosa District 4 Commissioner Jim Melvin.
Credit Santa Rosa County

In Santa Rosa, the August 26 Republican Primary features two races for county commissioner. Due to redistricting, the District 4 race is wide open, with six political newcomers seeking the seat and the current office-holder running in District 2.  

That means the District 2 race has been left with the unusual circumstance of having two sitting commissioners running against each other.

Bob Cole is the District 2 incumbent. The owner of an auto repair shop for nearly three decades, Cole has held the office for 12 years and is seeking his 4th term.          

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Heritage Tourism
1:40 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

State Promotes Florida Panhandle Shipwreck Trail

Florida Panhandle Shipwreck Trail Map
Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research

Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner was in Pensacola this week to kick off a “Beyond the Beaches” promotional campaign highlighting the Florida Panhandle Shipwreck Trail.

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Economic Report
8:07 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Harper Expects Good Economic Outlook For Florida

Dr. Rick Harper
Credit University of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the meeting of state economists this week in Tallahassee. Florida has an office of Economic and Demographic Research (EDR) that reports on the economy to the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House.

“EDR every year has to produce the state economic outlook.  And, one of the most important reasons to do that is because the governor as we head into autumn is going to be evaluating various proposals for state programs or tax relief and has to know the health of the economy,” says Harper.

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Operation Photo Rescue
12:50 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

Volunteer Photo Restoration Possible After Flooding

Credit Operation Photo Rescue

Operation Photo Rescue is saving memories, one disaster at a time. And, the organization is now considering whether to come to the Pensacola area in the wake of the extensive damage from the local flooding event in April.

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Sports
11:27 am
Mon August 4, 2014

Derrick Brooks Enshrined In Pro Football Hall Of Fame

Derrick Brooks unveils his own bust for the NFL Hall Of Fame
Credit ESPN: http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=11300540&categoryid=2378529

Pensacola native Derrick Brooks was one of seven NFL greats in the Class of 2014 to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame Saturday in Canton, Ohio.

Brooks is currently a co-owner for the Tampa Bay Storm of the Arena Football League.

Brooks’ journey to the NFL began as a youngster in Pensacola, Florida. He was a standout defensive player at Washington High School and helped Florida State University win the 1993 National Championship.

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