Dave Dunwoody

Dave came to WUWF in September, 2002, after 14 years as News Director at the Alabama Radio Network in Montgomery, Mobile and Birmingham and a total of 27 years in commercial radio. During that time, he also served as Alabama Bureau Chief for United Press International.

The Trion, Georgia native was news director at stations in Anniston, Scottsboro and Fort Payne in Alabama, where he also broadcast football, basketball and baseball play-by-play. Dave also “played the hits” at rock and country music stations in Lafayette, Albany and Rome, Georgia and in Burlington, North Carolina.


During his time at WUWF, Dave has earned a B.A. in Communication Arts/Journalism at the University of West Florida (Class of 2012).  He’s married to the former Linda Shiell, a Pensacola native, and they live in Pensacola with their cats Gigi, Lucy, and Zoe. Dave is also a passionate fan of Georgia Bulldogs, Atlanta Falcons, and West Florida Argonauts football; the Atlanta Braves, Pensacola Blue Wahoos, and Pensacola Ice Flyers.  His hobbies include comedy writing, guitar and computer sports games.


Former Florida senator and new NASA Administrator Bill Nelson is hailing a "new day" for space exploration as the United States seeks to return to the Moon and to go beyond. 

Nelson, who flew aboard space shuttle Columbia in 1986, will become the agency’s 14th administrator. During his Senate confirmation hearing, he said there’s a lot of excitement going on at NASA, both from far away and close-up.

Gov. Ron DeSantis brought his COVID-19 vaccination update to Pensacola Tuesday morning, reminding the Panhandle that the shots are now available to everyone over the age of 50.

“Most of the Panhandle counties are about two-thirds of the seniors – some of them more – that have gotten shots,” said DeSantis. “Obviously this is open to 50-plus, but we hope there will be more remaining seniors come here.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis is proposing a $106 million civics education initiative for Florida's public schools, supporting civics literacy and education.

“I’m urging the Legislature to take up this proposal during the current legislative session, using the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund,” said the governor. “So the money’s there; we need to figure out the best way to use it.”

Speaking in Naples on Wednesday, DeSantis said his plan contains an incentive for teachers who earn a "Florida Civics Seal of Excellence" designation.

  

At the Statehouse, major legislation intended to shield businesses and health care providers from lawsuits related to COVID-19 is headed to the full Senate after its Rules Committee this week merged two bills into one lengthy proposal.

One bill dealt with liability of health-care providers; the other initially deals only with liability of non-health care businesses. Sponsor Jeff Brandes (BRAND - iss) describes the decision to roll the bills into one measure as a strategic move, as negotiations move forward with House leaders.

Local governments in Florida and their ability to strictly enforce measures to reduce the spread of the coronavirus are being targeted by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

DeSantis’ executive order issued late Wednesday requires local governments to cancel fines issued for violating local COVID-19 orders between March 1, 2020 and this past Wednesday.

Vaccine distribution and cracking down on protests are among the issues facing Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office and the Legislature on Thursday.

As the governor travels the state boasting of Florida’s “seniors-first” policy, Democratic leaders are calling for investigations into the allocation of coveted COVID-19 vaccinations Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is asking for an FBI investigation into the issue.

One of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ most vocal critics is opening up a new front in his battle to remove DeSantis from office in 2022 -- a political action committee called “Remove Ron.”

“He’s world famous – people are literally dying to see this guy – he’s the Grim Reaper,” says the voiceover on the PAC’s video. “What’s he coming for? The political career of Ron DeSantis.”

Ending a legal battle that started before the 2018 elections, a Tallahassee federal judge has approved a settlement in which 31 counties agree to take steps to provide Spanish-language ballots and other voting materials.

Approved by Tallahassee Federal Judge Mark Walker, the settlement calls for the counties to provide – en Español – ballots, vote-by-mail apps, translations of elections websites, and voter assistance hotlines.

Three of those counties are, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa and Escambia, the latter where David Stafford is Elections Supervisor.

