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  • “Mulka promoted to CLO at Monarch Community Bank”

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    Monarch Community Bank is proud to announce the promotion of Charles Mulka, to chief lending officer (CLO) and first vice president at the bank. Formerly, Mulka was a commercial lender with the bank and will continue to work with both the residential and commercial lenders.

    Mulka has worked at Monarch for the last year, and has 20 years experience in banking. His responsibilities in the new position include managing the commercial lending area, and playing an active role in driving organizational growth and the achievement of key strategic initiatives.

    Mulka is a graduate of Madonna University, where he obtained a masters degree in business. In his spare time he enjoys playing and teaching guitar and staying active in karate.

    Established in 1934, Monarch Community Bank has branches located in Marshall, Coldwater, Union City and Hillsdale. For more information about Monarch Community Bank products and services, connect on Facebook, Twitter, the blog or go to www.monarchcb.com.

  • “Home Depot Gives Helping Hand to Teen Share”

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    There are many teens in the county that are in need of help, whether that is emotional, physical or financial help. The clients that are at Altrusa Teen Share need more than that, they need a home to live in, and the staff that monitor them also need a safe area to live within the homes.

    Recently, members of the Home Depot team came together to provide some needed handy work for the Teen Share homes, located in Coldwater. Over 100 hours were donated to one of the homes between three employees at Home Depot. CJ Apel, George Becker, and Henry Rockey were among the handymen that volunteered their time, energy, and skills to put a new kitchen in the Resident Aide unit. Over $500 in material was donated by Home Depot for the project.

    Ryan Flanagan, manager at Home Depot said, “Thanks to the Branch County Coalition of Domestic Violence for the opportunity to help out in this important project. We look forward to completing more community projects like this is in the future.” Flanagan will also be supporting the organization by walking in women’s high heels for the Shelter’s upcoming fundraiser “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” being held on April 30th.

    There are two Altrusa Teen Share homes and each house has the capacity to house 6 girls or boys, for a total of 12 clients in all. Clients at Altrusa Teen Share are provided with case management to assist them with advocacy, life skills, violence prevention skills, and accessing public assistance all while learning independence. Clients must be attending school to qualify for the program.

    Teen Share was first developed and financed by the Altrusa Club of Branch County but in 2006, moved under the umbrella of the Branch County Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The program is funded through grants but monetary and in-kind donations are always needed.

    Branch County Coalition Against Domestic Violence (BCCADV), is headquartered at 220 N. Michigan Ave., 517. 278.SAFE, and can be reached 24 hours a day.

  • Stabenow Announces Opportunity for Small Businesses to Develop Energy Efficiency, Cost Saving Measur

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is accepting applicants for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), providing opportunities for rural small businesses and agricultural producers to develop renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements. The program encourages rural businesses across Michigan to implement measures that reduce energy use while also reducing small businesses' operation costs and paying for themselves over time.

    “These rural energy programs help to strengthen small businesses and rural communities across Michigan to develop and implement long-term, cost-cutting energy programs that free up capital needed to create jobs,” Chairwoman Stabenow said. “By implementing energy efficiency measures or developing renewable energy systems, our rural business leaders and agricultural producers are harnessing the power of innovation and homegrown energy to fuel and grow their businesses. As Chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, I’m focused on encouraging small business growth and giving our rural business leaders the tools they need to expand, profit and create more jobs.”

    Rural producers and business owners across Michigan have already tapped REAP to make their businesses more energy efficient and profitable by cutting back on energy costs. Small business owner James Reid in St. Clair County has tapped Michigan Solar Solutions to install 19.6 kw of solar generating capacity to power his dairy barn. His investment will pay for itself in three years, and continue providing long-term, low-cost energy to propel his business forward.

    The deadline for applications is June 15, 2011. Additional information regarding the application process and eligibility requirements can be accessed on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website by visiting http://www.usda.gov. To learn about other energy programs to benefit farmers and rural businesses, visit the USDA’s Energy Matrix at http://www.energymatrix.usda.gov. Interested applicants should contact their local USDA Rural Development office, which can be found here http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/mi/Contact%20Us.htm.

  • “Stephanie Wilcox January CHC Employee of the Month Award”

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    To work in the Operating Room of the Community Health Center of Branch County takes teamwork, positive work ethic, and hard work. Stephanie Wilcox exemplifies those traits and has been rewarded by being named the CHC Employee of the Month for January.

