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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

April 20, 2018

Ottawa County Survey Participation Needed

Please answer the phone call

Telephone calls will be made through May to residents’ landlines and mobile phones. Help make Ottawa County a better place by taking 15 munites to answer the call.

Starting this week, Ottawa County adults will have the opportunity to give input on their satisfaction with local government services, priorities, tax burden, communication preferences and more. Ottawa County will begin its biennial citizen survey. The survey has been completed since 2006 to monitor citizen satisfaction.

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April 20, 2018

Youth Assessment Survey public release on Tuesday, May 1

Youth Assessment Survey Results

The Ottawa County Youth Assessment Survey (YAS) is a locally developed teen survey that measures how many teens are engaged in a variety of both risky and beneficial behaviors that affect their health and well-being. The survey monitors how these behaviors increase, decrease or stay the same over time.

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April 20, 2018

Ottawa County, Michigan Community Mental Health Press Releases Update

As you may know, we are facing an Opiate Epidemic in Ottawa County and throughout the United States. Americans use 80% of the world’s supply of opiates (pain medication). If not carefully managed, opiates can be dangerous as they are easily misused and can cause accidental overdose and death. As a community, we can help by removing unused medications from our homes and safely disposing of them.

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April 20, 2018

Ottawa County Department of Public Health honored by Michigan Public Health Week Partnership

The Michigan Public Health Week Partnership, which consists of 10 public health organizations in Michigan, awarded the Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) the 2018 Jean Chabut Health Policy Champion award for achieving the Project Public Health Ready (PPHR) national recognition. The Jean Chabut Health Policy Champion award showcases the significant accomplishments of individuals or organizations in the policy arena on the local or state level to improve the health and safety of their communities.

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April 19, 2018

2018 Ottawa County Technology Forum - April 26

The Adaptive Workplace: Developing a Culture and a Workforce that Thrives

This year’s Forum takes a look at organizational culture and the challenges confronting the workforce as generations mix and technologies change. Developing a culture and a workforce that thrives means finding ways to adapt to change, work differently, view risk, properly select and develop your workforce and incentivize learning. To help meet those challenges Ottawa County has sought to bring thought leaders who can help expand your ideas and provide incredible insight.

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April 10, 2018

New population estimates confirm Ottawa is the place to be

Ottawa County Population Growth Continues

Follow the crowd. Move to Ottawa County. The 2017 population estimates were released by the U.S. Census Bureau naming Ottawa County the fastest growing in the state between 2010 and 2017 with an 8.5% increase. Ottawa County was also the fasting growing in Michigan among the ten most populous counties in the state. The county's population is now an estimated 286,383--up 3,141 new residents since 2016 numbers were tabulated last March. Ottawa County remains the 8th most populated in Michigan.

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April 6, 2018

Ottawa County Road Commission Newsletter- April

Invasive species are defined as non-native plants or animals that can cause harm to the local environment. There are many non-native species that have been introduced to Michigan that do not cause harm, or are a benefit, but invasive species are those that can cause harm to the local environment, economy, and even public health.

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March 31, 2018

Ottawa County Parks Offer Healthy Appeal

A surprising chorus of spring peepers. The up-and-down stairs and vistas of Rosy Mound Natural Area. The quiet, twisting waters of the Pigeon River at Hemlock Crossing. Jen Bradshaw found many rewards in a year-long odyssey to visit all 38 Ottawa County parks and open spaces. But the opportunities for exercise and rejuvenation might top the list of park payoffs.

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March 31, 2018

Walk-in STD testing in April

The Ottawa County Department of Public Health will have its sexual health clinic open for walk-ins every Tuesday in April from 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. for STD testing (only at the Holland location).

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March 31, 2018

First Sign of Spring: Severe Weather Warning Siren Test

The first of several monthly severe weather warning siren tests for 2018 in Ottawa County will happen on Friday, April 6 at noon. The sirens will sound for approximately 1 to 3 minutes during the test.

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March 30, 2018

Introducing: The Ottawa County Art Trust & Exhibition

Call for Artists: Ottawa County Art Trust Exhibition

Ottawa County and the Holland Area Arts Council are joining forces to establish the Ottawa County Art Trust Exhibition. “Establishing an art trust tangibly demonstrates the importance of creativity and culture to Ottawa County while preserving a legacy of assets for generations to come,” said Al Vanderberg, Ottawa County Administrator.

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March 29, 2018

Additional Funding Increases 2018 Road Improvements

Ottawa County Road Commission Receives $1.9 Million in Supplemental Funding from State Legislature

The supplemental appropriation from the Michigan Legislature, signed by Governor Rick Snyder, provides a one-time $175 million increase in transportation funding, garnering the Ottawa County Road Commission (OCRC) $1.9 million in additional revenue. The road commission will use these funds in 2018 to complete approximately 7 miles of additional improvements to primary and local roads.

