Morning Buzz: 5 things to know for December 27

1. Did you buy or receive an Echo Dot smart speaker for Christmas? Apparently a lot of people did, because it was the number one item sold on Amazon.

The online retail giant says it sold millions of Echoes, which had also been best-sellers on Black Friday.

The company dropped Dot prices to under $30 a piece this month to fuel demand.

Other hot items on Amazon this year included the Fire TV Streaming Sticks, the Fit Bit Charge 2, the Instant Pot, and robot vacuum cleaners.


2. Many people wished for a white Christmas this year, and that wish was exceeded enormously!

According to the National Weather Service, Grand Rapids got seven inches of snow on Christmas day, tying with the record set on the exact same day in 1990.

The near white-out conditions and snowy roads made holiday travel a bit rough, and it doesn't look like conditions will get any better. Temperatures are going to stay cold all week long, not getting much higher than the teens or even single digit temperatures. So be sure to drive safe and bundle up!


3. All that  snow made a lot of people's Christmases even merrier this week, since Siegel Jewelers in Grand Rapids refunded $100,000 to all of their customers who bought jewelry from them this holiday season.

They told their shoppers if it snows more than six inches on Christmas, they will get their money back. This applied to about 1,000 of their customers who made a purchase between mid-November and mid-December.

It's part of their annual "Let It Snow Contest" that they've been running for the last six years, and this is the first time they've had to pay up.


4. Good news for deer hunters, the Michigagn DNR is adding a few extra days to firearms season to help with Chronic Wasting Disease surveillance.

The special seasons are scheduled for January 4-7 and 11-14 in both Ionia and Montcalm Counties.

The hunts will take place on private and public hunting grounds, but baiting isn't allowed. Participating hungers will be required to turn in the heads of harvested deer within 72 hours to be tested.

There's been nearly a dozen confirmed cases of CWD across Michigan over the last couple years.


5. A popular board game and movie has come to life at a local library. The Otsego District Library has transformed part of their building into "The Jumanji Room."

The library chooses a different theme every year over the holiday break, and this year they built a life-sized jungle for kids.

The goal is for kids to make it to the end of the maze, or jungle. It's a dollar to play, and $5 for families.

The director says they expect to be packed for weeks.

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