    Stephanie was hired June 30, 2003. She is a Registered Nurse in the Operating Room. Some of her job duties include scrubbing, circulating, floating between Outpatient Surgery Center, Operating Room and Recovery, and verifying charts. According to her nominator, “Stephanie is always willing to help with whatever needs to be done. She is always positive and cheerful. Stephanie comes to work in a great mood everyday. She keeps staff positive and promotes teamwork. She is the first to jump in when help is needed and without being asked. She represents CHC in the community with her support of Girls on the Run and Relay for Life activities. She is truly an asset to CHC and a delight to work with.”

    Stephanie graduated from Quincy High School. She then went on to receive her associates degree in nursing. Stephanie is currently attending Miller College to get her bachelors degree in nursing. Her husband is a stay at home dad and works on computers. Stephanie and her husband have a nineteen year old son who is finishing up high school. In her spare time, Stephanie enjoys reading mystery books and doing outside activities such as hiking and canoeing. For volunteer work, Stephanie is a coach with Girls on the Run.

    Being awarded Employee of the Month at CHC is a great accomplishment and comes with a wide range of recognition and gifts. Stephanie received a special sweatshirt, parking privileges for one month, an Employee of the Month certificate, her picture displayed near the cafeteria, Tibbits theater tickets, lunch with her administrative representative, and the privilege of serving on the Employee of the Month Committee. Each Employee of the Month for the year is then eligible for Employee of the Year and is recognized at the CHC Employee Recognition Banquet and Dinner Dance.

    CHC offers inpatient and outpatient surgical services. Services offered include endoscopy; general and vascular surgery; orthopedics; urology; bariatric; ears, nose and throat; hand; foot; and eye surgeries. CHC has a full staff of physicians qualified in all of these areas of surgery. Equipment and procedures continue to advance with new technology and education, allowing CHC to maintain a highly competitive surgical services department.

    The Community Health Center of Branch County is a non-profit acute care hospital providing access to safe, comprehensive, high quality healthcare services 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.


    Posted by Pat Thomas

    The Regional Cancer Care Center (RCCC) of Angola is very pleased to be celebrating ten years of sophisticated cancer treatment in Angola through a partnership between Cameron Memorial Community Hospital, Radiation Oncology Associates and the Parkview Comprehensive Cancer Center. “This has been such a valuable partnership,” said Glynda Harris, RCCC Director. “We have had the opportunity in the last ten years to touch so many lives right here in the tri-state area.”

    A diagnosis of cancer can be overwhelming. However, the RCCC offers local cancer patients an experienced team of radiation and medical oncologists, radiation therapists, medical physicists and dosimetrists, nurses and other specialists to act as the patient’s partners in their fight against cancer.

    The center, which is located on the Cameron Memorial Community Hospital campus, boasts a linear accelerator, a high-tech radiation therapy treatment device which delivers an external beam of radiation through the skin to the tumor. Approximately 40 to 60 percent of all cancer patients receive radiation therapy, often in combination with other forms of treatment such as chemotherapy, hormone therapy, biological response modifiers, or surgery.

    Since the center opened in 2001, new therapies have been introduced including Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT). IMRT also uses the linear accelerator, but with the additional ability to shape the radiation beam for maximum dosing of the tumor and increased protection of the surrounding areas. This type of radiation therapy is especially useful for difficult-to-target areas such as the head and neck, lung and gastrointestinal tract, among others and is not offered in all cancer treatment centers. “IMRT provides many benefits that conventional therapy cannot,” said Harris. “It allows us to more accurately spare healthy tissues and organs from unnecessary radiation, reducing the risk of acute and chronic damage, and improving the patient’s quality of life.”

    The Regional Cancer Care Center of Angola serves patients in northeastern Indiana, northwestern Ohio and southern Michigan. “We have been proud to serve our patients in the tri-state area over the past ten years,” said Harris. “Our dedicated staff and physicians will continue to help our patients defeat cancer.”

  • Indiana State Police Accepting Applications

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    The Indiana State Police is currently accepting applications for six Regional Dispatcher positions at the Fort Wayne Post to staff its forthcoming consolidated dispatch center.

    The successful applicants’ primary responsibility will be to receive, record, disseminate, and accurately dispatch information to Department enforcement personnel, other law enforcement agencies and other support services through the use of Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD), Records Management System (RMS), Automatic Vehicle Locator (AVL), Geographic Information System (GIS), and other Regional Dispatch resources.

    A high school diploma or GED equivalent is required and the applicant must be able to type a minimum of 30 words per minute. Two years of public safety communications and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification are preferred. Effective verbal and written communications skills are extremely important in these positions and are a must for any applicant. The starting annual salary for these positions is $29,614.

