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Ottawa County Media Room



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Our goal is to be receptive, responsive and transparent.  Members of the media seeking interviews or information are encouraged to contact the Communications Manager, Shannon Felgner.

A handful of County Offices respond to media inquiries directly including:
Ottawa County Department of Public Health - Kristina Wieghmink (616) 494-5597
Ottawa County Community Mental Health - Anna Bednarek (616) 494-5545
Ottawa County Parks & Recreation - Jessica VanGinhoven (616) 994-4716
Ottawa County Road Commission - Zach Russell (616) 850-7221
Ottawa County Sheriff's Office - (616) 738-4000
If you are having trouble determining to whom you should direct your inquiry, the Communications Manager is a great place to start. 

Current Media Releases

December 5, 2017

If You Have A Meeting Bring Food - Holland Christian Cinnamon Rolls and LemonJello's Coffee

This year marks the 30th Anniversary of the event that lets neighbors help neighbors; that helps kids stay warm in the coldest months of the winter, that helps families provide heat and hot meals to their children and elderly.

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November 30, 2017

Civilian Response to Active Shooter Seminar Available

The Ottawa County Sheriff's Office added two more sessions of the popular "Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events" training. This thought-provoking and engaging class provides strategies, guidance and a plan for living through an active shooter event. Doing the right things can increase the odds of survival.

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November 27, 2017

Local kids "Shop with a Sheriff" to make Christmas brighter

Santa looks a little bit different this year for some Grand Haven area kids. Ottawa County Sheriff's Deputies and Grand Haven Fire Fighters will help these kids fulfill Christmas wishes at the 9th Annual Shop with a Sheriff benefit on December 5.

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November 21, 2017

Nearly 4400 Homes - CAA Affects Thousands

Numbers don't always tell you what you want to hear. Sometimes seeing big numbers can be disturbing, especially when those numbers represent cold, hungry or homeless people living right around you.

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November 9, 2017

Hepatitis A and how to prevent infection

Local and state public health officials continue to investigate a large hepatitis A outbreak in the southeast part of Michigan. Since the beginning of the outbreak in August 2016, more than 450 associated cases have been reported. No common sources of food, beverages or drugs have been identified as a potential source of infection. No cases of hepatitis A connected to this outbreak have been reported to date in Ottawa County. More information about the hepatitis A southeast Michigan outbreak is located at www.michigan.gov/hepatitisAoutbreak.

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November 9, 2017

Ottawa County program offers military discounts at 100 local businesses

With Veteran’s Day approaching Nov. 11, the Ottawa County Clerk’s Office is spreading the word about a county-run program for veterans involving discounts at more than 100 local businesses. Ottawa County veterans who sign up for the Honor Rewards program are given a personalized photo ID card they can use to receive discounts at businesses throughout the county. These businesses range from restaurants and realtors to law offices, chiropractors, car dealerships and more.

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October 31, 2017

Final steps in transforming Historic Ottawa Beach parks

At its meeting on November 1, the Ottawa County Parks and Recreation Commission will unveil preliminary plans for an upgraded marina facility and enhanced park land on Lake Macatawa at its Historic Ottawa Beach Parks site. The plans calls for replacement of the existing marina with 46 new boat slips (15 seasonal slips, 5 seasonal moorings, and 26 transient slips), extension of the public waterfront walkway, public restrooms, a universally-accessible kayak launch, and landscaped greenspace with seating along the waterfront for public use. The marina and waterfront plan represents the final step in renovating the Historic Ottawa Beach properties, the first phase of which was completed in 2006.

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October 26, 2017

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant awarded to help eradicate Hemlock Woolly Adelgid in West Michigan

In October, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission (WMSRDC) a $600,000 grant through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. WMSRDC will partner with its West Michigan Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (CISMA) partners, which includes Ottawa County Parks, to launch efforts to control and eradicate Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA), a devastating invasive species now established in Michigan that has damaged forests along the east coast over the past decade.

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October 25, 2017

Unwanted Prescription Med Take Back on October 28

NOTE: The Hudsonville take back venue has changed.
On Saturday, October 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Ottawa County Prescription Drug and Opiate Taskforce, Walgreen’s in Allendale and local law enforcement agencies will give the public an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. Please note that the Drug Take Back Event sites cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.

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October 17, 2017

Ottawa County Receives Grant to Help Redevelop Former Gas & Oil Site into a Park

A former gravel mine and oil well field in Georgetown Township will be returned to productive use with help from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ). A $24,850 grant to the Ottawa County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (OCBRA) was awarded to investigate environmental contamination at the site, located east of the Fillmore Street and Cottonwood Drive intersection.

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October 13, 2017

Unwanted Prescription Drugs Take Back October 28

Ottawa County, Michigan – On Saturday, October 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Ottawa County Prescription Drug and Opiate Taskforce, Walgreen’s in Allendale and local law enforcement will give the public an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. Note: The Drug Take Back Event sites cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.

