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  • Tucker Graduates Electric Utility Apprentice Program

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    Daniel Tucker, an employee of the Coldwater Board of Public Utilities, recently completed the necessary 7,000 hours and also the required course material to graduate from the Great Lakes Energy Cooperative Inc. Joint Apprenticeship and Training Program. Mr. Tucker obtained his Utility Technician Certificate in 2007 from Alpena Community College. In 2008 he began his career with the electric department as an apprentice lineman, where he has been able to showcase his many skills including system design and operation, transformer fundamentals and overhead and underground construction.

    On behalf of the Board of Directors of the CBPU, Director Beckhusen congratulates Mr. Tucker for successfully completing this apprenticeship program. This accomplishment speaks highly of his work ethic and dedication to support the CBPU’s efforts of providing safe, reliable and efficient utility services to its customers.

  • Consumers Credit Union to Award Five Student Scholarships

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    Consumers Credit Union is awarding five student scholarships through its Dollars for Scholars program, with each recipient receiving a $2,000 scholarship. Students can use the funds toward college tuition or other school-related expenses.

    “Consumers Credit Union believes in supporting its youth members, while encouraging educational opportunities for all,” comments Kit Snyder, President and CEO. “Teens are the future of our credit union. If we can help them achieve their dreams of a college education, we’ll be helping them to achieve their goals, personally and professionally.”

    Scholarship applications can be obtained online at ConsumersCU.org or at any office. Applicants must be full-time high school students and active Consumers Credit Union members. Students will be evaluated with equal emphasis on academic achievement, community service, and essay content. The deadline for entries is Monday, March 1, 2012.

    Employees embrace the Dollars for Scholars program, helping to raise scholarship funds by participating in casual dress Fridays. Additionally, all revenue generated from the credit union’s coin machines is donated to Dollars for Scholars and channeled back into the community.


  • Jeannie's Hosts Dinner To Benefit Coldwater Prom

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    Focusing on another community active business, Jeannie’s Diner in Downtown Coldwater and coming up Friday, it’s  Coldwater’s winter homecoming basketball night with the Girl’s and Boy’s Doubleheader against Sturgis, and between 5 and 7 p.m.

    Friday at Jeannie’s, 20% of the proceeds plus all tips will come to the junior class at Coldwater High School to support prom and afterglow efforts for all students. Take outs are available at 279-9965.

    The junior class will be the waiters, hostesses, dish washers and cashiers! Help support the junior class efforts to have a fun and safe event while having a great dinner!

  • “Annual Women’s Health Fest Offers Door Prize’s From Kiess Jewelry”

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    Women dedicate their lives to their children, jobs, and the needs of their family, but on Saturday, March 3, they will have the opportunity to devote some time for themselves.  This will be a guilt free day for women wanting to renew their spirit, and focus on some issues that affect the female gender.  The 15th Annual Women’s Health Fest will be held at theBranchAreaCareersCenter with doors opening at 8:30 a.m. and ending at noon.  There will be eight different workshops offered along with exhibitors, door prizes, and childcare.

    Sponsors for this year’s event are the Community Health Center of Branch County, Pines Behavioral Health, Century Bank and Trust, Altrusa International of Branch County, AM 1590 WTVB, Consumers Credit Union and Southern Michigan Bank and Trust. With the support of these sponsors, 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 279-5282.

    Women attending this year’s Women’s Health Fest will not only be able to attend some great workshops, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., but attendees will be in the drawing for several great door prizes.  Kiess Jewelry and Women’s Health Fest have teamed up to offer two great jewelry prizes thanks to the generosity of Brad Rockey.  This year the committee and Brad have chosen two attractive necklace and earring sets that are sure to be anyone’s favorite piece of jewelry for years to come.  Other door prizes include a one year membership to Great Lakes Health and Fitness, a Northwood’s gift basket, and dinner and a movie for four.

    The workshop session topics are:

    Souper Dinners – Connie Winbigler, cook extraordinaire, will show you how to stretch your food dollars and still give your family a hearty, healthy meal with soup.

    Organization 101 – Can a busy wife, mom, and small business owner get organized in three months on a tight budget? Hillary Eley accepted the challenge late last year. Come see how she did it and how you can, too!

