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

It’s been a few days since Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered all restaurants and food establishments in the state to suspend all dine-in service and offer only delivery and take-out.

Locally, restaurants are making the required adjustments, so they can stay open.

At University Town Center, just a mile or so from the WUWF studios, cars in the Chick Fil A drive-through are wrapped around the building, as they usually are in the lunch hour. On this Tuesday, Panda Express and Panera’s also have some drive-through activity.

CDC

Testing for COVID-19 in Escambia County is ramping up. Earlier this week, Ascension Sacred Heart began a drive-through testing operation. Now, the local capacity for coronavirus testing is widening, as other local health care prepare to offer testing as well.

Fifty years ago today, a little-known state senator, Lawton Chiles, started a 1,000-mile walk across Florida. The trip - that earned him the nickname “Walkin’ Lawton” - would take him to the U.S. Capitol and later the governor's mansion in Tallahassee. This famous journey on Mar. 17, 1970 began north of Pensacola, in the small Town of Century.

Today, a sign reminds residents and visitors of the campaign trek that propelled Chiles into the U.S. Senate.  

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

It’s an exciting, yet anxious, time for the University of West Florida Center for Asian Studies. The global spread of the coronavirus began just as the center was gaining momentum with its new name, new programs and special events planned. 

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

Florida voters have begun heading to the polls for the March 17 Presidential Preference Primary. This election and registration for the next one are proceeding under a cloud of uncertainty, amid litigation over restoration of voting rights for ex-felons.

“It started on Monday and we have had a good turnout so far,” said Santa Rosa Supervisor of Elections Tappie Villane about early voting, which is now ongoing at four locations in the county and via vote by mail.

As of mid-day Thursday, just over 7,700 votes, nearly 6%, had been counted.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

In response to grand jury recommendations following the fatal police shooting of an African-American man last summer, officers with the Pensacola Police Department are now receiving implicit bias training.

“It’s not just about race, it’s not just about gender,” says Dr. Cedric Alexander, clarifying that the training he’s providing covers all areas of diversity.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

Escambia County is another step closer to implementation of all-electronic toll collection at the Bob Sykes Bridge Toll Plaza.

With District 2 Commissioner Doug Underhill absent, the board voted 3-1 to approve an agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation for the SunPass and toll-by-plate system, with all-electronic operation to begin in April.

The move aims to ease traffic congestion on Pensacola Beach, but there are ongoing concerns cashless tolls will become a barrier for some.

Courtesy "Always in Season"

The documentary, “Always in Season,” explores the connections between historic lynching and racial violence today.  In observance of Black History Month, a screening and discussion of the film will be presented at the University of West Florida Saturday, just ahead of its national premiere.

Courtesy League of Women Voters

 

  

Founded on February 14, 1920, the League of Women Voters is now 100-years-old.

In observance of their centennial, the two chapters in Northwest Florida will host public celebrations that highlight the long history and current work of the organization.

The League of Women Voters goes hand-in-hand with the Women’s Suffrage Movement.

Gen. Daniel “Chappie” James Jr was born in Pensacola, on February 11, 1920, one-hundred years ago today. Capping an extraordinary military career, James became the first African-American to reach the rank of four-star general. In observance of Black History Month and in honor of the anniversary of  James' 100th birthday, WUWF looks at his remarkable life and legacy.

Daniel James Jr. was the youngest of 17 children born to Lillie (Brown) and Daniel James Sr.

HIV.gov

The annual observance of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is Friday. It’s held each year on February 7.  

In a program, sponsored by Georgia Blackmon’s non-profit Mother Wit Institute, Rev. Rufus L. Wood from Panama City will be the keynote speaker at a 6 p.m. program at Mount Canaan Missionary Baptist Church at 500 E. Moreno St., Pensacola.  

Jim Benda

Issues with reporting, immediately after the caucuses Monday night, pushed the Democratic Party of Iowa to release the results on Tuesday.

The problems were widespread, but did not dampen the first-ever Iowa satellite caucus on Pensacola Beach.

“It truly was a success,” said Jim Benda, chair of the local satellite caucus, summing up his overall impressions of the event.

“We had 42 people attending from all over the Gulf Coast region, in Alabama and this part of the Panhandle. That exceeded my expectations.”

Jennie McKeon / WUWF Public Media

The Chappie James Museum is preparing to host its annual observance of the birthday of General Daniel “Chappie” James Jr. This year marks the anniversary of the 100th birthday of the Pensacola native, who became the nation’s first African-American four-star general.  

The local celebration honoring Gen. James is set for Feb. 9.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

The Iowa Caucuses will be held Monday, and for the first time, some of those caucuses will be taking place outside the state of Iowa. One of them will be held in the Pensacola area.

"I'm Jim Benda. My hometown, I live now in Clive, Iowa, which is a suburb of Des Moines," said Benda introducing himself.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

Opening Doors Northwest Florida held its annual U-Count Homeless Resource Day Thursday at the Salvation Army. The event follows the yearly Point-In-Time Count of homeless individuals living in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, which at last check totaled 528. 

Most of the surveys in the 2020 count were completed with a new software application that’s getting rave reviews.

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