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October 5, 2017

Ottawa Sheriff's K9s receive body armor

The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office K9s Andy & Blitz are safer on the job, thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. The group provided bullet and stab protective vests to the Ottawa County service dogs. K9 Andy’s vest was sponsored by the Andrew Elliott Rusticus Foundation of Michigan and embroidered with the sentiment, “This gift of protection provided by Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.” K9 Blitz’s vest was sponsored by an anonymous donor and embroidered with the sentiment, “Be safe my hero. In memory of Lori. - MB.” The donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K9 is $1,050. Each vest has a value between $1,795 – $2,234 and weighs 4 to 5 lbs.

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October 4, 2017

Outdoor Warning Siren Test | October

The monthly outdoor warning siren test for communities in Ottawa County will occur on Friday, October 6 at noon. The Ottawa County Emergency Operations Center will coordinate the test this month utilizing the county all-call activation tones. The sirens can be activated geographically, depending on the path of the storm or other approaching danger. The sirens will sound for approximately 1 to 3 minutes during the test. Each day, the sirens' computer systems are tested to ensure they are properly communicating with the sirens in the communities. On the first Friday of each month from April through November, the audible sirens are tested.

October 4, 2017

QPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer — the 3 simple steps anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide.

Just as people trained in CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone to help. Each year thousands of Americans, like you, are saying "Yes" to saving the life of a friend, colleague, sibling, or neighbor.

QPR can be learned in as little as one hour. Community Health of Ottawa County would like to extend an open invitation to a series of QPR Lunch and Learn that will be hosted at the James Street Campus in Holland as well as our Fulton Street Campus in Grand Haven.

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September 27, 2017

You're invited: SURGE celebration

Enjoy drinks and appetizers at this private reception celebrating the lakeshore startup community and growth-minded business leaders who help drive it forward.

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September 26, 2017

58th District Court Office Closure

Ottawa County's 58th District Court, Probation and Community Corrections offices will be closed on Friday, October 13 for staff meeting and professional development day. The offices will re-open on Monday, October 16, 2017 at 8:00 am and operate normal business hours. The closure applies to all three court locations: Hudsonville, Grand Haven and Holland Other Ottawa County offices and departments residing in the buildings will be open for buisness, however. Ottawa County's online service center is available 24/7 at miOttawa.org/servicecenter. Residents who need to do business with the Court or Community Corrections in person should plan accordingly.

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September 15, 2017

Ottawa County: No Body Contact Advisory LIFTED

The No Body Contact Advisory issued on September 13, 2017 has been lifted. The advisory was issued for the Grand River from a point 1 mile east of the U.S 31 bridge, downstream to the Grand River inlet to Lake Michigan. The Ottawa County Department of Public Health confirmed with the Grand Haven/Spring Lake Sewer Authority that the maintenance and water testing is complete. As a reminder, all natural bodies of water contain microorganisms that can cause illness no matter how clean they appear.

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September 15, 2017

Grand Ravines Suspension Bridge Now Open!

Until recently, a suspension bridge in the Ottawa County Parks system seemed like a pipe dream. "When the master plan was created for Grand Ravines, those beautiful, deep ravines made it challenging to design a viable hiking trail system. We were fortunate to get a permanent trail easement donated by neighboring landowners, which helped in navigating the steep terrain. For a full loop, crossing a major ravine with a trail was unavoidable and a suspension bridge was added into the plan, knowing it was an amenity that may never be financially feasible," said David VanGinhoven, President of the Parks Commission.

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September 14, 2017

Moving Notice

The 20th Circuit, Family Division, Juvenile Court is pleased to announce that Juvenile Court Services and the Juvenile Justice Institute have moved their Holland offices to 12263 James Street (Building B). The move to a more spacious building allows the Juvenile Court to continue offering a continuum of quality and enhanced treatment services to court-involved youth and their families in a more educationally and therapeutically conducive setting.

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September 13, 2017

No Body Contact Advisory Issued

On September 13, 2017, the Ottawa County Department of Public Health was notified by the Grand Haven/Spring Lake Sewer Authority of a Sanitary Sewage Release that occurred on the Grand River, approximately 1 mile east of the US 31 bridge over the Grand River.

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September 12, 2017

Ottawa County Honors Employees for Customer Services

Join us in congratulating Elizabeth Lange from Ottawa County Clerks/Register of Deeds Office and Brad Gamby from Innovation & Technology, who have been recognized as Ottawa County’s Outstanding Customer Service Award recipients for the second quarter of 2017. You can read the nominations which earned each recipient an award plus learn more about them at miOttawa.org.

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September 5, 2017

Farms are the Tapas: Tapas Dinner | Fresh, locally grown food | Exceptional chefs

The Ottawa County Ag Preservation Board is excited to announce its inaugural fundraising event, Farms are the Tapas. Your taste buds will be treated to delectable dishes at this tapas dinner that features fresh, locally grown food. Exceptional local chefs from Butch’s Dry Dock, The Farmhouse Deli, The Toasted Pickle, and Ultimate Catering will prepare the evening’s delights during a friendly cooking competition.

