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  • Coldwater Board of Public Utilities Earns Platinum Level RP3 Award

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    WASHINGTON, D.C., March 25, 2013 -The Coldwater Board of Public Utilities is one of 184 of the nation’s more than 2,000 public power utilities to earn Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3®)1recognition from the American Public Power Association for providing consumers with the highest degree of reliable and safe electric service. Brent McKinney, manager, electric transmission and distribution at City Utilities of Springfield, Mo., and chair of APPA’s RP3 Review Panel, presented the designees on March 25 during the association’s annual Engineering & Operations Technical Conference held in Kissimmee, Fla.
    The RP3 designation recognizes public power utilities that demonstrate proficiency in four key disciplines: reliability, safety, workforce development and system improvement. Criteria within each category are based on sound business practices and represent a utility-wide commitment to safe and reliable delivery of electricity.  “RP3 utilities are shining examples of reliable and forward-thinking public power utilities,” said McKinney, “These 90 designees should be extremely proud of this accomplishment and what it
    means for their communities.” 1 RP3 ® is a registered service mark of APPA.  City of Coldwater One Grand Street Coldwater, MI 49036  Phone: (517) 279-9501 Fax: (517) 279-0805 Jodi Shook Customer Service Manager (517) 279-9531 x 6906
    www.coldwater.org “Receiving the RP3 designation means a lot to us,” said Paul Beckhusen, CBPU Director. “It’s an honor to be recognized on a national level for the work we are doing here locally in Coldwater.”

  • “Celebrate National Doctors Day by Honoring CHC Physicians”

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    Each year the Community Health Center of Branch County (CHC) honors its physicians during the week of National Doctors Day, March 30.  This year as part of the festivities, CHC invites everyone to help celebrate this national day of recognition by telling local physicians how valuable they are to our community.


    Recognition cards will be available in the main lobby and at the Chicago Street entrance of the hospital the weeks of March 11 through March 22 for community members to fill out and share why CHC doctors are so special.  Completed cards will be displayed during the week of Doctors Day and the comments will be sent to the doctors.  These cars and comments are greatly appreciated by the physicians.


    This year CHC’s theme for Doctors Day is, “Our Docs are Souper”.  The week long celebration will commemorate the countless hours and dedication doctors provide; CHC will display its appreciation through many different ways.  CHC will host an evening social for the physicians and their guests, send thank you cards, run ads thanking the doctors, and provide displays of appreciation in the hospital to honor the physicians.


    The employees of CHC will also put their talent on display to recognize the importance of doctors by performing in a “CHC Has Talent” contest.  Each act will take lyrics to an original song and change the words to make lyrics about CHC doctors, perform a skit or monologue, or dance.  After each act is performed and taped, the doctors will get the opportunity to watch the acts in their lounge area.  The doctors and staff will vote on which acts they like and employees will vote by donating cans of soup to the food pantry with the winning act receiving a prize.  This is a popular event with CHC physicians and staff.  CHC employees will also participate in the CHC Soup Cook Off at the end of the week with doctors as the judges.  On Friday, an awards ceremony will be held with winners of the “CHC Has Talent” contest, the Soup Cook Off, and trivia winners announced.  Staff and physicians will enjoy cake at the ceremony as well.   


    National Doctors Day began in 1933 to commemorate the discovery of ether for painless surgery by Crawford W. Long, M.D., of Jefferson, Georgia.  The first Doctors Day observance was March 30, 1933, in Winder, Georgia. Eudora Brown Almond, wife of Dr. Charles B. Almond, decided to set aside a day to honor physicians.  This first observance included the mailing of greeting cards and placing flowers on graves of deceased doctors.  The red carnation is commonly used as the symbolic flower for National Doctors Day.


  • “CHC Physician Receives Board Certification in Obstetrics and Gynecology”

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    Young Yoon, D.O., FACOOG, a physician at Coldwater Obstetrics & Gynecology and the Community Health Center of Branch County (CHC), recently received his board certification in the specialty of obstetrics and gynecology.  Dr. Yoon was invited for Fellowship in the American College of Osteopathic Obstetricians and Gynecologists.  The successful completion of board certification by the American Osteopathic Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology represents the capstone of professional accomplishment in the career of an OB/GYN physician.

    The American College of Osteopathic Obstetricians & Gynecologists is dedicated exclusively to women’s health care.  As a member of ACOOG, a D.O. OB/GYN has undergone rigorous training. After four years of medical school.  A one year internship is completed followed by four years of specialty training in obstetrics and gynecology.

