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Tough work: Apple picking is "an art form"

ALPINE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- We're now about three weeks into the apple harvest, but the Michigan Apple Committee reports labor is down about 20 percent this year and farmers in Alpine Township and Sparta say they're feeling the pain.

But Amy Irish-Brown, a Michigan State University educator, and Gretchen Mensing with the Michigan Apple Committee both say they're confident the state's crop will get picked; growers will just have to work harder to get it done.

But May has his doubts and stands to lose $100,000 this season. He has nine workers but still needs nine more. Many people assume if you need work, than just pick apples.

But the job is more difficult than you may think, so WZZM 13 sent reporter Stacia Kalinoski out into May's orchard to show what the work is really life.

We start with two bins and two different apple pickers. Felipe Jaramillo has already filled his bin three times in 3.5 hours. That's 70 bags of apples.

9-year-old boy injured in bike-truck collision

TYRONE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- Kent County deputies say a boy suffered facial and head injuries when he collided with a truck.

The accident happened around 6:30 p.m. Monday in the 1500 block of Black Hills South Drive NW in Tyrone Township.

According to deputies, the nine-year-old boy was riding his bike without a helmet in the private development, and failed to stop before wheeling into the path of the truck.

An ambulance crew took the child to Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids.  There is no update on his condition.

The accident is still under investigation.

15 Mile Road closed after morning crash

SPARTA TWP., Mich. (WZZM) - Three people suffered minor injuries in a crash that deputies say could have been much worse.

The crash happened just after 8:00am on 15 Mile Road, just east of Kenowa Avenue.

Kent County Sheriff's Deputies tell our crew on the scene that a small truck was slowing down to turn around while traveling on 15 Mile heading east, when a car also heading east hit the back of the truck.  The 18-year-old driver and his 15-year-old sister who was in the car had been blinded by the morning sun.  They were wearing their seatbelts and the car's airbags did deploy.

15 Mile Road was closed for a time Monday morning.  All those involved suffered minor injuries.

Harvest time at Riveridge Produce

SPARTA, Mich. (WZZM) - It was harvest time for the apple crop at Riveridge Produce Sunday. Riveridge held a variety of family events including face painting, wagon rides, and free apple cider.

This year's Michigan apple crop will likely be about ten times the size of last year's harvest. Weather destroyed most of last year's crop, only 3 million bushels of apples were harvested.

The Michigan Apple committee estimates this year's harvest at 30 million bushels.

Kent County accepting household hazardous waste

Kent County accepting household hazardous waste

Kent County will be accepting household hazardous waste from residents Saturday, September 21.

Residents with proper ID can drop off items from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at 2350 Ivanrest SW in Grandville. The county will also accept drop-off items at the following times and locations:

  • October 12: 2908 Ten Mile Rd. in Rockford
  • October 26: 1500 Scribner Ave. NW, Grand Rapids

Chemicals including weed killers, bug sprays, antifreeze, gasoline, oil-based paint, wood preservatives, paint thinner, pool chemicals, deck cleaners, fluorescent light bulbs, mercury thermometers and thermostats will all be accepted.  Latex paint, medical waste, prescription drugs, ammunition and fireworks are prohibited.

For more information, visit the Household Hazardous Waste Program website or call (616) 336-2570.

Fall Fun on Family Farms

Fall Fun on Family Farms

Kent Harvest Trails showcases 20 participating Farms offering locally grown foods, activities, like corn mazes & hayrides and more for all to enjoy. Most farms are free, but a few may charge admission & there may be fee’s for special activities. Check out the fun down on these farms!

Participating Farms are:

Two Cooley faculty members among 'Best Law Teachers' in the nation

Two Cooley faculty members among 'Best Law Teachers' in the nation

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- Thomas M. Cooley Law School has the distinction of being the only law school in the country with two members of its faculty featured in the recently published book, "What the Best Law Teachers Do" (Harvard University Press, 2013).

The book names Associate Dean Nelson Miller and Professor Phillip J. Prygoski as two of the 26 “best law teachers” in the United States.

Authored by Professor Gerry Hess of Gonzaga University School of Law; Professor Sophie Sparrow of the University of New Hampshire School of Law; and Michael Hunter Schwartz, dean and professor of law at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law, the book is the culmination of a four-year study that sought to identify extraordinary law teachers. The study details the attributes and practices of professors who have a significant, positive and long-term effect on their students.