    Get Ready for Spring Gardening!!! – Kent Neitzert from Neitzert’s Greenhouse and Florist will offer some helpful tips on how to prepare for your spring flower and vegetable gardens. Learn about what types of flowers to plant and where to plant them, a magical trick for your roses, water and fertilizing tips, and how to spend less time weeding!!! 

    Decorating Cents – Do you think redecorating your home will cost you a lot of money? Think again!Courtney Dirschell, local marketing maven and crafty chic, will show you how to repurpose things you already own or can pick up at yard sales to make your home sing.

    Wrap It with Style – Elizabeth Mason of Taylor’s Stationers will show you unique and easy gift wrapping ideas as well as techniques using gift bags and baskets to make every gift a little more special.

    What’s Pilates??? – Learn how this technique can reduce stress and increase strength and flexibility in a few minutes a day without breaking a sweat. Fitness instructor, Shawna Chavez will share her secrets on what pilates is all about.


    Couponing 101– Andrea Tennyson, couponing expert, will teach you the basics of couponing (Where do I find them and how do I organize them?) along with tips and strategies to make coupons work for you, blessing others with your coupons, the importance of a stockpile, and more!

    Accessorizing to Stretch Your Wardrobe – Maurices will help you learn how to change the look of any outfit with a few basic accessories and be ready for any occasion.

    Over 40 exhibitors will also be on hand to showcase their services and merchandise between sessions. Some of the exhibitors include several departments from the Community Health Center of Branch County with health information, Upper Hand Bodywork, Creative Memories, Great Lakes Chiropractic, Branch County Literacy Council, and many more. 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’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.

    Exhibitor spots are still available. Contact Patty Parker at (517) 279-5665 or e-mail to pparker@smb-t.com. For more information or to preregister for free childcare, call (517) 279-5008.

  • DBA/DDA Say Thanks

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    Just like the snow on the ground, Ice Fest 2012 has come and gone!  But those who braved the wind and cold temperatures were not disappointed with this year's unique sports themed carvings, including a Red Wings ice hockey table and two dueling carve-offs featuring the four Branch County high school mascots. Event attendees enjoyed a Chili Tasting from seven local restaurants and pubs with Siren's Bar and Grill taking top honors for their White Chicken Chili. Stoagie's Family Café' and Jeannie's Diner finished a close second and third. And new this year, many attendees toured our town as in days of old, riding a beautiful horse drawn carriage through downtown.

    Downtown events such as Ice Fest cannot happen without the financial assistance and support of the Downtown Business Association and its members, downtown businesses, partner organizations and our individual event sponsors. Major sponsors this year included Michigan Gas Utilities; Wal-Mart Transportation Center 6843; Wal-Mart Distribution Center 6034; and Branch County Community Foundation. Individual ice block sponsors included: Infinisource, Century Bank & Trust, Coldwater Board of Public Utilities, Coldwater Daily Reporter, Coldwater Shoppers Guide, Dally Tire, Kellogg Community College, Kiess Jewelry, Southern Michigan Bank & Trust, Taylor's Books & More, Tail Gators Sports Bar & Grill, and Vandervoort, Christ and Fischer.  

    Many thanks to Lifespan for overseeing the Chili Tasting contest; Harry Cutcher (Coldwater Executive Office Suites) for the use of the lobby during the Chili Tasting; Janice Cooper (Taylor's Books and More) and Ruth Vanderpool-Combs (Branch District Library) for putting together some great children's activities; and the City's Municipal Services and Police Departments and their staff who provided assistance with event logistics.

    And since successful downtown events can't happen without great promotion, we especially wish to thank our local media - Ken Delaney and Jim Whelan (WTVB), Heather Jeffrey and Roland Stoy (The Daily Reporter), and Pat Jolly (The Shoppers Guide) - for their always super work in promoting our events.

    On behalf of the Coldwater Downtown Business Association and the Coldwater Downtown Development Authority, we encourage the community to remember our sponsors and partners and choose to patronize and support them as your way of saying "thank you" for helping us bring this unique arts and cultural event to our downtown.  



