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CU System briefs (12/01/2009)
* CINCINNATI (12/2/09)--A man threatened to use a fake bomb during a robbery Friday morning of Cincinnati Central CU (The Cincinnati Enquirer Nov. 28). The man, wearing a surgical mask and carrying a black bag, told the teller that there was a bomb in a box he placed on the counter. He fled with an undetermined amount of money. The credit union was evacuated. Officers opened the box and found it contained two books … * PHOENIX (12/2/09)--Desert Schools FCU, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., is offering $5,000 for original information leading to the conviction of what police have dubbed the "first aid bandit." The bandit has robbed four financial institutions between Oct. 1 and Nov. 17, including Desert Schools' Scottsdale branch on Nov. 17, said the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Phoenix Field Office (US Fed News Nov. 21) …. * WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (12/2/09)--A man who admitted to six robberies of four banks and a credit union--all in Pennsylvania--was sentenced Nov. 23 to 10 years in a federal prison. Adam Verdekal, 29, of Hanover Township, pleaded guilty to charges of robbing the banks plus the Wilkes-Barre-based Cross Valley FCU to finance a heroin addiction. The credit union's Forty Fort branch was robbed on Feb. 5. He targeted one bank, Honesdale Bank ranch in Kingston three times--on Jan. 5, Jan. 20 and Feb. 11 (The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader Nov. 24) … * FAIRBORN, Ohio (12/2/09)--The board of Wright-Patt CU announced the credit union will pay a special patronage dividend to its membership for the second consecutive year. The dividend, which is about $1 million more than last year's dividend, totals $4 million, to be paid to eligible members on Jan. 4. The funds will be distributed to more than 160,000 members. "We never forget our members are the reason for our success," said President/CEO Doug Fecher. "The past year has been a challenging one for many of our members, and the board of directors wanted to thank them for their continued credit union loyalty in these difficult times." … * INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (12/2/09)--FORUM CU announced its three SaveItUp Challenge winners for 2009. Grand prize winners are Morany and Kay Deamus, shown here with the credit union regional manager Brandon Speckman, left. They won a $2,500 Weekly 5 Club Account, a savings account that gives members a chance to win prizes each week, month, quarter and year by making regular deposits to their savings. They paid off two credit cards during the challenge and plan to put their prize toward their grandkids. Other winners included Mary Robison, in second place with a $1,500 Weekly 5 Club Account, and Tonii Martin, third place, winning a $1,000 Weekly 5 Club prize. FORUM will offer a revamped version of the SaveItUp Challenge in 2010. (Photo provided by FORUM CU) … * EL PASO, Texas (12/2/09)--El Paso Employees FCU CEO Ray Ponteri announced he will retire Jan. 4 after serving as president of the credit union for more than 22 years. Ponteri's career began as a volunteer and employee at the credit union in 1982. During his tenure, the credit union grew from $20 million to the current $275 million, with 48,000 members and eight branches. Ponteri spent 10 years as a director of the Texas Credit Union League and CU Resources Inc., serving in various positions and on committees. He was a member of the 2000 Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Renaissance Commission and served in local community organizations … * KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (12/2/09)--Willam R. "Bill" Brenneman, of Knoxville, formerly of Pembroke Pines, Fla., died Sunday morning after a long battle with heart disease. He was 63. Brenneman was a former employee of the Tennessee Credit Union League and a former CEO of Oak Ridge (Tenn.) Hospital Employees CU. He was retired from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. as a federal investigator. He is survived by his wife, one son and two grandchildren (The Oak Ridger Dec. 1) …


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