Ottawa County

Michigan Department of Transportation logo

The start of the week ushered in two Michigan Department of Transportation projects in Ottawa and Allegan Counties.

In Grand Haven, Spring Lake and Ferrysburg, MDOT is improving six bridges including the US-31 drawbridge over the Grand River.

“The good news about that is we’re going to accommodate summer traffic. So, in the spring and in the fall is when the traffic restrictions will be in place and they’ll remove all the lane closures, and the ramp closures, for summer traffic.”

Marlena Pavlos-Hackney sits in the courtroom during her arraignment, Friday March, 19, 2021 photo
Nicole Hester / Ann Arbor News via AP

Supporters boarded the doors at a western Michigan restaurant to show authorities that the owner will keep it closed, a condition necessary to spring her from jail for violating court orders related to COVID-19.

Marlena Pavlos-Hackney, meanwhile, remained in custody Saturday, 90 miles away at the Ingham County jail.

Holly Shashaguay said she helped board up Marlena’s Bistro and Pizzeria in Holland on Friday night.

“When I painted that ‘complied’ sign, I was crying the whole time,” Shashaguay told “We didn’t want to do it, but we did.”

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.

Tim Koets mug shot
Ottawa County Jail / Associated Press

The father of a severely autistic 16-year-old Michigan boy who drowned in a family pool has pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter.

Prosecutors accused Tim Koets of failing to supervise his son, Sam, whose hands were bound while he stood in the pool in March 2019.

Koets said he had left for work at a college and was assured that others were keeping an eye on his son at their home near Hudsonville.

Koets pleaded guilty Tuesday to involuntary manslaughter and fourth-degree child abuse, WOOD-TV reported.

Ottawa County Sheriff's Office seal
Ottawa County Sheriff's Office /

A 23-year-old motorist has been arrested after crashing a car into several police vehicles while fleeing authorities in western Michigan's Ottawa County. The Ottawa County sheriff's office says a deputy began to pursue a Toyota Camry Tuesday afternoon after seeing the car weave in and out of traffic at a high rate of speed on westbound Interstate 196 in Zeeland Township. The motorist refused to stop and exited the freeway where the Camry struck a sheriff's car and two Zeeland police vehicles before driving away.

lifebuoy photo

The drownings of a 6-year-old boy and a teenager in Lake Michigan over the weekend underscore the importance of water safety as warm weather draws more beachgoers, authorities said.

Holland State Park workers warned people on Saturday that Lake Michigan’s water conditions were too dangerous for safe swimming because waves reached as high as 6 feet (1.83 meters), said Sean Mulligan, unit supervisor for Holland State Park.

School sack lunch photo
Wikimedia Commons

Twenty public school districts across Kent County will continue serving meals. “Sack” type lunch and breakfast will be available for pick-up at more than 25 parking lot sites. Grand Rapids Public Schools will open four sites today adding three more tomorrow.

Kids Food Basket is also continuing providing children living at or near the poverty level sack suppers. It serves more than 8,800 school children attending 52 schools in Kent, Muskegon, Ottawa and Allegan Counties.

“A virus does not stop hunger. A virus cannot stop hunger.”


Mar 12, 2020

 ACT brings special education classes to Kent and Ottawa Counties, discussing today about this unique residency programming with Emille Petersmark.

Grand Valley State University

Keeping tabs on health trends impacting residents in Kent, Ottawa, Muskegon and Allegan Counties, Grand Valley State University has released its 2020 Health Check report. WGVU breaks down some of its findings.

In its 11th year, Grand Valley State University’s Seidman College of Business has been tracking health trend data critical when businesses, health care, and higher education organizations map out health-related policies and decision-making.

Water faucet photo
Public domain image /

Lake Michigan, it’s one of the planet’s largest freshwater bodies. And yet, the people who live within view of it - or farm Ottawa County’s fertile lands within a few miles of its shores - are in jeopardy of running out of drinkable groundwater.

"You look at where we are situated Ottawa County of 30-plus miles of shoreline next to Lake Michigan waters ubiquitous here we have a water problem we thought it was isolated until we started to get the results back from the study."

Ottawa County logo
Ottawa County

  Sustainable Community Voices, today's topic Groundwater Issues in Ottawa County with Director of Planning Paul Sachs.

  Weekly we focus on the work of area organizations advancing inclusion and equity in our community. This morning we welcome the Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Ottawa County, Robyn Afrik, and the City Manager of the City of Holland, Keith Van Beek. Among the topics to be discussed is the upcoming Diversity Forum 2019:  Joining the discussion is WGVU Grants Manager, Steve Chappell. This weekly radio segment is part of a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Mark Sanchez photo
Courtesy photo /

University of Michigan economists make growth  forecasts for the remainder of the year and into 2020. We also look at recent manufacturing data and what it may be telling us.   

Mark Sanchez photo
Courtesy photo /

How is the Business Roundtable's revised corporate purpose statement being received by industry leaders and economists? Also, addressing the groundwater issues in Ottawa County and lack of affordable housing in Holland.  

Water faucet photo
Public domain image /

The results of a state study into the discovery of PFAS in an Ottawa County school’s drinking water supply have been released.

In October, well water tests revealed elevated levels of PFAS in the drinking water at Robinson Elementary School in Grand Haven. Exceeding the EPA Advisory Level of 70 parts per trillion, the water was shut off and bottled water was supplied to students and staff.