    For those interested in applying for one of these positions and to find more information, please visit the following link for the Indiana State Personnel Department: http://www.in.gov/spd/2334.htm. Applications are being accepted until midnight on Friday, April 15, 2011.


    Posted by Pat Thomas

    In response to the needs of its patients, Cameron Memorial Community Hospital is very pleased to announce the addition of a DEXA Densitometer to its state-of-the-art radiology department. A DEXA test is more sensitive than ordinary x-rays and more accurate than radiograms to diagnose bone loss at an earlier stage.

    “Previously, Cameron offered DEXA scans on a very limited basis through a mobile unit,” said Todd Duff, Cameron Radiology Director. “While this mobile service filled a need temporarily, we found that our patients needed more flexible appointment times in a location that was easier to access.” The new DEXA unit purchased from DEXA Diagnostics will be located at Cameron Hospital’s Urgent Care. Morning and afternoon appointments will be available Monday through Friday beginning April 18, 2011. DEXA scanning will be a great addition to the radiology services offered at the Urgent Care location which presently include general x-ray and mammography.

    DEXA is the most accurate and advanced test available for measuring bone mass with excellent resolution and reproducible precision. Minimal radiation (less than 1/20 of a chest x-ray) is used to determine the bone density of the spine, hip or wrist. Safe and painless, the 10 minute DEXA scan is the most reliable test to determine even the earliest states of bone loss associated with osteoporosis.

    The new DEXA Densitometer is just one of many advanced diagnostic services offered by the Cameron Radiology Department including: MRI, PET/CT, CT, Digital Mammography, Ultrasound, Nuclear Medicine, Fluoroscopy, and general x-rays.

    For more information or to schedule a convenient appointment, please call Cameron Urgent Care at (260) 665-8222.

  • Century Bank and Trust President & CEO Reads at Jennings Elementary for March is Reading Month

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    In honor of “March is Reading Month” Ron Reed, President and CEO of Century Bank and Trust read to Mrs. Mayville’s First Graders at Jennings Elementary in Quincy. Over twenty students listened while Reed read, “Just Saving My Money” by Mercer Mayer and “The Berenstain Bears’ Trouble with Money” by Stan and Jan Berenstain.

    “The first graders did a very good job listening to the stories,” stated Reed. “It is such a rewarding experience to participate in events like March is Reading Month and to be a part of such a hands-on community.”

    Century Bank and Trust was founded in 1890, as an independent community bank. Over 120 years later, Century Bank and Trust continues to provide a comprehensive range of corporate, trust and retail products and services through Branch, St. Joseph and Hillsdale counties. To learn more about Century Bank and Trust or to schedule a classroom presentation visit CenturyBankandTrust.com and complete a contact form or call Toll Free (866) 680-2265.

  • “Two Podiatrists Join CHC Medical Staff”

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    March 30, 2011-Coldwater, Michigan- Trevor Neal, D.P.M. and Christopher Bussema, D.P.M. have joined the CHC Medical Staff specializing in Podiatry. Dr. Neal and Dr. Bussema’s office is located at 300 E. Chicago St. in Coldwater.

    Dr. Neal has lectured nationally on the subject of foot and ankle surgery and brings over 20 years of experience to the community. Dr. Neal states, “I am touched by the warm welcome given to us by the staff of CHC and enjoy being included in the CHC family. We are honored and thrilled to be a part of the Coldwater area and look forward to providing exceptional foot and ankle care to the community.”

    Dr. Neal has numerous credentials including being board certified in foot and ankle surgery since 1990, Fellow of American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (FACFAS), and member of the American Podiatric Medical Association and Michigan Podiatric Medical Association since 1990. Dr. Neal graduated from Western Illinois University with a BS in Biological Science in 1976, was a graduate from Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine in 1983, and completed his surgical residency in Chicago at the Thorek Hospital and Medical Center in 1986. Dr. Neal was a co-author of Living in Clarity, which was number 21 on the Barnes and Noble best seller list. Dr. Neal is involved with the martial arts, which he has attained the following rankings of 4th Dan in Taekwondo, 3rd Dan in Hapkido, and 2nd Dan in Gumdo. He was also director of the Universal American National Taekwondo Union (UANTU) Nationals held at the University of Notre Dame and has traveled to South Korea annually to train and study the Korean martial arts.

