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Lottery Winners Head To SFCU

FLINT, Mich.-There was good news in this struggling auto-manufacturing community when 12 lucky members of the United Auto Workers union hit their numbers in the lottery.

The lucky 12, all members of Security FCU, shared in the $250,000 Mega Millions prize when five of their six numbers came in. They missed the multi-million dollar grand prize in the Jan. 27 drawing by just the one digit.

The lucky auto workers were seen cashing their checks at the local branch of the credit union. The group had played the lottery together for the past five years, putting in $5 each a week to buy 60 tickets. The winners are 10 workers and two retirees from the General Motors Powertrain Flint North plant, which has experienced several rounds of lay-offs. Each will get $15,000 after taxes.

MVFCU To Lead Revitalization

LAWRENCE, Mass.-Merrimack Valley FCU broke ground on its new headquarters in an abandoned mill building on the banks of the Merrimack River, the anchor of a redevelopment of the massive complex. The $400-million credit union has purchased 40,000 square feet at the dilapidated mills, long a symbol of blight in this once glorious city north of Boston. Developers, who were joined by Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey, Rep. Martin Meehan, and state lawmakers for a ceremony, hope the CU's interest will attract more tenants to the project. After moving from nearby North Andover, Merrimack Valley FCU will become the largest financial institution based in Lawrence.

Greylock Gets Preferred Status

PITTSFIELD, Mass.-Greylock FCU announced the Small Business Administration has granted it preferred lender status, allowing it to approve small business loans without prior SBA approval. The $800-million GFCU is the first CU in Massachusetts and only the second in New England to obtain preferred status.

Church Donations Made Online

SAN ANTONIO-Payment Data Systems has signed with Shelby Systems Inc. to allow more than 8,500 churches across the country allow their congregants to make their regular donations online. The deal will allow the churches to accept credit cards online for donations or to pay for services, like religious school, summer camp or conferences using Shelby's "e-Give" or "e-Registrations" software.

Shelby said the new system will allow congregants to maintain their pattern of donations regardless of illness, work or vacation that may hinder regular church attendance.

Man Pleads Guilty To Fraud

ROCK ISLAND, Ill.-A local man pleaded guilty to charges he broke into a mailbox then used checks he stole to pass counterfeit checks on area banks and credit unions. Ralph Riley pleaded guilty to 13 counts of bank fraud and one count of stealing U.S. mail and faces up to 30 years in prison when he is sentenced.

Riley's scheme was to deposit counterfeit checks in the amount of $3,000, then drain the accounts of $900 before the CU or bank had a chance to detect the bogus checks, according to the U.S. Attorney's office in Iowa. Riley was charged with hitting Deere Harvester CU and I.H. Mississippi Valley CU.

DCU Branches To Follow Name

WORCESTER, Mass.-Digital FCU said it will open two new branches here to join the name presence it established last year by affixing its monicker to the former Worcester Centrum sports arena. The $3-billion DCU paid $5.2 million to rename the Centrum as DCU Center and put its name and logo throughout the building for 10 years. DCU has almost 8,000 members in Worcester.

Men Wrongly Arrested For Crime

LUBBOCK, Texas-Two young men who were arrested by a local SWAT team that smashed the windows of their cars and dented the vehicles in the process, were set free after spending two nights in jail for suspicion of robbing Plains Bell FCU the previous week.

The two, Dale Imhoff, 21 and his friend, Jeremy Yost, 20, apparently fit the description of the armed robbers and had even come into $14,000-the same amount stolen-from a recent settlement of a car crash case, police said. But the two were cleared after taking lie detector tests and after police checked what turned out to be airtight alibis.

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