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Calif. DFI Reduces Fixed Asset Rules

SACRAMENTO, Calif.-The state Department of Financial Institutions has reduced the amount of fixed assets state- chartered credit unions may hold in their portfolios as part of a rewrite of the state's credit union regulations. The new rule will lower to 10%, from the current 20%, the amount of unimpaired capital and surplus (net worth) a credit union may hold in fixed assets, like buildings, unless the DFI provides a waiver from the limit.

The new rules will also establish an FOM expansion process, allowing CUs to add select groups of 1,000 members or less on their own, as long as the DFI does not object within 10 days of notification, and speeds the DFI's review process for expansions by requiring the state regulator to complete its review of expansion applications within 60 days, otherwise the expansion is automatically approved

WOCCU Project Reps Uninjured In Bombing

DAVAO, Phillippines-Luis Sasuman, Phillippines project director for the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU), was in the airport waiting room four hours before it was destroyed by a terrorist bomb. Neither Sasuman nor any member of WOCCU was injured in the bombing, which killed 21 people. A separate bombing in the town of Tagum, where the World Council also has a partner co-op, also did no damage to that facility.

SC Bill Would Make Financial Ed Mandatory

COLUMBIA, S.C.-The South Carolina Senate Education Committee has passed by unanimous vote a bill that would require personal finance education in high schools. The bill calls upon the South Carolina Department of Education to help school districts identify appropriate materials. The bill now goes before the full Senate for consideration. Education Committee members have stipulated that a fiscal impact statement is required before the bill can move beyond second reading. The bill has the support of the state's credit unions.

Man Asks Forgiveness-Gets 20

MILWAUKEE-A 22-year-old man was sentenced to 20 years in jail last week after telling the judge he was a religious man and prayed on the Bible for forgiveness just before the April 2002 armed robbery at Guardian Credit Union here.

Despite his religious convictions, Omar Nelums was sentenced to 24 years in prison, but four of those years will be served simultaneously with a state prison sentence for assault in Michigan.

Nelums pleaded guilty to armed bank robbery and to discharging a firearm during the hold-up for firing several shots inside the credit union, including shooting out the security camera.

Prosecutors said Nelums robbed the credit union along with three others: Lakesha Bruce, 19, Weylin Shurn, 33, and Trenise Blaylock, 23, a former credit union employee who planned the heist.

Prior to Nelum's sentencing, his cousin, Terrecho Shurn, 25, was sentenced to 46 months in jail for providing a false alibi for his cousin Weylin Shurn, and acting as an accessory for driving the four robbers home after the hold-up.

Blaylock was sentenced last month to more than 13 years in prison for her role as mastermind.

CU Helps Town Get First Flag

TYNGSBORO, Mass.-This sleepy little town 45 minutes north of Boston has its own official flag for the first time in its 200-year history, thanks to Jeanne D'Arc CU, in nearby Lowell. The $480 million credit union agreed to foot the bill for designing and printing the flag, put at up to $5,000. The new flags-the town had 27 printed-feature the town's red, black and yellow seal on a white background, containing the coat of arms of the founding Tyng family, that had three mallards on it.

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