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Ottawa County Media Room

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 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. 

Do you feel like you are the last to know about an Ottawa County Press Release? We are happy to add you to our media contact list. Email or call Shannon Felgner at (616) 738-4672.

Current Media Releases

April 30, 2015

Most people with chlamydia do not know it:
health department recognizes STD awareness month

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) are more common than people realize. While the STDs Awareness Month is coming to an end, it’s still important to remember to always get tested. Since 2010, the Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) reported a 44% increase in Chlamydia cases; of these 70% are from individuals 24 years of age or younger. In 2014, there were 204 positive cases of chlamydia; directly diagnosed through testing at OCDPH. See the number of cases and prevention action. Read More

April 24, 2015

Food council needs community feedback and donations from gardeners

The Ottawa County Food Policy Council (OCFPC) is collecting community feedback to help develop its strategic plan by identifying needs in Ottawa County. Residents may participate by taking an online survey at www.OttawaFood.org between April 22 and May 15, 2015. Survey participants may enter to win a $50 Meijer gift card (one entry per person) after completing the survey. Read More

Gardeners needed: Plant a Row for the Hungry, coordinated locally by the OCFPC, is a program for gardeners to donate a designated row of their garden to food banks and soup kitchens. Gardeners grow produce as they have in the past; and when they harvest, at various points in the growing season, they bag up the designated produce and bring it to a local food resource center. Pledge to Plant a Row for the Hungry and find participating locations at www.OttawaFood.org or call (616) 393-5799. Read More

April 24, 2015

Challenge of Children free one day conference for parents and caregivers

Registration is open for the Challenge of Children conference. The free one day conference is dedicated to informing, motivating, offering support and networking opportunities on child development, child guidance and other challenges related to parenting for parents and caregivers. The conference will run from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 14, 2015 at the Hope College in Holland (264 Columbia Ave). Register at www.ChallengeofChildren.org.

This year’s Challenge of Children conference keynote speaker, Dr. Mary Bigler, will present "Living with Pizazz". Registration is required before May 11, to reserve your spot for the a.m. and/or p.m. workshops. For descriptions of the workshops, please visit www.ChallengeofChildren.org. Lunch is offered and may be purchased during the online registration. Donations are also accepted online. Read more

Challenge of Children Conference Flyer »

April 23, 2015

Youth Mural Fills Halls of Justice with Hope

The halls of justice were missing something. The walls of the Holland District Court building stood sturdy and solid but lacked ornamentation. To Judge Susan Jones, the walls of the 58th District Court were a blank canvas. She also saw the artistic potential in the residents in the Ottawa County Juvenile Detention Center and challenged them to create a display for the Holland Courthouse. Over 100 youth from the Ottawa County Juvenile Detention Center worked with Ottawa Area Intermediate School District art teacher, Angie Briggs-Johnson, to create three murals depicting parts of the Holland community which are meaningful to them. What resulted was a powerful mural that captured the youths’ views of their community and their places in it. The murals also embraced societal ideals including diversity, tolerance and a sense of belonging. Read More.

April 17, 2015

Weekly Events to Celebrate Law Day

This Law Day, May 1, coincides with the 800th anniversary of the issuance of the Magna Carta. Law Day celebrates the contributions of this great charter of liberty issued at Runnymede, England in 1215. The Magna Carta’s most cited provision declares “No free man shall be seized or imprisoned or stripped of his rights or possessions…except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land.” Inspired by this provision, Americans have come to associate the early roots of our cherished due process rights with Magna Carta. Over the centuries, Magna Carta has become the embodiment of the principle that no person, no matter how powerful, is above the law. Magna Carta’s importance is the equivalent of what Lexington and Concord were for the American Revolution and what Selma was for the American Civil Rights Movement : a symbol for freedom and human rights. Ottawa County is holding a series of events to celebrate Law Day, beginning with a community run and highlighted by the dedication of a mural created by local youth which will hang permanently in the Holland 58th District Courthouse. Read More.

March 25, 2015

Ottawa County is Healthiest in Michigan, according to new rankings released today.

Ottawa County ranks 1st out of 82 counties in Michigan for healthy people, according to the sixth annual County Health Rankings (CHR), released today by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (UWPHI). View a snapshot of Ottawa County’s Overall Rank. View the CHR Summary Report. Annual rankings show where counties do well and also where there are opportunities for improvement. Since 2014, Ottawa County improved or maintained in 85% of the 35 indicators that make up the ranking. While Ottawa County is the healthiest county in Michigan, the state ranks 34th in the nation.

Additionally coming this May, the 2014/2015 Ottawa County Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) report will be presented at the Ottawa County Fillmore Complex. The CHNA is a study that helps to identify health and health service issues; by gathering feedback from individuals, health care professionals and other community leaders. Results from the CHNA are similar to the CHR report, but more defined for Ottawa County. The public and media are encouraged to attend to discuss the results and start planning on ways to improve residents’ healthy outcomes. Read More.

February 19, 2015

Katty Shack 5K Offers Prizes & Discounts

Grand Haven, MI – Register for this spring’s Katty Shack 5K on Thursday, February 26th at Jumpin’ Java Coffee Shop and you’ll be in the running for great prizes regardless of your pace! Race representatives will be at Jumpin’ Java located at 215 Washington Avenue in Grand Haven from 11am and 6pm. Sign-up at a reduced fee of $20 plus be put in a drawing for $50 in movie coupons to the Grand Haven 9, a $50 Wesco gas card and a $100 gift card to Two Tonys Taverna Grille.  Also available is an even further reduced price of $18 per person for families or businesses consisting of three or more individuals. Read More.

Recent Headlines

Freedom of Information Act Requests

All requests made under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act will be processed in accordance with the requirements of the act. Requests for public information should be made to the department which is responsible for the custody of the records.

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