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Morning Buzz: August 6

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Morning Buzz: August 6, 2021
Posted at 10:11 AM, Aug 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-06 10:11:19-04

1. The Grand Rapids Ballet Company is headed back to the stage for this month's summer series.

It's the dance company's first live on-stage show in 16-months. The first performance is at the listening lawn at Studio Park in downtown Grand Rapids on August 14.

The second will take place at the Amphitheater at Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park on August 31.

Guest artists include Gene Hahn from the West Michigan Symphony Orchestra will be featured. Previews of 2022 performances like Christopher Stowell's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" will also be featured.

GR Ballet's 2021-22 season will also offer a virtual season subscription for guests who are unable to join in person. Those virtual season passes will be available online in late August.

2. The City of Portage is creating a new "safe exchange zone".

It's well-marked, well-lit, and located outside the public safety department. The area is under 24-hour video surveillance, making it the perfect place to buy, sell, and trade items.

It can also be used for child custody exchanges. The goal is to deter fake exchanges, along with thefts and robberies.

3. The Michigan Air National Guard and a few other military groups were test-landing planes on Michigan highways on Thursday.

The combat readiness exercise is happening in Alpena. The Michigan National Guard was joined by teams from Arizona and Florida.

MDOT closed off M-32 near the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center.

4. Starting in August, Starbucks' fall products are back on grocery store shelves.

The offerings include returning seasonal favorites, such as pumpkin spice flavored creamer and pumpkin spice flavored coffee.

The new products include pumpkin spice flavored non-dairy creamer and pumpkin spice cold brew concentrate.

These items are available for a limited time.

5. American Airlines is taking TikTok to new heights with free in-flight access for passengers. The airline has added the popular social media platform to its roster of free in-flight offerings.

People on select flights can get 30 minutes of free access without purchasing WiFi.

It's through a partnership with VIASAT, a global communications company.

The purpose is to better understand what kind of content passengers want during their in-flight experience.