    To merit certification in obstetrics and gynecology, doctors of Osteopathy must pass special oral and written examinations, and while in practice, they are examined by the American Osteopathic Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. A D.O. OB/GYN must then continue the educational process by attending conferences, seminars, and teaching.

    Dr. Yoon joined Dr. Lake and staff at Coldwater Obstetrics and Gynecology in July 2011.  Dr. Yoon received his undergraduate degree in Chemistry at the University of South Florida and his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine. His four year Obstetrics and Gynecology internship and residency was completed at St. John Providence Health System in Warren, Michigan. In 2009, Dr. Yoon made medical mission trips to Bangladesh to perform surgeries on pelvic organ prolapses.


    Coldwater Obstetrics and Gynecology and CHC staff congratulate Dr. Yoon on receiving his board certification.


    The Community Health Center of Branch County is a non-profit acute care hospital providing a high-quality, personalized experience to serve the healthcare needs of our communities and accredited by The Joint Commission.  For more information about CHC, please call the CHC Marketing Department at 517-279-5282 or visit the CHC website at www.chcbc.com or health website at myhealth.chcbc.com. Join us on Facebook, Google Plus, and LinkedIn.

  • Senator Caswell receives Michigan Farm Bureau award

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    UNDATED, MI (WTVB) - Three state lawmakers whose efforts in 2012 helped ensure the prosperity of Michigan agriculture were honored for their efforts today at Michigan Farm Bureau's (MFB) 2013 Lansing Legislative Seminar. MFB's highest award for lawmakers, the Silver Plow symbolizes the non-partisan organization's appreciation for legislative leadership and support for measures that benefit Michigan's $91.4 billion farm and food sector. Among those recognized was Branch County’s representative in the Michigan Senate, Republican Bruce Caswell of Hillsdale who is serving his second term representing Michigan's 16th Senate District (Branch, Hillsdale, Lenawee and St. Joseph counties), Caswell earned his Silver Plow by sponsoring three pieces of farm-friendly legislation in 2012:

    • SB 946 amended the Insect Pest and Plant Disease Law, implementing a risk-based approach to nursery inspections and capping inspection fees at no more than the Consumer Price Index.
    • SB 1121 amended the Michigan Vehicle Code to better define "implements of husbandry," making it more consistent with neighboring states.
    • SB 862 amended the General Property Tax Act to apply farm land tax exemptions to undeveloped parcels contiguous to farm land.

    "According to the Senate Fiscal Agency, SB 862 will save the agriculture industry somewhere between $10 million and $20 million," said MFB Legislative Counsel Rebecca Park. "It's something we're very excited about."

    "Senator Caswell's background is in the rural community," said Jay Williams, president of the Hillsdale County Farm Bureau. "He understands what we're facing in Hillsdale County and in the district, and does a good job responding to our concerns."


  • Coldwater Board of Public Utilities chooses MeterSense and CustomerConnect to streamline business

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    The Coldwater Board of Public Utilities (BPU) has chosen Meter Sense and Customer Connect, Harris Utilities ‘meter data management (MDM) solution and customer engagement solution (CES), to enhance its engineering, billing and service processes and encourage further consumers involvement in key conservation programs.

    Meter Sense is an advanced MDM solution that transforms raw meter data into valuable business intelligence and enables utilities to improve business process and enhance customer service. Customer Connect is a webbased data presentment tool that enables consumers to access and interpret their consumption patterns, which helps them make smarter choices about resource use, reduce their bills and support utility conservation goals.

    Coldwater BPU chose Meter Sense in part because the solution’s rules engine could be configured to manage the influx of data coming from the polyphase meters, and in part because of the solution’s capacity to fully automate billing processes across all meters. The utility also saw value in MeterSense’s potential to enhance its meter reading processes. Coldwater BPU currently reads most of its water and electric meters using automatic meter reading technology. It plans to use Meter Sense to fully automate that function and free up field personnel to perform other, more complex tasks. The utility also expects to draw onMeterSense’s native analytics functions to detect grid losses, manage service disconnects and augment its service team’s capacity to respond to end users’ billing questions.

    “Harris Utilities’ track record of support was another key benefit for us,” said Coldwater BPU, Engineering Manager Charles Bauschard. “We’re not a large utility, so it was important for us to work with a partner that stood behind small customers such as ourselves.”

