Detroit Lions vs Ottawa County All-Stars Basketball Game

What | Detroit Lions vs Ottawa County All-Stars Basketball Game

When | Saturday, May 6 | 7:30PM

Where | Allendale High School Gymnasium |10760 68th Avenue

Tickets | Detroit Lions vs Ottawa County All-Stars Tickets |Admittance to the game is FREE to members of the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office and their immediate families. 

Questions | Email Deputy Walker or call 616-662-6053 or 616-589-8809

The game pits members of the Detroit Lions vs. members of the Ottawa County Deputy Sheriff’s Association and other members of the public. Along with an entertaining game of basketball, there is a 20-30 minute “half time” where spectators can take photos with the players and have them sign autographs and their favorite memorabilia. Griff from the Grand Rapids Griffins and Sparty of the Michigan State University Spartans will be there. Concessions are available.

Funds raised by the game go to help support the Ottawa County Deputy Sheriff’s Association and various local community projects that the OCDSA is involved in, such as: 

  • Child drug awareness education
  • The Deputy Dave Steenwyk and Deputy Matt Chatfield Memorial Scholarships
  • Shields of Hope West Michigan
  • school supplies to needy families




‘Hateful Things’ exhibition comes to Loutit District Library

Exhibition sheds light on racism and promotes racial understanding and healing 

Loutit District Library (LDL) will host a traveling exhibition on race in America called ‘Hateful Things’ from the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia at Ferris State University.

The exhibition will run from Feb. 5-18 on LDL’s Upper-Level Lobby.

‘Hateful Things’ is a thirty-nine piece collection, comprised of material culture items that range from the late 19th century to present day. The exhibition embodies the effects of the Jim Crow legacy while examining the history of the racial stereotyping of African Americans.

The exhibition also includes professionally framed images showing the Civil Rights movement and the fight for equal rights, while also displaying the history of brutal and cruel acts against African-Americans. Present-day images of stereotyping will also be on display.

Each item in the exhibit carries signage helping the public to better understand its significance.

For more information about this exhibit, visit

The library hours are:

Monday – Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

For more information, visit or call 616-842-5560 ext. 222.

Sexual health educator receives preceptor award

Congratulations to Heather Alberda (Certifed Sexuality Educator with the Ottawa County Department of Public Health) for receiving the GVSU Midwest Interprofessional Practice, Education, and Research Center 2016 Outstanding Preceptor Award!

Heather was nominated by Lisa Wegner, GVSU Master in Public Health student. Preceptors play important roles in guiding students toward their future careers. Heather was Lisa’s preceptor during her practicum (September 2015-April 2016).

“Not only is Heather an exceptional health educator and preceptor, she is my number one mentor. I look up to her not only professionally but as a person. She gave me real life experience, while also equipping me with the knowledge and confidence I needed to become my own personal best in the public health field. Having an exceptional preceptor can really make or break a student and their readiness to enter the real world,” said Lisa.

Lisa was able to do health education with a variety of populations from high school students to adults, plan and implement her own health education event and do a health program evaluation. In addition to her practicum, Heather supported Lisa through her master’s research project. Today, Lisa is working at the Greater Ottawa County United Way. For more information about sexual health education, visit

Upcoming Event: Ottawa Connect

Ottawa Connect has four objectives:

  • To advocate and make it known that each member of the community deserves assistance in times of need.
  • To increase outreach by making our event welcoming, community-oriented, and non-threatening.
  • To raise awareness by engaging many different types of people, informing them of the needs in our community, and linking them to opportunities to address them.
  • To strengthen the local Continuum of Care through collaboration and networking, Continuum of Care member recruitment, and increasing cross-provider referrals.

Contact: Amanda Telgenhof (616) 396-7811 x212,

Upcoming Multicultural Events

In the community from the Alliance for Cultural and Ethnic Harmony: “Diversity, Unity, and Justice Are at the Heart of ACEH”

Fri, Oct 7, 8 am-4 pm: The State of Latinos in West Michigan.  Conference to address issues (health and wellness, business, education) that face Latinos, including resources and assets to help resolve issues.  Free. Hosted by Julian Samora Research Institute at MSU and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, with others.  Go to for info and a link to register.  (Registration by Sept. 30 is suggested.)   At Kroc Center, 2500 South Division Ave SW, Grand Rapids.

