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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 - Alex Doty (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 19, 2019

Recreational marijuana: What you need to know for April 20

April 20, 4/20 or 420, has become a popular date among recreational marijuana users, where people who smoke marijuana tend to smoke more than usual. With this Saturday being the first 420 in Michigan since recreation use became legal, it is important to keep safety and legality in mind.

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April 18, 2019

Be protected from measles: Vaccination is your best defense!

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Ottawa County Department of Public Health recommend people get the MMR vaccine. To be fully protected against measles two doses of the vaccine need to be given. However, receiving one dose provides some protection until the second dose is able to be given. Children should get the first dose of the MMR vaccine between 12-15 months of age, and the second dose between 4-6 years. Teens and adults should also be up-to-date on their MMR vaccination.

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April 18, 2019

Ottawa County Population Growth Continues

If the latest population estimates are any indication, Ottawa County is indeed where you belong. The estimates were released by the US Census Bureau naming Ottawa County the fastest growing in the state between 2010 and 2018 with a 10.12% increase. Ottawa County was also the fasting growing last year in Michigan among the ten largest counties in the state. The county's population is now an estimated 290,494 - up 3,572 new residents since 2017 numbers were tabulated last March. Ottawa County remains the 8th most populated in Michigan.

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April 18, 2019

Ottawa County Recognized as ‘Champion of Diversity’ by West Coast Chamber

The Michigan West Coast Chamber of Commerce held its Celebrating Diversity Luncheon on Wednesday, April 17, and recognized Ottawa County as the Corporate Champion of Diversity.

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April 16, 2019

Delta Dental Foundation funds dental mobile unit to serve Ottawa County adults, children

By fall 2020, a new dental mobile unit will be on the road providing dental care to Ottawa County residents. A $200,000 grant from the Delta Dental Foundation (DDF) to the Ottawa County Department of Public Health will fund a new mobile dental unit to replace the department’s 16-year-old vehicle which provides services through the Miles of Smiles (MOS) program.

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April 15, 2019

Community health worker program impacting the lives of people in need

In 2015, Ottawa County completed its first Community Health Improvement Plan. The plan identified access to care, mental health and healthy behaviors as priority areas needing the most attention to improve the health and well-being of Ottawa County residents. As a response, community members designed the Ottawa Pathways to Better Health program.

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April 15, 2019

The Step It Up! Fitness Challenge begins next week!

This free program is designed to help you stay active and explore new parks. Participants of all fitness levels are invited to join. Simply track and report your steps each week to be eligible for weekly raffle prizes.

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April 9, 2019

Van Allsburg Reappointed to Business Court

The Michigan Supreme Court has reappointed Ottawa County’s 20th Circuit Court Chief Judge Jon Van Allsburg to the Business Court for a six-year term. The Business Court is a specialized docket of the circuit court, created by the legislature in 2012 to promote timely, effective, and predictable resolution of complex business cases.

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April 4, 2019

Measles - it's not just a little rash! Learn what you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Measles is a highly contagious virus that lives in the nose and throat mucus of an infected person. It can spread to others through coughing and sneezing. Measles is so contagious that if one person has it, up to 90% of the people exposed to that person who are not immune will also become infected.

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April 3, 2019

The Pinwheels are Poppin’ in West Michigan: Over 60 Pinwheel Gardens Scheduled to Bloom in Ottawa County this Month

The Stop Child Abuse and Neglect (SCAN) Council is planting pinwheel gardens to recognize Child Abuse Prevention Month. Beginning April 9, Ottawa County residents will start seeing over 60 pinwheel gardens pop-up throughout different communities. Each pinwheel reminds us that individually we have the power to prevent child maltreatment, and collectively our actions will create considerable change.

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April 3, 2019

Cottonwood Drive work to resume April 8

On Monday, April 8, 2019, work will resume on the Cottonwood Drive reconstruction project between Baldwin Street and Bauer Road in Georgetown Township. As a result, the road will be closed to thru traffic. The OCRC asks that motorists follow the posted detour, which consists Baldwin Street/20th Avenue/Bauer Road.

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April 3, 2019

Free parenting conference on May 16

This year’s conference focuses on overcoming challenges associated with trauma, ADHD, Autism, pornography, anxiety and more! The keynote speaker, Dr. Stephanie Grant PhD, LPC, IMH-E®, is a proud biological, adoptive and foster mother of three (+) and Director of the REACH Parent-Child Program & Trauma Informed Communities at Developmental Enhancement Behavioral Health. Dr. Grant loves her work.

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March 25, 2019

Ottawa County, Michigan Community Mental Health Press Releases April 15 Town Hall Meeting on Mental Illness

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March 21, 2019

School & Emergency Leaders Collaborate to Enhance School Safety

On March 14, 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, held its Spring Summit at the Ottawa County Fillmore Administration Building in West Olive. Over 100 representatives from public, private, and charter schools, law enforcement agencies and fire departments attended the event that strengthened regional school safety collaboration. This is the fourth OASSN summit.

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March 19, 2019

Ottawa County ranks second in Michigan in the 2019 County Health Rankings released today

Ottawa County ranks second in Michigan in Health Outcomes according to the 2019 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. This is the tenth year of the County Health Rankings.

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March 14, 2019

Stomach bug circulating in the community

Norovirus-like illness (stomach bug) is circulating in the community and increasing. It spreads very easily and quickly person to person and by touching surfaces contaminated with vomit or stool. Common norovirus outbreak settings are in enclosed places like nursing homes, daycare centers, schools and cruise ships. It is also a major cause of outbreaks in restaurants and catered-meal settings if contaminated food is served or people handling food are ill. Anyone can get norovirus and can have it more than once.

