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Shared Branching Ads Launched

SEATTLE-The Washington CU League said 19 of its credit unions have contributed $500,000 to finance a television advertising campaign for the state's shared branching system.

The campaign, designed by Seattle-based Steenman & