Morning Buzz: 5 things to know for August 2

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1. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is making her way to Holland during her visit to West Michigan.

On Tuesday she toured the Van Andel Education Institute and Grand Rapids Community College's culinary kitchen, machine lab, and other facilities.

DeVos also held a round table with several teachers and took questions, many of which were focused on budget cuts for teacher education programs and financial aid.

Groups of protesters followed her throughout the day chanting "no vouchers," which they say takes money from already underfunded public schools to give to private schools.


2. Millions of people across the country met with neighbors and police for National Night Out, including right here in West Michigan.

Folks were out playing games, enjoying food, and hanging out, but police say National Night Out is much more than that. They say for a lot of people, especially kids, officers can seem really scary,.

National Night Out is a chance to break that stereotype, letting neighbors know police are here to help.

This was the 34th year for National Night Out. There's another event happening at Midtown Green Park in Grand Rapids on Saturday from 2-9 p.m.


3. A night filled with patriotic melodies and fireworks is coming to Cannonsburg Ski Area Thursday night.

Music Director Marcelo Lehninger will conduct The Grand Rapids Symphony D&W Fresh Market Picnic Pops for the first time at 8 p.m.

The gates open at 5:45 p.m. for picnicking and pre-concert entertainment.

Tickets for this installment of the Picnic Pops series can be purchased in advance at


4. Starbucks is taking beef jerky and transforming it into a beverage.

The drink is called the Pepper Nitro with a Jerky Twist, and it infuses Nitro Cold Brew with malted fennel black pepper syrup. It's topped with a layer of cold honey foam, a sprinkle of cracked pink peppercorn, and a skewer of beef jerkey on top.

It's currently only available at Starbucks' Seattle Roastery.


5. First there were smart speakers, then there were smart houses, now there are smart water bottles.

Smart water bottles are the next high tech trend, and work similarly to a FitBit. The water bottle comes with an app that helps track how much water people drink every day.

The app also sends reminders to drink water throughout the day. It automatically updates every time a person takes a sip, making it easy to stay hydrated and keep track of how much water they're drinking.

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