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March 21, 2018

Pinwheels for Prevention Kickoff & Garden Planting in Ottawa County

The pinwheel represents the happy, carefree childhoods all children deserve. In honor of Child Abuse Prevention Month, you'll find Pinwheel gardens around our community throughout April. Help us kick off the 2018 Pinwheels for Prevention Campaign! You're invited to join us to hear from local leaders about ways to support families and promote health, strong communities. We'll end the event by planting pinwheels!

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March 14, 2018

Ottawa County Ranks #1

Ottawa County ranks #1 as the healthiest county in Michigan

Ottawa County ranks #1 as the healthiest county in Michigan and has held that place since 2014, according to the 2018 County Health Rankings (CHR). The rankings show us where we live matters to our health and good health is influenced by many factors beyond medical care including jobs, housing, education, poverty and more. Ottawa County maintained or improved in 69 percent of the 35 measures, and did as well or better than Michigan in 85 percent of the 35 measures.

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March 13, 2018

Youth Assessment Survey Results

You're invited: The latest Ottawa County Youth Assessment Survey results will be revealed on May 1

The Ottawa County Youth Assessment Survey (YAS) is a locally developed teen survey that measures how many teens are engaged in a variety of both risky and beneficial behaviors that affect their health and well-being. The survey monitors how these behaviors increase, decrease or stay the same over time. A YAS has been conducted every two years (2005 - 2017) at grades 8, 10 and 12 in participating Ottawa County schools. The 2017 study includes 4,376 student responses from 11 school systems.

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March 13, 2018

Road Commission News

Looking Ahead to a Busy Summer

Spring is right around the corner, and that means that the Road Commission is getting ready for all the road improvements planned this summer in Ottawa County. The Road Commission is scheduled to be very busy this year with road reconstruction, resurfacing, and preventative maintenance. There are scheduled to be almost twenty miles of primary road improvements, over six miles of local road improvements, and over seventy miles of preventative maintenance performed. With increased funding from the State, and the Countywide Millage still in effect, the Road Commission can perform work on many roads that desperately need it across the county.

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March 6, 2018

No Body Contact Advisory LIFTED for the Grand River in Ottawa County

Ottawa County - The No Body Contact Advisory issued on February 26, 2018 has been LIFTED. The advisory was issued for the Grand River in Ottawa County due to flooding. As a reminder, flood waters and natural bodies of water contain microorganisms that can cause illness no matter how clean they appear.

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March 6, 2018

Ottawa County Community Health Needs Assessment revealed:

Improvement planning starts this month

Did you miss the Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) reveal last week? No problem! Here's the summary miOttawa.org/2017CHNA and the full report miOttawa.org/2017CHNAFullReport. Additional studies that were a part of the CHNA and previous years can be found at miOttawa.org/healthdata.

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March 5, 2018

Schools, Law Enforcement, Emergency Responders Collaborate to Enhance School Safety

The Ottawa Area Secure Schools Network (OASSN) —a combined effort between schools, law enforcement, and emergency responders within the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District (OAISD) to enhance school safety across the region— hosted a Spring Summit March 1 at the Ottawa County Fillmore Administration Building in West Olive.

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March 1, 2018

Parks & Public Health team up to offer Step it Up! program for a third year

Step it Up! is free, 8-week program is designed by Ottawa County Parks & the Department of Public Health to help participants get active and visit new parks.

Step it Up! participants will have access to a free online step and activity tracker where they can record their progress throughout the challenge. Each week, participants who track their activity are eligible for incentive prizes, including 2018 Ottawa County Parks passes and gift cards to local farmers markets and outdoors stores, Meijer, and the Outdoor Discovery Center.

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February 28, 2018

Join us for a Thought-Provoking Series on Sustainable Transportation and Innovative Community Design

Be inspired! Join us on March 12 and 13 at the Sustainable Transportation and Innovative Community Design Series that will be held in the City of Holland. Attendees will explore topics related to walkability, sustainable transportation, community design, placemaking, and how to make great site plans. This Series will feature nationally-acclaimed speaker and transportation expert, Ian Lockwood.

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February 27, 2018

Ottawa County Honors Employees for Customer Service

Join us in congratulating Amy Brown and Kara Bostrom-Young from the 58th District Court and Jocelyn Garris from the Human Resources Office, who have been recognized as Ottawa County’s Outstanding Customer Service Award recipients for the fourth quarter of 2017.