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March 13, 2019

Special Event: Art for the Parks

Art for the Parks will bring regional artists, art patrons, and nature lovers together in an innovative arts happening with proceeds benefiting the Ottawa County Parks Foundation. The show and sale features work by 60+ regional artists in a wide range of media—painting, photography, jewelry, blown glass, sculpture, ceramics, and much more. Much of the work is inspired by nature and natural spaces, including plein aire work of parks’ landscapes. The event is open to all and will feature live music by Bri Baron, light snacks, and a cash bar. A $10 suggested donation at the door and 10% of all art sold will benefit the Ottawa County Parks Foundation.

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March 11, 2019

Ottawa County Now Hiring Parks & Recreation Director

The Ottawa County Parks and Recreation Department is now searching for a full-time Parks Director to oversee the department. Under the direction of the Ottawa County Parks & Recreation Commission and Ottawa County Commissioners, the Parks Director oversees acquisition, development, operation, and maintenance of 27 County Parks and 12 Open Space lands, totaling nearly 7,000 acres. The Parks Director also oversees 22 permanent staff and 89 seasonal staff.

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March 11, 2019

Parks & Public Health team up to offer Step it Up! Walking Program free in Ottawa & Allegan counties

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. All levels of fitness welcome!
Participants will be able to track their steps and activity online, as well as monitor their progress throughout the challenge. Each week, participants who track their activity are eligible for incentive prizes

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March 8, 2019

County Employees Awarded for Customer Service

Join us in congratulating Dick DeWitt from the Facilities Maintainance Department and Joan Grillo from the Prosecutor's Office, who have been recognized as Ottawa County’s Outstanding Customer Service Award recipients for the fourth quarter of 2018. You can read the nominations which earned each recipient an award plus learn more about them here.

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March 7, 2019

Spring weight restrictions go into effect Monday, March 11

The Ottawa County Road Commission gives notice that 6 a.m. Monday, March 11, 2019, spring weight restrictions will be in effect and strictly enforced on all county roads under their jurisdiction.

Weight restrictions are enforced to minimize the damage caused during Michigan’s seasonal thaw. As the ground thaws in the spring, water is forced toward the surface and exerts pressure on roads, causing them to buckle and become more prone to damage.

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March 6, 2019

Ottawa County Searching for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Director

The search is on for Ottawa County's first ever Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Director. The Ottawa County Board of Commissioners established the office on December 11, 2018, and approved the staffing plan on February 26, 2019.

The County began its Cultural Intelligence initiative in 2013 with the formation of an internal committee tasked with educating employees, hosting an annual forum and getting more involved in community diversity initiatives.

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March 1, 2019

More 'Response to Active Shooter' Courses Added

Though we hope you are never faced with the situation, would you know what to do in the case of an active shooter? Hide? Evacuate?
Doing the right things can increase your odds of getting through alive. Nearly 1,000 residents have attended a "Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events" class held by the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office. This thought-provoking and engaging class provides strategies, guidance, and a plan for surviving an active shooter event.

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February 28, 2019

Ottawa County Partners with Facebook to Test Local Alerts

Since August of 2018, Ottawa County has been beta testing a new feature on Facebook: Local Alerts. Local alerts enable Ottawa County to provide the community with time-sensitive, essential information. With the extreme weather over the past month, the tool has proven itself particularly helpful.

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February 26, 2019

New Park Property - Stearns Creek

The Ottawa County Parks and Recreation Commission and Ottawa County Parks Foundation reached an important landmark today in its effort to create a new ecologically important park along the Grand River Greenway.

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February 26, 2019

Annual report features stories to share the work of public health

Annual reports showcase the impact of local public health. We gathered photos, conducted interviews, wrote articles and so much more to create a magazine-style annual report. We compiled stories that link public health issues to people in our community to give you an insight into what we do.

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February 25, 2019

Barry St. Bridge reconstruction expected to begin March 4

GEORGETOWN TWP. -- Barry Street will be closed between 4th Avenue and Kenowa Avenue for bridge reconstruction work over Rush Creek.
The reconstruction project will include the removal of the existing Barry Street Bridge deck and beams, and modifications to abutments, scour protection, placement of new beams and deck, and road approaches.
The estimated project start date is Monday, March 4, and the anticipated completion date is Friday, May 17, weather permitting.

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February 20, 2019

Hot Dog Names of 2018

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. When a stray is picked-up by animal control (or a friendly neighbor), a dog wearing its license will be returned to its owner quickly for a tail-wagging, slobbery reunion. Unlicensed dogs risk being brought to the animal shelter. The owner may face fines, redemption fees, boarding costs and vet bills. Pets who remain unidentified could be put up for adoption.

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February 8, 2019

National Weather Service Flood Warning - Ottawa County

The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Warning on Friday, February 8, 2019 for the Grand River in Kent and Ottawa County. No widespread flooding is expected. The low line flooding may cause 3"-6" in river rise today through Monday, February 11, 2019. Ottawa County Emergency Management is working with isolated communities that may be effected (such as Robinson Township, Ottawa County).

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February 7, 2019

February is National Condom Month - Wear One!

The American Sexual Health Association recognizes each February as National #CondomMonth. The Ottawa County Department of Public Health provides free condoms at various locations throughout the county and state (click for a list of locations). Residents of Ottawa or Allegan County can also order condoms by mail here. In 2018, Ottawa County had 1,125 reported cases of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Not having sex is the best way to keep from getting STIs. If you choose to be sexually active, correct and consistent use of condoms is one of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of STIs.

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February 6, 2019

Feb & March 'Response to Active Shooter' Courses Open

What should you do in the case of an active shooter? Hide? Evacuate? Doing the right things can increase your odds of getting through alive. Last year, more that 800 people have attended a "Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events" class put on by the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office. This thought-provoking and engaging class provides strategies, guidance, and a plan for surviving an active shooter event.