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August 30, 2017

Holland Startup Receives Grant to Accelerate Energy Tech

Alternative energy. This phrase often brings to mind images of large wind farms or expansive solar arrays. Not for long. Holland-based startup company Synergy Power LLC has created a device about the size of a kitchen table that has the design intent to power an entire family’s home with little more than hot and cold water. The SynergineTM is a patent protected, zero emissions energy production system that has the potential to disrupt current methods of power generation, including existing alternative energy devices.

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August 28, 2017

Outdoor Warning Siren Test | September

The monthly outdoor warning siren test for communities in Ottawa County will occur on Friday, September 1 at noon.The Ottawa County Emergency Operations Center will coordinate the test this month utilizing individual jurisdiction activation tones. The sirens can be activated geographically, depending on the path of the storm or other approaching danger. The sirens will sound for approximately 1 to 3 minutes during the test. Each day, the sirens' computer systems are tested to ensure they are properly communicating with the sirens in the communities. On the first Friday of each month from April through November, the audible sirens are tested.

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August 24, 2017

Register for Running for Recovery 3rd Annual 5k

There is still time to register for the Lakeshore Clubhouse 3rd Annual Running for Recovery 5K, being held this Saturday, August 26 at 9:00am. On site registration begins at 8:30am. This year’s event will be officially timed by Michiana Timing Company and will begin at 490 Century Lane in Holland, MI. You can register online. The fee is only $20 per participant or $75 for a family of 4 or more!

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August 24, 2017

Round Table Discussion

Community Mental Health of Ottawa County (CMHOC) invites you to attend a Round Table Discussion with Lynne Doyle, Executive Director. CMHOC will be hosting round table discussions in Grand Haven and Holland. Ms Doyle will be discussing the current budget, provide information about the Home and Community Base Services rules, and give an update on the CMH millage funded programs. These meetings are intended to keep consumers, family members, guardians, and other stakeholders informed of current issues and provide an opportunity for questions and answers.

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August 15, 2017

Hunting lotteries for Crockery Creek, Upper Macatawa, and North Ottawa Dunes are now open

Applications for Crockery Creek and Upper Macatawa are open until noon on September 1. Ottawa County Parks offers special permits for hunting at Crockery Creek Natural Area, Upper Macatawa Natural Area, and North Ottawa Dunes. Lottery drawings are held prior to the hunting periods at each of these sites. All three lotteries are currently open - apply today! Read below closely as there have been some changes to the application process.

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August 9, 2017

Ottawa County Awarded $600,000 for Water Quality Improvements

The Ottawa County Water Resource Commissioner’s Office has been awarded $600,000 from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Grants Program. The funding will reduce Nonpoint source pollution within the upper Sand Creek watershed, located in Wright and Chester Townships in northeast Ottawa County. Sand Creek flows into the lower Grand River and ultimately Lake Michigan.

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August 8, 2017

Step It Up! walking challenge begins next Monday

This free 6-week program is designed to encourage participants to stay active as summer comes to a close. Participants of all fitness levels are invited to join - weekly prizes are available.Optional group walks will be offered for those interested in getting their weekly steps in with a group while checking out Ottawa and Allegan County Parks (schedule below). Each walk will be led by a naturalist guide. Different pace groups will be available.

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August 7, 2017

Farms are the Tapas: Tapas Dinner | Fresh, locally grown food | Exceptional chefs

The Ottawa County Ag Preservation Board is excited to announce its inaugural fundraising event, Farms are the Tapas. Your taste buds will be treated to delectable dishes at this tapas dinner that features fresh, locally grown food. Exceptional local chefs from Butch’s Dry Dock, The Farmhouse Deli, The Toasted Pickle, and Ultimate Catering will prepare the evening’s delights during a friendly cooking competition.

The event will take place at Walters Gardens on Thursday, September 14 from 6-7:30pm. The speaker for the evening is Representative Roger Victory of the 88th District. Roger is the owner of Victory Farms and an advocate for farmers. Tickets are available for $50 per person. All proceeds from the event benefit Ottawa County farmland preservation. A variety of sponsorships for the event are also available.

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Freedom of Information Act Requests

When it comes to your Ottawa County government, we are receptive, responsive and transparent. At the same time, we have a process to standardize operations, keep things timely and streamline the costs. To submit a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, visit our convenient online FIOC Center. Remember that some materials may be exempt from disclosure by state or federal law, such as information of a personal nature about individuals. For this reason, some records may be unavailable or information will be blocked out, or redacted. It can take up to ten days to receive a response to your request, although we exceed this standard by responding within five days. Occasionally, we will ask for an extension to research your request further.

FOIA Freedom of Information Act Policy