OAKLAND TWP. (AP) – Selling Christmas trees may cost an Oakland Township cider mill owner $7,500 in fines. Tom Barkham says officials are trying to shut him down because he sells Christmas trees, firewood and tickets for a corn maze.

Both sides have been battling since the 59-year-old veterinarian from Dryden bought the cider mill in 1981. The mill was closed for several years and in 1983 the township sued, saying the closure affected the facility’s right to operate in a residential area.

A court order allowed the mill to reopen between Labor Day and Jan. 1, but guidelines restricted sales to cider, popcorn, mill-related items, and allowed a petting farm.

Barkham was found in criminal contempt in January.

The Oakland Press of Pontiac and the Detroit Free Press say sentencing was scheduled Tuesday. 

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