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February 6, 2019

REMINDER: This Friday-Town Hall Meeting Robinson Township 120th Avenue PFAS Study Area

Robinson Township 120th Avenue PFAS Study Area
Friday, February 8, 2019; 5 pm-7:30 pm
Main Conference Room
Ottawa County Administrative Offices
12220 Fillmore Street, West Olive

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February 1, 2019

Work continues on winter weather cleanup

The Road Commission was out in full-force during this week’s storm, and had every vehicle available maintaining state and primary roads continuously during the extreme winter weather.
Our team worked to keep travel safe and limit delays as much as possible.
Any storm of this intensity and magnitude puts our workers to the test. We continue to face the challenge head-on in order to get all the county roads clear.
We ask for the public's cooperation and understanding over the next few days as our crews work hard to plow our secondary and subdivision streets.

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February 1, 2019

Get ahead of the 'Big Thaw' to prevent flooding

While many of us are looking forward to the above freezing temperatures predicted for the weekend, all of the melting snow has to go somewhere. Since the ground is still frozen, the water will run along the surface instead of seeping into the ground. This can lead to flooded streets and homes. You can do things today to prevent damage to your home and property:

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January 29, 2019

⚠️Updated list of Ottawa warming centers + transportation ⚠️

Ottawa County officials continue to urge residents to stay home and stay warm indoors and have updated list of warming shelters. The National Weather Service is predicting additional snow accumulation; blowing and drifting snow; and wind chills between -25°F and -40°F throughout West Michigan.

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January 29, 2019

⚠️Ottawa County to residents: stay home & stay indoors ⚠️

Ottawa County continues to monitor the cold weather forecasted through Thursday, January 31. Officials are urging residents to stay home and stay indoors.

The National Weather Service is predicting additional snow accumulation; blowing and drifting snow; and wind chills between -25°F and -40°F throughout West Michigan.

Avoid all nonessential travel.

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January 29, 2019

Mobile dental unit participates in “Give Kids a Smile!” day Friday, February 1

Dr. Daniel Seitz will be the dentist on the Ottawa County Department of Public Health’s Miles of Smiles mobile dental unit this Friday, Feb. 1 for Give Kids a Smile Day. He will provide comprehensive dental care for Medicaid insured and financially qualifying uninsured children at Holland West Elementary. Every child will receive a gift bag complete with a toothbrush, toothpaste, prize and oral health education.

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January 28, 2019

Sheriff's Office Seeking Victim Advocate Volunteers

The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office Victim Advocate Unit is seeking volunteers to join their team.
The Victim Advocate Unit assists law enforcement officers in Ottawa County during traumatic incidents such as fatal traffic crashes and some death investigations. Victim Advocates act as liaisons between family members and law enforcement during initial scene investigation. They also provide emotional support to the families of victims and remain with the family until their own support system arrives.

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January 25, 2019

Pigeon Creek Park Lodge in West Olive to open Friday, January 25 from 1-10 pm

The Pigeon Creek Lodge will open for the first time this season on Friday, January 25! The facility will be open from 1-10 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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January 23, 2019

MEDIA ADVISORY: Town Hall Meeting Robinson Township 120th Avenue PFAS Study Area

Friday, February 8, 2019; 5:00pm - 7:30 pm
Main Conference Room
Ottawa County Administrative Offices
12220 Fillmore Street, West Olive

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January 22, 2019

Ottawa County Commissioners proclaim National Day of Racial Healing

The Ottawa County Board of Commissioners today proclaimed January 22, 2019 as the National Day of Racial Healing for Ottawa County. Residents are urged to:

  • Find ways to reinforce and honor our common humanity and create space to celebrate the distinct differences that make our communities vibrant.
  • Acknowledge that there are still deep racial divisions in America that must be overcome and healed, and
  • Engage people from all racial, ethnic, religious and identity groups in genuine efforts to increase understanding, communication, caring and
  • respect for one another.

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January 22, 2019

Farm Bureau and Ottawa County leaders seek input on farmland preservation strategies

Ottawa County Farm Bureau and Ottawa County are seeking input from landowners regarding the preservation of local farmland. A survey is being mailed to landowners with at least 5 acres or more in Ottawa County. With Ottawa County being the fastest growing county in Michigan, as well as boasting one of the most diverse and productive agricultural economies in the State, it’s never been more important to achieve a healthy balance between growth and farmland preservation.

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January 22, 2019

Ottawa Administrator Delivers State of the County Address

Ottawa County leads the state in population growth, boasts low unemployment rates, flourishes with recreational opportunities and prides itself on building partnerships to enhance services and save tax dollars.

Ottawa County Administrator Al Vanderberg shared these and other Ottawa County highlights from 2018 during this afternoon's State of the County address.

Other themes in the report include Ottawa County government's strong financial position; its robust innovation and technology infrastructure and plans to advance the County's Cultural Intelligence Initiative with a new, dedicated department.

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January 15, 2019

Sheriff's Office Seeks Senior Volunteers

The Ottawa County Sheriff Office is seeking applicants for the Senior Volunteer Program. Senior volunteers provide important services for Ottawa County:

  • conducting home security checks
  • enforcing handicapped parking rules
  • processing abandoned vehicles
  • transferring police vehicles for maintenance
  • community events and parades
  • and other needed services

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January 10, 2019

96th Ave. bridge reopened in Zeeland Township

The 96th Avenue bridge over the Black River, south of Adams Street in Zeeland Township, is now open. The bridge had been closed to all traffic since Dec. 6, 2018, in order for repairs to take place.

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January 9, 2019

Ottawa County Courts Receive High Marks from Public

For several years, the 20th Circuit and Ottawa County Probate Courts have received high marks from the public regarding their experiences with the court. Using a survey that was administered in courts statewide, the local Circuit and Probate Courts asked court users questions about whether Circuit and Probate Courts were accessible, timely, and fair, and if they were treated with courtesy and respect by judges and court staff.

