Morning Buzz: 5 things to know for February 8

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1. The community continues to rally around a local family after two of their sons were diagnosed with cancer, just 11 months apart.

Preston Ricker was diagnosed with lymph node cancer in December and recently had surgery to remove it.

He’s expected to be okay, but his older brother Brison has brain cancer with a zero percent survival rate. He’s been getting experimental treatment in Texas, and his family says it’s working, but it cost about $20,000 a month.

So, for the last two days, people have been donating pop cans at the Meijer in Cedar Springs, to help pay for the treatment.

So far the drive has raised more than $8,600.

 

2. An Ann Arbor based restaurant is expanding to Grand Rapids. Palio will replace what used to be El Barrio, on Michigan Street.

The space will also be renovated to look more like an Italian restaurant. It’ll include Tuscan menu items, an herb garden, craft beer, and cocktails.

Palio will start taking job applications for the new location on March 19.

 

3. A second Chick-Fil-A is getting ready to open in West Michigan, and once again customers are camping out for free food 24 hours in advance.

The restaurant at 54th Street and US 131 in Wyoming is set to open its doors at 6 a.m. on Thursday. The first 100 people in line will get free sandwiches for a year.

Franchise owners hope this second location will ease some of the traffic issues they’ve seen at the Gaines Township store, which opened in January.

 

4. If you’re feeling the winter blues, the city of Grand Rapids is hoping to show you the prettier side of the season.

The Valent Ice Winter Ice Festival is set for this weekend. The third annual celebration is one of the top five ice festivals in Michigan, featuring the state’s largest ice bar and dozens of sculptures throughout downtown.

The festival starts Friday and runs through Valentine’s Day, which is next Tuesday.

 

5. Former President Barak Obama is soaking in every bit of his post-White House vacation in the British Virgin Islands.

Obama and his friend Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, took on an athletic challenge.

Branson says he just learned foil board surfing, so Obama hopped on a kite surf for the first time to see who could stay on the longest.

Branson says Obama stayed up for 100 meters on his kite surf, defeating Branson by a full 50 meters.

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