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February 27, 2018

Ottawa County Urges Residents and Businesses to Report Flooding

Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Management continues to monitor the water levels along the Grand River and other areas of the county from the recent flooding. The water levels are expected to recede in the coming week and in an effort to accurately assess the damage that has occurred we are asking businesses and home owners to report any flood damage to Call 2-1-1 community access line between the hours of 9AM-4PM.

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February 26, 2018

No Body Contact Advisory for the Grand River in Ottawa County

Be flood ready - Be healthy - Be safe!

Floods, big or small, can have devastating effects on your home and your family. Floods can contaminate food and water, which can cause illness. Floods can lead to other dangers as well, like carbon monoxide poisoning, mold growth, electrical and fire hazards and more. Sanitation and hygiene are very important during and after a flood because infections are likely to spread. Illness and outbreaks can occur long after a flood is cleaned up due to spoiled food, contaminated water, power outage or exposure to mold.

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February 23, 2018

Ottawa County Issues Emergency Declaration

On 02/23/2018, the County of Ottawa sustained widespread or severe damage; injury or loss of life or property caused by flooding caused by heaving rainfall and snowmelt. As a result of this situation, the following conditions exist: flooded homes and roadways, damage to utilities, and public health concerns related to flood damage.

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February 23, 2018

Ottawa County's Top Ten Dog Names for 2017

The numbers are in and tabulated for dog licenses issued in 2017.

Since the year 1919 Michigan law has required that dogs be licensed. Additionally, the law requires that to get a dog license proof of a rabies vaccination by a veterinarian must be provided. Along with ensuring that pet owners keep rabies vaccinations up to date, dog licenses save time, money and emotional distress. If a dog is lost, the license will make the return of the pet simple.

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February 22, 2018

Find out more about the health of Ottawa County

Register today and join the conversation on February 28.

6 in 10 Ottawa County adults are NOT a healthy weight. 9 in 10 overdose deaths were opioid-related. Find out more! We will share information about the 2015 Community Health Improvement Plan - where we're improving and what still needs work. Also, at this event, we will begin the conversation about developing the 2018 Community Health Improvement Plan. We want to hear from you on what we can do together as a community!

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February 19, 2018

It’s So Easy: Apply for an Ottawa County Job

Today Ottawa County launches a new online job application system that will make applying for Ottawa County employment even easier. Job seekers visiting miOttawa.org will be able to complete user profiles, search for available positions, apply for multiple openings at once and sign-up for notifications about new employment opportunities.

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February 16, 2018

Active Shooter & Emergency Trainings Available for Citizens & Churches

In just six months, the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office has trained approximately 375 residents on how to respond during an active shooter event. The popular Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE) training is a thought-provoking and engaging class provides strategies, guidance and a plan for surviving an active shooter event. In addition to the training for individuals, an Emergency and Security Worksop for Places of Worship is being offered to prepare church leaders for a variety of crisis situations, such as violence, disruptive visitors, plus medical and weather emergencies.

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February 9, 2018

30 Years Of Keeping Kids Warm - Walk And Donate!

Kids From Every School In Ottawa County Have Benefitted From Walk For Warmth

Every quadrant in Ottawa has benefitted from the Walk, and that means every school has kids who have had the heat kept on because of you! Here's where to donate online!

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February 8, 2018

Ottawa County Road Commission News

The Road Commission is a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System Agency (MS4). We are one of several MS4 agencies responsible for managing storm sewers in Ottawa County. Storm sewers, which collect and move polluted storm water, affect water quality throughout the County. Our extensive and beautiful fresh water resources are important to residents and visitors alike. Taking care of our water resources is essential to all of us.

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February 6, 2018

Ottawa County Accepting Applications for Farmland Preservation

Ottawa County is a leader in agricultural production. It is the most agriculturally diverse county in Michigan and consistently ranked in the top 100 counties in the nation for its value of agricultural products sold. Our strength in agriculture, however, is also combined with an exceptional quality of life that attracts new residents and businesses to our communities. This population growth places added pressure on farmers to retain the land needed to produce fresh, locally grown food.

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January 30, 2018

Mobile dental unit participates in “Give Kids a Smile!” Day this Friday

Ottawa County Department of Public Health Miles of Smiles mobile dental unit provides dental services for Medicaid insured and financially qualifying uninsured children in Ottawa County. Partners include dental society involvement, dentist and hygienist volunteers, school administration dedication, community support, funder’s generosity, Ottawa County Administration support and Ottawa County Department of Public Health’s commitment to help improve the health of children.

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January 29, 2018

How Healthy is Ottawa County?

Find out and Join the Conversation February 28

The Community Health Needs Assessment study helps identify health and health service issues by gathering feedback from health care professionals, individuals and community leaders.

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January 25, 2018

Free Tax Preparation Assistance

Ottawa County Community Action Agency offers free tax preparation assistance to low-income filers. Call 616-393-4433 to see if you qualify and make an appointment. Appointments are available February 1 through April 13 in Holland or Grand Haven.

