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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

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