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

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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August 4, 2017

Ottawa County Clerk/Register Appointed to State Commission

Governor Rick Snyder this week appointed Ottawa County Clerk/Register Justin Roebuck to the state’s Electronic Recording Commission.The Commission, formed in 2011 within the Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget, is tasked with enforcing standards for the electronic recording of documents by county registers of deeds.

State legislation in 2010 allowed for electronic documents and electronic signatures to be considered the same as the originals for recording purposes. The Electronic Recording Commission developed standards as the use of such documents expanded and continues to oversee those standards today. Members serve two-year terms.

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August 1, 2017

Running for Recovery 3rd Annual 5k

Join Lakeshore Clubhouse for our 3rd Annual Running for Recovery 5K, August 26 at 9:00am. 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. The fee is only $20 per participant or $75 for a family of 4 or more!

Although nearly one-in-five people will be affected by serious mental illness this year, misunderstanding and stigma still abound. Eighty-five to ninety-five percent of adults with serious mental illness are chronically unemployed, and traditional treatment continues to focus on maintenance instead of recovery.

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August 1, 2017

Over $800,000 Distributed to Ottawa County Libraries

If you have ever wondered what the fine for a speeding ticket supports, look no further than your local library. A portion of the fines collected through the courts from criminal violations and civil infractions supports libraries. Today, Bradley Slagh, Ottawa County Treasurer, announced that the funds heading to the nine local libraries total $826,633. The Michigan State Constitution of 1963 requires that all penalties collected for violations of the state penal laws be divided into court costs, statutory fees and penal fees. The penal fines are placed in a library fund to be used for the support of public libraries and a county law library. The distribution of these dollars is based on the size of the county population that is served by each library.

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July 31, 2017

Outdoor Warning Siren Test | August

The monthly outdoor warning siren test for communities in Ottawa County will occur on Friday, August 4 at Noon. The Ottawa County Emergency Operations Center will coordinate the test this month utilizing the county quadrant 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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July 24, 2017

Young Adult Board Member Applications - Now Being Accepted!

The Ottawa County Agricultural Preservation Board is pleased to announce a new, Ad Hoc Young Adult position for the Board. This position is open to all high school and college students who are residents of Ottawa County.

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July 24, 2017

Ottawa County's miOttawa.org Ranked 9th in Nationwide Survey

The Center for Digital Government and the National Association of Counties announced the winners of the 15th annual Digital Counties Survey. Ottawa County, Michigan was named 9th in the nation compared to counties with populations from 250,000 - 499,000. The survey identifies the best technology practices among US. counties, including initiatives that streamline delivery of government services, encourage collaboration and shared services, enhance cyber security and even reduce carbon emissions.

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July 14, 2017

Outdoor Warning Siren Test Today

The monthly outdoor warning siren tests for communities in Ottawa County will occur on Friday, July 14 at Noon and 1PM. Due to the storm in the area, the test was not conducted on July 7 as originally scheduled. The Ottawa County Emergency Operations Center will coordinate the test this month utilizing the county north and south 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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July 12, 2017

Mi Economic Developers Host Annual Meeting in Holland

Ottawa County is pleased to be the host location of the Michigan Economic Developers Association Annual Meeting set for Wednesday, August 16 - Friday, August 18, 2017, at the Haworth Inn and Conference Center in Holland, MI. This year’s Annual Meeting is designed to prepare you for a society that is connecting at a rapid rate. Connected vehicles are driving change in automotive, research and technology development. Extensive partnerships are putting talent in the right jobs, and established industries – life sciences, agriculture, defense – are powering our economy through innovation.

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July 11, 2017

Outdoor Warning Siren Test

The monthly outdoor warning siren tests for communities in Ottawa County will occur on Friday, July 14 at Noon and 1PM. Due to the storm in the area, the test was not conducted on July 7 as originally scheduled. The Ottawa County Emergency Operations Center will coordinate the test this month utilizing the county north and south 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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July 7, 2017

It's time to Step it Up! Registration opens this Friday

This fall, participants will “virtually walk” 210 miles along regional trails in Michigan. The challenge begins on Monday, August 14 and registration opens on Friday, July 14! 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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July 3, 2017

Outdoor Warning Siren Test | July

The monthly outdoor warning siren test for communities in Ottawa County will occur on Friday, July 7 at Noon. The Ottawa County Emergency Operations Center will coordinate the test this month utilizing the county north and south 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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June 28, 2017

Ottawa County officials have answers about the Weaver House deck

Twelve days following the deck collapse at the Weaver House in Ottawa County’s Pine Bend Park, officials have answers. GMB Architecture and Engineering has concluded that the Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL) that was utilized for the structural beams of the deck was “the wrong material to use in the outdoor environment of this deck” because LVL wood is “not suitable for the absorption of chemicals in the pressure treatment process” that is used to make wood appropriate for outdoor use.