  • February Ponderosa Employee of the Month

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    Candace Smothers was named Ponderosa Employee of the Month.  According to her nominator, Candace helps in any area when needed, she is very dependable and is a ‘cleaning machine’.  Candace is someone that  can be counted on all the time, always with a great attitude and ready to work.  She’s been with Ponderosa for four years

  • QuickBooks MeetUp Group Celebrates 1st Anniversary

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    The Michigan QuickBooks Users Club is celebrating its first year by hosting an Anniversary MeetUp this, Thursday February 9th from 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. at the Training Center of Hudson Business Services, LLC at 488 Marshall Street in Coldwater.  This training forum allows participants to learn features and techniques to get the most out of their QuickBooks software while allowing its members to meet other QuickBooks users.

    Charlene Hudson, M.B.A., the area’s only Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, will be facilitating the meeting.  The learning topics for this event include how to make the most out of your QuickBooks and navigating through tricky transactions.  In addition, there is an open roundtable discussion to address members QuickBooks questions.

    "All skill levels are welcome," says Hudson, "it has been wonderful for us to see the group grow and watch our members expand their knowledge and advance their skills over the past year.  Everyone has something unique to contribute and that what really makes the group."

    The local MeetUp is sponsored by Hudson Business Services LLC, an Intuit Solution Provider, and co-sponsored with the Sleeter Group.  QuickBooks Users Club MeetUps are free and open to the public but they encourage you to join the on-line group and RSVP for events at the group’s MeetUp page atwww.meetup.com/Michigan-QuickBooks-Users-Club.com


    Posted by Pat Thomas

    The Cameron Counseling Center of Cameron Memorial Community Hospital is pleased to announce the Indiana Addiction licensure of Rita Lechleidner, Director, LAC; Christine Sebring, LCAC, and Adelle Schwan, LCAC.  This licensing distinction is new in the state of Indiana.

    Licensure as a Licensed Addiction Counselor (LAC) and Licensed Clinical Addiction Counselor (LCAC) requires extensive experience in the addictions field, advanced certification by the Indiana Counselors Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse (ICAADA), a bachelor or master’s degree, and significant years of clinical work in the field of substance abuse and addiction.

    Lechleidner has served as the director of the Cameron Counseling Center for over three years and has provided substance abuse counseling for over 19 years.  She holds the Indiana advanced certified alcohol and drug abuse counselor II (CADAC II) certification.

    Sebring has been in the field of mental health and substance abuse counseling for twenty years and is also certified in Indiana at the advanced CADAC IV level.  She works part-time at the Cameron Counseling Center and has a private practice in Michigan. 

    Schwan recently joined the Counseling Center’s staff, but has thirty years of experience in substance abuse.  She has been certified in Indiana at the CADAC II and Certified Clinical Supervisor (CCS) levels.

    For more information, please contact (260) 668-7060.

  • “Rita Liechty Named CHC’s December Employee of the Month”

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    Hard work and putting others before herself has earned Rita Liechty the Community Health Center of Branch County December Employee of the Month award.


    Rita was hired March 12, 1981 on second shift as a Generalist Technologist.  She has worked in the blood bank and microbiology in the laboratory at CHC.  Currently Rita is a Medical Technologist in Pathology where she processes cytology, surgery specimens, performs special stains, helps to perform daily maintenance on the tissue processor and auto stainer, and orders supplies as needed.  According to her nominator, “Rita is one of the hardest working people that I know.  She is completely dedicated to providing high quality care to our patients.  At times Rita has put CHC and the department above her own wellbeing.  I think she deserves to be recognized for her dedication to CHC, her work and our patients.”

    Rita graduated from Wakarusa High School in Wakarusa, Indiana.  She attendedGoshenCollegewith a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology.  Rita completed a 12 month Medical Technology internship at Penrose Hospital School of Medical Technology, Colorado Springs, CO.  She has been a registered Medical Technologist with the American Society of Clinical Pathologists since November 20, 1970. 

    Rita has a son, Peter who is a neurosurgeon in Thibodaux, Louisiana, and a daughter, Anna who is a math teacher in Bristol, Rhode Island.  Rita enjoys attending theater and concert events at Tibbits and sewing when she finds the time.  She is a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Coldwater where she plays in the English Hand Bell Choir and sings in the choir.  Rita has been the church treasurer for the past four years.