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January 9, 2019

The Ottawa County Parks and Recreation Commission and the Ottawa County Parks Foundation announced two key property transactions for the Grand River Greenway Initiative.

These properties are crucial to connect the Idema Explorers Trail to Kent County.
“More work still needs to be done, but we are two steps closer to achieving one of the major goals of the Grand River Greenway Initiative, which is to connect existing Kent Trails in Grandville to the future Idema Explorers Trail,” said Parks Director John Scholtz. “With this connection, users would be able to bike and hike from Jenison to Kent Trails, Millennium Park, and downtown Grand Rapids.”

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January 7, 2019

Apply Now for the Ottawa County's Citizen Police Academy

Topics covered in the academy include Road Patrol, Corrections, 911 Central Dispatch, Undercover Investigations, Narcotics, Marine Patrol, Dive Team, K9 Unit, E-Unit, Criminal Scientific Support Unit, Crime Scene Investigation, Firearms, Range, Simulator, Special Operations, Legal System, Accident Investigations and Community Policing. Most sessions will be held at the West Olive Fillmore Complex 12220 Fillmore Street, West Olive, MI 49460. The location of the session may vary depending on the topic.

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December 21, 2018

New weight limits enacted for two Zeeland Twp. bridges

The Ottawa County Road Commission has approved posting bridge weight limits for two bridges in Zeeland Township in Ottawa County. A 19 TON weight limit has been established on Byron Road over the Black River east of I-196, and a 10 TON weight limit has been established on 96th Avenue over the Black River south of Adams Street.

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December 20, 2018

Ottawa County Appoints New Treasurer

The Ottawa County Selection Committee has chosen former Park Township Supervisor and State Representative Amanda Price to serve as the next Ottawa County Treasurer. Former Representative Price will bring a great deal of experience to her new role, both as a financial professional and as a public servant.

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December 18, 2018

New traffic signal installed at Adams St./Black River Dr.

The Board of County Road Commissioners, County of Ottawa, has approved the installation of a stop and go traffic signal at the intersection of Adams Street and Black River Drive in Holland Township.
The traffic signal installation was completed by Strain Electric Company on Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018, and was put into flashing mode operation (Adams Street – Yellow, Black River Drive – Red).
The signal will be placed in stop and go operation on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018, weather permitting.

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December 17, 2018

Ottawa Sands Acquisition Update

Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Board has recommended a $3.82 million grant to complete the acquisition of the Ottawa Sands property in Ferrysburg, MI. If approved by the State Legislature, the $3,817,200 award from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF), along with $200,000 of privately-raised funds by the Land Conservancy of West Michigan, will fund the second phase of property acquisition for Ottawa Sands.

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December 13, 2018

Zeeland Twp. 96th Avenue bridge closure update

The contractor will be on site beginning Monday, Dec. 17, to start repair work on the 96th Avenue bridge.
Work will include the placement of a taller railing on the bridge.
This repair project could take up to two weeks to complete, depending on weather conditions.

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December 12, 2018

Ottawa County Chickenpox

A case of confirmed chickenpox has been reported in an unvaccinated student attending Rosy Mound Elementary in Grand Haven Area Public Schools. Parents of students in this school building were notified of the chickenpox case in a letter stating.

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December 7, 2018

What would you do if faced with an active shooter?

What should you do in the case of an active shooter? Hide? Evacuate? Doing the right things can increase your odds of getting through alive. So far in 2018, more that 800 people have attended a "Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events" class put on by the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office. This thought-provoking and engaging class provides strategies, guidance, and a plan for surviving an active shooter event.

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December 6, 2018

Road Closure Notice: 96th Avenue bridge closure notice in Zeeland Twp.

The 96th Avenue bridge in Zeeland Township is being closed due to a damaged railing. As a result of the closure, 96th Avenue is closed from Adams Street to Ottogan Street until further notice. The detour is Adams Street to 84th Avenue to Ottogan Street. Emergency vehicles may access the site from the north and south up to the bridge. The OCRC will provide additional updates on the closure once we have them available.

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December 3, 2018

County Employees Awarded for Customer Service

Join us in congratulating Marshall Boyd from the Ottawa County Innovation & Technology Department and Amber Reagan from the Ottawa County Clerk/Register of Deeds Office, who have been recognized as Ottawa County’s Outstanding Customer Service Award recipients for the third quarter of 2018. You can read the nominations which earned each recipient an award plus learn more about them here.

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November 30, 2018

Ottawa County Parks' Grand Ravines wins award

The Michigan Recreation and Park Association (mParks), an organization dedicated to the advancement of public spaces, recreation and natural resources, announced that Ottawa County Parks was awarded the 2018 Park Design award for Grand Ravines. Park Design projects typically contain landscape and facility components, such as splash pads, playgrounds, and trails and linear parks.

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November 23, 2018

World AIDS Day 2018: Know your HIV status. Free confidential testing this Friday

World AIDS Day originated at the 1988 World Summit of Ministers of Health on Programmes for AIDS Prevention. Since then, every year United Nations agencies, governments and civil society join together to campaign around specific themes related to AIDS. This year’s theme for World AIDS Day, which will be marking its 30th anniversary on 1 December, will be “Know your status”.

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November 19, 2018

Celebrate Adoption Day with Ottawa County on November 20

There is no place like home for the holidays. Celebrating Adoption Day on November 20, the 20th Circuit Court Family Division will ensure not just a home for the holidays but a forever home for several Ottawa County children. At 9AM, ceremonies will begin followed by confirmation hearings with Judges Mark A. Feyen and Kent D. Engle presiding.