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January 24, 2018

Health Department Protects Ottawa County Through a National Recognition Program

The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) has been recognized by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) for its ability to plan for, respond to and recover from public health emergencies. The OCDPH demonstrated these capabilities by meeting the comprehensive preparedness benchmarks required by Project Public Health Ready (PPHR), a unique partnership between NACCHO and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The OCDPH joins a cohort of 500 local health departments across the country that have been distinguished for excellence in preparedness through PPHR, either individually or as part of a region.

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January 23, 2018

Ottawa administrator delivers the 'State of the County' address

Ottawa County is where people want to be. Low property taxes, a flourishing economy, and a region rich in natural beauty are just a few qualities attracting residents to the area. Ottawa County Administrator Al Vanderberg shared this and other Ottawa County highlights from 2017 during this afternoon's State of the County Address. Other themes in the report include Ottawa County government's strong financial position; the collaborations and partnerships that enhance services and save tax dollars; exciting park and paved trail developments, and innovative improvement processes.

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January 18, 2018

Ottawa County Parks seeks public input for proposed acquisition of dune property

Ottawa County Parks is offering multiple opportunities this winter for the public to provide input on the proposed purchase of 353-acres of dune property in the cities of Ferrysburg and Grand Haven. The public input will inform the grant application process for the proposed acquisition, which is known the “Ottawa Sand Acquisition Project.”

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January 17, 2018

Walk for Warmth Special Guest Speakers - Student Winner Revealed

Making people warm has never been so easy! For the first time in 30 years you can help families keep the heat on by donating online! Give first then come to the Walk For Warmth Saturday, February 10, 8:30 AM, City on a Hill, 100 Pine Street in Zeeland.

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January 15, 2018

Now announcing the Idema Explorers Trail!

The Ottawa Parks Foundation is pleased to announce a landmark $2 million gift from the Bill and Bea Idema Foundation for the development of the Grand River Greenway. “Through this gift, the Greenway Campaign has turned a corner – we are now much closer to achieving our goal of raising $7.2 million to expand access to the thousands of acres of land along the Grand River, protect additional land, and complete a trail connection between Millennium Park and the Grand Haven beach.”

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January 11, 2018

Best Financial Credit Union Opens Its First Ottawa County Branch Office in Spring Lake

A small, aging industrial building had long occupied the corner of School and Savidge Streets in Spring Lake Village, but on January 16, 2018 Best Financial Credit Union will open the doors of their first Ottawa County branch office in that location.

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January 10, 2018

How You Can Help the Keep Your Roads Clear in Winter

The Road Commission has the responsibility to make sure its roads are safe and clear for travel. In the winter, this means plowing and treating the roads for ice and snow. When winter hits hard in West Michigan, it can affect us all, and there are some things that the residents can do in their own neighborhoods to help in keeping the roads safe and clear.

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January 9, 2018

Walk For Warmth Now Takes Plastic - And Poster Contest Winner

Marking the 30th Anniversary of the first Walk For Warmth we wanted to go big! We've added an easy way for people to donate to families facing cold hardships this winter, by putting a Donate Now button on our web site! It's easy and it's the same process as buying anything else online - except this gives you the warm fuzzies as you assist a family facing a shut-off notice from their utility company.

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January 5, 2018

Ottawa County Park Foundation’s Grand River Greenway Campaign Gaining Momentum

Ottawa County Parks Foundation’s effort to complete its Grand River Greenway Campaign is gaining significant traction with two recent gifts from regional foundations. Recent grants from two West Michigan family foundations, Wege and Frey, totaling $860,000 help build momentum for the Greenway Campaign, which is still pursuing “lead” commitments from donors.

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December 27, 2017

Pigeon Creek Lodge - Special Winter Break Hours

Pigeon Creek Lodge - Special Winter Break Hours

Wednesday, 12/27: 9 am-10 pm
Thursday, 12/28: 9 am-10 pm
Friday, 12/29: 9 am-10 pm
Saturday, 12/30: 9 am-10 pm
Sunday, 12/31: 9 am-8 pm
Monday, 1/1: 9 am-8 pm

The lodge will only open in good ski and trail conditions. You can check trail conditions by calling the winter hotline: 616-738-9531. Or, online: miOttawa.org/trails

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December 15, 2017

Pigeon Creek Park Lodge in West Olive to open Saturday, December 16

The Pigeon Creek Lodge will open for the first time this season on Saturday, December 16! The lodge will be open from 9 am-10 pm, with concession and ski/snowshoe rental available until 8 pm. Pigeon Creek Park will be open from 7 am-10 pm. XC ski trails will be lit after dark.

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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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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