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June 22, 2017

Free HIV Testing on Tuesday, June 27: National HIV Testing Day

On June 27, the Ottawa County Department of Public Health is offering free and confidential walk-in rapid HIV testing at the Holland location between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. A few drops of blood taken from a finger provide accurate detection of an HIV infection. This FDA approved test is simple, and test results take only 20 minutes. People who get tested will receive free packs of condoms and educational materials about sexually transmitted disease prevention and treatment.

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June 15, 2017

Ottawa County to roll out new election equipment in August

Ottawa County voters will find upgraded technology and a fresh look to their voting experience as they head to the polls this August. The Ottawa County Clerk’s Office, together with the State of Michigan, has purchased all-new voting equipment from Hart InterCivic, a federally certified elections software vendor based in Austin, Texas. The purchase marks the County’s first major upgrade of voting technology in 13 years.

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June 8, 2017

Summer meals for kids - Meet Up and Eat Up sites in Ottawa County

The Meet Up and Eat Up Summer Food Service Program was created to provide anyone 18 years of age and younger free nutritious meals during long school vacations. The program is available at locations throughout Ottawa County serving breakfast, lunch and/or snacks during the summer months.

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June 8, 2017

Join us on the farm for 'the most important meal of the day'

When was the last time you visited a farm? Are you eager to learn more about how food is grown and harvested and how farm animals are raised and cared for? The perfect opportunity awaits you and your family and friends at the Ottawa County Breakfast on the Farm event at J & J Dairy near Marne. Breakfast on the Farm provides a first-hand look at modern food production and the farm families who work hard to produce a safe, wholesome food supply for Michigan communities and the world.

Breakfast on the Farm is Saturday, June 24 from 9AM to 1PM with breakfast served from 9AM to noon This fun family-friendly educational event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. Tickets are available online or can be picked-up at the Ottawa County Michigan State University Extension office at 12220 Fillmore Street in West Olive; at Farm Bureau Insurance offices in Allendale, Grand Haven, Holland, Hudsonville, Jenison, Spring Lake, and Zeeland; and at Macatawa Bank locations in Allendale, Grand Haven, Holland, Hudsonville, Jenison and Zeeland.

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June 7, 2017

Exhibit to Celebrate Asian Residents is on Display at Ottawa County Buildings

Ottawa County’s Cultural Intelligence Committee has partnered with the Herrick District Library to display “Our Asian Pacific American Community” exhibit. The exhibit will be displayed until July 28 in:

  • West Olive at the Administration Building (12220 Fillmore);
  • Grand Haven at the Courthouse (414 Washinton);
  • Holland at District Court (85 West 8th Street), Community Mental Health (12265 James Street) and Public Health (12251 James Street)

The displays can be viewed during normal business hours of 8AM -5PM. The nearly 50 oral histories, transcriptions, and photos collected as part of the 2016 "Our Asian Pacific American Community" Project are a part of the permanent collections in the Herrick District Library in Holland.

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May 30, 2017

Outdoor Warning Siren Test

The monthly outdoor warning siren test for communities in Ottawa County will occur on Friday, June 2 at Noon. The Ottawa County Emergency Operations Center will coordinate the test this month utilizing the county north and south 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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May 24, 2017

Ticks spread diseases - How to prevent tick bites

In Michigan, Lyme disease is the most commonly reported tick-borne disease. It is spread by an infected blacklegged (deer) tick. Most humans are infected through the bites of immature ticks called nymphs that feed during the spring and summer months. Nymphs can be difficult to see since they are approximately the size of a poppy seed. In most cases, the tick must be attached for 36 to 48 hours or more before the Lyme disease bacterium can be transmitted. “Prompt removal of ticks is the best method to decrease the chance of Lyme disease,” said Dr. Paul Heidel, the medical director of the Ottawa County Department of Public Health. “Seek medical attention if you develop a fever, a rash, severe fatigue, facial paralysis, or joint pain within 30 days of being bitten by a tick.”

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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

CONTACT US

Shannon Felgner

  • Shannon Felgner,
    Communications Manager

Main Office

  • 12220 Fillmore Street
    Room 210
    West Olive, MI 49460
  • Phone: (616) 738-4672
    FAX: (616) 738-4888
  • Monday - Friday:
    8:00am - 5:00pm

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