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San Jose, CU Pilot Smart Cards

SAN JOSE, Calif.-The city of San Jose has completed a pilot program that allows drivers to use a smart card to feed parking meters and link it directly to their credit union account so funds can be automatically replenished. The pilot was conducted with ParcXmart Technologies Inc., of Hampton Falls, N.H., in the Japantown section of San Jose in February, then linked directly to an electronic funds transfer network in a second phase last month.

Several communities currently allow motorists to pay parking meters with reloadable smart cards at stores owned by participating merchants, but San Jose is the first to link the system to a financial institution account. New Haven, Ct., will introduce the technology soon.

ATM Makes Get $10 Preview

WASHINGTON-The Federal Reserve and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing have started working with ATM manufacturers to make sure they are ready for the new $10 bill. The redesigned notes will be issued in early 2006 as part of the Federal Reserve's attempt to thwart counterfeiters.

ATM manufacturers were invited to the Bureau of Engraving's Fort Worth, Texas, plant last month and brought their ATMs along with them to test the bill on their machines. The Bureau of Engraving's policy is to give ATM manufacturers advance information about new bill designs, so they can make the necessary technical adjustments to their machines. The note tested at Fort Worth only contained around 50% of the new features that eventually will appear in the redesigned bill. In mid-July, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing will invite ATM manufacturers to its facilities at Fort Worth and Washington, to pick up a copy of the fully redesigned the bill.

Mass CU Gets Large, New FOM

BOSTON-River Works CU was granted approval by state regulators to serve two of the state's biggest counties, Middlesex and Suffolk, one of the largest fields of membership granted a state charter in the Bay State.

The ruling by the state Department of Banking will give the $55-million credit union access to as many as 2.2 million people in the surrounding area. Separately, Luso-American CU, a $70-million credit union in Peabody, has requested permission to serve the Essex County, the state's second-largest county, with almost 800,000 residents.

Teller Being Held On $1M Bond

BORGER, Texas-A former teller at Borger 66 CU was being held on $1 million bond after being charged in a 22-count indictment with embezzling almost $180,000 from the credit union, some of it sent to her church. Sandra Lee Porter, 44, of Borger, was charged with transferring some of the funds to accounts of the First Church of the Nazarene.

Porter allegedly removed the funds from member accounts and transferred the money to several different accounts. Porter, who worked at the credit union from August 2001 until last month, turned herself into police and was being held in Hutchinson County Jail.

Ex-Ops Manager is Sentenced

SAN DIEGO-A former operations manager for North Island CU was sentenced to 15 months in prison for stealing $338,000 from the credit union, which she spent to finance a lavish lifestyle. Authorities said Leanne Truitt, 40, of Imperial Beach, used the credit union funds to pay for parties, a new pool, trips to Las Vegas and designer clothing. Truitt pleaded guilty to making false entries in the credit union's books to make it appear the branch had more money than it actually did. Her responsibilities included ordering cash from the Fed and reconciling cash balances.

Loans For Community College

RESTON, Va.-Sallie Mae announced a new family of loan products for community college students. The company's Community College Solutions is aimed at the nation's 11-million community college students at a time when state budget pressures are forcing many of the schools to raise tuition.

The program provides loans that may be combined with federally guaranteed loans and will include Sallie Mae's Tuition Payment Plan, an interest-free program that will allow students to spread out tuition payments throughout the school year, instead of making upfront payments.

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