Bob Barrett


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.

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. 

Northeastern University

The COVID-19 pandemic may lead to big changes in the education and training of health care professionals, says said Dr. Timothy Hoff, a professor of Management, Health Care Systems and Health Policy in the D’Amore-McKim School of Business and School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, Northeastern University, in Boston.

“If you’re from the medical community, it’s not just having clinical knowledge and it’s not just being the smartest doctor in the room that counts in a situation like this. You need a whole additional set of skills,” said Hoff.

Alexys Hillman

A Pensacola physician is heading up north to help care for coronavirus patients.

“I saw an ad from Johns Hopkins asking for people. I applied (and) they contacted me within 24 hours,” said Dr. Alexys Hillman from Pensacola Osteopaths, who has traveled to Baltimore to help COVID-19 patients. She said she was inspired to help after watching New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s daily coronavirus updates on TV.

“Every day he’s doing his conferences and his daily briefings and he was getting to the point (where he was) begging for health care people to come up and help.”

Gabriel Castro/Education International

Students and teachers in Northwest Florida are not alone. COVID-19 is disrupting schools around the country and teachers are stepping up. 

“If you go to the National Education Association’s building, three blocks up from the White House, the lights are off,” said Lily Eskelsen-Garcia, the president of the National Education Association, the largest labor union in the country representing three million educators. She says like the schools, the union is operating the best it can under the circumstances.

Mayo Clinic

While the fight against the coronavirus is going on in clinics, hospitals and testing sites, it began in the clinical lab.


With schools across the state closing because of the coronavirus, students of all ages are continuing the spring semester at home.

“As we’ve moved to remote instruction, we’ve had to move to remote advising and remote student services, and we’ve done it in a way that continues the important support that our students need," said University of West Florida President Martha Saunders in a video talking about the transition to online learning and student life at UWF.

Public Domain Image

Local school districts are making plans on the fly as the response to the coronavirus continues to evolve. If there was any good news for local school superintendents it’s that this week was already a scheduled week off for spring break.

"The plan was always to use our custodial staff this week to completely deep-clean all the classrooms,” said Escambia County School Superintendent Malcolm Thomas.

Officials at Baptist Hospital have confirmed they are treating a patient who had a presumptive positive test for COVID-19. 

In a press conference Thursday morning, Governor Ron DeSantis announced a possible coronavirus case in Northwest Florida.

One of the biggest names coming to Pensacon this weekend is just in it for the laughs. WUWF’s Bob Barrett has more.

Young Alfred Yankovic had his first accordion lesson at age 6. No one really knew at the time that it was a life-changing event.

Mike Cotton Productions

A pair of local film makers will be part of an annual film festival this weekend. The movie “Back to China Beach,” and it's one of the featured attractions at the 2020 Pensacola Film Festival. It’s a film about surfing the famous beach during and after the Vietnam War. WUWF's Bob Barrett talked about the film with director Dave Barnes and producer and long-time local surfer Mike Cotton. He asked what drew them to China Beach.

Bob Barrett / WUWFNews

Northwest Pensacola is getting a new emergency health care facility.

“It’s not just urgent care, this is an emergency department,” said Dr. Mark Stavros, the medical director of the West Florida Hospital Emergency Department. He was speaking before a crowd of a few dozen officials and hospital employees for the groundbreaking of the new West Florida Hospital Emergency Room. Located on West Nine Mile Road between Pine Forest Road and I-10, the facility will offer a wide range of services.