1. Illness is forcing an early weekend for several Kalamazoo County School Districts.
Kalamazoo Public Schools alone have had 1,900 cases of sickness among students and staff. That’s why district officials decided to close Kalamazoo Public, Gull Lake Community, and Climax-Scott Community Schools.
In fact, health officials say Noro Virus and respiratory sickness is reported all over Southwest Michigan. They say the best way to prevent illness from spreading is to wash your hands, get a flu shot, and don’t send kids to school if they’re sick.
2. The ride sharing app Lyft is now available in 54 U.S. cities, including a handful of new areas here in Michigan.
Now you can get a ride in Flint, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Midland, and Saginaw.
The service is already up and running in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Lansing areas.
Uber and the Grand Rapids based service Steadyfare are other sharing options in West Michigan.
3. If you don’t have plans, check out the Winter Beer Festival that kicks off today.
At Fifth Third Ballpark in Comstock Park, the fest will include more than 100 breweries and almost 1000 beers, as well as local bands, ice sculptures, and food.
Each ticket comes with 15 beer tasting tokens. Saturday tickets are sold out, but there are still tickets for Friday.
Tickets are $50 at the gate.
4. It’s the last day to enter a contest for a chance to see Founders Brewing Company’s Underground Beer Caves.
They’re 85 feet below the streets of Grand Rapids, and were once an old Gypsum mine.
There are 8,000 barrels down there, holding beers including KBS.
In order to go down to the caves, you must be a member of the brewery’s Cadre Club. Just submit an idea for a beer you’d like Founders to create, include the ingredients, labeling, and a backstory.
Founders will then pick their five favorite entries.
5. The West Michigan Whitecaps are narrowing down the list of potential dishes for their next menu, and there’s still time to vote for your favorite!
Some of the finalists include deep fried bubble gum, deep fried sushi rolls, a sandwich with fried spam, mac and cheese, bacon, and a whole lot more.
There’s also the “Eye Full Tower,” a foot long corn dog surrounded by onion rings.
Voting is open until March 3 on the Whitecaps website. The team will announce a winner later this month.