Morning Buzz: 5 things to know for February 16

1. Former Western Michigan coach PJ Fleck is taking more than his family with him to Minnesota, he’s also taking his signature phrase “row the boat” as well.

It didn’t come without a price though. While Fleck accepted the job as the Minnesota Gophers’ head coach last month, Western still held the trademark for his famous mantra.

Now the coach and his former employer have agreed to a deal. ESPN reports that Fleck will donate $50,000 to a scholarship for a Broncos football player in exchange for the rights to “row the boat.”

The school will also still be able to use the phrase on marketing materials, including displays celebrating the team’s conference championship and the trip to the Cotton Bowl.

 

2. Walmart has purchased the Michigan-based company, Moosejaw, for $51 million.

Walmart says the outdoor brand will continue operating its site stores, and its more than 350 employees will stay based in Michigan.

There’s also no indication the purchase will affect the Moosejaw outlet in Grand Rapids, located right across from the Downtown Market.

The new deal is part of Walmart’s attempt to better compete with online retailers, like Amazon.

 

3. Laughfest Central is opening its doors Monday, ahead of the funny fest in March.

It’s located inside the Grand Rapids Art Museum downtown, and is the headquarters for the festival.

It’ll have information on performances and events, along with merchandise.

There are more than 200 shows, free and ticketed, at more than 30 venues.

For more information, you can go to Laughfestgr.org.

The festival runs from March 9-19.

 

4. A bee shortage has made the news over the past couple of years, but now a college student has come up with a creative way to help pollinate plants.

It’s a prototype of “Plan Bee,” a bee drone. She came up with the idea in her product design class at Savannah College of Art and Design.

It’s designed to mimic how bees pollinate flowers and crops. It sucks in pollen from a plant and expels it onto other flowers to enable cross-pollination.

The school dean believes it could be used to help in large scale and even hydroponic farming.

 

5. Starbucks has a new drink, and it involves mixing coffee and ice cream.

The “Roastery Affogato Menu” is based on the Italian espresso-poured-over-ice cream dessert, began rolling out in Starbucks stores that include high-end reserve bars on Wednesday.

There are 18-reserve bars nationwide in cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, and Boston.

Starbucks is also adding ice cream to their menu at one hundred stores in California.

Drinks will start as low as $5.25 per cup.

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