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6 Things to Know: Florida Court Says No to Recreational Marijuana Ballot Proposal

It’s Friday, June 18th – and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day

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It’s Friday, June 18th – and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.

No. 1 - Activists and community leaders are stepping up in the fight against the recent gun violence in Miami-Dade County.

The President and CEO of the chamber of commerce, Dr. Bernard WH Jennings, went down a list of recent gun violence cases in the county, emphasizing the urgency of the matter. The chamber of commerce is now campaigning and planning to place 5,000 "See Something, Say Something" signs in front of homes in high crime areas of the county. The family of several recent victims of gun violence participated in an event Thursday, hoping for peace and an end to the recent rash of violence. To hear their message, click here for the story from NBC 6 reporter Jamie Guirola.

No. 2 - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has lowered the travel alert warning for cruises, just as sailings are set to begin in the coming weeks.

The CDC announced Wednesday that they officially lowered the alert from Level 4, the highest, to Level 3. According to the CDC, a Level 4 or very high warning, means that people should "avoid travel to this destination." The Level 3 warning urges people to be vaccinated before travel and that "unvaccinated travelers should avoid nonessential travel to this destination." The new alert warning states that "since the virus spreads more easily between people in close quarters aboard ships, the chance of getting COVID-19 on cruise ships is high,” and continued by warning that those who are not fully vaccinated "with an increased risk of severe illness avoid travel on cruise ships, including river cruises.”

No. 3 - Carnival Corp. said Thursday that a data breach in March might have exposed personal information about customers and employees on Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises.

In a letter to customers, the company indicated that outsiders might have gained access to Social Security numbers, passport numbers, dates of birth, addresses and health information of people. The company declined to say how many people's information was exposed. The breach comes after Carnival was hit twice last year by ransomware attacks. Carnival spokesman Roger Frizzell said the company detected the latest intrusion to some of its information-technology systems on March 19. 

No. 4 - A proposed constitutional amendment to allow recreational marijuana use in Florida won't be on the 2022 ballot after the state Supreme Court ruled that the ballot language was misleading.

The court, in a 5-2 decision, said proposed ballot language that says marijuana is “for limited use and growing by persons twenty-one years of age or older” is misleading. The court said nothing in the proposal's actual wording limits marijuana use. The proposed amendment, called “Regulate Marijuana in a Manner Similar to Alcohol to Establish Age, Licensing, and Other Restrictions,” already faced an uphill battle. Its sponsor, Sensible Florida, had just 29,000 of the more than 890,000 voter signatures needed to get on the ballot.

No. 5 - If you think you’ve been seeing a surge in hit-and-run deaths lately in South Florida, you would be right, as May proved to be an especially deadly month in what is on pace to be a record-setting year.

There are many - and the number is growing in recent years. In 2018, 47 people were killed in Miami-Dade, Broward and Monroe counties by hit-and-run drivers, according to state crash records. At the rate being seen in those counties so far this year, the death toll would grow to 93 deaths for 2021, almost double the 2018 total. Miami-Dade Police Sgt. Frank Armendariz, who's been investigating traffic homicides for a decade, said he's heard many excuses from drivers after they're caught - none of them good. To hear what police are saying, click here for the story from NBC6 investigator Tony Pipitone.

No. 6 - They certainly look and sound like any other summer day camps, with kids playing ball and hula hooping and doing arts and crafts. 

This is year is different, though. The Children’s Trust says its camps are focusing more on academics than ever before to help kids make up for the so-called "Covid Slide." The non-profit agency operates more than 100 camps serving more than 20,000 students. All of them are getting literacy, STEM, and art classes in the camps, along with enrichment field trips. To see how the camps are a mix of laughter and learning, click here for the story from NBC 6 reporter Ari Odzer.

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