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Johnson Wants To Expand Reg-Flex

ALEXANDRIA, Va.-NCUA Chairman JoAnn Johnson said last week that she decided after the agency's 'Summit' on capital to move to expand the Reg-Flex program, which eases regulations on the healthiest credit unions. The expansion would include credit unions with net worth ratios down as low as the 7% standard defined as well-capitalized credit unions under the agency's prompt corrective action rule. Currently only credit unions with 9% net worth or greater are allowed to participate in the program. "If we agree that 7% leverage is an unnecessarily high ratio for 'well capitalized' status under a system of risk-based prompt corrective action, then we should set the bar even higher for Reg-Flex," said Johnson. Johnson also said she will pursue a risk-based capital system for corporate credit unions, and to ease capital restrictions on well-run, low-income credit unions. Johnson said these changes can be pursued by the NCUA board while they work to convince Congress to enact a risk-based capital system for credit unions.

N.J. League CEO's Contract Terminated

HIGHTSTOWN, N.J.-The New Jersey Credit Union League has terminated the contract of its CEO, Thomas Shaughnessy. Vice President Mary Lee Kleinkauf has been appointed as acting president/CEO of the NJCUL. "Terminating Mr. Shaughnessy's tenure with the league was a difficult decision, and it was not made easily, nor was it made in haste," said NJCUL CEO John DiNofrio in a released statement. "After lengthy and thoughtful discussions, the board came to the only solution we could." The New Jersey league said it will launch a a nationwide search for a new president/CEO. Shaughnessy had been league CEO since April 2003, and succeeded Russell Clark, who resigned the position in early 2003.

CU To Use Solar Energy

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.-Santa Barbara County FCU said it plans to become the first credit union in California to generate most the electricity it needs using a solar power system. The 38 kilowatt system will generate about 60% of the credit union's electricity needs. The credit union hopes the solar system will not only provide it with cheap and reliable energy, but serve as a model for members for its "No-Hassle Solar Power Loan," to finance members' own solar energy projects. Rates on the new loans of up to $15,000 will range from 4% to 6%.

Murder Charge Filed

RACINE, Wis.-A Milwaukee man was charged last week with the Oct. 11 murders of a 40-year-old mother of six and one of her teenage daughters, after fleeing from a failed robbery at Horizon CU. Wendell McPherson, 26, was charged with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide and four other charges related to the gruesome killings in the victims' house, a few blocks from the credit union. Police said McPherson and an accomplice were waiting in their car outside the credit union but the two men fled when police came to check out a report of a suspicious vehicle. The accomplice ran off and McPherson sped away in his car, crashing a few minutes later into a garage a block where the two bodies were found. The victims were identified as Nancy Mason, 40, and her 19-year-old daughter, Meghan.

ACUL Works To Register Voters

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.-As election day was approaching, the Alabama Credit Union League said its CU-Vote project had voter registration displays in place in 198 CU branches across this state. "Members can visit one of these displays and not only register to vote, but obtain various educational resources to help them prepare for the election as well," said Gary B. Wolter, president of the ACUL.

The Credit Union Journal's On Deadline coverage is sponsored by Liberty. For info: www.libertysite.com.

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