Morning Buzz: 5 things to know for Jan. 11

1. Love the idea of living near downtown Grand Rapids, but can't afford it?

Construction is underway for a new housing development that promises more affordable housing. The complex is called Midtown Cityzen, and it's going up along the medical mile in downtown Grand Rapids.

It'll be four stories with 44 units, and will have space for a restaurant on the ground floor. Some funding for the project is coming from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, which creates affordable housing developments across the state.

The development is expected to open this fall.

 

2. The Fifth Third River Bank Run is under new leadership this morning. On Thursday, organizers announced that Scott Stenstrom will take the reigns as the new race director.

It was just a few days after last year's race, when the former race director John Zimmerman was laid off. Stentstrom has been with Fifth Third Bank for the last 22 years.

During that time, he says he's worked closely with race organizers.

The race is set for May 12.

 

3. The Grand Rapids Griffins are in need of some help! They're competing against other ice rinks for upgrades to their practice facility, and need support from the community.

Griff's Icehouse is one of 33 rinks across the country vying for a new lighting system.

The competition is in the quarter-final stage. All the rinks need fans to vote to move on to the next round, and people can vote once a day until February 2.

The Griffins say the lights are the building's second largest electricity draw, but a new LED system would reduce the power demand, and not put out as much heat.

Head to the Griffin's Facebook page for a link to the voting site.

 

4. A lucky 19-year-old can now go to Michigan State University debt-free. The Oakland County woman won $500,000 playing the Michigan Lottery's "Bring On The Bens" instant game.

In addition to paying for her college education, she said she plans to use her winnings to buy her family a new home and send her brother on a school trip to Disneyland.

Players have won more than $10 million playing "Bring on the Bens," which launched in September 2017.

 

5. Say goodbye to the old Diet Coke, it's getting a new look, including slimmer cans!

There are four new flavors too: ginger lime, feisty cherry, blood orange, and twisted mango.

The change comes amid slumping sales across the Diet Cola market, as consumers turn to other options like sparkling water and low-calorie energy drinks.

Experts also believe the makeover is a bid to turn millennials into Diet Coke drinkers.

The "new look" will be on U.S. shelves this month.

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