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Morning Buzz: 5 things to know for January 9

Posted: 10:28 AM, Jan 09, 2020
Updated: 2020-01-09 10:28:30-05
Morning Buzz 1.9.20

1. Michigan is getting the spotlight, being named one of the best places to travel in the world.

Travel website Tripsavvy named Michigan as the best place to travel for outdoor enthusiasts in 2020.

With more than 19 million acres of forest and 3,000 miles of shoreline, the site said Michigan is an under-appreciated outdoor playground.

The site also mentioned hikes at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore or even taking a dip in Lake Michigan.

It also mentions the Upper Peninsula, home to hundreds of waterfalls, while featuring Tahquamenon Falls and Pictured Rocks.

2. It's hard to believe that there's only two months until the start of the 10th annual Laughfest in Grand Rapids and individual show tickets go on sale Friday morning.

Ticket sales begin at 10 a.m. on Friday and can be purchased online or at the Van Andel Arena and DeVos Place Box Offices.

Comedians like Jim Gaffigan, Maria Bamford, and Adam Cayton-Holland will be performing this year along with Jeff Foxworthy headlining the signature event.

Money raised goes to support the organization's mission to help people battling cancer or grieving the loss of a loved one.

The 10-day fest runs March 5-15.

3. Today is National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, and Biggby Coffee would like to honor all active and retired law enforcement.

Stop by the local Biggby for a free 16 ounce beverage of choice as a way to say thanks.

All you have to do is show your law enforcement ID to take part.

The company says this is the smallest way for them to show their appreciation to our men and women in blue.

4. The Fox 17 Morning Mix has had the honor of featuring West Michigan WWII Veteran Virgil Westdale. Now we're reporting on him again as he recently received a special honor for his 102nd birthday.

Westdale, the son of a Japanese immigrant, was part of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, which was one of the most decorated units in American Military history.

Before the war, Virgil received his pilot's license at Western Michigan University, but was stripped of his Army Air Corps Badge during the war because of his heritage.

Two years ago, he got it back during a special ceremony, held at the Ford Museum in downtown Grand Rapids. This week, in the same building, he celebrated his 102nd birthday.

One of his favorite parts, he shared a special dance with his granddaughter.

5. The Federal Reserve is launching five brand new quarters honoring National Parks and Historic Sites across the country.

There will be five different designs on the backs of these quarters. They're part of the reserve's 2020 America The Beautiful Program.

The first quarter set to be released showcases the fruit bats native to the National Park of the American Samoa. These come out February 3, with other designs set to be released throughout the remainder of the year.

Coin Collectors who don't want to wait can buy individual quarters online through the U.S. Mint.