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

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season is now officially underway. The six-month season runs from June 1 to November 30.

This year, emergency managers across Florida didn’t have to wait until June to deal with a tropical event as Subtropical Storm Alberto showered much of the state with rain as it tracked toward the Pensacola area for several days before drifting eastward and making a Monday landfall in Panama City.

Santa Rosa Island Authority

Three weeks into the 2018 season, the first sea turtle nests soon will begin to appear on area beaches.

Locally, Gulf Islands National Seashore is responsible for protecting and managing nests within the seashore and on Pensacola Beach. This year, GINS is implementing new sea turtle nesting protocols that limit human interaction.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

Second grade students from four Escambia County elementary schools were invited to the University of West Florida Aquatic Center recently to get a lesson in basic water safety skills.

What they learned could potentially save their life or someone else’s.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

The EscaRosa Coalition on the Homeless is no more. The agency has gotten a makeover, with a new name and a slightly new mission.

It’s now called Opening Doors Northwest Florida.

“The new name embodies being more open, not only for those that are homeless, making access to our organization more readily accessible,” said John Johnson, executive director. It also represents a focus on doing a better job serving the agency’s entire coverage area in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.

Larry Amado Photography / Latino Media Gulf Coast, Inc.

Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday that is observed annually across the U.S.  Locally, there are a number of events to mark the occasion, including Cinco de Mayo Festivals this weekend in Pensacola and Destin.

The festivals are being organized by Grace Resendez McCaffery, publisher of La Costa Latina Newspaper and founder of the Hispanic Resource Center.  In Pensacola, it’s McCaffery’s third such event for Cinco de Mayo, and it’s filling a gap locally in terms of a true celebration of Mexican heritage and culture.

Office of U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz

Northwest Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz led a bipartisan group of lawmakers at a press conference on Capitol Hill (Thursday) to unveil the Medical Cannabis Research Act of 2018.

Rep. Gaetz spent months working on the bill, getting feedback from local constituents and trying to come up with the right combination of provisions that his House colleagues could get behind.

“Today, 25 members of Congress have joined in filing the Medical Cannabis Research Act,” Gaetz said. “This is the cannabis reform legislation that has the greatest chance to pass this Congress.”

Gallery Night

Earth Day is being observed this weekend. Pensacola’s annual Earth Day Celebration is set for tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Bayview Park.  And,  this month’s Gallery Night event will feature an Earth Day theme.

"You know what we decided to do with Gallery Night is to spend each month 'theming' it, and this was just perfect with Gallery Night being one day from Earth Day," said Pensacola businessman Joe Abston, who's a volunteer member of the Gallery Night board.

Sandy Hollow Productions

The group Race and Reconciliation will continue its ongoing discussion of racial tensions in Pensacola this Thursday evening at the J. Earle Bowden Building, downtown.

The organization is now putting the spotlight on the history of racial violence in the community.

alz.org / Alzheimer's Association

A distinguished group of researchers wants to redefine Alzheimer’s disease by focusing on biomarkers instead of symptoms, such as memory loss.

Tobacco Free Florida

Tobacco Free Florida Week is taking place through this Sunday, April 8.

The 2018 observance marks the tenth anniversary of the Florida Department of Health’s Tobacco Free Florida Week.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

Humanitarian and activist Dr. Feride Rushiti from Kosovo is visiting Pensacola this week, hosted by the Gulf Coast Citizen Diplomacy Council.

Dr. Rushiti is one of ten women to receive the U.S. State Department’s International Women of Courage Award.

In Washington D.C. Friday, First Lady Melania Trump delivered special remarks at a ceremony in their honor.

Courtesty of University of West Florida

The University of West Florida is adding to its history as a military-friendly school by establishing the formation of a new Office of Military Engagement.

Additionally, retired Navy Capt. Chris Middleton has been tapped to serve as military liaison to the university president.

Danielle Laatsch

More than 500,000 teens and adults are expected to rally in Washington, DC, this weekend at the March for Our Lives, a national protest against gun violence.

A Pensacola woman is among the multitudes planning to attend.

Danielle Laatsch is a military spouse, who is well-traveled and previously lived and worked in the Washington D. C. area.

University of West Florida

Walker Wiggle will make his debut at this weekend’s Ciclovia event in downtown Pensacola.

Walker the dog is the main character of the new children’s book promoting physical activity among pre-school children. The title is Walker Finds His Wiggle.

“My name is Walker Wiggle and I live next to this park,” the story begins. “I’ve learned a way to meet new friends, just wag my tail and bark.”

A recent study shows that childhood obesity continues to increase across the country. With few exceptions, the rate of obesity among children is also on the rise at the state and local level.

The national study shows 35.1 percent of children in the U.S. were overweight in 2016. That’s a 4.7 percent increase compared to 2014. Overall, the statistics reflect continuation of a three decades rise in obesity among youth from age 2 to 19.

Locally, there’s reason for optimism if you consider the obesity rate among children in the 2-5 year age range.

National Institute of Health

The University of West Florida is now conducting its first-ever clinical trial as part of a nationwide research study on Alzheimer’s disease.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

The inaugural Gulf Coast Science Festival, presented by the Pensacola MESS Hall, is now underway.

The nine-day event provides a fun way to share science and technology with the community, while also highlighting some of the real-world science that’s taking place locally.

On any given day, you’ll find kids from across the region having fun with science-related activities at the MESS Hall. MESS is an acronym for Mathematics, Engineering, Science and Stuff.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

One of the worst chapters in the history of The University of West Florida closed last week with the execution of Eric Branch for the 1993 murder of student Susan Morris.

In the years since, active shooter incidents since have forced changes in university safety practices, but it was Morris’ death that triggered the first major reform of campus security.

At the time, some 25 years ago, UWF was still early in its development, with about 6,700 degree-seeking students and lots of green space.

Office of U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz

As a member of the Florida legislature, Matt Gaetz was instrumental in the legalization of medical marijuana in the state.

Now, Congressman Gaetz is leading the charge for federal reform, trying to come up with legislation that his constituents and colleagues can support.

Pages