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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 In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses unemployment, job creation and the promise and limitations of the information technology sector to Northwest Florida’s economy. 

The Labor Department reported Thursday that weekly applications for unemployment benefits had dropped by 6,000, to a seasonally adjusted 275,000. That is a positive sign for the nation’s economy, Harper said. 

“Initial jobless claims look good,” he said. “We are at a four-week moving average that’s well below 300,000 now.” 

University of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the availability of $5 million in economic development incentives to companies relocating or expanding in Northwest Florida.

“This is part of the $30 million allocation that was appropriated by the legislature several years ago, for the purpose of implementing an economic development program for Northwest Florida,” said Harper that the dollars were initially intended to be used specifically to “close the deal,” with businesses interested in creating jobs in the region.


Efforts are underway in Escambia County to address what’s known as the "school-to-prison pipeline." The issue was the subject of a panel discussion on Monday, Aug. 31 at Franco’s Restaurant, 523 E. Gregory St., Pensacola.

University of West Florida



In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the latest report from the Commerce Department showing that the U.S. economy posted a much bigger rebound in growth during the spring than previously reported.

“It was actually good news,” said Harper, referring to the federal government’s revised estimate on the GDP growth for the second quarter of 2015.  

Kadisha Onalbayeva

Pensacola State College is opening its Lyceum season this weekend with a special Kamerman Piano Series concert. The concert will feature a performance by Steinway Artist Kadisha Onalbayeva at 2:30 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 30, in the Ashmore Auditorium, Building 8, on the Pensacola campus.

The presentation will honor the memory of Sid Kamerman, who was an award-winning sculptor. And, with his wife Jeannie at his side, he was a long-time supporter of the arts in Pensacola and along the Gulf Coast.

Timothy Jones

Veteran advocate Timothy Jones and documentary filmmaker Trent Soto arrived in Tallahassee Monday, completing a 200 mile walk from Pensacola. Their goal was to raise awareness of efforts to end Veteran homelessness.

Jones and Soto got their walk started last Friday morning.

“It’s a beautiful day,” Jones said, as he and Soto were shooting the breeze with those who gathered at the Target Shopping Center on Nine Mile Road to see them off.

On at least five occasions dating back to 1967, voters in Escambia County have rejected the idea of switching from an elected school superintendent to an appointed one. But, there’s now a renewed discussion about the topic in the run up to the 2016 General Election.

“I am just a concerned citizen with a tremendous passion for education,” said Pensacola businessman Robert de Varona, who’s behind the latest push to make the change to an appointed superintendent in the Escambia County School District.

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses Triumph Gulf Coast Inc., which will be holding its inaugural meeting Tuesday, Aug. 18 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort at 9300 Emerald Coast Parkway West in Destin.

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses new reports on personal income growth and job growth.

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, personal income increased $68.1 billion in June.

“It was actually stronger than expected,” Harper said. “It was up four-tenths of a percent in June, and the forecast had called for it to be less than that. So, (it’s) good news overall.”

24th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs Office

Two Special Tactics Airmen have died from injuries sustained in an accident on Eglin Range during military freefall training, Monday, Aug. 3, 2015.

Both Airmen, from the Air Force Special Operations Command at Hurlburt Field, were initially injured in the same accident and were rushed to local hospitals where they later died.

One year ago, in June of 2014, First Lady Michelle Obama announced the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness in 2015. The Housing and Urban Development (HUD) initiative was introduced in Okaloosa County this spring. It’ll be coming to the Pensacola area this Friday.

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the latest GDP figures, initial jobless claims for June, and pending home sales.

The Commerce Department says the gross domestic product, the economy's total output of goods and services, expanded at a 2.3 percent annual rate in the second quarter, led by a surge in consumer spending and a recovery in foreign trade.

Efforts are underway to preserve the old Ella Jordan Home in Pensacola. A public awareness and fund-raising event will be held this Saturday, Aug. 1, at the site of the house near downtown.

Organizers of the project say the home is a cornerstone of the city’s African-American history.

“We want to tie the community to the house and let them that this is a very important part of history that should be saved,” said Georgia Blackmon.

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the latest retail sales report, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s testimony this before Congress, and plans for a new University of West Florida Center for Entrepreneurship.

Sandra Averhart

Renowned southern writer Harper Lee is being celebrated this week, with the release of her new book Go Set a Watchman. Barnes & Noble stores in Pensacola and Fort Walton Beach got things going on Monday - the eve of today’s release - with Read-A-Thons featuring Lee’s classic novel To Kill A Mockingbird.