Our network

County Wide Food Drive

County Wide Food Drive

Access of West Michigan is having a County Wide Food Drive from October 8-13, 2012  to benefit Kent County food pantries. Your donation of non-perishable food & personal care items will help those in need in over 60 Kent County food pantries. Here are suggested donations & drop-off locations.

Suggested Items for Donation

Canned fruits and vegetables
Canned meats (tuna, chicken, stew, etc.)
Pasta and pasta sauce
Peanut butter
Soap: dish, laundry, bar
Toilet paper
Shampoo and conditioner
Toothbrushes and toothpaste

Drop-Off Locations

Family Fare Grocery Stores
D&W Grocery Stores
Duthler Family Foods
Fulton Heights Foods
Forest Hills Foods
Mercantile Bank branches
Fifth Third Bank branches

Sparta Senior Bash Rummage & Bake Goods Sale

Sparta Senior Bash Rummage & Bake Goods Sale

Are you doing your fall cleaning? Donate your items to the Class of 2013 Senior Bash Rummage & Bake Goods Sale.


Call to schedule pick up / drop off – Kristen Anible, 616-784-3897

Drop them off Friday, November 2nd, from 3:30 pm to 7:30 pm at the High School


Saturday, November 3rd, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm, Sparta High School, 475 W. Spartan Dr

Dirty Apple Obstacle Run 2012 Results

Dirty Apple Obstacle Run 2012 Results

Thank you for your patience as we have collated the times for the participants of the Dirty Apple Obstacle Run as part of Harvest on the Ridge in Sparta on September 15, 2012.

The Dirty Apple had over 350 participants preregistered for the first time event which was a spectacular turnout and a new challenge for the first time event coordinators to organize.  The Obstacle Run is a fun run and consisted of three divisions: 4 person teams, singles, and Family.  Prizes were awarded to participants through a random drawing at the event with local wares from area Farmers Markets such as Apple Butter, jellies, jams, and Apple Crisp mixes in addition to other prizes.

Organizers are already looking forward to making the 2013 obstacles much...


Rotten apple season ends early

SPARTA, Mich. (WZZM) - It's no doubt been a rotten apple season in Michigan. Almost 90 percent of the state's crop was destroyed, and by Saturday, nearly all growers will be done harvesting, including Jim May in Sparta.

The season usually runs until November 1. The apples coming down from the trees on Friday didn't look pretty.

"This one here is from frost, that's frost damage," said Jim May. "This apple is elongated on this side."

An April freeze and spring frosts killed off 75 percent of May's crop, pushing harvest up five weeks early.

"The fruit is not normal, it's deformed, the size isn't there, the color isn't there," he said.

But what looks like a bad apple, doesn't taste that way, says John Schaefer, president of Jack Brown Produce in Sparta.

"That really doesn't hurt the quality of the fruit," he said.

Hayrides, Mazes, Pumpkins & Apples

Hayrides, Mazes, Pumpkins & Apples

Fruit Ridge Hayrides of Kent City, MI is offering rides along with children’s activities, apples and pumpkins. The farm is located at 11966 Fruit Ridge NW; for more information, call 616-887-5052.

Their Fall Festival runs through October 28th on Friday 5-9, Saturday noon-9 and Sunday noon -5. Reservations for rides are not necessary during open hours unless you have a group of 20 or more people. Reservations for special outings are available Monday-Thursday. There is no charge just to come to the farm for a visit and enjoy the outdoors.

Hayrides last about 40-45 minutes and are $6.00 per person. Family corn maze and the challenge maze are $6.00 per person also. Combine both activities for $10.00 per person.

Contractor charged for cheating customers

SPARTA, Mich. (WZZM)- A West Michigan contractor is facing charges for not delivering on projects he's already been paid for. 13 On Your Side reported on Jason Cooper twice before and now prosecutors are taking action.

Cooper is charged with taking money under false pretenses. A homeowner in Sparta says she paid him thousands of dollars but Cooper never came back to do the work.

June Brace says Cooper called her late last year, offering to give her an estimate on roof work at her home in Sparta.

Cooper said his business was named AJK Home Improvement. He was going to install a new roof and build and extension off the front of the house. In April 2012, Brace hired Cooper and gave him $3,600. By June, Brace says the work still hadn't begun.

"We started investigating, we should have before. It was our fault-- his addresses didn't exist."

Last Farmers Market for the season

Last Farmers Market for the season

From the Sparta, Michigan Facebook page:

Today is the last Sparta Farmers Market for the season! Stop by today to pick up pumpkins, apples, squash, gords, and enjoy the harvest season from 3-7 pm in ChoiceOne Bank Parking Lot in downtown Sparta. Its been a fantastic year!