Mon, Oct 10, 1 pm to 4:30 pm: Race, Poverty and Policy: Creating an Equitable Michigan. Keynoter: Rinku Sen, CEO of Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation.  Breakouts: Solutions for Cities in Crisis; Government’s Role in Achieving Racial Equity; The Next Move: Taking Equitable Action for Change; From Watchdog to Dog-Whistle: Media’s Role in Reporting on Race; The Business Case for Race Equity.  No charge to attend, but reservations requested; contact (517) 487-4546 or   Annual forum of Michigan League for Public Policy.  At Radisson Hotel, 111 North Grand Ave, Lansing.

Fri, Oct 14, 6:45 pm:  Documentary “Our Fires Still Burn: The Native American Experience,” featuring four contemporary individuals in the Midwest.  Free, open to all.  Co-sponsored by Alliance for Cultural and Ethnic Harmony (ACEH) and Encounter with Cultures program at Hope College.  Discussion, refreshments.  At Winants Auditorium, Graves Hall, College Ave at 11th St, Holland.








Ottawa County environmental health specialist recognized nationally for outstanding contributions

Jessica Voglewede received a Certificate of Merit from the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA), thereby nationally recognizing her for outstanding contributions to the environmental health profession.

Jessica began her environmental health career at Ottawa County in 2013, and currently works as an Environmental Health Specialist on the Food Safety Team. She has demonstrated a strong ability to meld technical expertise and strong communication skills to set high standards for Ottawa County food establishments and communicate those standards to operators.

Technical expertise is vital for correctly interpreting the Food Code during an inspection and the ability to communicate the information to operators. While most inspectors pass the State of Michigan standardization review, it is the rare few that receive 100% from Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development during the field evaluation. Jessica is one of those few. During her first field evaluation, she received 100%- properly demonstrating 54 of 54 competencies.

Jessica’s ability to communicate as an ally rather than an adversary has proven to motivate operators to want to meet the standards. This is highlighted by the turnaround of establishments in her area that had demonstrated numerous issues and risks to food safety. Jessica was able to document these issues, communicate corrections needed, and hold the establishment accountable through various enforcement tools. This was all accomplished while providing a high level of customer service. Since the creation of the Ottawa County Customer Service Award in late 2014, Jessica has received 18 online nominations. The following are just a sampling of some of the feedback received.

“Jessica has consistently made a point of not only inspecting our stores but connecting with our employees. She makes it very clear that she is on our team, and wants us to be as successful as possible in all avenues, including serving safe products, and conducting best practices with regard to handling food.”

“Jessica Voglewede came into my restaurant for our routine inspection and I was the manager on duty at the time. I am personally new to the management team and all other inspections I have witnessed from afar, but really did not understand the full process of what they were looking at or checking on. Despite my inexperience with the walk through, she made sure I understood exactly what we were looking for, and why it was important to keep up what we were doing. As I had questions arise, she would stop what she was doing to explain everything, and even helped to point it out in the health code book so that I could further educate my staff on the importance of the task and that they were doing a fantastic job. Her service was above and beyond what I would have expected and I feel as if any questions or concerns arose during the year, I would be able to contact her without feeling the pressure as I would have expected prior to this experience.”

About the NEHA Certificate of Merit: Each State Environmental Health Association Affiliate may nominate one of its members and/or a team to receive a Certificate of Merit from the National Environmental Health Association, thereby nationally recognizing one of their own for outstanding contributions to the environmental health profession. Each affiliate may only nominate a single individual for this recognition. In 2016, the Michigan Environmental Health Association chose Jessica Voglewede as their nominee. Jessica was one of only 11 individuals nationwide to receive this recognition.

“Nasal spray” flu vaccine NOT recommended during 2016-2017 flu season

On Wednesday, June 22, 2016, CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted in favor of an interim recommendation that live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV), also known as the “nasal spray” flu vaccine, should not be used during the 2016-2017 flu season. The ACIP vote follows data showing poor or relatively lower effectiveness of LAIV from 2013 through 2016.

The change in the ACIP recommendation is an example of using new available data to ensure public health actions are most beneficial. ACIP continues to recommend annual flu vaccination, with either the inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV) or recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV) for everyone 6 months and older.

Influenza is a serious disease that causes millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations, and thousands or tens of thousands of deaths each year. While the protection offered by flu vaccines can vary, the flu shot’s overall vaccine effectiveness estimate of 49 percent suggests that millions of people were protected against flu last season.

Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu illness, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations. 

CDC conducts vaccine effectiveness studies each season to estimate flu vaccine effectiveness. How well the flu vaccine works (or its ability to prevent flu illness) can range widely from season to season and can be affected by a number of factors, including characteristics of the person being vaccinated, the similarity between vaccine viruses and circulating viruses, and even which vaccine is used. Read more of the CDC’s Media Statement.