    While Coldwater BPU is eager to realize operational benefits from Meter Sense, it is also excited to introduce

    Customer Connect to its end users. The utility hopes the solution will create a direct link for consumers between consumption and usage costs, and thereby empower users to change their energy and water usage habits. Specifically, the Home Connect and Bill Connect modules will enable Coldwater residents to access their meter data online at any time of the day via mobile or wired devices, and view and pay their bills online. The

    Site Connect module will enable Coldwater BPU to offer rich analytic and reporting tools that enable its C&I

    End users to study consumption patterns and compare their usage to other performers on the grid.

    “We want to encourage all our customers to use Customer Connect to see their interval data and make

    Informed decisions about their energy and water usage,” said Bauschard. “We will also use the application to

    Educate more customers about our local and state-mandated conservation programs.”

    Bauschard expects the MeterSense systems to be in place and go live the summer of 2013.

  • Women's Health Fest donates to Shelterhouse Getting Ahead program

    Posted by Ken Delaney

    February 6, 2013- Coldwater, Michigan- The Women’s Health Fest Committee recently donated $5,000 to the Branch County Coalition Against Domestic Violence (BCCADV) to support their Bridges Out of Poverty - Getting Ahead program.  In addition to the donation another $500 was given to help support the BCCADV emergency fund.

    The Getting Ahead program assists participants in understanding why they are in the economic turmoil they are in and how to get out by setting their own goals.  The participants individualize their plan and the BCCADV helps them make contacts in the community to achieve their goals. Facilitators are Kim Hemker and Julia McIntyre from the Naomi Davis Shelterhouse.  Participation is open to anyone who is motivated to learn and willing to work towards achieving their goals.  The program is twelve weeks and a meal is provided as well as child care.  Participants attending are eligible to receive a $25 gift card given at the end of each session. 

    The first Getting Ahead class of 2013, started on February 4.  This is the sixth such class that has been offered.  Without the support of the Women’s Health Fest, the classes would have had to wait until additional grant funding became available.  Although the program is not directly related to domestic violence and sexual assault, some BCCADV clients are involved as well as community members.  It is the goal of BCCADV to make an investment in the future of the community. 

    Women’s Health Fest will be held on Saturday, March 2, 2013, at the Branch Area Careers Center.  Doors will open at 8:15 a.m. and the event will end at noon. This is a free event and offers eight different workshops along with exhibitors, door prizes, and childcare.  Women of all ages can attend two of eight educational and fun sessions at no charge. Women with small children can take advantage of free childcare by preregistering at 279-5008.

    Over 40 exhibitors will also be on hand to showcase their services and merchandise between sessions.  Free on-site childcare, (preregistration required) will be provided, as will refreshments throughout the morning. Goody bags will be handed out to the first 250 participants to register on the day of the Health Fest.  Women with small children can take advantage of free childcare by preregistering at 279-5008.

    Women’s Health Fest is planned and staged by women from area businesses and organizations. The first event was held in 1998 and has been held annually ever since. Women’s Health Fest is one of the few free events of this kind inMichigan. Each year the Health Fest has attracted 250 - 350 women who have consistently rated it as excellent on participant surveys.  The Women’s Health Fest committee members include Alicia Cole, Bobbie Gagnon, Mary Guthrie, Julie Hurley, Kelly Mapes, Amy Nowicki, Patty Parker, Lynn Paul, Heather Smead, Darlene Starr, Julie Stratos, and Sonya Wilkins.

    For more information on the Getting Ahead program, please contact Kim or Julia at 517-278-7233.  For more information about Women’s Health Fest, please contact 517-279-5282.

  • Union City Citgo donates to Girls on the Run

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    Union City Citgo employees Gail Blond and Stacy Guertler recently presented a check to Dee Passmore,  Girls on the Run of Branch County board member, for $500 to support scholarships for Union City girls taking part in Girls on the Run Program.

    Funds were raised during Citgo's Annual Customer Appreciation Days.


  • Branch Insurance welcomes new employee

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    The Branch Insurance Agency would like to welcome Jill Numbers to their staff. Jill is a Coldwater native and  graduated from Coldwater High School. Jill and her husband David live in Coldwater and have two children Jodie and Chase.  Jill is newly licensed to sell property and casualty insurance.  Branch Insurance has been in business for over 65 years and  is located at 24 North Monroe Street in Downtown Coldwater.


