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CU System briefs (05/04/2009)
* CLEARWATER and SARASOTA, Fla. (5/5/09)--Sarasota Coastal CU is in new merger talks, this time with Achieva CU, based in Clearwater, Fla., according to a news release from Achieva. The two began initial discussions about the feasibility of a merger and will perform a due diligence review beginning this week, said Achieva, a $650 million asset credit union. If a merger is completed, the combined credit union would have more than $800 million in assets and 11 branches serving six counties in Florida. The merger requires the approval by the Florida Office of Financial Regulation and the National Credit Union Administration. If approved, the merger could be completed by the end of September. Last week the $235 million asset Sarasota Coastal CU called off a planned merger with MidFlorida FCU of Lakeland (News Now May 1) … * WORCESTER, Mass. (5/5/09)--Wilfred Cook, 34, was sentenced to five to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to charges of robbing a branch of Digital FCU Nov. 4 and assaulting two tow company employees with a knife during the getaway (Worcester Telegram & Gazette April 30 . After the robbery, Cook ran to a nearby tow yard near the getaway car. The yard's employees gave chase and grabbed him as he climbed a chain-link fence. Cook swung a knife at the employees, dropped some of the stolen money, escaped over the fence and left in a vehicle that belonged to his girlfriend. Cook also was sentenced to five years of probation after his release from prison and was ordered to complete a program for repeat offenders. * RALEIGH, N.C. (5/5/09)--All State Employees' CU (SECU) member credit cards now comply with the "Safe Credit Card Standards" recently issued by The Pew Charitable Trusts' Safe Credit Cards Project. The standards are designed to protect consumers from unfair and deceptive credit card practices and help educate consumers about how to evaluate competing card offers for financial fairness. SECU's board approved adopting the standards, as of last Friday. Under the standards, cardholders will be charged only the interest rate they agree to pay; fees will be imposed responsibly and will be transparent to the cardholder; cardholders will have enough time to review and pay their bills; and payments will be applied first to balances carrying the highest interest rate … * ALEXANDRIA, Va. (5/5/09)--HEW FCU is now a corporate sponsor of DC Divas, the local professional women's tackle football franchise, according to the Maryland and District of Columbia Credit Union Association (FOCUS Newsletter May 4). The partnership means the credit union will provide financial services and seminars to the team's players, staff and game attendees. HEWFCU will have a presence at each home game and will offer free membership to eligible potential members throughout the season. DC Divas is a members of the Independent Women's Football League … * GREENSBORO, N.C. (5/5/09)--The North Carolina Credit Union League has hired Lauren Whaley as its first director of legislative and regulatory affairs, announced Dan Schline, the leagues senior vice president of association services (Weekly Update May 1). Whaley joins the league from the Jennings public relations, branding and advertising agency in Chapel Hill, where she served as public relations and advertising account leader for nearly two years. Prior to that she was communications coordinator at Truliant FCU, Winston-Salem. Whaley will provide advice and assistance in managing state legislative affairs, monitor regulatory issues that impact credit unions in the state, and conduct training on relevant regulatory matters. Schline added that the league's long relationship with Amy Fullbright and the legal team at Hunton & Williams will continue. … * LOS ANGELES (5/5/09)--The Los Angeles Police FCU has donated 25 card readers to the Los Angeles Police Department to assist in the battle against card-related crime. The Magtek Inc. Mini Swipe readers will be used in each of its 23 stations plus at two stations scheduled to be open in the future. The department's Commercial Crimes Division receives 600 to 700 card-related identity theft complaints per month. The readers will help police during bookings of suspects. Officers can check magnetic stripes on credit, debit and gift cards to determine if the person arrested actually owns the card. The readers cost the credit union $85 each (ATM & Debit News April 30) … * HARRISBURG, Pa. (5/5/09)-- Maureen Moss, CEO/treasurer of Indiana Bellco FCU, based in Blairsville, Pa., died Wednesday after a short battle with cancer. She was 38, according to the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (Life is a Highway May 4). Funeral services were Saturday …


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