Why Flu Vaccination Matters – Personal Flu Stories

What is Influenza (also called Flu)?

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year.

Preventing Flu

  • Get a flu vaccination each year.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes.
  • Stay away from people who are sick.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Avoid touching your nose, mouth and eyes.
  • Keep frequently touched common surfaces clean.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle.

How Flu Spreads

Flu viruses are spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing of people with influenza. Sometimes people may become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.

Signs and Symptoms of Flu

  • Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (very tired)
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

*It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

Complications of Flu

Complications of flu can include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, dehydration, and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes.

For more information about flu, visit or

To prevent diseases and their spread, find out what other vaccines  you may need at or call (616)396-5266.

Traveling? Contact us to find out which vaccines you may need  and other trip specific information.

Find vaccines near you

5 beaches in Ottawa County are tested weekly for E. coli

BeachWatch_headerOttawa County has beautiful beaches! 

However, natural bodies of water contain microorganisms regardless of how clean or clear the water may look. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pathogens that cause recreational water illnesses are spread by swallowing, breathing in the mists or aerosols from, or having contact with contaminated water in swimming pools, water parks, hot tubs, interactive fountains, water play areas, lakes, rivers, or oceans.

How does water become contaminated?

  • animal waste
  • rain and agricultural runoff
  • faulty septic systems
  • sewer overflows
  • naturally occurring chemicals and minerals
  • manufacturing processes
  • local land use practices (fertilizers and pesticides)


5 beaches in Ottawa County are tested weekly for E. coli
(a type of bacteria found in intestines of animals and humans)

Grand Haven City Beach – Grand Haven State Park
Holland State Park – Tunnel Park – Windsnest Park

What do the results mean?

If the results of three test samples average to less than 300 E. coli per 100 milliliters of water, the risk of recreational water illnesses is minimal (single-day geometric mean). High levels of E. coli indicate fecal contamination and the possible presence of other harmful bacteria, parasites and viruses in the water. Results are posted weekly during the summer at

How can bacteria and other microbes in beach water affect me?

Beaches everywhere, and at all times, have microorganisms which can cause illness. Exposure to beach water with high levels of microbial contamination may cause ear, eye, nose and throat infections; gastrointestinal illness; or skin rashes. It may also lead to parasitic infections.

For more questions about beach water sampling please call 616-393-5645.

Beach Watch Frequently Asked Questions

Beach Advisories & Closings throughout the State of Michigan


Outstanding Customer Service Award

Ottawa County is delighted to announce its ninth recipient of the Outstanding Customer Service Award.

Congratulations to Greg Rappleye from Corporation Counsel!

Ottawa County Employees continue to go above and beyond day after day. For the 1st Quarter of 2016, 21 employees were nominated for an Outstanding Customer Service Award, some were nominated multiple times. Nominees for the Outstanding Customer Service Award were:

Pete Armstrong, Friend of the Court

Jill Bannink-Albrecht, Ottawa County Department of Public Health

Chris Bartaway, Innovation & Technology

Cindy Botbyl, Ottawa County Department of Public Health

Lisa Casler, Community Mental Health

Richard (Dick) DeWitt, Facilities Maintenance

Brad Gamby, Innovation & Technology

Raechelle Gonzalez, County Clerk/Register of Deeds Office

Jared Hayward, Innovation & Technology

Nancy Hoffmeyer, Sheriff’s Office

Barbara Holt, County Clerk/Register of Deeds Office

Patti Krieg, Probate Court

Melanie Manion, Parks and Recreation

Yolanda Morales, Sheriff’s Office

Beth Schipper, Innovation & Technology

Amanda Sheffield, Probate Court

Vicki South, Friend of the Court

Syl Stym-Popper, Innovation & Technology

Jonathon Walters, Innovation & Technology

Congratulations to all of the nominees and keep-up the spectacular service! If you wish to nominate a co-worker or promote the program to residents, details are available at Nominations can come from both inside and outside the organization. Each quarter, the Customer Service Team will review all of the nominations and select the recipient of the Outstanding Customer Service Award.

More information about Greg Rappleye will be posted in a future article.

Congratulations again, Greg!

5 things you should know about Zika

Michigan is considered “low risk” for mosquito transmission of Zika virus,
as the mosquitoes that spread the disease are not present in the state.


All Countries and Territories with Active Zika Virus Transmission 


While there is not a vaccine to prevent Zika virus disease, there may be vaccines available to protect against other diseases, both locally and traveling abroad.

For more information, visit or
To schedule an appointment, call (616)396-5266.