5 things you need to know happening in Florida on Tuesday, July 22, 2014

TAMPA - Here are five things you need to know happening in Florida on Tuesday, July 22, 2014.

(1) Vote-by-mail ballots requests fulfilled

The Pinellas and Pasco County Supervisor of Elections offices are scheduled to mail out tens of thousands of vote-by-mail ballots on Tuesday for the upcoming Florida Special Primary Election.

"Voting by mail continues to increase with each election cycle", said Pasco County Supervisor of Elections Brian E. Corley. "Voters like the convenience of voting at their leisure in the privacy of their home."

In Pasco County requests for vote-by-mail ballots can be done by calling the elections' office, by submitting the request in writing or by using the on-line request form on www.pascovotes.com .

In Pinellas County, requests for vote-by-mail ballots can done by calling (727) 464-8683, by e-mailing absentee@votepinellas.com or online at www.votepinellas.com .

The deadline to request a ballot to be mailed is Wednesday, August 20, 2014.

Voted ballots must be returned to the elections' office by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day, August 26, 2014.

(2) Sarasota Police Department kicks off Ambassadors Program

The Sarasota Police Department (SPD) kicks off its new Ambassadors Program on Tuesday.

The Ambassadors will be a friendly face for city residents and tourists. They will be able to answer questions about downtown Sarasota events, give directions and serve as walking "kiosks" for help.

You will be able to recognize an Ambassador by the Royal Blue shirt they will be wearing that reads "Police Volunteer" on the back and "Blue + Volunteer + You" n the front.

Ambassadors will have completed a special training program with the Sarasota Police Department. They will carry a police radio and can call in any emergencies, but will have no arrest capabilities.

If you are interested in becoming an SPD Ambassador contact Volunteer Coordinator Michelle Rinaca at 941-366-2845 or michelle.rinaca@sarasotagov.com .

(3) Pasco Fire Rescue Station #30 ceremony

Pasco County Fire Rescue will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony for its newest Fire Rescue Station on Tuesday.

Station # 30 will be located at 7951 Massachusetts Avenue in New Port Richey.

"This new state-of-the-art facility will serve the citizens in this area for many years to come," said Pasco Fire Chief Scott Cassin. "The station not only meets the needs of today, but was built with future growth in mind."

The $2.1 million station has three drive-through bays capable of housing a total of six emergency vehicles. It replaces the Magnolia Valley Fire Station which is located across the street.

Crews will start operating out of the station once a certificate of occupancy is issued which is could occur on Tuesday.

The ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. An open house for viewing the new fire station will follow the dedication.

(4) Hernando K-9 water training

The Hernando County Sheriff's Office will hold their annual K-9 Unit water training event at Weeki Wachee State Park on Tuesday.

The dogs and their handlers will be getting in the water shortly after 5:30 p.m.

There will be K-9 teams from numerous law enforcement agencies from around the Tampa Bay area.

The training exercises are scheduled to conclude around 8:30 p.m.

(5) Citrus County Port Authority meeting

The Citrus County Port Authority is scheduled to discuss the state of the Port Feasibility Study on Tuesday.

For over two years county officials have been trying to determine whether to operate a shallow-draft port at the never completed Cross Florida Barge Canal. That canal is located about 75 miles north of Tampa.

Citrus County commissioners voted in 2012 to spend $100,000 contract to study the feasibility of developing Florida's 15th port. That contract was later put on hold because of a lawsuit accusing county officials of violating of Florida's open meetings laws.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m. in Room 100 at the Citrus County Courthouse in Inverness.

For more information, visit the Citrus County Port Authority agenda at citruscountyfl.iqm2.com/Citizens/default.aspx .

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