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November 14, 2018

Ottawa County is Testing a New Team Member: CORA

Ottawa County is forging into the future, testing the first court robot greeter in the country. This week the 20th Circuit and the 58th District Courts welcomed CORA to the team at Ottawa County’s Grand Haven Courthouse. Through Friday, CORA will direct visitors around the courthouse, allow customers to search the court dockets, answer frequently asked questions, and provide information about the judges and referees in both English and Spanish. Along with her utility, CORA can also entertain you with a dance or take a selfie.

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November 13, 2018

Ottawa County citizens invited to apply for Ottawa County Treasurer

Applications for Ottawa County Treasurer, an elected position, are being accepted though Friday December 7. The Selection Committee is made up of the County Clerk/Register Justin Roebuck, County Prosecutor Ron Frantz, and Probate Judge Mark Feyen. This group will review the letters and résumés on December 10. Interviews will be conducted in an open meeting on a date to be announced. Interested parties may contact the County Clerk/Register's Office at 616-846-8107 for additional information.

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November 12, 2018

Thanks, Birth Control Day is on November 13: What does birth control make possible for you?

Birth control helps make amazing things possible! Not quite ready for kids? Birth control lets you pursue dreams, goals, travel, school, work, relationships and more without the risk of pregnancy. It’s not just about sex - it's about living life on your own terms!

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November 7, 2018

Celebrate Adoption Day with Ottawa County on November 20

There is no place like home for the holidays. Celebrating Adoption Day on November 20, the 20th Circuit Court Family Division will ensure not just a home for the holidays but a forever home for several Ottawa County children. At 9AM, ceremonies will begin followed by confirmation hearings with Judges Mark A. Feyen and Kent D. Engle presiding. (Location: 12120 Fillmore Street, West Olive)

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November 6, 2018

Road Closure: 148th Ave. to be closed Nov. 7-8 in Spring Lake Twp.

WHEN: Wednesday, Nov. 7, through Thursday, Nov. 8

WHERE: 148th Avenue, from Leonard St. to Boom Road in Spring Lake Township.

WHY: Culvert Replacement

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October 31, 2018

Robinson Elementary School PFAS Update

The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) is working with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and the Grand Haven Area Public Schools (GHAPS) to take the appropriate measures and develop an action plan to help ensure the water our children and residents are drinking meets appropriate state and federal standards.

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October 31, 2018

Public release of Robinson Elementary School water test results

WHO: Representatives from the Ottawa County Department of Public Health, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Grand Haven Area School District, Ottawa County Sheriff’s Emergency Management Division and Ottawa County Administration

WHAT: Release of Robinson Elementary School PFAS test results

WHEN: Wednesday, October 31, 2018 - approximately 4:45 pm

WHERE: Board Room - Ottawa County Administrative Offices, 12220 Fillmore Street, West Olive, MI 49460. **Please park in lot C. Doors to the board room will open at appx 4:30 pm for setup.

WHY: Inform the public and media about the PFAS test results and next steps

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October 29, 2018

Elevated PFAS levels at Robinson Elementary School in Robinson Township

The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) is working with the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS), Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Grand Haven Public Schools after being notified on October 29 of elevated levels of PFAS at Grand Haven’s Robinson Elementary School. School leaders immediately restricted access to drinking water in the building; bottled water is being provided to the school through the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Emergency Management Division and DHHS.

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October 24, 2018

Overcoming Adversity at the 231 River Run

If you ask most runners, they will tell you their journey; their running story; their why. And for some runners, the route of that journey changes along the way.
Seth and Alicia Reenders of Grand Haven are avid runners and 231 River Run veterans who found themselves on an uncharted path in May of 2018. Seth, 37, was diagnosed with a rare type of brain cancer after having brain surgery earlier that month. The summer was a whirlwind of chemotherapy, radiation and agonizing size effects.

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October 22, 2018

Ottawa County's Farmland Preservation Program Preserves Its 2nd Farm!

The low, rolling hills in the northeastern corner of Ottawa County is where you’ll find the Klein family farm. On their farm they grow corn, wheat, and soybeans as well as raise beef cattle. On July 2, 2018, upon granting an easement to the Ottawa County Farmland Preservation Program, 55.63 acres of their farm became permanently preserved, meaning that this acreage will always be used as agricultural land. The Klein’s property is directly adjacent to a 60+ acre parcel that has been preserved by the State of Michigan’s Farmland Preservation and Open Space Program. These two preserved properties create over 115 acres of contiguous preserved farmland.

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October 22, 2018

Medication Takeback Event on Saturday, October 27th

On Saturday, October 27, 2018, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Ottawa County Opiate Taskforce will be participating in a national medication takeback event in order to safely dispose of unused and expired medications in our community.

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October 18, 2018

NEWS RELEASE: Ottawa County Chickenpox

On Wednesday, October 17, 2018, the Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) received information on a confirmed case of chickenpox in an unvaccinated student attending Waukazoo Elementary in West Ottawa. Parents of students in this school building were notified of the chickenpox case in a letter stating:

By order of the Ottawa County Department of Public Health under the authority of the Michigan Public Health Code Act 368 of 1978, if your child has not been immunized and you cannot provide a verification of a previous diagnosis of chickenpox, he/she will be excluded from school until November 1, 2018, and may return to school November 2, 2018, provided they have not developed chickenpox during this time period.

If you suspect that your child has chickenpox you are encouraged to contact your medical care provider. All individuals diagnosed with chickenpox should be kept home until the rash has crusted over (usually about five days).

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October 18, 2018

Ottawa County Clerk & GIS Unveil New Applications for Voter Information

The Ottawa County Clerk's Office, in partnership with the Ottawa County Geospatial Insights and Solutions (GIS) Department, are unveiling new tools for voters as they prepare for the November 6 General Election.

The "My Election Polling Place" application will allow voters to type in their address or click anywhere on the county map to find their sample ballot as well as view and receive directions to their polling place.

