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A Credit Union Just For Kids

MADISON, Wis.-In what is believed to be a first, CUNA CU and Summit CU have partnered with the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County to charter a new credit union exclusively for kids.

Officials hope to open the nation's first kids-only credit union, to be known as STAR CU, in the boys & girls club next month. Plans call for high-dividend share accounts, earning as much as 5% for accounts up to $500, but no loans, at least not yet.

CUNA CU and Summit CU plan to split the $40,000 annual operating expenses for the youth credit union, including costs for a staff person to run the credit union on afternoons after school and teach financial education to members.

Though there are as many as 125 CUs that operate in-school branches in hundreds of schools-including 13 in Wisconsin-none of these are chartered to serve only youth, according to CUNA.

Vermont House Passes CU Reform

MONTPELIER, Vt.-The House recently approved a bill that would allow Vermont's 32 state-chartered credit unions to offer member business loans for the first time.

The bill would also allow state charters to branch interstate for the first time and would clarify the parity, or wildcard, provision in the statute allowing state charters to do anything that federally chartered credit unions can do upon notification to the Department of Banking, the chief credit union regulator.

The measure now heads over the state Senate for its deliberations.

Farm Bureau CU Has Tall Request

GOSHEN, Ind.-Officials with Farm Bureau CU were meeting last night with city zoning officials in hopes of getting their plans approved to construct a 190-foot-tall radio tower adjacent to their new headquarters being built here.

Credit union officials said the radio tower would facilitate communications with their four branches, saving them about $1,000 a month, according to a city planning official.

But city officials were balking at the request suggesting the tall construct would be an eyesore.

Currently the credit union operates a smaller tower at its main office, which communicates with a larger tower the credit union leases south of town. Credit union officials did not return calls seeking comment.

DayMet CU, Union Deadlocked

DAYTON, Ohio-The strike at DayMet CU stretched into its eighth week as about 30 employees of the $92-million credit union continued their picket last week.

Representatives of the credit union board and the employees union, the Office and Professional Employees International Union, Local 98, met with a federal mediator but continued to be deadlocked over pay raises, according to Mike Riesterer, president of DayMet.

The union has asked for a 50-cent-an-hour raise, but the credit union has offered a 50-cent-an-hour lump sum bonus for every hour worked, a total of $1,040 for the year.

The credit union board argues that the employees already earn more than the local and national average, according to data compiled by CUNA, and they are worried a 50-cent increase for each of the four years of the contract could jeopardize the finances of the credit unions, which serves mainly employees of financially ailing General Motors and Delco automotive parts.

Temporary replacement workers have been running the credit union for the past two months. "The board has made what I consider is a very good offer," Riesterer told The Credit Union Journal.

CU One Goes On Merger Binge

FERNDALE, Mich.-Credit Union One is rapidly adding to its membership base by combining with a number of area credit unions.

Since the end of last year the $775-million credit union has merged with two local credit unions and is poised to add a third.

The two completed mergers are with Farmington-based Suburban Credit Union ($18 million) and Waterford-based North Oakland Credit Union ($22 million); while a proposed merger with Health Services Credit Union, Mount Clemens ($9 million) is still pending.

Family Trust FCU Members Greeted With Surprise

YORK, S.C.-Members and employees of Family Trust FCU were met with a brief fright when a car ran off the road and came crashing through the credit union's front wall after the driver apparently suffered a fatal heart attack.

Police believe the 49-year-old driver lost consciousness just before his Cadillac ran off the road and slammed through the building around 10 am.

Several members and employees were inside at the time but none of them was injured.

The car crashed through the front doorway and knocked out an office wall, causing about $20,000 in damage. The driver was pronounced dead after being transported to a nearby hospital.

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