Morning Buzz: 5 things to know for Feb. 21

1. A local school district is receiving national recognition after Holmes and Jefferson Elementary Schools have been nominated for the U.S. Department of Education's National Blue Ribbon Award.

To qualify for the award, schools need to show high test scores in core subjects. The teachers say they're always staying ahead of the curve, and are making sure none of their students fall through the cracks.

Across the state, a total of 13 schools were nominated for this year's award.


2. A tropical adventure with butterflies is returning very soon to West Michigan.

The annual "Butterflies are Blooming exhibition at Frederik Meijer Garden and Sculpture Park is set to open on March 1. It features more than 7,000 tropical butterflies at the Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory, which will include sixty species from around the world.

This year's exhibition highlights the butterflies' unique journey from butterfly farms around the world to their emergence and release inside the conservatory.

The exhibition is scheduled to run until the end of April.


3. A cure to peanut allergies is one step closer to reality. A California company says a major study shows its daily capsules of peanut powder can help children build tolerance.

The study involved nearly 500 kids ages 4 to 7 with severe peanut allergies. The subjects were given either capsules of peanut powder or a dummy powder in gradually increasing amounts for six months.

It turns out 67 percent of the kids in the test group were able to tolerate the equivalent of roughly two peanuts at the end of the study. If all goes well, the company plans to seek federal approval for the treatment later this year.


4. Amazon isn't just about selling things online, they're launching a line of over-the-counter health products.

The online retail-giant is now selling "Basic Care" branded products ranging from ibuprofen to hair regrowth treatment. Amazon doesn't own the products which are produced by Perrigo.

Experts view the "Basic Care" line as a possible challenger to Pharmacy retail chains.


5. Everyone loves a good mystery, but when that mystery is a marshmallow, it's all the more enticing. Lucky for mystery flavor fanatics and Peeps patrons alike, the chick-shaped springtime treat launched eight new flavors last week, three of which are mystery flavors.

They're available only at Walmart, plain white Peeps wrapped in colorful, question-mark-stamped packages will have surprising new tastes.

Peeps will announce the truth behind the mystery flavors closer to April 1.

The new flavors that are known are sour cherry, pancakes and syrup, chocolate and strawberry filling, as well as lemon sherbet and orange sherbet, both of which are dipped in fudge.

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