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Area police agencies are being specially trained to deal with mentally ill people and the program has cut down on violence and saved lives. "I have deescalated situations where the subject was armed, talked to him, had him walk to an ambulance and taken to get treatment...all without handcuffs." 

That’s what Lieutenant Patrick Vega of the Santa Rosa County Sheriffs' Department had to say about the training he and many other law enforcement officers in the area have received in dealing with mentally ill individuals.

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses Triumph Gulf Coast Inc., which will be holding its inaugural meeting Tuesday, Aug. 18 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort at 9300 Emerald Coast Parkway West in Destin.

Pensacola Little Theatre

  It’s hard to beat a good story in the summer time. Pensacola Little Theater is bringing a classic to life this weekend with their production of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. The show is part of the Treehouse Theater series

 

Representatives from the Studer, Levin and Bear families as well as dozens of others gathered at a steaming hot parking lot on the corner of Tarragona and Intendencia Streets in downtown Pensacola Thursday morning for the groundbreaking of the new downtown YMCA. 

University of West Florida

Four years after first being mentioned, football at the University of West Florida begins in a week with the opening of fall camp for the 2015 practice year.

In 2011, UWF President Judy Bense held up a plain white helmet with “UWF” taped to it to announce that the effort would begin to start a football program. On Wednesday, she got to hold up the real deal: a helmet which will be game-worn.

“Holding up that helmet now, it is not a generic helmet,” Bense said. “It is an absolutely gorgeous blue, frosted white [with an] Argonaut on it. It will never look that good again.”

Former Escambia County Commissioner Gene Valentino’s complaint against Sheriff David Morgan has been dismissed by the Florida Commission on Ethics.

Voting last month, the Commission said there was no probable cause to believe that Sheriff Morgan violated the state’s Code of Ethics.

“At the risk of sounding overconfident, we were confident from the first receipt of [the complaint] that this would be the outcome,” said Sheriff Morgan. “The complaint was frivolous and I think the finding confirmed that all the way down.”

U.S. Department of Education

The new school year starts next week and area educators are hoping this year’s innovations will turn last year’s disruptions into distant memories. "We're looking forward to a very vanilla year, this year" said Santa Rosa Country School Superintendent Tim Wyrosdick. It's not that he has anything against the other flavors in the ice cream aisle, it’s just that last year had a little more flavor than educators were expecting.

Tamara Fountain resigned Monday as the City of Pensacola’s Chief Operating Officer, 11 months after accepting the position and after weeks of controversy.

A news release from the city says that Fountain is leaving to “pursue other opportunities.”

“After everything she’s been through, I saw the letter she sent to [the] City Council. You know, I think enough of it has taken its toll on her, and she was ready to move on,” said Mayor Ashton Hayward.

Photo via Flickr// Meddy Garnet / https://flic.kr/p/8xiW5Q

Parents have until next weekend to save money on back-to-school shopping thanks to Florida's sales tax holiday, which kicked off Friday.

During the holiday, which ends at 11:59 p.m. next Sunday night, state and local taxes are waived on $100 or less in clothing and footwear, and up to $15 worth of school and office supplies. The exemption also covers the first $750 of any computer purchase, including accessories.

NOAA

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is walking back its prediction in May of a 70% percent chance of a below-normal hurricane season for 2015.

The new outlook issued last week is a 90% chance of a below-normal year: the highest confidence level issued by NOAA since it began issuing seasonal hurricane predictions in 1998.

Lead Forecaster Gerry Bell points to a robust El Nino in the Pacific.

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