The "My Elected Representatives" application allows residents to enter their Ottawa County address or click anywhere on the county map to find a list and contact information for all of their elected representatives, from the federal level, to city, township and school board officials.

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October 15, 2018

Ottawa County Road Commission ready for winter 2018 amid higher salt prices

The Ottawa County Road Commission is working to save money amid high salt prices for the upcoming winter maintenance season.

The Road Commission will pay $62.84 per ton for an allocation of 22,500 tons of road salt for the 2018-19 season -- an increase of more than $26 per ton compared to last season.

“The increase in salt price represents an increase of approximately $500,000-to-$600,000 in Road Commission winter expenses,” Ottawa County Road Commission Managing Director Brett Laughlin said. “The Road Commission has a fixed budget, and this additional cost could impact the proposed summer road improvements.”

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October 15, 2018

Ottawa County residents encouraged to shake their mailboxes this month

Before winter takes hold and snow plows hit the roads, the Ottawa County Road Commission asks Michigan residents to prepare by shaking their mailboxes this month.

“Our top priority is to maintain a safe and efficient road and right-of-way system for county residents,” said Ottawa County Road Commission Communications Administrator Alex Doty. “It is a resident’s responsibility to ensure his or her mailbox is secure.”

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October 12, 2018

Hamilton Selected as Ottawa County Public Defender

Robert C. Hamilton of Holland has been selected as the Ottawa County Public Defender. Hamilton has 30 years of experience in indigent defense counsel giving him extensive knowledge of the criminal justice system. He also comes with leadership qualities that will serve Ottawa County and facilitate this transition well. Hamilton, who is currently an attorney with the law firm Hann Persinger PC, is a graduate of Michigan State University and Thomas M. Cooley Law School.

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October 12, 2018

You're invited to a Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening Celebration: New Grand Haven dental center opening to expand access in Ottawa County

My Community Dental Centers (MCDC) and the Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) are pleased to announce the dental center located at 801 S. Beacon Blvd in Grand Haven will open to the public on Monday, October 29. The center will be a new resource open to the community and will serve children and adults enrolled in Medicaid, Healthy Kids Dental, Healthy Michigan Plan and private dental insurance. MCDC also offers MyDental Plan for patients without dental insurance, which provides reduced fees based on household income. An initial dental exam with X-rays will cost $39 for new patients.

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October 12, 2018

Road Commission honored for breast cancer awareness plow truck

One of two awards earned by the Road Commission at the APWA 2018 Snowplow Roadeo on Wednesday

The Ottawa County Road Commission wowed the judges at the American Public Works Association Midwest Michigan Branch 2018 Snowplow Roadeo with its Breast Cancer Awareness Month themed plow truck -- the winning entry in the Pride of the Fleet competition at this year's Roadeo.

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October 10, 2018

Hispanic Latino Commission Names Top 50 Latinas of Michigan

Among Them--Ottawa County's Reyna Orellana Masko and Juanita Bocanegra and retiree Patricia Sosa VerDuin.

The Hispanic Latino Commission of Michigan announced the top 50 Latinas in the state--and Ottawa County employees Reyna Masko and Juanita Bocanegra plus retiree Pat Sosa VerDuin were among the honorees. They will be officially recognized at the Statewide Hispanic Heritage Month Celebrations in Saginaw on October 12. The award recognizes distinguished Latina leaders who have significant involvement in their communities and their chosen professions.

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October 10, 2018

Let's Talk Month: Sexual health conversations with your kids

Let's Talk Month is a national public education campaign that is celebrated in October and coordinated by Advocates for Youth. The Ottawa County Department of Public Health encourages parents and caregivers to talk with youth about abstinence and sexuality.

  • Parents are the best sexuality educators for their children.
  • Teens consistently say that parents most influence their decisions about sex.
  • Parents want to be good sex educators, but may not always know how.
  • It is possible to be an "askable" adult.

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October 4, 2018

Ottawa County Launches GoFundMe Page for Local Trail Project

All outdoor lovers will soon be able to enjoy a journey along almost 50 miles of recreational trails in Ottawa County with the completion of the Spoonville Trail. Construction of Phase II of the Spoonville Trail, a 1.7-mile-long stretch in Crockery Township is planned to begin this spring. This beautiful section of trail way will meander through the picturesque ravines of the Terra Verde Golf Course property, making it the first public trail in Michigan with an easement through a golf course. While over 96% of the $2.3 million project is funded, a small amount remains in order to cross the finish line. To do this, the County has created a GoFundMe campaign as part of their fundraising efforts – and are in need of your help!

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October 3, 2018

JUST RELEASED: 2018 Ottawa County Community Health Improvement Plan

The Ottawa County community came together to create its next version of the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). This plan works to help improve the health and well-being of local residents. The full plan and infographic are found at miOttawa.org/2018CHIP.

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October 3, 2018

Ottawa County Administrator's Digest Special Edition

The Ottawa County Board of Commissioners approved the Ottawa County Tax Allocation Board’s recommendation to place the following ballot language on the November 6, 2018 ballot, as required by State law:

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October 1, 2018

The Road Newsletter | Ottawa County Road Commission Newsletter October 2018

News from the Ottawa County Road Commission--view 2019 Road Commission budget information, learn what to do with fall leaves, and learn about preparing your mailbox for winter.

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October 1, 2018

Join us for the most important meal of the day: Coffee with Cops

Join your local Ottawa County Sheriff's deputies this week for Coffee with Cops on Wednesday, October 3. Several locations throughout the county will be hosting the event including:
☕ Spring Lake: Idle Hour Restaurant, 8:30-9:30AM
☕ Hudsonville: Sprinkles, 9-10AM
☕ Allendale: Tim Hortons, 10-11AM
☕ Holland: deBoers on Douglas, 8-11AM
These events are great times to bring concerns or questions or just get to know your local team.

