Morning Buzz: 5 things to know for October 21

1. Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist will be at Western Michigan University to kick off a two-week pilot project involving autonomous shuttles.

The program is part of a $2.1 million project aimed at addressing mobility gaps for seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities across the state.

A safety operator will be on board, ready to implement one of eight emergency stops if necessary or switch to manual control. The technology is built to stop them whenever someone or something comes within a few feet.

Engineers ask if you see the shuttles running on campus during this pilot phase, keep a safe distance away.


2. Just announced, Jim Gaffigan's "The Pale Tourist" tour is set to open the 10th year of Gilda's Laughfest.

His show will be on March 5 at 8 p.m. at Van Andel Arena.

Individual tickets go on sale this Friday at 10 a.m. at

"The Pale Tourist" marks the third appearance for Gaffigan at Laughfest. Both of his previous performances sold out.

The full lineup for Laughfest will be released on November 19.


3. During the 16th annual Metro Health Grand Rapids Marathon, one runner set an Olympic Qualifying Time.

Runner Ashley Higginson from Lansing finished Sunday's 26.2-mile run in just under two hours and 45 minutes.

She could try and make the U.S. Olympic Team and compete next year in Tokyo.

More than 4,500 runners took part from 41 different states and even countries like China and Afghanistan.


4. A dive team in West Michigan had a festive day of training. They took part in an underwater pumpkin carving contest.

The Muskegon County Sheriff's Dive Team did it as part of Sunday's training event.

The event originated 15 years ago when all the local dive shops started doing underwater pumpkins carvings.

A pumpkin with its guts missing will float, the carvers had to attach weights to keep them submerged.

The witch pumpkin was the winner.


5. Share what you are seeing on the roadways with other drivers thanks to a new Google Maps update.

Google is adding new technology to its popular map and GPS service.

The new updates let drivers report several things including accidents, gridlock, and police speed traps.

The company isn't stopping there, additional features also include the ability to report construction lane closures, broken down vehicles, and objects in the road.

Google says some of these alerts have previously been available to some Android users, but now they're accessible across all Android and IOS devices.

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