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Current Media Releases

August 15, 2016

Ottawa & Allegan County, lace up your walking shoes & get ready for a free 7 week challenge.

Ottawa and Allegan Parks and Recreation and Department of Public Health are teaming up to bring the community another Step it Up! Walking Challenge this September.

This fall, participants will “virtually walk” 225 miles along the North Country Trail in the Upper Peninsula. The challenge begins on Monday, September 19.

This program is designed to help the community stay active as the weather cools. Participants of all fitness levels are invited to join and track their activity. Those who report their weekly steps and activity will be entered to win a Fit Bit fitness tracker; one will be awarded each week of the challenge.

Participants will be able to track their individual progress online, including their cumulative steps taken. The Ottawa County GIS Department designed a map for those walking to see how far they've made it along the virtual trail.

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August 10, 2016

Dog Days of Summer, Special Event

Please join us at the Dog Days of Summer Event! Saturday, August 20 from 2 - 4pm
Grand Ravines Dog Park, Jenison

This year Ottawa County Parks will be thanking the Hudsonville-Jenison Community Foundation for their generous donation of $10,000 and the Chow Hound Pet Supplies community who helped contribute a match! 

Donations and proceeds will go toward the park developments coming soon: shade structures, more paths, paved parking lot, and modern restrooms.

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August 5, 2016

Ottawa County Parks deer hunting lottery is open through September 1.

Deer hunting plays a crucial role in conservation and ecosystem management. Deer are prey species and without predators they can become overabundant can degrade the diversity of our natural areas. Humans have long been an important predator of deer, keeping our ecosystems balanced.

Ottawa County Parks & Recreation offers hunting on over 3,340 acres of selected properties with some restrictions intended to protect hunters and park visitors alike. Of the 16 properties where hunting is allowed, three properties require special permits each year: 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. 

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August 4, 2016

Get the scoop at "Cones with Cops" event

The Sheriff's Officers in Spring Lake-Ferrysburg have traded in hot coffee for cool cones at an upcoming meet-n-greet on August 16 from 7 - 8:30pm. Join them at the Front Porch in Spring Lake for the scoop and a half-priced ice cream cone. (618 East Savidge Street

Cones with Cops is an informal time where residents of all ages can meet their local law enforcement teams, ask questions and introduce concerns. 

The majority of contact law enforcement has with the public happens during emergencies or emotional situations. Those situations are not always the most effective times for relationship building with the community. Cones with Cops breaks down barriers and allows for a relaxed interaction. 

The Ottawa County Sheriff's Office held several similar and successful "Coffee with Cops" events over the past year. 

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August 3, 2016

Popular active shooter response class offered again August 10

"Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events" class repeated 

What should you do in the case of an active shooter? Hide? Evacuate? Doing the right things can increase your odds of survival. The Ottawa County Sheriff's Office is again offering the popular "Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events" training. This thought provoking and engaging class provides strategies, guidance, and a plan for surviving an active shooter event. Register today. The class is on August 10 from 6-9PM at the Ottawa County Fillmore Complex's Administration Building at 12220 Fillmore Street in West Olive. The event is free but registration is required. Space is limited. Visit miOttawa.org/Sheriff to register. Participants must be 18 years of age or older. A pictured ID is required.

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August 2, 2016

The Road | August 2016

Building a Better Mousetrap
The Road Commission is pleased to announce that the Wing Hinge Bracket was the winner of the 2016 Great Ideas Challenge. Michigan’s Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) sponsors the contest to help identify, share, and reward the great work that is performed by local road agencies in Michigan. The entry will be submitted into the Build a Better Mousetrap National Competition that is sponsored by FHWA.

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August 1, 2016

Five things to do before the August 2 election

Five things to do NOW

5 - Save time at the polls. Study your ballot in advance.

4 - Find your polling location.

3 - Plan a time to vote. Polls are open from 7AM to 8PM on Tuesday, August 2, but lines are typically shorter in the morning.

