Morning Buzz: 5 things to know for January 5

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1. Several retail stores are closing around the country, and a few of those are right here in West Michigan.

Retailers that used to draw people to shopping malls are continuing to feel the impact of the Internet.

One of the most recent victims of the trend is the Sears that has served as an anchor store at Woodland Mall for decades.

Workers were just told on Wednesday that the store will be closing in the spring. The Sears store was one of the original tenants when the Woodland Mall opened in 1968.

The Kmart on Apple Avenue in Muskegon is also closing.

 

2. Along those same lines, Macy’s announced that they’ll be closing more stores and cutting thousands of jobs as well.

Of the 68 stores around the country shutting down, four stores in Michigan are on the chopping block, including the Macy’s at Lakeview Mall in Battle Creek.

The other locations closing in Michigan are in Harper Woods, Lansing, and Westland. The rest of the closures are expected to happen by mid-2017.

After that, about 660 locations across the country will be left.

 

3. The Grand Rapids Planning Commission is set to meet soon, to make a decision about an interesting proposal from Founders Brewing.

They’re trying to put up what they call an “apartment sized” American flag on the roof of their building downtown.

Currently, the city allows flags up to 40 square feet in size, to be installed in public locations, the Founders flag would be about 375 square feet.

The company says they want to help draw local customers and out of town visitors to their brewery and other local businesses.

The commission will meet on January 12 to make a decision.

 

4. Hopcat is continuing to expand! They’re now opening up a restaurant in Port Saint Lucie, Florida, which will be the first Hopcat location in the state.

Currently, there are more than 10 restaurants across the U.S. and the long term goal is to open at least 15 more locations over the next several years.

The dining area in Florida will seat up to 250 people and will feature 100 taps of craft beer, plus a full menu, including their award winning crack fries.

 

5. A llama on the loose caused quite an uproar in Georgia Wednesday afternoon.

Officials wrangled the runaway from the road, and managed to get him into a fenced dumpster area outside a restaurant.

It’s still not clear why the llama was out and about.

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