Bill Heine, head of the Monmouth County Public Information and Tourism Departments &  a former newspaper reporter has died at the age of 54.

A press release from Monmouth County said Heine died of natural causes at his home in Howell.

Heine had  been in his last position since 2005. He and his staff were the voice of the County during small news events and major ones including the water main break in Middletown and during the enviornmental issues that led to two evacuations of the Monmouth County Courthouse in Freehold.

He was recently honored for winning a nationwide photography contest sponsored by the National Association of County Information Officers for his photograph taken during a 10th anniversary memorial service for 9-11. He was the recipient of many other state and national awards for his work in the county’s public information program.

Heine was also a spokesman for the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance and State of New Jersey Public Defenders Office. He was also a reporter and editor for the Asbury Park Press from 1980 to 1987.

He was also active with organizing food drives for the Monmouth and Ocean Food Bank and the Howell Little League.

Services have not yet been announced.