2 - Subscribe to receive unofficial election results via text or email.

1 - Find us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or Clerk/Register on Facebook. Use the hashtag #ocMIvotes. 

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July 29, 2016

Check it out: Ottawa County sends $820,000 to the libraries  

Bradley Slagh, Treasurer of Ottawa County, is sending out $820,766.85 in checks to nine local libraries from fines collected by Ottawa County Courts.  

The Michigan State Constitution of 1963 requires that all penalties collected for violations of the state penal laws be divided into court costs, statutory fees and penal fees. The penal fines are placed in a library fund to be used for the support of public libraries and a county law library. 

"In recent years the total has ranged from $700,000 to over $1,020,000 depending on the amount of citations written using the state penal code and the fines levied by the court," Slagh said. "This year the total fines collected and disbursed are down almost $200,000 from last year’s high water mark of $1,020,000."

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July 27, 2016

Parks Millage Renewal Information

On August 2, 2016 voters will have the opportunity to renew and restore the Ottawa County Parks & Open Space Millage. 

Ottawa County’s system of parks and open spaces is made possible by voter support of the Ottawa County Parks & Open Space Millage. 

Ottawa County Board of Commissioners approved ballot language for the renewal and restoration of the County Parks and Open Space Millage. If approved, the millage will provide funding for improving, operating, maintaining, and acquiring parks and open spaces in Ottawa County from 2018 through 2027. The millage would generate an estimated $3.5 million annually for maintenance and development of county parks.

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July 26, 2016

Ottawa County Website Ranks Seventh Nationwide Among Government Websites

The Center for Digital Government and the National Association of Counties have announced the winners of the 2016 Digital Counties Survey, naming miOttawa.org among the leading government websites in the country. The annual survey recognizes the best technology practices among U.S. counties, including initiatives that save tax dollars through newfound efficiencies; boost transparency, cybersecurity and engagement; or innovate through unique and exciting projects. Ottawa County earned the seventh spot in the nation compared to counties of similar size. Ottawa has made the top ten on the national list during seven of the past eight years.

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July 26, 2016

Accessible beach wheel chair now available for use at North Beach ParkBeach wheel chair

Thanks to a generous donation from the Friends of Ottawa County Parks, there is now a Mobi Chair, an accessible beach wheel chair available for the public to use free-of-charge at North Beach Park in Ferrysburg. The wheel chair was designed to navigate the sand and can also float in the water!

"Friends of Ottawa County Parks is pleased to help provide this type of equipment to Parks users. Opportunities to increase accessibility or encourage park experiences for all ages and abilities are priorities for this us," said Alice Hoban, President of Friends of Ottawa County Parks. "Support from memberships, donations, and fundraising activities allows this all-volunteer organization to respond quickly when a need arises. We hope we'll see some pictures of the chair in use!"

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July 20, 2016

Election Results Alert. Are you signed up?

Receive unofficial election results via text or email. It takes just a few moments to enroll.

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July 15, 2016

Green Light for M23.1k Run & Relay 2016

Registration opens 8AM on Friday, July 15

It's not often that a new, major highway is shut down to traffic. That is exactly what is happening on the morning of October 1, 2016 on the M231 Highway. There are no repairs to be made. Instead, Ottawa County is partnering with the Michigan Department of Transportation to offer the Michigan's Credit Unions M23.1k Run & Relay. The M231 Highway stretches seven miles through the spectacular, rolling countryside and over the Grand River in West Michigan. Runners can choose from a 23.1k run or relay. The three-person relay offers legs between 5k and 10k split over the same 23.1k course. For those who are metrically impaired, that is 14.35 miles.

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July 11, 2016

Step it Up! Walking Challenge sees excellent results

As a group, the Step it Up! participants walked 106,609.6 miles. That's four times around the world!

From April through June, the Ottawa County Department of Public Health and Ottawa County Parks collaborated to present a free walking program to county residents, encouraging them to get outside and get moving after a cold winter. Each week participants were presented with a goal mileage to keep them on track throughout the challenge. 

