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Morning Buzz: 5 things to know for March 2

Morning Buzz 3.2.20
Posted at 10:48 AM, Mar 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-02 10:48:32-05

1. ArtPrize is still a few months out, but starting today businesses can register to become official venues.

Registration runs from now through April 2. Any venue within the ArtPrize District can apply.

They can also submit applications for grants to support their display spaces. There are $90,000 in total grants available.

ArtPrize returns to downtown Grand Rapids on September 16.

2. Food pantry shelves are getting stocked thanks to more than $34,000 raised so far through the annual Dancing with the Local Stars event in Muskegon.

Dozens of prominent figures in the community paired up with professional dancers.

This year the proceeds will go to help community food pantries to help provide food to people in need.

This year's theme was "Movie Night" featuring songs from films like The Greatest Showman and Mamma Mia.

Organizers are still working on the final tally of how much was raised.

3. The Special Olympics State Basketball teams had a surprise visitor during their practice over the weekend.

They were practicing at The Unified Sports and Inclusion Center when NBA Champion Ben Wallace showed up.

He spoke to the athletes about his journey to the NBA. The Grand Rapids Drive co-owner also stuck around to take photos, sign autographs, and watch some of the action on the court.

The Special Olympics basketball state finals are on March 21.

4. A ban on single-use plastic bags is now in effect in New York. As of Sunday, businesses across the state are not allowed to use those bags.

Most places have instituted a 5 cent fee for paper bags as well.

It's a move meant to protect the environment and cut down on the 23 billion plastic bags used in New York each year.

Officials are hoping that shoppers will get in the habit of using reusable bags.

There are a few exemptions for uncooked meat, prescription drugs, and dry cleaning.

5. People come from all over to see the beautiful national parks in the U.S. The most visited one last year was the Great Smoky Mountains.

The National Park Service says 12.5 million people passed through the section of Appalachian Trail that sits between North Carolina and Tennessee.

In may, a new sky-bridge opened allowing visitors to look through a glass floor over part of the park.

The Grand Canyon and Rocky Mountain National Parks came in second and third for most visited.