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

In this week’s economic report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the Federal Reserve holding fast on interest rates, how the Consumer Price Index is standing, an increase in housing starts and what the renewal of the Economic Development Ad Valorem Tax Exemption means for our community.

The Federal Reserve held interest rates recently and Harper expects this to be the pattern for the rest of this year.

350 Pensacola

Members of the environmental activism group 350 Pensacola are planning to travel to New Orleans on Wednesday. The trip will coincide with the federal sale of leases to more than 42 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico for new oil and gas development.

“This Wednesday, March 23 is certainly one of the most important days ever in the modern history of the Gulf of Mexico,” said Christian Wagley, program chairperson for 350 Pensacola.

In this week’s economic report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses what local projects were vetoed by the Governor in Florida’s budget and what improvements could mean for the Port of Pensacola.

The largest state budget in Florida’s history – over $82.3 billion – has been signed by Gov. Rick Scott, but only after a veto of $256 million dollars of state projects.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

The last round of voting in Florida’s Presidential Preference Primary is set for this Tuesday, Mar. 15.  Early Voting in the state ended over the weekend. But, before it wrapped up, WUWF News caught up with a sampling of voters in Santa Rosa County. 

“I voted for Donald Trump,” said Pea Ridge resident Daniel Womack, who voted early at the Santa Supervisor of Elections Office on Saturday. He says ‘beyond all the rhetoric and antics’ he thinks Trump’s message reflects what a lot of Americans are feeling.

In this week’s economic report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses what’s is (and isn’t) in Florida’s 2016-17 budget. He also discusses the continued development of downtown Pensacola.

As the legislative session winds down for this year, lawmakers will be voting on proposed $82.3 billion state budget. How does this budget reflect the state of Florida’s economy?

WUWF Public Media

In this week’s economic report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses unexpected national job growth, movement toward building in the downtown technology park and the fight in the Legislature over BP oil spill recovery settlement funds.

The ADP Research Institute issued its monthly National Employment Report this week and noted that businesses added more jobs than expected last month.

“The ADP report came in surprisingly strong,” Harper said. “The consensus forecast had been for 190,000 net new jobs reported by ADP, but it actually came in at 214,000, about 10 percent above.”

Florida Public Archaeology Network

It's Florida Archaeology Month. The designation is celebrated every March with a series of statewide programs and events designed to encourage Floridians and visitors to learn more about - and to preserve - Florida's archaeology, history and rich cultural heritage. 

The Florida Public Archaeology Network (FPAN), based in Pensacola, has joined with the Florida Anthropological Society to develop and promote the events.

In this week’s economic report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the effect two recent devastating tornadoes in Escambia County could have on the local economy and rental housing market.

A tornado cut a swath of damage through the town of Century last week. Then on Tuesday night, another tornado plowed through Pensacola. That later storm destroyed a number of dwellings, including three buildings containing 24 units at the Moorings Apartment complex on Old Spanish Trail.

Sandra Averhart

One week after a tornado plowed through the town of Century, severe storms Tuesday night brought another devastating tornado to Escambia County. This time a number of Pensacola area residents are glad to be alive as they begin the recovery process.

The twister ripped a path about two miles long, from Northpointe Blvd over to the Grand Baroque town homes along Escambia Bay on Scenic Highway. Here the sounds of generators are humming throughout the neighborhood, as residents begin to pick up the pieces.

WUWF Public Media


In this week’s edition of the Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the financial boon this weekend’s Pensacon event should bring to the area, a reduction in jobless claims nationally, and whether recent actions from OPEC could affect gas prices. 

The three-day Pensacon event, which kicks off Friday, is expected to draw thousands of visitors to the downtown area. Harper said Pensacon comes “just at the right time” for area hotels, restaurants and shops. 

WUWF Public Media


In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses testimony by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on the state of the economy before the House of Representatives, the African-American job gap and how job growth has slowed locally.


Not surprisingly, Yellen, who spoke on Feb. 10, had to answer partisan economic questions from both sides of the aisle in this election year, according to Harper.


WUWF Public Media


In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses a recent column by Haas Center Director Zach Jenkins, which looks at affordable housing for low-income families and what factors are affecting the rise in the cost of renting versus buying.


Harper said the issue is something the Haas Center has been following for quite some time and that Jenkins’ piece focuses on families who rent – and the findings are discouraging.


Michael Spooneybarger/ CREO

Illustrations play a major part in the appeal of books to children to whom adults read aloud. The visual elements of picture books strike chords when they complement the text, reveal nuances of the story and reflect the world in which youngsters actually live.

For diverse scenarios, consider two new titles, “Happy in Our Skin” and “Last Stop on Market Street.”  Reading them is a personal way to celebrate Black History Month, but a good book is a good book every day of the year.

WUWF Public Media

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper talks about the recession fears in the U.S., the volatility of world markets and a rise in the housing market.

The Federal Reserve’s acknowledgement of an economic downturn in financial markets at the end of 2015, despite a recovering jobs market is a concern for many, but there’s no reason to worry yet, according to Harper.