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July 7, 2016

Meet Ottawa County's Juvenile Justice Institute Class of 2016

The 20th Circuit Court-Family Division-Juvenile Court proudly announces the first graduates from the Juvenile Justice Institute. Mr. Johnny Nguyen (Holland Public Schools) and Mr. Karas Bayko (Hudsonville Public Schools) earned their high school diplomas via the Institute. Both students have plans to attend college this fall.

At-risk youth need options in order to keep them engaged in their education and prevent them from dropping out of school. These students are smart, creative and capable young people. The extended opportunity for students to receive a high school diploma from their local school through attendance at the Juvenile Justice Institute is a critical step in the students’ success. Completing their educations allows them to contribute their knowledge, skills and abilities to the Ottawa County community, making it a better place for all to live. The Ottawa County Juvenile Court contracts with the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District to provide this unique educational program. 

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July 7, 2016

Training on Marijuana Trends by Officer Jermaine Galloway

Community Mental Health of Ottawa County is hosting the upcoming training on Marijuana Trends which will be taught by Officer Jermaine Galloway on Friday, September 2, 2016.  Officer Galloway is a nationally and internationally recognized instructor and is well known for his countless hours of research on alcohol and drug trends.  He has been an Idaho law enforcement officer since 1997 and has more than 15 years’ experience in underage drinking, drug, and alcohol enforcement.  

Officer Galloway will be discussing Marijuana Trends: Huffing, Dabbing, Doping, Stashing, Clothing and Legalization influences.  This training is for people who are involved in prevention, education, treatment, or enforcement to provide them with a better understanding of the sweeping changes happening in the drug cultures. 

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July 7, 2016

Opioid Overdose Reversal Kits & Training

People overdosing on opioids is a growing problem in Ottawa County, as well as across the country.  Opioids are substances, or chemically resemble substances, originally derived from the opium poppy.  Opioids can include medications prescribed by a doctor to treat chronic or acute pain but also illegal drugs like heroin used for their euphoric effects.  When a person overdoses on opioids, their breathing shuts down - leading to death.  Overdose deaths are on the rise, so we need to work to address the problem.  There is a medication that can temporarily reverse the overdose effects and provide time to get the victim medical attention.  The medication is called Naloxone.  There is a nationwide effort to make Naloxone available to individuals who use opioids.

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June 15, 2016

Ottawa County Receives National Achievement Award

Ottawa County is pleased to announce that it is the recipient of a 2016 Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo).  The award was given to the County for its work in helping to develop “Imagine Hudsonville 2030”, the new Citywide Master Plan for Hudsonville. 

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June 14, 2016

Residents report Ottawa County on the right track

Ottawa County is doing something right, according to a countywide public opinion survey released today. Eighty percent of residents said that Ottawa County operations are heading in the right direction, up from 73% in 2014. In 2010, just 52% of residents shared this view of the county.

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June 13, 2016

Seven things to know about the August 2 election

7 - The voter registration deadline is approaching. July 5 is the last day to register if you wish to cast a vote on August 2.
6 - Unable to make it to the polls? You may be eligible for an absentee ballot.
5 - Wish to save time at the polls? Study your ballot ahead of time.

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June 9, 2016

Kelloggsville students win a grant and give back to Hager Park!

2016 marks the third year fifth grade students from Kelloggsville Public Schools have visited Ottawa County's Hager Park to learn about and remove invasive plants, pick up litter, have lunch, and enjoy the Age of Discovery playground.

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June 9, 2016

Free/reduced school lunches done for the summer, but kids can still get free nutritious meals!

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

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June 9, 2016

Learn more about local Holland history in the newly renovated pump house

Have you had the chance to take a peek inside the historic pump house building on Ottawa Beach Road? You know the one, the brick building past the general store on the way to Holland State Park. Whether you've passed by and never been inside or saw it for the first time last year, join the Historic Ottawa Beach Society (HOBS) for an open house or a historical program this summer. 

