News You Should Know

ICYMI: Inmates Attempt to Smuggle Contraband Using Drones, Las Olas One Step Closer to Underground Transit Network

Here are some of the top stories from the past week from NBC 6 News

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Here are some of the top stories from the past week from NBC 6 News:

Inmates Attempted to Smuggle Contraband Using Drones, Correctional Officer Says

It’s the prison in Downtown Miami rising from the concrete below and surrounded by beaming luxury condos. 

The Federal Detention Center, known as “FDC Miami,” houses 1,300 inmates, including high-profile ones like Alex Saab, who the feds say is a close ally of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. 

Staff at FDC Miami told NBC 6 Investigators exclusively that drones have been used more than once in an effort to get around the security at the concrete prison.

Eric Spears is a correctional officer at FDC Miami and the officers’ union president. 

“We’ve recently had drone incidents,” Spears said. “There were attempts to introduce potential contraband into the facility.”

Spears shared an email he says he sent in April, telling management at the facility he received multiple reports of “inmates or cohorts” using drones to “drop off narcotics and, or other illegal contraband (i.e. weapons, cellphones, etc).”

When asked how, Spears declined to provide specifics citing security concerns. 

City officials and those with Elon Musk's Boring Company toured Fort Lauderdale to scope out some possible sites for a tunnel. NBC 6's Kim Wynne reports

Fort Lauderdale One Step Closer to ‘Las Olas Loop' Underground Transit Network

lmost a year after receiving an unsolicited proposal for an underground transportation system connecting Fort Lauderdale to Fort Lauderdale Beach, the Fort Lauderdale City Commission has approved the next actions in making this idea a reality.

On Tuesday, the commission sanctioned The Boring Company to proceed with feasibility studies that will lead to an affirmative decision on whether the network will be infiltrated.

The company, owned by Elon Musk, submitted the proposal for the plan in June of 2021 which details what a "loop" system is and how it differs from traditional underground transit.

"Loop is a high-capacity, underground, public transportation system in which passengers are transported in Tesla vehicles through TBC-constructed tunnels," the proposal reads. "Loop is an 'express' public transportation system and resembles an underground highway more than a subway system."

The document also explains the choice to place the loop within Los Olas Boulevard and how the decision would benefit the greater Fort Lauderdale area, both residentially and financially.

"Las Olas Boulevard is one of the key east-west arteries connecting downtown Fort Lauderdale with Fort Lauderdale Beach - two major activity centers and destinations for locals and visitors," it says.

One year after the 'El Mula' shooting police are still investigating. NBC 6's Tony Pipitone reports.

One Year Later, El Mula Mass Shooting Impacts Victims, Policing and Careers

The May 2021 mass shooting outside a northwest Miami-Dade banquet hall took three lives, injured 20 – some of them severely – and put law enforcement on high alert for what could have become a bloody gang war over the rest of 2021.

But, based on interviews both inside and outside law enforcement and a review of crime statistics, the NBC 6 Investigators found that apparently did not happen.

What did happen, our investigation found, has cost lives, caused suffering, changed policing and altered the career paths of two veterans of the Miami-Dade Police Homicide Bureau.

Most importantly, the shooting took three young lives, two men and a woman attending what was to be a release party for a local rapper at the El Mula banquet hall; 20 others were injured, some of them left paraplegic or otherwise carrying the daily pain and suffering that comes with the gunshot wounds.

The nationwide average price for a gallon of gasoline has topped $5 for the first time ever.

High Gas Prices Impacting Lawn Care Companies, Consumers

Gas prices in Florida have reached a new high as the price per gallon creeps toward $5.

Data from AAA shows the average cost for a gallon of gas in Florida is $4.76. That’s up from $4.19 a month ago.

But local consumers aren’t just feeling the pain at the pump. The high cost of gas is trickling down and hitting you in other areas.

The price of your lawn care could be on the rise, too.

“I mean everything like all prices have gone completely,” homeowner Jamie Kolnick said.

Kolnick says she has noticed a slight increase in the price she pays for lawn care services.

She is not alone.

NBC 6's Cristian Benavides has a first-hand look at how the Coast Guard in Miami prepare for emergencies out in the water

Coast Guard Warns Locals, Tourists to Avoid Illegal Boat Charters

As summer kicks off, tourists, locals, and all in between will rush to enjoy the South Florida oceans and waterways by boat, but Coast Guard officials warn that this may not always be as simple as it seems.

In recent years, there has been a spree of illegal charter busts in Miami Beach and surrounding areas, an occurrence that is not expected to slow anytime soon, according to U.S. Coast Guard officials in Miami.

Many charters illegally operate with no permits or proper licensing, no valid completion of safety training or drug and alcohol testing, and no certificate of verified inspection.

When caught, they are eligible for termination of use of their vessels as well as monetary penalties and criminal prosecution.

To protect against trouble with the law and ensure personal safety, the Coast Guard is encouraging charter goers to take precautions before taking to the seas.

Establishments forced to limit hours and threaten program cuts due to 100 less life guards than previous summers, as Alyssa Hyman reports.

Massive South Florida Departments, Orgs Struggle to Staff Lifeguards for Summer

Some South Florida organizations and departments are dealing with a lifeguard shortage heading into the summer.

This is mainly impacting pools and waterparks, and the challenge is being felt across the country.

"This year we really have a crisis in getting enough lifeguards," said Jim O'Connor, the Aquatics Program Manager for Miami-Dade Parks and Recreation Department.

O'Connor said they're about 100 lifeguards short from where they would normally be this time of year. 

He says it could also reduce programs such as Learn to Swim.

"We are having to reduce hours, just until we get enough staff," he said.

Eric Gomez, the Associate Executive Director of Aquatics for the YMCA of South Florida, said the facility is dealing with the same staffing struggle.

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