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* Grossmont Schools FCU CEO Julie Givens is attacked by a shark while on vacation in Maui. Her arm and shoulder are badly mauled, but she survives, later noting that she no longer "sweats the small stuff."

* A member of Louisiana FCU gets suckered by the so-called Nigerian 419 scam (for that country's code for fraud), losing $7,800 on a truck sale over the Internet. The CU smelled it and warned him, but he insisted.

* The 10th anniversary of the Dupaco Community CU Yard Sale turns into a huge event promoted on local radio stations, with over 400 families and groups involved. Among the items for sale: tubs of homemade lard.

* The SARs epidemic scare whips Toronto into a panic, but brave Sunnybrook CU continued to operate its branch and sent additional help, even replenishing the ATM when a bank refused.

* The California recall of Gov. Gray Davis leaves CUs wondering who to support, the Terminator, a child TV star or a porn star.

Among the other stories The Credit Union Journal reported during 2003:

* A Woodstock Institute Study shows that banks and thrifts help CDCUs with investments in the millions due to CRA requirements * Arrowhead CU launches its MBL program after killing plans to start its own bank * SECU CEO Jim Blaine becomes one of the few within credit unions to question why CUs are "carrying water" for their enemies in backing bankruptcy "reform" bill * NCUA Chairman Dennis Dollar calls on Congress to pass risk-based capital for CUs during a speech at CUNA's GAC that he thought would be his last appearance (it wasn't). Dollar would stay on for another year awaiting the White House to nominate a replacement * NAFCU economist Dr. Tin Wai notes that if the Iraq war is "quick and clean" it could bolster the economy, which had been normalizing, while CUNA's Bill Hampel said the general consensus was that "the war will be short, decisive and over pretty quickly" and, if that happens "the effects will be quite positive." Both economists noted, however, that that might not be the case * CUNA's Dan Mica is named one of the top "Members of Congress-Turned Lobbyists" by The Hill newspaper * WOCCU looks into working with Iraqis to make CU operations a part of the country's rebuilding efforts * The National Association of Community CUs initiates a series of ads that play off corporate scandals, stressing the CU difference * In Vancouver, Wash., a group of Columbia CU members begin a campaign to reverse the planned conversion to a mutual bank, launching "Save CCU" to stop the conversion * In a nod to the growing Hispanic market, Connecticut's Charter Oak FCU launches a Spanish language link on its website and seeks bilingual employees * NASCUS dismisses CEO Doug Duerr after a 10-year career * WesCorp and four other credit unions self-insure on workers comp claims, citing soaring costs. * Missouri banks and credit unions starts "No hats, no hoods, no sunglasses" rule to deter robberies. The idea spreads to other states.

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