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Sparta begins leaf pick-up October 14

Sparta begins leaf pick-up October 14

SPARTA, Mich.—It’s fall, which means leaves are littering the yards in Sparta.

The village will begin wide leaf pick-up for fall Monday, October 14.  Residents are asked to rake their leaves into piles between the curb and sidewalk area or near the street.   Leaves should not be raked into the streets, where they can clog storm drains.  Leaves contaminated by pet waste or trash will not be picked up.

Leaf pick-up service runs through the end of November. 

Artists add outdoor flair to downtown businesses

Artists add outdoor flair to downtown businesses

SPARTA, Mich.—Some fresh murals are beginning to grace the outer walls of businesses in downtown Sparta.

The first of three murals went up on the old Wolff’s Drugs building at Union and Division a few weeks ago.  In the next few weeks, a second piece will be installed on the exterior of the Historic Commission Offices at 71 N. Union; the final mural will grace the wall of Freeland Chiropractic at Division and Maple.

The pieces are the work of three finalists in this year’s “Art in Sparta Mural Review,” organized by the Downtown Development Authority.  The artists painted their work on a piece of material, which is then mounted onto the walls.  DDA Director Elizabeth Morse says the pieces are guaranteed for 10 years, but the village is willing to work with business owners who are concerned the artwork will inhibit selling their space.

Fall Harvest Festival 2013

Fall Harvest Festival 2013

KENT CITY, Mich.-- The 125-year-old farm, located at 11966 Fruit Ridge NW, is all about good old fashion fun through October 27.

Fall Harvest Festival features many activities for the whole family to experience, along with the opportunity to ride a wagon led by draft horses through the tranquil orchards, woods and a pumpkin patch. Visitors are encouraged to stop and  pick apples or pumpkins during the ride without worrry-  the next wagon will shuttle you back to the barns for refreshments and more fun.

Hours of operation:

  • Monday through Thursday by reservation
  • Friday, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Saturday, 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Sunday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, go to http://www.fruitridgehayrides.com/ or call (616) 887-5052.

Algoma Township sign ordinance amendment up for public discussion Oct. 15

Algoma Township sign ordinance amendment up for public discussion Oct. 15

ALGOMA TOWNSHIP, Mich.—An amendment to Algoma Township’s sign ordinance will be up for public discussion later this month.

Township officials say the amendment is meant to make the sign ordinance more uniform and readable, as well as easier to find and understand.  Supervisor Dennis Hoemke says nothing in the ordinance will be drastically changed.

The Algoma Township Planning Commission is expected to vote on the proposed amendment after a public hearing and discussion October 15.  The planning commission meeting begins at 7 p.m.  

Project to bring new homes and jobs to Sparta

Project to bring new homes and jobs to Sparta

SPARTA, Mich. (WZZM) -- There's some good news coming to a Sparta neighborhood. 

A housing project there will create dozens of new homes and jobs.The builder, Rockford based Sable Homes, is celebrating with a groundbreaking at 10 a.m. Wednesday morning.

"The neighbors here are really excited to see newer homes that is definitely going to improve their values. This portion of town is one of the nicer sides. It is still very affordable but there is a lot of home ownership pride," said Sable Homes President John Bitely.

Sable Homes will put up 20 new homes in an existing neighborhood located in the downtown area near the intersections of North Union and Grove and North Union and Alma. The new neighborhood, which is the former site of Sparta's Central School, is being called Central Town Square.

Meijer partners with Priority Health to help as open enrollment for health insurance begins

Meijer partners with Priority Health to help as open enrollment for health insurance begins

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (Meijer) – Meijer, the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based supercenter chain, announced today that it is partnering with Priority Health, Michigan's leading health plan, to raise awareness and help customers obtain information regarding their options as open enrollment for health insurance begins under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). 

The Michigan-based entities have unveiled a Health Reform and You! website at http://www.meijer.com/aca and are also providing informational brochures for customers at 203 Meijer pharmacy locations in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky.

Apples- from bust to boon

Apples- from bust to boon

EAST LANSING, Mich. (Michigan State University) --- This year’s Michigan apple crop runneth over.

 Last year’s crop was decimated by late frosts, and the feeble harvest yielded a mere 2.7 million bushels for growers. This year, however, is shaping up to be a record year, projected to top 30 million bushels.

“This year is a limb-busting crop; some of our branches are so full with apples that they snap with a little help from the wind,” said Adam Dietrich, Michigan State University graduate and grower at Leo Dietrich and Sons, based in Conklin, Mich. “A single tree from 2013 is producing more than an 8-acre block of trees did in 2012.”

The overabundance of apples is welcomed, but it presents its own set of challenges.