  • Eric Beckhusen elected Century Bank and Trust Chairman of the Board of Directors

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    Coldwater, MI- The Board of Directors of Century Bank and Trust is pleased to announce that Eric Beckhusen, chief executive officer of Century Bank and Trust, has been elected as Chairman of the Board as of December 31, 2012.  Beckhusen also assumes the Chairman title for the bank’s holding company, Century Financial Corporation.   

    To encourage this important transition, long-time chairman Robert Shedd stepped aside from these roles but remains as an active Director on the board.  “I am pleased to support this important step for Century Bank and Trust”, stated Shedd.  “It further positions our key leadership roles as the bank moves into the future.”

    In addressing his new role Beckhusen said, “I am truly honored to take on the added responsibilities of chairman.  The combination of our dedicated Board of Directors and exceptional team of employees make it an exciting time in the company’s history to have such an opportunity.”

    With almost 20 years of experience with Century, Beckhusen was elected to the Century Bank and Trust Board in March 2012 and became CEO on July 1, 2012.  His past responsibilities with the bank have included credit and loan administration, business development and overall bank management. In 2004 he was appointed Senior Vice President, a position he held until being named Executive Vice President, Senior Loan Officer in 2009.  His industry involvement and activities include the Michigan Bankers Association and Risk Management Association.

    Beckhusen is a lifelong resident of the Coldwater area and joined Century Bank and Trust in 1993. He received his undergraduate degree from Ball State University in 1992 and his MBA from Indiana University in 2001, attending the IPFW campus in Ft. Wayne, IN.

    Within the community, Eric is a member and past-president of the Coldwater Rotary Club, board member of Coldwater Rocket Football and coaches youth athletic teams. He and his wife Dawn have three sons.

    Eric Beckhusen can be reached by phone at (517) 278-1526 or by e-mail at ericbeckhusen@centurybt.com

    About Century Bank and Trust.  Century Bank and Trust was founded in 1890, as an independent community bank. As an independent community bank, Century Bank and Trust makes its business decisions locally for the continued success of its customers. Century's goal is to keep the local area's communities financially strong and growing and Century uses deposits to make loans to local businesses and retail customers so money stays within the community.

    Specializing in building relationships with its customers and communities, Century focuses on long-term, multiple account relationships and customized products that fit customer needs. 
    Within the community, Century is proud to support over 250 local charities, events and organizations.

    To learn more about Century Bank and Trust visit http://www.centurybankandtrust.com or call Toll Free (866) 680-2265.


    Eric Wynes Named President of Century Bank and Trust and Appointed To Board of Directors.

    Sturgis, MI- Century Bank and Trust’s Board of Directors along with Eric Beckhusen, Chairman and CEO, are pleased to announce the further implementation of the bank’s senior management succession plan.  Eric Wynes, Senior Vice President was recently appointed to the Board of Directors and has also been named President of Century Bank and Trust effective January 3, 2013.

    “This is duly earned recognition for the key leadership role Eric has in our organization,” stated Beckhusen.  “Additionally with the President of our bank deeply rooted in the St. Joseph County community, it reinforces our long-time commitment to this important area of our market.”

    Wynes has nearly 20 years of experience in the banking industry.  His responsibilities while at Century have included credit and commercial lending, business development and overall bank management with specific responsibilities in the bank’s St. Joseph County market.  In January 2004 he was appointed First Vice President and Managing Officer of Operations in St. Joseph County until being named Senior Vice President in May of 2007.

    "I'm grateful for the opportunity to serve the bank’s shareholders and customers in this new role.  I welcome the chance to continue building on the positive momentum our team of dedicated and energetic employees has created.” stated Wynes.  “Further, this action emphasizes Century Bank and Trust’s commitment to all of the markets we serve”. 

    Wynes is a life-long Michigander having moved to Sturgis to join Century Bank and Trust in 2001.  He received his undergraduate degree from Central Michigan University in 1992.

    Within the community, Wynes is a member of the Sturgis Kiwanis club, past-president of the Sturgis Area Chamber of Commerce, board member of Sturgis Hospital, board member of SABEA, and is very active in coaching and organizing youth athletics.  He and his wife Darcy have two boys, all of whom are very active and proud to call Sturgis home.

    Eric Wynes can be reached by phone at (269) 651-5491 or by e-mail at ericwynes@centurybt.com.