    Dr. Bussema has been practicing with Dr. Neal for four years and has a special interest in wound care and the diabetic foot. Dr. Bussema graduated from Western Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1998 and graduated with a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree in 2002 from the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio. He completed the Rotating Podiatric Residency Program in June of 2003 and completed the Podiatric Surgical Residency Program in 2005, both at the Forum Health, Western Reserve Care System in Youngstown, Ohio. Dr. Bussema is currently a member of the American Podiatric Medical Association and the Michigan Podiatric Medical Association. He was also a member of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons and the Ohio Podiatric Medical Association. Dr. Bussema enjoys bass tournament fishing and is a member of the FLW, Indiana Bass Federation, and The Bass Federation.

    A podiatrist is a doctor of podiatric medicine (DPM), also known as a podiatric physician or surgeon, qualified by their education and training to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle, and related structures of the leg. Podiatrists are uniquely qualified among professionals to treat the foot and ankle based on their education, training and experience.

    Podiatrists are defined as physicians by the federal government and in most states. DPMs receive medical education and training comparable to medical doctors, including four years of undergraduate education, four years of graduate education at one of eight accredited podiatric medical colleges, and two to three years of hospital residency training. Within the field of podiatry, practitioners can focus on many different specialty areas, including surgery, sports medicine, biomechanics, geriatrics, pediatrics, orthopedics, or primary care.

    Dr. Neal and Dr. Bussema are both board certified in foot and ankle surgery and offer treatment to patients of all ages, which includes preventative, non-surgical as well as surgical treatments. For more information on Dr. Neal or Dr. Bussema, or to schedule an appointment, please call 517-278-6394.

    The Community Health Center of Branch County is a non-profit acute care hospital providing access to safe, comprehensive, high quality healthcare services 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.

  • “Monarch Community Bank Employees Make Annual Donation to United Way”

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    Monarch Community Bank employees in Marshall, Hillsdale, and Coldwater have joined together to help out the local United Ways. Employees arranged payroll deductions for their donations. A total of $5,400 was donated to the local United Ways, with $4,800 of that designated to the Branch County United Way.

    United Way assists communities throughout the world with a focus and overall theme of helping children succeed, promoting self-sufficiency, and building vital and safe neighborhoods. Monarch Community Bank is dedicated to the needs of the community and looks forward to providing Coldwater, Marshall and Hillsdale with additional support to improve services and enhance the community.

    Monarch Community Bank has branches located in Marshall, Coldwater, Union City and Hillsdale. For more information about Monarch Community Bank products and services, go to www.monarchcb.com or call your local branch.

    Pictured is Branch County Monarch employees giving Judy Krzminski, Branch County United Way Executive Director, a $4,800 check that will help support the Branch County campaign.

  • McDonald’s “House” Sales Help WALK FOR WARMTH

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    McDonald’s restaurants in Branch County sold over $1,500 of donation “houses” to raise money for the Community Action’s annual Walk for Warmth fundraiser. Leading up to the Walk event on February 26, patrons of McDonald’s could purchase a paper “house” for $1.00, which were displayed in the restaurants. Proceeds collected will be used to help low- to moderate- income individuals and families stay warm this winter.

    Jim Maynard, McDonald’s Franchisee Owner, stated, “We believe in giving back, and the Walk for Warmth is an excellent venue for that. All of the money raised in Branch County will stay right in the county, helping local families.”

    “We are very grateful for all that McDonald’s restaurants do for the Walk,” said Nancy Macfarlane, Community Action CEO. “McDonald’s restaurants have raised tens of thousands of dollars for the Walk over the years, and helped thousands of people in our communities stay warm.”

    This year Community Action’s goal was to raise $56,000 in their four-county service area. The Walk for Warmth has already raised over $50,000 across the four-county service area, and donations are still coming in daily. “Houses” were sold at the following Branch County McDonald’s locations: Bronson, Coldwater and Quincy, as well as Tekonsha in Calhoun County.

    For more information about Community Action and the services described in this article, please call the Community Action office at 1-877-422-2726 or visit the organization’s Website at www.CAASCM.org.


    Posted by Pat Thomas

    Southern Michigan Bancorp, Inc. (OTCBB: SOMC.OB) declared a quarterly dividend of $0.05 per share on the outstanding shares of the corporation’s stock. The dividend is payable on April 22, 2011 to shareholders of record April 8, 2011.

    Southern Michigan Bancorp, Inc. is a bank holding company headquartered in Coldwater, Michigan. Its subsidiary bank, Southern Michigan Bank & Trust, has 17 branches within Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Hillsdale and St. Joseph Counties and provides a broad range of consumer, business and wealth management services throughout the region. For more information, please visit the Southern Michigan Bank & Trust website, www.smb-t.com.