Muskegon County

Grand Valley State University

Beginning in the 2021 fall semester, qualifying low-income students can receive free tuition through the Grand Valley Pledge. A program removing financial barriers.

“Focus on families with incomes of less than $50,000, adjusted gross income, and make sure that these prospective learners have a great opportunity to come to Grand Valley State University.”

Students from six Michigan counties; Kent, Ottawa, Muskegon, Grand Traverse, Calhoun and Wayne.



In an effort to learn about the benefits and challenges of living in the county, officials on Tuesday launched another round of the Muskegon Livability Lab. It’s the second time Muskegon County officials launched a livability lab, a daylong session of community feedback from county leaders and residents that gives the county a snap shot of what makes Muskegon a great place, or not such a great place to live for area residents.

Michigan woman sentenced for starving 3 horses to death

Nov 25, 2019
Gavel photo

A western Michigan woman who pleaded no contest to charges that she starved three horses to death has been sentenced to two months in jail.

A Muskegon County judge also sentenced 43-year-old Bobbi Jo VanKoevering on Friday to three years of probation, during which time she cannot keep any animals where she lives. The Ravenna woman had pleaded no contest last month to felony animal abandonment/cruelty.

VanKoevering was charged in April after authorities found three dead horses on her property.

Resolution to make Muskegon into a "welcoming county" is tabled

Sep 11, 2019
Welcoming Michigan

The vote was scheduled to take place Tuesday afternoon, but commissioner Marcia Hovey-Wright says the legal implications of passing the resolution need to be assessed further. 

“We have decided…the chair and I have decided to remove that item from the agenda and refer it to committee—which is the normal way it should have been done in the first place so that they can look at the legal aspects, they can look at making sure its including everything we want to include.”

asphalt roller photo

Millions of dollars overlooked for funding a major road project in Muskegon County have been restored.

Sherman Boulevard is one of the most heavily travelled roads in Muskegon County providing access to the Mercy Hospital campus and Lake Michigan beaches. In need of repair, the Sherman Boulevard infrastructure project was drawn up and budgeted.

Muskegon County voters turned down the idea last November by over 3000 votes, however, Emergency dispatch officials are asking the public to reconsider this May.

Essentially, the ballot proposal would increase a county resident’s monthly 911 surcharge by over 500 percent, from 42 cents to nearly $3 a month.

While that is a big jump, dispatch officials say the money is desperately needed to upgrade the call center from analog to digital. Officials say not doing so would become a safety issue in the years ahead.

Scales of Justice photo
Tim Evanson via Wikimedia | CC BY 3.0 /

The Michigan appeals court says "factual" doesn't necessarily mean "truthful" when it comes to trying to recall elected officials.

The court ruled against a Muskegon County official who is trying to stop a recall petition drive. Drain Commissioner Brenda Moore says it's not true that she has embraced expensive drainage projects over less expensive alternatives.

State law says a recall petition must "state factually and clearly" the reason to collect signatures for an election. But the appeals court says it doesn't mean the recall petition "must be truthful."

Scales of Justice photo
Tim Evanson via Wikimedia | CC BY 3.0 /

A prosecutor says a man convicted of fatally shooting a jogger and accused of kidnapping and killing a western Michigan gas station clerk possessed hundreds of videos of women being abducted, raped and killed.

Muskegon County Prosecutor D.J. Hilson spoke Tuesday during opening statements in the murder trial of Jeffrey Willis. Hilson says Willis also had computer files containing information about the cases of Rebekah Bletsch, the slain jogger, and Jessica Heeringa, the gas station clerk who disappeared from the Norton Shores gas station in 2013.

Voting booths photo

Voters in West Michigan headed to the polls yesterday to vote on a number of proposals in both Kent and Muskegon Counties. In the City of Grand Rapids, voters re-elected Commissioner Senita Lenear for a second term. Originally elected to the city commission in 2014, Lenear held off challenger Kent Boersema and maintained her seat on the City Commission.

Budget Money Puzzle Photo

A county in western Michigan could become the third county in the state to adopt a special tax to help children and families. The millage is on the ballot Tuesday in Muskegon County.

WOOD-TV says a home worth $100,000 would get an additional tax of $75 per year. Supporters say the money could be used to prevent youth violence, provide after-school opportunities and offer employment help.

A committee would make recommendations to county officials. Muskegon County court administrator Sandra Vanderhyde says there are "gaps" in public services for people under 21.

Scales of Justice photo
Tim Evanson via Wikimedia | CC BY 3.0 /

A man accused of fatally shooting of a jogger in western Michigan denied killing her when he testified in his own defense as his trial drew to a close.

Jeffrey Willis testified Wednesday he didn't kill 36-year-old Rebekah Bletsch in 2014 in Muskegon County's Dalton Township and said he was mowing his lawn on the day she died.

Willis was arrested in 2016 after being accused of trying to kidnap a teenager. He testified that he gave that girl a ride after he found her walking along a road, but denied pulling a gun on her, as she testified earlier in the trial.

Muskegon economy forecast: things are looking up

Jan 27, 2017

A day after experts forecast a slower 2017 economy in Grand Rapids that may ultimately lead to a recession, one economist says the future is looking bright in Muskegon.

While experts have said the economy will slow down in Kent and Ottawa counties in the next year, specifically in job growth, just 40 miles away at the Muskegon County annual economic forecast, experts say the county’s best days may be still ahead.

Muskegon County Commission elects new chair

Jan 10, 2017

The Muskegon County Board of Commissioners kicked off the New Year with new leadership at its helm. Muskegon County Board of Commissioners unanimously selected former vice-chair Ben Cross as their new chairman in their first meeting of 2017. 

Chairman Cross says the vote of confidence by his peers is an honor he does not take lightly.

Muskegon County is experiencing an increase in its hotel occupancy rate. What's driving more visitors to the county and how is it impacting tax revenue? WGVU talks with Bob Luken, Muskegon County Community Development Director.    

Muskegon County is attracting more visitors and more guests at county hotels mean more tax dollars. Over the past three years Muskegon County has collected over $1 million dollars in accommodation taxes.

This year was the highest with over $1.2 million collected.