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Monday September 1st 2014

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Weekend Buzz: Quiet, Organization and Pcola linked to national stories

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County & City Coast Thru Christmas
City of Pensacola and Escambia County governments try to coast to the end of the year without any drama. Neither the City Council nor County Commission meet again until next year.

County needs the break for tempers to cool down after George Touart was removed from the candidate pool for the county administrator job. Mayor Ashton Hayward needs to figure out to get out of the hole he dug on the Pitt Slip lease and his attack on The Fish House. According to his statement last week, Hayward wants to resolve the issue before the end of the year.

The Independent News has yet to receive the public record of the partial assignment that it requested last Monday. No press conference has been scheduled by Hayward and no mention of any future “Mornings with the Mayor.” However, the mayor will hold tonight a town hall meeting for District 5 at 6 pm at the McIlwain House, located at 1200 E. Blount Street.

Tourism Gets Organized
Visit Pensacola, Inc. will hold a three-hour organizational meeting today. Visit VP Steve Hayes says the meeting is to:

1. Provide an overview of tourism from the perspective of the Escambia County Tourist Development Council (TDC)
2. Provide an historical view from the Tourism Administration & Convention Committee (TACC), which was the committee
3. Provide an overview from the Escambia County Destination Marketing Organization perspective
4. Give a snapshot of the makeup of Visit Pensacola, our roles/responsibilities, reporting metrics etc.

Pensacola Links To National Stories
An investigation by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel revealed questionable behavior by agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives that has prompted bipartisan concern among Washington’s oversight community. Cited in the story is the local ATF sting “Anything for a Buck” that netted 75 suspects in 2011:

In Pensacola, the ATF hired a felon to run its pawnshop. The move widened the pool of potential targets, boosting arrest numbers.Even those trying to sell guns legally could be charged if they knowingly sold to a felon. The ATF’s pawnshop partner was later convicted of pointing a loaded gun at someone outside a bar. Instead of a stiff sentence typically handed down to repeat offenders in federal court, he got six months in jail — and a pat on the back from the prosecutor.

The other story with a Pensacola link is about the CIA agent that has been missing in Iran since 2007–Robert A. Levinson. The family’s attorney is David McGee of Beggs & Lane.