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June 6, 2016

Employee's random act of kindness gets noticed

Ottawa County extends its congratulations to Greg Rappleye from Corporation Counsel, who has been recognized as Ottawa County’s Outstanding Customer Service Award recipient for the first quarter of 2016. "If time doesn’t fly, it certainly hustles along." said Greg who has been an county employee for 25 years. He began is tenure in 1991 in the Ottawa County Prosecutors Office, doing the County’s civil work under the direction of Prosecutor Ronald J. Frantz. Later, Rappleye's duties evolved into the Office of Corporation Counsel, which serves under the direction of the County Administrator.

Learn more about Greg Rappleve

June 3, 2016

Opioid Overdose Reversal Kits & Training

People overdosing on opioids is a growing problem in Ottawa County, as well as across the country.  Opioids are substances, or chemically resemble substances, originally derived from the opium poppy.  Opioids can include medications prescribed by a doctor to treat chronic or acute pain but also illegal drugs like heroin used for their euphoric effects.  When a person overdoses on opioids, their breathing shuts down - leading to death.  Overdose deaths are on the rise, so we need to work to address the problem.  There is a medication that can temporarily reverse the overdose effects and provide time to get the victim medical attention.  The medication is called Naloxone.  There is a nationwide effort to make Naloxone available to individuals who use opioids. 

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June 2, 2016Flower

VanRegenmorter legacy to be honored with Ottawa County garden

In memory of victims who have died and those who survive in Ottawa County.

Ottawa County is creating the William VanRegenmorter Memory Garden to honor the late senator's lifetime commitment to victims of crime. With the assistance of many crime victims and advocates, former State Senator William VanRegenmorter, an Ottawa County resident, wrote the Crime Victim’s Rights Act in 1985. Since that time, tremendous progress has been made, not only in Michigan, but nationwide, to secure and strengthen legal rights, protections and services for crime victims. You can help by purchasing a brick paver for the plaza. The garden will be a tribute to the life changing impact crime has on victims and their loved ones. 

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May 27, 2016Goats

The Prescribed Browsing Project is baaaack for its third and final year.

Ottawa County Parks launched its third and final year of the Prescribed Browsing Project, a unique initiative utilizing goats to combat invasive plants. This innovative, yet simple method reduces herbicide applications, is cost-effective, and allows access to locations where mowers or machinery could otherwise not reach. The project began in 2014 as a three year initiative and will conclude for review after this year.

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May 19, 2016Population Change Map

Ottawa County Population and Growth Rates  The 2015 population estimates for townships, cities, and villages were released by the U.S. Census Bureau today.

Some of the Ottawa County highlights are provided below:

  • All of the townships in Ottawa County continued to grow in population between 2014 and 2015, while 4 cities saw a slight decline in population
  • Allendale Township experienced the largest population growth rate between 2014 and 2015 (5.8% increase)
  • Since 2010, the local units that experienced the largest population growth rates were Jamestown Township (12.5% increase), Allendale Township (10.8% increase), and Crockery Township (9.7% increase)

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Recent Headlines

Our goal is to be receptive, responsive and transparent.  Members of the media seeking interviews or information are encouraged to contact the Communications Manager, Shannon Felgner.

A handful of County Offices respond to media inquiries directly including:
Ottawa County Department of Public Health - Kristina Wieghmink (616) 494-5597
Ottawa County Community Mental Health - Anna Bednarek (616) 494-5545
Ottawa County Parks & Recreation - Jessica VanGinhoven (616) 994-4716
Ottawa County Sheriff's Office - (616) 738-4000
If you are having trouble determining to whom you should direct your inquiry, the Communications Manager is a great place to start. 

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

Freedom of Information Act Requests

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

FOIA Freedom of Information Act Policy

CONTACT US

Shannon Felgner

  • Shannon Felgner,
    Communications Manager

Main Office

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

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