Sandra Averhart

Senior Producer/Host

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

As Women’s History Month closes and we look ahead to the July Bicentennial of Escambia County, WUWF is putting the spotlight on Marianna Bonifay. This prominent businesswoman and landowner lived in Pensacola 200 years ago and likely witnessed the ceremonial transfer of the region from Spain to the U.S.

At his weekly news conference Monday, Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson revealed plans to step away from politics after his four-year term is over.

“I’m announcing that I will not be seeking reelection in 2022,” Robinson stated.

The mayor said he and his family have been thinking about the issue for a while. He believes it’s the right decision for him and them, and it’s the right time, after a tough year dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

Construction of the new $42 million Santa Rosa County Courthouse is on track for completion by the end of this year.

Members of the media are among those who’ve been invited to the site on Avalon Boulevard for an update on how the structure is coming together.

“This is the front entry to the building right here. This is the main lobby where the public will come into,” said Chuck Lester, senior project manager for Ajax Building Corporation, beginning the overview for this latest tour group.

The Florida Board of Education on Wednesday voted to give the Escambia County School District an additional year to implement its turnaround plan for the chronically low-performing Warrington Middle School. This means the school will be able to stay open for now, but changes are on the way.

Public Domain

A series of events and activities will take place over the next few months, as part of the 200th anniversary of Florida becoming a U.S. Territory and Escambia County becoming one of its two original counties. Organizers plan to use the occasion to share more details about this often-overlooked period in the area’s rich history.

University of West Florida

The University of West Florida is working to create a space for the campus community to share and discuss their experiences with race and ethnicity. The new initiative is the “My Story Griot Project.”

“We’re still going and moving, and moving well and moving strong,” said Mamie Webb Hixon, assistant professor of English and director of the UWF Writing Lab, discussing the momentum of the CASSH workgroup on Race.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

John Sunday, who was born a slave in the 1830s, became one of Pensacola’s most prominent residents. Just five years ago, efforts to save Sunday’s historic 1901 home were unsuccessful. But, the campaign was effective in educating the community about his legacy and honors are now coming his way.

Sandra Averhart/WUWF Public Media

Pensacola has a varied and deep cultural heritage, from its Native American and Spanish colonial roots to its African-American history.  For Black History Month, WUWF is digging into the archives for a tour of the Black History Trail in the City’s Eastside Neighborhood.

“The Eastside Neighborhood is actually teeming with sites of historic and cultural interest,” said Helen Gibson, executive director of Pensacola’s Community Redevelopment Agency.

Courtesy Florida House of Representatives

Florida’s 2021 Legislative Session gets underway in a couple of weeks. In the run up to the start of the session on March 2, lawmakers have been in Tallahassee attending committee meetings. WUWF recently checked in with District 3 Representative Jayer Williamson of Pace to talk about the tough work ahead.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

The City of Pensacola is holding off on plans to close the Hollice T. Williams Park under Interstate-110 and remove the homeless camps that have recently sprung up. Those homeless individuals can now stay until March 1. Meantime, the community has rallied to provide some on-site amenities, while advocates work to find housing.

Almost seven years after the 2014 explosion that destroyed the Escambia Central Booking and Detention facility, the county’s new Correctional Facility project is nearing completion.

During a recent tour, WUWF got a look at some of the design features are aimed at improving the experience for inmates housed there and the officers - who work there.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

The coronavirus pandemic has brought about some operational changes in HUD’s 2021 Point-In-Time survey of individuals who are homeless.

WUWF recently stopped by Opening Doors Northwest Florida to check on its annual count of homeless people in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.

Escambia Children's Trust

About two-and-a-half months after winning approval with 61% of the vote, the Escambia Children’s Trust has begun its work.

Board members used their inaugural meeting on Jan. 21 to check a few items off their long “to-do” list, ahead of the dedicated property tax levy beginning in November.

Selecting its interim leadership was one of the first official actions by the new Escambia Children’s Trust board, which was convened by its five mandated members.

Tracey Tapp / Democratic Party of Okaloosa County

After a contentious transition, Joe Biden will take the oath of office Wednesday as President of the United States. The Inauguration begins at 11 a.m.

Local Democratic Party leaders shared their plans for this year’s subdued celebration and their hopes for the future under Biden.

“I will probably be in my living room watching it on TV and perhaps some of the day on some Zoom calls that are going to go out,” said Lillie Eubanks, chair of the Democratic Party of Escambia County.

Despite the addition of distribution sites for the COVID-19 vaccine, Florida’s crush in demand has made it difficult to land a coveted appointment.

Locally, there’s hope that a planned statewide appointment system, and more doses, will ease what’s been a frustrating process for seniors and local officials trying to get the vaccine to them.