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September 27, 2018

Ottawa County chickenpox

On Tuesday, September 25, 2018, the Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) was notified of confirmed chickenpox cases in students attending Jenison Public Schools at Kids First (ECC/El Puente). Parents of students in this building were notified of the chickenpox cases in the school.

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September 25, 2018

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

Even though Suicide Prevention Awareness Month is coming to a close, keep in mind - suicidal thoughts, much like mental health conditions, can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or background. In fact, suicide is often the result of an untreated mental health condition. Suicidal thoughts, although common, should not be considered normal and often indicate more serious issues.

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September 20, 2018

Do your part and get Septic Smart! Failing septic systems can contaminate groundwater and harm the environment

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - in conjunction with federal, state and local governments, and private sector partners - recognize this week as SepticSmart Week to encourage homeowners and communities to properly maintain their septic systems. More than 1.3 million homes and businesses in Michigan depend on septic systems to treat wastewater. If not maintained, failing septic systems can contaminate groundwater and harm the environment by releasing bacteria, viruses and household toxins to local waterways. Proper septic system maintenance protects public health, the environment, and saves the homeowner money through avoided costly repairs.

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September 18, 2018

Sexuality educator receives state award for innovative work to address sexually transmitted diseases

Heather Alberda, AASECT certified sexuality educator with the Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH), received the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services 2018 Outstanding Innovation Award. During the Roadmap to Health Conference, state leaders recognized Alberda for her innovative work to address sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In 2014, she created the Wear One program to help remove barriers such as cost, embarrassment and lack of access to condoms for people 18-24 years of age.

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September 18, 2018

ArtPrize entry brings healing to troubled Ottawa County teens

The 20th Circuit Court, Juvenile Court Division in Ottawa County is entered in the ArtPrize 10 youth collaboration division. The sculpture, Masked, was created by the girls who are court-ordered into the county's Lighthouse Program. Lighthouse treats adolescent girls within the detention center who have experienced trauma and the resulting mental and behavioral challenges. The masks are a therapeutic expression of the girls’ pain and suffering. They are also evidence of the girls’ hopes and visions of their lives without these negative experiences.

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September 17, 2018

With a straight ticket vote no longer a choice, clerk urges election day preparations

Ottawa County Clerk and Register of Deeds Justin Roebuck says that his office is preparing for longer wait times on Election Day, due to a federal court ruling on September 5 that removed the “straight ticket voting” option from the November General Election ballot.

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September 14, 2018

Hepatitis A exposure at the Michigan Renaissance Festival

The Oakland County Health Division (OCHD) issued a health advisory about an attendee of the Michigan Renaissance Festival (Holly, Michigan) who has a confirmed case of hepatitis A and was ill while attending the festival on September 1. The OCHD strongly recommends those who attended and worked at the festival on September 1, September 2 and September 3 be vaccinated within 14 days. Call your doctor or pharmacy if you have not been vaccinated for hepatitis A.

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September 13, 2018

Judge Jon H. Hulsing Appointed to the Judicial Tenure Commission

Lynn A. Helland, Executive Director and General Counsel of the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission announced the appointment of the Hon. Jon H. Hulsing as Commissioner for the Judicial Tenure Commission and will represent all of the circuit court judges in Michigan. Judge Hulsing will begin his three-year term as Commissioner on January 1, 2019.

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September 13, 2018

Events from the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office

The Ottawa County Sheriff's Office is raising funds for Shields of Hope this weekend at the first annual Cops & Rodders Car Show. The event runs from 11AM - 3PM on Saturday, September 15 at Grand Haven High School. Vehicle entry is just $10 and hot rodders can begin staging at 10AM. Spectators are welcome to come out for free!

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September 12, 2018

Historic pump house renovation wins State History Award

At their annual event on September 22, the Historical Society of Michigan will award the 2018 State History Award in the Restoration/Preservation category to the Historic Ottawa Beach Society for their collaboration with Ottawa County Parks to restore the pump house building.

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September 12, 2018

Recovery Fest on September 15 celebrates national recovery month

Throughout September, communities nationwide have the opportunity to inspire and advocate for individuals and families who are seeking help. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration recognizes September as National Recovery Month. This year’s theme, “Join the voices for recovery: Invest in health, home, purpose and community,” explores how integrated care, a strong community, sense of purpose, and leadership contributes to effective treatments that sustain the recovery of persons with mental and substance use disorders. The theme aims to increase awareness and encourage people to take advantage of the increased dialogue around behavioral health needs and the increased emphasis on tackling our nation’s opioid crisis.

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September 11, 2018

Ottawa County Honors Employees for Customer Service

Join us in congratulating Jared Hayward from the Ottawa County's Innovation & Technology Department and Shawn James from the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office, who have been recognized as Ottawa County’s Outstanding Customer Service Award recipients for the second quarter of 2018. You can read the nominations which earned each recipient an award plus learn more about them here.

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September 7, 2018

Ottawa County officials are ready for an emergency - are you? Use these tools to prepare

Whether it's a disease outbreak, severe weather or any emergency; you need to be ready! September is National Preparedness Month and Ottawa County officials are urging residents to be ready for any type of emergency. Most Americans do not have supplies set aside or plans in place to protect their own or their family’s health and safety. The good news is that it is never too late to prepare for an emergency. You can take actions and use free resources to help you prepare for, adapt to and cope when an outbreak, disaster or emergency strike. Take time to prepare!

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August 31, 2018

First human case of West Nile virus in Ottawa County

The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) has confirmed the first human case of West Nile virus (WNV) for 2018 in Ottawa County. Health officials urge residents to protect themselves against mosquito bites to reduce their risk for WNV.

