Morning Buzz: 5 things to know for January 17

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1. West Michigan native Betsy DeVos is in the spotlight as confirmation hearings continue for president-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet.

She’s Trump’s selection for Secretary of Education, and if confirmed DeVos is expected to push for expanding school choice programs. That would likely anger the Teachers Union even more.

Also her financial questionnaire shows she and her family have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to 20 current senators, including members of the committee overseeing the confirmation hearing.

As of last night, the paperwork that would prevent her possible conflicts of interest was still missing from the Office of Government Ethics website.

 

2. Governor Rick Snyder will deliver his 7th State of the State Address in Lansing Tuesday night.

While the governor has been tight-lipped about his speech, it’s all but guaranteed he’ll discuss Flint and the on-going water crisis there.

He also told the Detroit Free Press that infrastructure will be a key focus, as well as Michigan’s economy.

The State of the State will start around 7 p.m.

 

3. Whether you’re new to Michigan or you’ve been here your whole life, the state wants to help you pronounce the names of our cities and famous people.

It’s all in a new guide called “You Say It… How, in Michigan?”

The Michigan Braille and Talking Book Library released it with audio and phonetic pronunciations. It was originally made for the blind and visually impaired, but it can benefit anyone.

The guide includes city and county names as well as names of famous natives including Red Wings player Justin Abdelkader, actor Dave Coulier, and Chief Okemos.

 

4. Sometimes peanuts and cracker jacks don’t cut it. The West Michigan Whitecaps are looking for a new dish to feature on their menu, and once again they’re asking for your ideas.

This is the 8th year that the team has asked the public to submit ideas for food. They can be sent in through next Friday, January 27.

Then, the ideas will be narrowed down, and fans can vote on their favorites.

Last year’s winner was “Dutch Love,” a combination of pot roast, cheese curds, French fries, and turkey gravy.

Head to whitecapsbaseball.com to enter your unique combination.

 

5. In Michigan we come across deer, raccoons, and lots of birds on our hikes, but you’ve probably never seen an alligator.

Kim Joiner captured this video showing an alligator creeping out of the bushes at Circle B-Bar Reserve. Joiner wrote on Facebook that it was “nature at its best.”

The Circle B-Bar Reserve is an area of unprotected lands on the northwest shore of Lake Hancock.

Some people on Facebook said he’s a well-known alligator, and that his nickname is Humpback because of his large, curved back.

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