Morning Buzz: 5 things to know for September 1

1. Grand Rapids has a new "Mayor's Tree of the Year" for 2017.

This year's winner is a European Beech at the Oakhill Cemetery on Hall Street.

The competition is a partnership between the city's Urban Forestry Committee and Friends of Grand Rapids Parks.

Every year, people from across the community can nominate a tree. Then, a special team goes through those nominations to pick first, second, and third place winners.

The person who nominated this year's winner says she picked the tree because of its unusual look and historic location.

 

2. Labor Day is almost here, and to celebrate, thousands of people are expected to head to the Mackinac Bridge for the annual Holiday Walk.

The walk starts at 7 a.m. in Saint Ignace, and for the first time, the bridge will be completely closed to vehicle traffic from 6:30 a.m. to noon.

If people aren't finished with the walk by 11:30, a bus will come pick them up.

For more tips, the Mackinac Bridge Authority has an entire guide posted online.

 

3. After 13 years with Detroit, Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander was traded to the Huston Astros.

In return, the Tigers are getting Franklin Perez, Daz Cameron, and Jake Rogers.

Verlander was drafted by the Tigers as the second overall pick in the 2004 MLB draft.

He started playing for Detroit near the end of the 2005 season at 22 years old.

HE had to waive his no trade clause in order to approve the deal, which was finalized Thursday.

Today is the deadline for players to be eligible for playoff rosters.

 

4. It's Black Friday for Star Wars nerds, it's Force Friday!

Force Friday is a marketing blitz by Disney that has potential to boost toy sales and help retail numbers, which are suffering from a slowdown in customer traffic.

The campaign focuses on the newest Star Wars film, "The Last Jedi," which hits theaters in December. Hundreds of retailers in more than 30 countries are participating in the promotion, that includes a Pokemon Go-like app to get consumers into 20,000 stores.

 

5. The Guinness World Record has been broken for wearing a beard made of bees.

Juan Carlos Noguez Ortiz of Toronto wore a beard of bees for 61 minutes, beating the previous record by eight minutes.

He actaully works at a bee farm in Ontario, and according to CBC Toronto, he just wanted to show people that they don't have to be scared of bees.

Ortiz says he only practiced the stunt twice before doing it for real, and he only got a few stings in the process.

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