    About Century Bank and Trust:
    Century Bank and Trust was founded in 1890, as an independent community bank. As an independent community bank, Century Bank and Trust makes its business decisions locally for the continued success of its customers. Century's goal is to keep the local area's communities financially strong and growing and Century uses deposits to make loans to local businesses and retail customers so money stays within the community.

    Specializing in building relationships with its customers and communities, Century focuses on long-term, multiple account relationships and customized products that fit customer needs. 
    Within the community, Century is proud to support over 250 local charities, events and organizations.

    To learn more about Century Bank and Trust visit http://www.centurybankandtrust.com or call Toll Free (866) 680-2265.

  • “CHC Volunteers Offering Scholarships”

    Posted by Pat Thomas

     Pursuing a career in healthcare? The Community Health Center of Branch County Volunteers can help. The CHC Volunteers are offering three $1,000.00 scholarships. The applications are now available at the CHC Volunteer Services Office, in the counseling office of all Branch County high schools and at local colleges. Applications are due no later than March 15 and winners will be announced by April 15.

    The scholarship is designed to financially assist full or part-time students pursuing or completing a health-related career. Recipients are eligible to renew the scholarship. The funding is available forBranchCountyresidents and CHC employees and may be used for tuition, books, or other education-related expenses. Applicants must complete the application in full and submit three written letters of reference.

    There are three $1000 scholarships awarded to those individuals whose applications meet all the requirements. The recipients will be recognized at the annual Volunteer Installation Luncheon on May 8, 2013, and will receive their award after providing proof of registration in a medical field. For more information about the scholarships, please call CHC Volunteer Services at 517-279-5008.

    The CHC Volunteer program consists of over 140 volunteers who volunteered over 12,000 hours in 2012. The volunteers are responsible for such tasks as staffing the outpatient services center and welcome center, delivering mail to departments, cashiering in the gift shop, making calls to discharged patients, performing clerical duties for various areas of the hospital, and helping to ensure the upkeep of the hospital. CHC Volunteer Services are always looking for applicants to join the team. If you would like more information on becoming a volunteer, please call 517-279-5008 or visit the CHC website at www.chcbc.com.

    The Community Health Center of Branch County is a non-profit acute care hospital providing a high-quality, personalized experience to serve the healthcare needs of our communities and accredited by The Joint Commission.  For more information about CHC, please call the CHC Marketing Department at 517-279-5008 or visit the CHC website at www.chcbc.com or health website at myhealth.chcbc.com. Join us on Facebook, Google Plus, and LinkedIn.

  • Dental Office Donates to St. Charles Mardi Gras

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    January 24, 2013-Union City, MI – On Saturday, February 2 St. Charles School in Coldwater will hold their annual Mardi Gras Auction fundraiser.  The event will include a U of M football weekend donated by Dr. Matthew and Alice Christopher featuring two tickets for the first game at U of M playing Central Michigan University.  The package will also include a $50 gas card, $50 parking allowance, lunch at the Ann Arbor Brewing Company, and one night at Ann Arbor Hotel

    Doors open for the event at 5 p.m. with food being served from 6-7 p.m.  Cost is $10 per person and attendees must be 21 years or older to attend.  Bidder cards can be purchased early between 8-4 p.m. at St. Charles School, located at 79 Harrison St. in Coldwater where the event is being held.  There will be a silent auction, live auction, balloon pops, and cash raffle.

    Christopher’s are also donating a portion of a Noah’s Ark package which includes a Noah’s Ark workshop, Binder Park Zoo passes, Potter Park Zoo passes, hand painted Noah’s Ark cabinet, Noah’s Ark afghan and a variety of books.

    Pictured is Alice Christopher holding the U of M donation package for the St. Charles Mardi Gras event and Brenda Mescher, principal of St. Charles School in Coldwater.


    Posted by Pat Thomas

    Chicago Ave, a woman’s fashion boutique is coming to Downtown Coldwater.  Proprietors Laurie and Mark Ludlow have been hard at work renovating the former Flicker’s building at 23 W. Chicago Street into a shopping destination, soon to feature woman’s clothing, handbags, fashion jewelry, accessories and a selection of all-natural products from Michigan based companies.

    Would you like to sneak a peek at the renovations or learn more about the unique, personalized shopping experience that is Chicago Ave?  Then stop by this Saturday, January 26 and purchase your 2013 Icefest Chili and Soup Crawl tasting card or simply say hello to Laurie and Mark.  Inventory arrives in the next few weeks just in time for Valentine’s Day, so we invite you to get acquainted with Chicago Ave.