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CU System briefs (06/09/2009)
* PHOENIX (6/10/09)--Two small Phoenix-based credit unions serving Latino member bases have merged, effective June. 1. Chicanos Por La Causa FCU, with assets of $4 million, was merged into the $25 million asset MariSol FCU (The Arizona Republic June 9). MariSol CEO Robin L. Romano told the newspaper the combination will result in a larger entity that can provide a more competitive range of products. The economic downturn hit Chicanos Por La Causa and its members, many of whom had ties to the construction industry. It wrote off 18.4% of its loans during first quarter and had lost $1.75 million the past four quarters. It also had difficulty attracting a manager. MariSol, which serves mainly Maricopa County employees and has a significant Latino membership, began operating the smaller credit union in July 2008. The combined credit union has four branches with 24 employees, 8,400 members and $30 million in assets … * WEST JORDAN, Utah (6/10/09)--A trigger-happy robbery suspect who robbed three financial institutions and fired one round into the ceiling at each holdup was sentenced to 35 years in federal prison (The Salt Lake Tribune June 3). William Harrison, 43, of Clearfield, pleaded guilty to the robberies of Mountain America CU's Layton branch, Chase Bank in Midvale, and Cyprus CU of Sandy. The heists were between October and December 2006. In 2007, Harrison's getaway driver, Willie McNeal, 52, of Midvale, was sentenced to nearly 12 years in prison … * MOBILE, Ala. (6/10/09)--Terica Loraine Crook has been indicted for bank fraud and bank theft for allegedly spending more than $100,000 that was mistakenly deposited into her account by Navigator CU, a Pascagoula, Miss.-based credit union (Associated Press Newswires June 4). According to court records, Crook allegedly made ATM withdrawals and check card purchases at area stores in small amounts that totaled $101,918. The transactions occurred between August 2004 and Aug. 30, 2007. Crook faces a maximum of 30 years in prison if convicted, although the actual sentence under advisory guidelines could be 20 months to two years … * HARRISBURG, Pa. (6/10/09)--The Pennsylvania Credit Union Association's (PCUA) Government Affairs Committee (GAC) met in Harrisburg Monday and Tuesday for Hill visits, legislative and regulatory updates, and discussion of regulatory modernization. The 19-member committee--chaired by Mike Kaczenski, PCUA vice chairman and CEO of Sun East FCU, Ashton--was briefed on the state budget by PCUA contract lobbyist John Malady. Budget issues dominated discussions on the Hill visits (Life is a Highway June 9). The GAC met with Sen. Don White (seated at desk), chairman of the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee, where GAC members described credit union outreach efforts such as Credit Union Better Choice loans and financial literacy programs. White commended them for their community outreach work. (Photo provided by the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association) … * ALBANY, N.Y. (6/10/09)--Amy Kramer, vice president of governmental affairs for the Credit Union Association of New York, has been named to The Capitol's inaugural list of 40 (Rising Stars) Under 40. The award recognizes leaders in politics, government and advocacy from the private, public and not-for-profit sectors whose talent, tenacity and passion the past year have distinguished them from their peers. The publication unveiled the 2009 recipients in its June 6 issue. "Amy's drive to advance the credit union movement in New York is an asset to the association and the state's credit union community," said William J. Mellin, president/CEO of the association. Kramer has been with the association since 2001 and was named to her current position in 2004 … * LANSING, Mich. (6/10/09)--Patrick Hills, president/CEO of Flagship Community FCU, a $15 million asset credit union in Port Huron, Mich., died June 2 at his home. He was 64. Hills was active in the league chapter system. Prior to its merger with Metro East Chapter, he held several executive committee positions, including chairman, of the Blue Water Chapter. Funeral services were Saturday. Hills is survived by his wife, three children, 10 grandchildren, mother, two brothers and three sisters (Michigan Monitor June 8) …


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