• Officials & Departments
  • Online Services
  • Courts & Sheriff
  • County Parks
  • Property Resources
  • Documents Forms

Ottawa County Media Room

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

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

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

Current Media Releases

October 20, 2014

Mobile farmers market visits Spring Lake & Holland

The YMCA Veggie Vans are West Michigan’s first and only mobile farmers markets. The vans run year round, making daily stops in urban neighborhoods throughout Ottawa, Kent and Muskegon counties. The purpose of the program is to ensure fruits and vegetables are available to people who otherwise may have limited access to fresh produce. Foods are primarily purchased from local farmers and supplemented by local grocery store partners, to provide customers with quality produce at reduced prices. The end of summer doesn’t mean the end of fresh produce.

October 7, 2014

Can you eat on just $4.15 per day? SNAP Challenge participants are finding out

In Ottawa County, there are 26,966 residents who live in poverty. Each person faces the challenge associated with feeding their families and hunger. At times, people may have to choose between paying their electric bill, rent or buying groceries. Ottawa County Food Policy Council members are participating this week in the SNAP Challenge. The council wanted to experience hunger first-hand and raise awareness about how difficult it can be to eat on just $4.15 per day. Participants have committed to eating all of their meals from a limited food budget comparable to that of a person receiving SNAP. "The SNAP Challenge offers a great opportunity to reflect on ways to make your dollars stretch. Coupon clipping, cooking from scratch, making and sticking to a meal plan or supplementing groceries with home-grown produce are creative ways to make it possible to eat each day with so little," said Elianna Bootzin, Executive Administrative Assistant with Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank. Read More

September 25, 2014

Got drugs? National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day
Saturday, September 27 - Prevent drug misuse and abuse

Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) is encouraging people to drop off any unwanted or expired prescription drugs and over the counter medications at participating locations (see the Read More link). Law enforcement locations are able to accept both controlled and non-controlled substances, while the retail pharmacy and health department locations can only accept non-controlled substances. Please remove pills from bottles and place them in a sealable plastic bag. Liquids or gels may be kept in original packages with the labels blackened or removed. Read More

September 24, 2014

Fall for Ottawa County Parks!

Does the change of the seasons have you feeling blue? Welcome the colors of autumn at the Ottawa County Parks properties with a guided hike or kayak trip. Park naturalists have lined up a series of hikes throughout some of the most captivating County Parks where you can witness the seasonal changes along the trails. "These hike engage senses through the sights, sounds and smells of autumn," commented Kristin Hintz, Coordinator of Interpretive Services. The free, guided hikes are offered nearly every Wednesday into November and no registration is required. For those who prefer to explore via water, Kayak Trips are planned for October 4 and October 8. You will be ushered through the serene waters of the Crockery Creek or the peaceful path of the Pigeon River while your guide describes the natural and historical features along the way. The fee for each trip is $8 per person plus $26 if kayak rental is needed. Register in advance by calling 616-786-4847. Read More

September 22, 2014

Snyder appoints Ottawa Commissioner to State Board

Gov. Rick Snyder announced on September 18 the appointment of Dennis Van Dam, Ottawa County Commissioner, to the Michigan Community Corrections Board. Van Dam, of Hudsonville, serves district six representing Georgetown Charter Township Precincts 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16. "I thank Dennis for his willingness to serve our state in this important role," said Governor Rick Snyder. The 13-member board advises the director of the Michigan Department of Corrections and is charged with approving components of community corrections programs.

"Ottawa County is well respected throughout the State as a model for our efficient and effective law enforcement and judicial operations. As a member of the State Community Corrections board, I am determined to protect our public safety programs, and to work at both the local and state level to ensure that we are all safe in our homes, places of business and on our streets," commented Dennis Van Dam. Sentencing guidelines, fair and adequate funding, and recidivism are among the highest concerns for Van Dam. Read More

September 18, 2014

Ottawa County Department of Public Health receives national awards
On August 20, 2014, the National Public Health Information Coalition (NPHIC) Awards of Excellence in Public Health Communications winners were announced, during the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing and Media. Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) received 7 awards; the competitor with the highest winning percentage. “No local health department has won so many awards in a single year”, said Bill Walker, NPHIC Emergency Communications Project Director. Read More

September 16, 2014

Community Give Fest increases access to healthier food options
Nutritious food options are not always readily available at food pantries. This can be a challenge for people who need healthier food options. The 2014 Community Give Fest, running September 7-28, has been organized by the Ottawa County Food Policy Council, Ottawa County Department of Public Health and five local food pantries. The food drive coordinator, Amy Oosterink, helped reach out to church members, asking members to consider giving healthier food options to participating pantries. Read More

September 11, 2014

Create Family Memories at County Parks
We all have favorite family memories from childhood. The Ottawa County Parks has dozens of opportunities to create such lasting, family memories with your children. Sunday Family Hours:  Bring your clan for a fun-filled Family Hour every Sunday at the Nature Education Center within Hemlock Crossing Park. These one-hour, indoor-outdoor programs begin at 2pm. Register at least two days in advance by calling 616-786-4847 and pay only one dollar per person. Late registrants or walk-ins (space permitting) pay two dollars person. Programs vary but incorporate a story, hike, craft, or hands-on activity.  Read More | Nature Education Center Photo | Gabagouache Photo

September 9, 2014

A baby dies every three days in Michigan
SIDS is the leading cause of deaths for babies less than one year of age.

According to the Michigan Department of Human Services, a baby dies every three days in Michigan and these deaths are 100% preventable. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the leading cause of deaths for babies less than one year of age. Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, proclaimed September as Infant Safe Sleep Awareness Month in Michigan. “We are raising awareness about how we can keep our babies safe and healthy; because losing one baby to unsafe sleep is one baby too many!”, said Dawn Dotson, MIHP Supervisor at Ottawa County Department of Public Health. Read More

September 2, 2014

Ottawa County iReport video accepted for CNN’s news coverage
"Convince us your city/county is healthy" assignment

Grand Haven resident, Grace Farr Stanton, filmed the Dancing in Grand Haven on the Boardwalk video which was submitted to the CNN iReport assignment: “Convince us your city/county is healthy”. CNN iReport producers review the most compelling, important and urgent iReports and select the cities or counties that make wellness a priority. Grace’s video was cleared for CNN and made a part of their news coverage. CNN receives, on average, 500 iReports a day, and a fraction of those are approved. Read More

August 27, 2014

Ottawa County Honors Employee for Customer Service

Ottawa County extends its congratulations to Amanda Echler for the Outstanding Customer Service Award. Amanda is an Environmental Health Specialist in the Food Service Division of the Ottawa County Department of Public Health. According to the Michigan Food Law, routine inspections are required to ensure that food service establishments are adhering to safety standards designed to protect public health. Amanda conducts these routine inspections and educates food service employees about how to safely prepare and serve food to the public. As you can imagine, not every food service employee is delighted to see an inspector walk through the front door. Read More

Freedom of Information Act Requests

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

Shannon Felgner,
Communications Manager

Main Office

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