Bob Barrett

Producer/Host

Bob Barrett has been a radio broadcaster since the mid 1970s and has worked at stations from northern New York to south Florida and, oddly, has been able to make a living that way. He began work in public radio in 2001. Over the years he has produced nationally syndicated programs such as The Environment Show and The Health Show for Northeast Public Radio's National Productions.

As well as reporting news and hosting afternoons for WUWF, Bob is the producer and host of The Best Of Our Knowledge, a syndicated program about education ... and produces podcasts for the medical journal Clinical Chemistry and the Journal of Applied Laboratory Medicine. He lives in Gulf Breeze with his family and is continuing his quest to find an edible bagel south of the Mason/Dixon Line.

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Republican voters in Florida House District 2 will choose between the incumbent representative and a two-time congressional candidate in the primary election on August 18.  Today we look at the incumbent, Alex Andrade.

Since being elected to represent Florida’s second district two years ago, Alex Andrade says he is often asked what surprised him about the job. “If I didn’t know what the job entailed. I wouldn’t have run in the first place. So there weren’t too many surprises as far as the job itself.”

University of West Florida

Researchers locally and around the country have begun what will likely be years of studies on the spread of the coronavirus. “We have two projects currently going on which will probably take another three years to complete,” said Dr. Ashok Srinivasan, the William Nystul Eminent Scholar Chair and Professor of Computer Science at the University of West Florida.

U.S. Department of Education

A new study from the Harvard University School of Education reports teachers in Florida who are hired during an economic slowdown become better teachers.

Courtesy photo

One of the panhandle’s largest employers is adapting to life with COVID-19. 

“I think going into 2020 all of us have seen our plans upended. To a certain extent we are all adjusting to a new normal.” said Bill Pearson, the Manager of Public Affairs at Navy Federal Credit Union.

Pearson says that once the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic became obvious, 85% of Navy Federal's workforce transitioned to working remotely.

Jeff Gage/Florida Museum

Two local science teachers are among a few dozen chosen for a new program to bring a scientist to every school in the state. 

“The program started as part of the University of Florida’s call for what are called ‘moonshot projects’,” said Brian Abramowitz, the K – 12 Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Scientist in Every Florida School program. He says those so-called moonshot projects are meant to turn big ideas into reality. “These are originally designed to be something that is so big (and) seemingly unattainable that is designed to change the whole state of Florida.”

UWF

The Pensacola Museum of Art has reached deep into their in-house collection for an exhibit that symbolizes the mood of the coronavirus pandemic.

“All of the works are from our permanent collection,” said Anna Wall, the chief curator at the Pensacola Museum of Art. “In addition to all of the traveling exhibitions that we bring to Pensacola, we actually have a collection of 700 art works on site that are for exhibition, research, they are really a resource for the community.”

Last Friday, The University Of West Florida Board Of Trustees approved a draft plan to reopen the school to students in the fall. That plan was approved by the Florida Board of Governors Tuesday.

“I’ll ask for a motion to approve the University of West Florida reopening plan for Fall of 2020,” said UWF Board of Trustees Chairman Dave Cleveland during a virtual board meeting on Friday morning, asking for board approval of the university’s draft plans to reopen in the Fall. The plan was unanimously approved.

NOAA

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill was an attack on the health of the Gulf and there were many efforts to clean up the damage. But a researcher from UWF says Mother Nature likely did the biggest clean-up job. 

At the time of the oil spill, it was estimated that the economic impact of the Gulf of Mexico in the U.S. and Mexico was around $234 billion a year. Despite that, there was a lot about the Gulf that scientists didn’t know.

New South Books

A new children’s book tells the story of an African-American who began breaking barriers in the post-Civil War South. “Benjamin Sterling Turner was enslaved for the first 40 years of his life," said Frye Gaillard, an historian and writer-in-residence at the University of South Alabama in Mobile.

Gaillard says he first learned about Turner while researching a book on the civil rights movement in Alabama. That research took him to Selma, where he ran into pictures of Turner at several different museums in the city.

Dan Domenzain

Have you or someone you know been infected by the coronavirus? Are you sure?

“I’m not getting any medical care because there’s nothing that they can do for me,” said Cheryl Sackman. She is over 65, has tested positive for the coronavirus, and, well, she feels fine.

In fact, the only reason Sackman even got a test for the virus was to satisfy her mother.

Florida Division of Emergency Management

And we're off!

The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season has officially begun and families are again being advised to prepare in the event of a storm. However, things this year are just a bit different.

“We are switching gears and telling everybody that we don’t know (what the situation will be) with the COVID, so you probably ought to plan for seven days.”

Sam's Fun City

A Pensacola landmark is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, but will running with a new set of rules when it reopens this month.  

“I bought 50 acres on the corner of W Street and Highway 29, and the park now sits on about 25 of those (acres),” said Richard Sanfilippo, the owner of Sam’s Fun City in Pensacola.

Manna Food Pantries

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way most of us do business and live our lives. That includes many local non-profit organizations. For example: Manna Food Pantries.

“Overnight we went from 84 volunteers to 11,” said De De Flounlacker, the executive director of Manna. “We had to ask our volunteers who were 65 and older to take a break for their safety.”

For the record, Flounlacker says all of Manna’s employees and volunteers are safe and healthy and learning to operate in a very changed environment.

Northeastern University

A new group of professionals are joining the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. They’re called contact tracers.

Bob Barrett / WUWF Public Media

A Pensacola physician who volunteered to help in a field hospital in Baltimore has been sent home. You may remember meeting Dr. Alexys Hillman earlier this month. We told the story of her volunteering to work in the COVID-19 field hospital set up at the Baltimore Convention Center. Today, Dr. Hillman is back in Pensacola trying to figure out what went wrong. “And the kicker is I told them, even before I left Pensacola just so it wouldn’t be a thing, and it still turned into a thing.”

The “thing” Dr. Hillman is talking about is the fact that she uses medical marijuana. 

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