Here are some of the top stories from the past week from NBC 6 News:
Passengers With Loaded Guns Showing Up to South Florida Airports in Record Numbers
They are showing up like never before. Guns at South Florida airports are being brought by passengers now in record numbers, officials said.
The disturbing number of weapons the Transportation Security Administration is finding at checkpoints comes as the Federal Aviation Administration is dealing with an increase in unruly passengers and just before the busiest travel time of the year.
That’s a potentially dangerous mix the security experts want to avoid.
"It is a concern, both the unruly behavior that we’ve seen and the number of firearms,” said Daniel Ronan, the TSA Security Director at Miami International Airport.
In 2021, the FAA has received more than 5,000 reports of unruly passengers and more than 3,700 disputes report over mask-wearing.
In addition to the long-standing potential danger of an unauthorized weapon on a flight, with the spike in bad behavior, the last thing anyone wants is a passenger who’s not a U.S. Marshall having a gun on the aircraft. The TSA said that 75% of the weapons discovered are ready to fire.
Agents Target Suspected Major Narcotics Operation in Pompano Beach
Law enforcement moved Wednesday to stifle what sources call a major drug operation that kept going despite its alleged ringleader being behind bars.
The arrests made by federal agents along with Broward Sheriff's deputies targeted drugs and money fueling the alleged drug ring provided illegal narcotics to a swath of Broward County.
NBC 6 cameras captured a man and a woman in handcuffs outside of a restaurant, barbershop, and clothing store on East McNab Road in Pompano Beach. NBC 6 also saw agents working in the dark at a residence about a mile away. The Department of Homeland Security confirmed the search warrants, where significant drugs and money were found.
Wednesday marks the second time this year NBC 6 has been to the very same business in Pompano Beach. In February, Louis Younglove was arrested on drug charges and was described then as leading a major narcotics operation in Broward.
"This was not like your average street supplier who maybe sold a couple of bags of cocaine on the side. This was a systematic operation to distribute a lot of narcotics. He had a lot of cash," BSO Lt. Andrea Tianga said back in February. "This was not normal for your average street sale. This was a huge operation."
Younglove had narcotics ready to sell and almost $500,000 in cash in his bedroom, BSO said. The feds took over the prosecution and he’s entered a not guilty plea.
Any of those arrested will appear before a federal magistrate Thursday, where they will have a chance to enter their pleas.
Commissioners Vote to Redevelop Land on Old Kendall Golf Course
Miami-Dade County commissioners voted Wednesday to redevelop an old golf course in Kendall — a move activists say comes with traffic and environmental concerns.
Commissioners voted 10-2 to change the zoning, which would allow for developers to move forward with a project to build 550 homes on the old Calusa golf course.
The 168-acre golf course, located off Killian Parkway and Southwest 127th Avenue, has been a source of heated debate since it closed over 10 years ago.
Some residents say this new proposal by GL Homes is something they can support to get rid of what they call an unsightly area that they claim reduces property value.
The Price We Pay: the Costs and Outcomes of Some Complex Death Penalty Prosecutions
The death penalty is the ultimate punishment, reserved for the most heinous and cruel of crimes.
But at what price?
The exact taxpayer costs of investigating, prosecuting, defending, trying, appealing and carrying out a death sentence in Florida is impossible to determine.
Police, state attorneys and public defenders offices, for example, don’t separately track the time their employees, attorneys and staff spend on such cases above and beyond what they might on a case where death is not sought as a punishment.
But the NBC 6 Investigators can reveal how much the death penalty costs taxpayers to defend some of the most complex cases, those where conflicts prevent tax-funded defenders from being involved: $41 million over nearly 45 months, about $920,000 a month.
And that’s just for the defense in a small slice of all cases where state attorneys announced their intent to seek death at some point in the prosecution.
Broward County prosecutors are preparing in coming weeks to ask two juries to send two men to death row.
‘Do the Right Thing': Students Who Reported Potential School Incidents Honored
Local law enforcement in Miami-Dade County honored several students who reported suspicious behavior on campus and online.
Five of the 10 students honored Tuesday by Do The Right Thing Miami and local law enforcement were able to report the actions to school staff and police.
Hector Teran, a student at Lamar Curry Middle School, reported a gun on campus and admitted he was scared to speak up.
"Because when he show me the gun, he told me 'better not snitch me',” Teran said.
Sophia Brady, Ashley Rodriguez and Alexandra Perez saw a school shooting threat on Snapchat toward Hialeah Middle School and reported it.
“It got me a little scared because just a think that something like that could happen to you and others that you care about and others around you,” Rodriguez said.
See something, say something is a simple message but not all students are willing to do it.
“Saying something like that can really help somebody," Rodriguez said. "And I could teach other people that you should be scared to speak up.”
Redoing Recycling: How South Florida Cities Are Adapting to Change
Cities across South Florida are changing how they deal with recycling.
It’s a big business, but recycling has not been paying off for some communities. China, once American’s top buyer of recyclables, stopped taking most of our country’s recycling in 2018.
This change drove down the value on the global market, and drove up the price taxpayers were paying for the service.
“It made it economically not feasible to recycle,” said John Norris, the Director of Public Works for the City of Coral Springs.
Last year, the city stopped its traditional recycling program and started sending its recyclables to a waste-to-energy facility.
Norris says the cost to recycle in Coral Springs skyrocketed from $46 per ton to $76 per ton. The change to send recyclables to a waste-to-energy facility saved taxpayers nearly $300,000 in overages due to high levels of contamination.
Margate and the Town of Davie also started sending their recyclables to a waste-to-energy facility.
French Consulate Honors Josephine Baker's Contributions to South Florida
Well before the Civil Rights movement officially began, there was Josephine Baker.
The international singer and activist refused to perform to a segregated crowd in Miami Beach in the 1950s. Her stardom was so big, the venue was forced follow her wishes.
Later in November, the American-born singer will be honored at the Pantheon Monument in Paris. To celebrate this big honor, the French community in South Florida is celebrating her legacy with a variety of free events during the entire month of November.
During the "Roaring Twenties," she became one of Europe’s most popular and highest paid performers. Baker wowed crowds with her iconic singing and dancing, earning the nickname “Black Venus.”
She was born into poverty in Missouri and eventually ending up in Paris. According to Associate Provost at Florida Memorial University Dr. Tameka Hobbs, it was a common trend for many Black performers and artist during that time.
“Josephine Baker was one of a number of American expats who left this country because of the severe racism," Hobbs said. "They felt it limited their existence.”
Baker became a French resident, but would frequently return to the United States.