February is Hit-and-Run Awareness Month, and a new awareness campaign in Florida is focusing on reducing the number of fatalities in such crashes.

Hit-and-run fatalities in Florida increased by more than 18% in 2020, even as total hit-and-runs decreased by 13% compared to the previous year.

  

A suspect in the January 6 siege at the U.S. Capitol has made an appearance in Federal Court in Pensacola.

FBI agents and agents from the Florida Department of Law Enforement and the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office arrested Jesus D. Rivera, 37, of Pensacola at his home Wednesday morning, said Lawrence Keefe, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

Rivera was taken into custody without incident.

If you’re a student at the University of West Florida, you’ll be staying home and firing up the computer beginning later this month.

All classes are going straight online after Thanksgiving, and while it coincides with a rise in coronavirus cases here and elsewhere, it’s actually a pre-planned move.

“When we put together our plan for reopening – that was approved by the Board of Governors – that included how we were going to spend the fall semester,” said UWF President Martha Saunders.

Voters in the Florida Panhandle joined their downstate neighbors to make their pick for president, Congress, and state and local government.

Republican Michelle Salzman is the new state representative from House District-1, garnering 65%  of the vote over Democrat Franscine Mathis. Salzman said the key was defeating incumbent Mike Hill in the August GOP primary.

Early Voting in Florida wrapped up on Saturday, with all counties in the northwest part of the state reporting turnout at 55% or higher. There were more in-person early votes cast than through the mail.

Early turnout in Escambia and Walton Counties were at 55%, with Santa Rosa at 56. Okaloosa led the region at just over 60% as of Monday, according to Supervisor of Elections Paul Lux.

COVID-19 is leading many to order items online from companies such as Amazon, with scammers posing as Amazon employees claiming to need personal information.

Plus, they’re also targeting the Better Business Bureau.

Usually the Bureau is on the outside looking in at scams and other grifting, but this phone number spoofing puts them right in the middle as a victim.

“Because we’re a trustworthy organization and we look out for those types of things,” said Tammy Ward of the Bureau's Pensacola office.

Tuesday afternoon’s briefing at the Escambia County Emergency Operations Center reflected the progress, in which the county is rebounding from Hurricane Sally.

They may not be the final figures, but County Administrator Janice Gilley had some numbers on cleanup as the infrastructure gets back on line.

“To date, our assessments have determined that there are $182.6 million worth of damage to the city [of Pensacola], the county, the [Escambia] schools and the ECUA facilities,” said Gilley.

Sixteen years to the day Hurricane Ivan slammed into Gulf Shores, Alabama, Hurricane Sally did the same early Wednesday – also as a Category-2 storm. 

Along with unleashing 105 mile an hour winds on the Panhandle, a slow-moving Sally deluged the Gulf Coast with up to 30 inches of rain from Pensacola Beach westward to Dauphin Island, Alabama — causing dangerous flooding along the coastline and well inland in the days ahead. Now, the cleanup begins.

President Trump’s announcement that he’s extending the moratorium on oil and gas drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico is leaving some ecstatic, and others scratching their heads.

The president spoke in Columbia, South Carolina, where Trump ally Lindsey Graham is facing a strong challenge for his Senate seat.

“In a few moments I will sign a presidential order extending the moratorium on offshore drilling on Florida’s Gulf Coast; and expanding it to Florida’s Atlantic Coast as well as the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina,” the president said.

Gulf Power Company is partnering with the City of Pensacola, on a solar power demonstration project using public property. And the project is drawing more than just casual attention.

The city has a number of solar projects on the drawing board, according to Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson, to provide a showcase for such energy and how to use it.

Florida’s state House District-1 is getting a new face in Tallahassee, as the race is set for the seat is set for Nov. 3.

Newcomer Michelle Salzman defeated incumbent Mike Hill in Tuesday’s Republican primary, 53-47% in what some are calling a major upset.

