TSA: ‘Escalating problem’ with guns at airport security checkpoints

People really need to check their bags before they try to go through airport security.

That’s the message from the Transportation Security Administration, as a spokeswoman for the agency said there is an “escalating problem with guns being brought to the checkpoints across the country.”

A look at some of the firearms recently found by the TSA at airport security checkpoints. (TSA photo)
A look at some of the firearms recently found by the TSA at airport security checkpoints. (TSA photo)

At Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, 12 guns have been found at checkpoints so far this year, after 16 were found in all of last year, TSA spokeswoman Sari Koshetz said.

Agents also continue to find items including knives, hand grenades — both real and replica — and ammunition, Koshetz said.

Four stun guns have been found this year at PBIA, she added.

The TSA documents all of the firearms and other banned weapons it finds at checkpoints on its blog. Last week, the TSA found 70 firearms in carry-on bags, including one at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and two at Miami International Airport. Of the total firearms found, 61 were loaded and 25 had a round chambered, according to the TSA’s blog. In the two weeks before that, agents found a total of 164 firearms in travelers’ carry-on baggage.

If the TSA finds a gun in your carry-on, it doesn’t just cause you a headache. Koshetz said agents have to stop the entire line, delaying everyone behind you.

Check out the TSA’s blog for more information on what you can and can’t bring on an airplane.

FPL files data with state to prove investments are paying off for customers

Florida Power & Light Co. said Thursday that it has filed data with the Florida Public Service Commission showing that its investments in strengthening its grid are paying off for customers.

(Bill Ingram /The Palm Beach Post)
(Bill Ingram /The Palm Beach Post)

Since 2006, FPL said it has invested more than $2 billion to strengthen its electric system, including hardening nearly 550 main power lines serving critical community facilities, such as police and fire stations, hospitals and 911 centers. By the end of this year, FPL said it will have bolstered every main power line serving critical community facilities in the 35 counties it serves.

“We’re building a stronger and smarter electric grid to provide our customers with reliable service year-round, all the while keeping our typical residential bills the lowest in Florida and 30 percent below the national average,” said Eric Silagy, president and CEO of FPL. “Our continued investments in strengthening the electric grid and utilizing advanced smart grid technology help us deliver electricity our customers can count on in good weather and bad. This has been very evident during our most recent spell of severe El Niño-related weather, including tornadic activity, which for the past several weeks has been impacting our service territory.”

FPL said its efforts to bolster overhead power lines also have resulted in better reliability. The hardened lines, the utility said, perform approximately 40 percent better than lines that have not been hardened.

FPL also said its use of more than 4.8 million smart meters on homes and businesses, plus another 36,000 advanced smart grid devices on its poles and wires, allows it to monitor the health of its system as well as to predict, and sometimes prevent outages, and restore power faster when outages occur.

Manatee Lagoon opens to visitors Saturday; great timing with cool weather coming in

Manatees swim along the viewing deck of the Manatee Lagoon, an FPL eco-discovery center, Jan. 12, 2016, in Riviera Beach. (Bill Ingram / The Palm Beach Post)
Manatees swim along the viewing deck of the Manatee Lagoon, an FPL eco-discovery center, Jan. 12, 2016, in Riviera Beach. (Bill Ingram / The Palm Beach Post)

The new Florida Power & Light Co. Manatee Lagoon science center is slated to open to the public Saturday morning in Riviera Beach.

And the timing couldn’t be much better. A cold front is expected to drop temperatures in Palm Beach County into the high 60s Saturday morning, and into the low 40s Sunday, the National Weather Service says.

» RELATED | Photos: Inside the new Manatee Lagoon center

During cool weather, manatees tend to flock to the warm water flowing from FPL’s Riviera Beach power plant next to the Manatee Lagoon center, making this weekend a good opportunity to spot some sea cows.

The $4.8 million facility also offers a boardwalk, a manatee cam, a pavilion, a gift shop and educational exhibits.

Read more about Manatee Lagoon.

IF YOU GO

What: Opening of FPL’s Manatee Lagoon science center

Where: 6000 N. Flagler Dr., Riviera Beach

When: Manatee Lagoon open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday; public park open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week

Information: www.visitmanateelagoon.com