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August 27, 2018

Ottawa County Tackles Challenging Groundwater Issues with Proactive Planning

One of the last places you would expect to encounter a challenge with ensuring a sustainable supply of fresh groundwater is Ottawa County. Situated along 24 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, with the Grand River traversing its landscape and Lake Macatawa and Spring Lake within its borders, Ottawa County is a popular destination for recreation, business, and living. Access to water is perceivably abundant. However, the water that is located underground and out of view, which is used by thousands of residents as their primary source of fresh drinking water as well as by farmers to irrigate their crops, is at risk.

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August 27, 2018

New system allows residents to view crime online

The Ottawa County Sheriff's Office and Ottawa County Geospatial Insights and Solutions released a new, mobile-friendly incident mapping system last month. The system allows users to search for police activity by date, location and type of incident. Incident types are categorized as traffic and crashes, crimes against persons, health and safety, drugs and alcohol, property, marine and other services. The incidents listed include a basic description of the call and the general area of occurrence. Calls under the jurisdictions of GVSU, Zeeland, Grand Haven, and Holland are included in the system.

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August 23, 2018

Ottawa, Kent and Muskegon counties see an increase in Legionnaires’ disease, a very serious type of lung infection

Legionnaires' disease is more common during the warmer months when temperatures are ideal for bacteria growth. However, regional epidemiologists are seeing an increase in cases in Ottawa, Kent and Muskegon counties. This increase corresponds with state and national increases. No common source has been identified related to the recent cases.

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August 23, 2018

Ottawa County Sheriff's Office Back to School Tips

If the photos popping up on your Facebook newsfeed are any indication, the first day of school is a milestone for families. Youth in Ottawa County will be returning to school both this week and next. The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office offers the following safety tips for going back to school.

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August 21, 2018

Ottawa County Hosting Fundraiser to Benefit Farmland Preservation

Ottawa County’s Farmland Preservation Program is holding its 2nd annual Farms are the Tapas fundraising event on Thursday, September 20, 2018, from 6-8pm at Terra Square in Hudsonville. All proceeds from this event will support the preservation of farmland in the County. This fun evening features a master chef cooking competition with chefs from Sonder Eatery, The Farmhouse Deli, Butch’s Dry Dock, and The Elbo Room. Guests will dine on delicious creations made with locally sourced ingredients and vote on their favorite one. There will be a cash bar with local beer and wine and live entertainment by West Michigan musician Jack Leaver.

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August 16, 2018

Ottawa County warns: zero tolerance for drunk driving & seatbelt enforcement

Begining this weekend, the Ottawa County's Sheriff's Office will be joining police agencies across the state prioritizing drunk driving and seatbelt enforcement with extra officers on the road and zero tolerance for lawbreakers. On August 17 and 18, and again on August 24 and 25, additional patrol cars will be out in West Michigan getting drunk drivers off the road. In 2017, 320 people died in Michigan as a result of alcohol-involved car crashes and 221 died in drug-involved traffic accidents.

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August 4, 2018

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

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!

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August 2, 2018

Severe Weather Warning Siren Test Rescheduled

The monthly siren test for communities in Ottawa County will occur on: Friday, August 10 at NOON. This test is being delayed one week due to the large crowds anticipated at the Coast Guard Festival on the regular test date of August 3. The sirens will sound for approximately 1 to 3 minutes. Ottawa County monthly siren tests occur during the months of March through November on the first Friday of each month. The next siren test is scheduled for September 7.

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August 1, 2018

Ottawa County Parks & The Land Conservancy partner on property purchase

Along the banks of the Grand River, just upstream from Grand Haven’s famous musical fountain, along a cut-out in the river known as “the sag,” is a mile of shoreline that has been privately held for many decades.

The 345-acre property sits between green space owned by the cities of Grand Haven and Ferrysburg and North Ottawa Dunes. The site has long been used for sand mining, but has been inactive in recent years. The property includes forested dunes, an 80-acre lake, and riverfront land with wetlands.

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July 24, 2018

Residents Give Ottawa County Gov High Marks

According to the results of a Citizen Survey released today, Ottawa County government continues to receive high marks from its residents. Seventy-eight percent of residents said that Ottawa County operations are heading in the right direction. A decade ago in 2008, just 54% of residents shared this view of the county.

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July 17, 2018

Your Lead Foot Buys Books

Do you have a lead foot? While we are not urging you to drive above the speed limit, your costly speeding ticket has a silver lining. A portion of the fines paid to the courts from criminal violations and civil infractions is distributed to local libraries. This year, Ottawa County fines netted nine public libraries a total of $749,943.

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July 17, 2018

Health department opening a new dental center in Grand Haven

The Ottawa County Department of Public Health partnered with My Community Dental Centers Inc. (MCDC) to provide greater access to dental care in Ottawa County. A new dental center will open in Fall 2018 at 805 S. Beacon Blvd., Grand Haven. MCDC is operating the six-chair center on behalf of the health department. The center will provide quality dental care to all – children and adults enrolled in Medicaid, Healthy Kids Dental, Healthy Michigan Plan and private dental insurance.

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July 13, 2018

Lottery for slips at new Ottawa Beach Marina now open

The Ottawa Beach Marina will have 15 seasonal slips, four moorings, and 26 transient slips. As stipulated by a 2005 court agreement, members of the West Michigan Park Association were given the first opportunity to reserve seasonal slips at market rate. At this time, up to seven seasonal slips and two moorings are still available for rent for the 2019 season. Due to the anticipated interest in slips, they will be available via a lottery.

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July 13, 2018

No Body Contact Advisory Lifted for Sand Creek in Ottawa County

The water samples for Sand Creek in Ottawa County are now below the threshold, and the no body contact advisory has been lifted. The creek runs through Tallmadge Township and into Wright Township when it crosses I96 to the north, then south again into Tallmadge Township

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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