The campaign was a rancorous one from Hill’s side, accusing Salzman of, among other things, calling for the defunding of police in the wake of the George Floyd killing. Salzman denied the allegation, and said she expected those tactics.

The first astronauts to ride the SpaceX Crew Dragon into space returned to Earth on Sunday, after a splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico near Pensacola.

This was the first splashdown in 45 years for NASA astronauts, since the end of the Apollo program in 1975, and the first in the gulf. Test pilots Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken spoke to the media in Houston on Sunday.

Following guidance from federal, state and local health experts, Gulf Islands National Seashore is increasing recreational access at the Fort Pickens Campground next week.

The park is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Florida Department of Health and others to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic, along with using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis. 

Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson covered a number of subjects during Monday’s virtual news conference – including the pandemic, a grant award, and some good news on city layoffs.

First up, the numbers on COVID-19 as of Monday morning, according to the Florida Department of Health. There were 7,000 positive cases in Escambia County, just over 6,200 of whom are residents.

Plans are underway for a couple of bicentennial celebrations next year, honoring both Florida and Escambia County.

Last Friday marked the county’s 199th birthday, when what’s now Florida was ceded by Spain and became a U.S. Territory. Escambia and St. John’s were Florida's two original counties, covering the entire area within modern state boundaries.

State and local officials are urging Floridians who have recovered from the novel coronavirus to share their blood and plasma for others to be treated.

“Everybody donate your plasma, it’s very, very important; you can make a different in people’s health and in their lives,” said Gov. Ron DeSantis, speaking at OneBlood headquarters in Orlando Monday.

When the COVID-19 outbreak reached Florida in March, there wasn’t much information on how to treat it. But DeSantis says a number of inroads have been made since then – including the use of “convalescent plasma.”

The man who was carried across the Pensacola Bay Bridge on the hood of a vehicle is invoking Florida’s self-defense statute in his defense.

On June 7, while helping block the Pensacola Bay Bridge an SUV – later found to be driven by Nathan Matusz, drove into the crowd, forcing Uphaus onto the hood.

Attorney Chris Klotz represents Jason Uphaus, who last month was part of the “Black Lives Matter” protest at the 17th Street railroad trestle and Bay Bridge.

Gov. Ron DeSantis provided an update on Florida’s coronavirus siege in Miami on Monday, and did not escape the wrath of an in-person protester. And, Pensacola-area residents now have a new source for local COVID-19 numbers.

The governor had just begun his remarks, when a protester confronted him from where the media was positioned.

“You are doing nothing; you are misleading the public,” said the unidentified man talking over the governor. “Over 4,000 people have died, and you guys have no plan and you are doing nothing.”

Meeting Tuesday in special session, the Pensacola City Council voted unanimously to both extend the local state of emergency, and to require face coverings inside buildings within the city limits.

Before the vote on mandatory face masks for businesses in the city limits, Council President Jewel Cannada-Wynn gave Pensacolians a pep talk of sorts about complying with what many call the “new norm.”

After a nearly two-month hiatus, Sunday and weekday services with a congregation present resumed early last month in the Pensacola-Tallahassee Catholic Diocese, with protective measures in place against the coronavirus.

Masses have been celebrated online throughout the diocese since March. Reopening its 57 brick and mortar parishes, said Bishop William Wack, was a team decision.

The Saudi Air Force student who opened fire inside a classroom aboard Naval Air Station Pensacola, was an operative for al-Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula. That’s the word from the Justice Department and the FBI.

Second Lt. Mohammed Alshamrani killed three U.S. servicemen and wounded 11 others before he was shot to death by Escambia County deputies on Dec. 6.  In a news conference Monday, Attorney Gen. Bill Barr said the key to why was accessing information from the student’s cellphone.

  

Floridians are staying put and keeping their money in their pockets during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new study by UWF’s Haas Business Center.

The economic-impact survey was conducted from March 16 to April 6. Jerry Parrish, who chairs the council of economic advisors at Haas, says it was an online study out of necessity.

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