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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!

Teacher Work Day

Teacher Work Day

Friday, September 28, is a Teacher work day and there is no school for students at all the Sparta Area Public Schools. Enjoy your long weekend! 

Go to www.spartaschools.org for more school information.

2012 Sparta Homecoming Court – Congratulations!

2012 Sparta Homecoming Court – Congratulations!

Homecoming is Friday, October 5, against Allendale! Congratulations to the 2012 Homecoming Court!

Freshman Lord & Lady – Jared Cye & Sarah Monterusso / Sophomore Prince & Princess – Anthony Ingalls & Danielle Harnell / Junior Duke & Duchess – Kevin Krum & Shelby Dewitt & Megan Wudkewych

Senior Queen, candidates are Elizabeth Barber, Amelia Eck, Rachel Humphreys & Rachel Thome

Secretary of State Muskegon office to close for remodeling Oct. 5-19

Secretary of State Muskegon office to close for remodeling Oct. 5-19

The Secretary of State PLUS office at 1485 E. Apple Ave. in Muskegon will be closed for remodeling Oct. 5-19.

Customers and staff will benefit from renovations that include a larger lobby, a public restroom, a new counter design, new carpeting and expanded availability of the Self-Service Station for tab renewals so customers have 24/7 access. The Muskegon office will reopen on Monday, Oct. 22, 2012 at 9 a.m.

Customers who need to renew license plates, renew or replace driver’s licenses and ID cards, change their address or obtain duplicate titles or registrations are encouraged to do the transactions online at www.ExpressSOS.com.  Additional services are offered online as well.

Area residents who need Secretary of State services during the remodeling period may also visit nearby offices:

Grand Haven
1110 Robbins R
Grand Haven