    The Laboratory provides a wide range of services which includes routine and STAT testing in the following areas:

    Hematology, Coagulation, Urinalysis, Chemistry, Special Chemistry, Blood and               Histology, Cytology, Serology, Virology  

    All sections of the department provide routine and STAT testing for both inpatient and outpatient populations.  The majority of the testing is processed as it is received and there is very little “batch” testing.  For those tests not done on site, CHC utilizes MLabs at theUniversityofMichiganfor the majority of reference laboratory services.  CHC’s Laboratory provides blood and blood products for transfusion.  These blood products are received from the American Red Cross inLansing,Michigan.  The Laboratory also provides oversight for point-of-care testing done by the nursing as well as testing done in any of CHC’s clinics.  The Laboratory provides community health screenings at both Community Fest and the Older American Health Fair.  On average the Laboratory department does approximately 24,000 billable tests per month.  There is an average of 100 outpatients per day.  In addition, the lab draws patients at The Laurels of Coldwater, Maple Lawn, Drew’s Place, and Masonville on a weekly basis.

    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 517-279-5282 or visit the CHC website at www.chcbc.com or health website at myhealth.chcbc.com


  • Branch County Board Of Realtors Held Monthly Lunch Meeting

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    The Branch County Association of REALTORS® held their monthly lunch meeting on January 25 at the Coldwater Elks with 43 members present. The meeting was lead by BCAR secretary, Jim Bowers. The program was presented by member, Chris Pierce who discussed new rules and regulations affecting appraisals and Doug Merriam from the Michigan Association of Realtors. Doug updated the group on the status of legislation impacting real estate. A fifty-fifty drawing was held with proceeds going to the Branch County United Way and the Sonshine Food Pantry.

  • Tibbits Opera Foundation and Arts Council Holds Annual Meeting

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    Tibbits Opera Foundation and Arts Council, Inc. will hold its annual meeting at 5:45 pm, Thursday, January 26 at the opera house.

    According to Randall Hazelbaker who is completing his term as Tibbits Board President, “it has been a busy year and we have much to share about what’s happening at our theatre.” He adds, “Most people are amazed to learn how much goes on at Tibbits and how truly complex the organization is.” The meeting for Branch County’s Center for arts and culture includes a review of the 2010-11 fiscal year, a financial report of the theatre and highlights for the year ahead, including the progress on the façade restoration.

    The community and members of the Tibbits Foundation are invited to join the board of directors.  A reception in the lobby beginning at 5:15 pm will be followed by the annual meeting which will include an update from board president, Randall Hazelbaker. The annual board election will include renewal of board terms for Ray Sebastian and J. Richard Colbeck as well as election of one new board member.

    Following the annual meeting the board will hold its annual organizational meeting at which they will elect the officers for 2012. Tibbits Opera House is located at 14 South Hanchett Street, Coldwater. For more information call 517-278-6029.


  • Ginger J. Kesler Named Vice President of Century Bank and Trust

    Posted by Pat Thomas

    Ron Reed, President and CEO of Century Bank and Trust, has announced the appointment of Ginger J. Kesler to Vice President of Century Bank and Trust.

    “Ginger is a key player to Century Bank and Trust’s everyday successful operation.  Her positive energy, vast experience and enjoyable management style are just a few of the qualities that make Ginger such a valuable part of our team,” Reed stated.

    Kesler joined Century Bank and Trust in 1999 and has over 28 years of banking experience. Within the community, she is President of Altrusa International of Branch County, Chair of the Fibromyalgia support group in Branch County, Member of the Triad (Community, Police and Seniors) of Branch County, Member of the Branch Area Career Center’s On the Job Training Advisory Committee and active Relay for Life member.  In the past, Kesler has presented to school groups in honor of the American Bankers Association’s “Get Smart About Credit” and “Teach Children to Save Day” events. Ginger can be reached by phone at (517) 278-1532 or by e-mail atGingerKesler@centurybt.com

    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 its deposits to make loans to local businesses and retail customers so the 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 Bank and Trust, is proud to support over 250 local charities, events and organizations.  

    To learn more about Century Bank and Trust visitCenturyBankandTrust.com or call Toll Free (866) 680-2265.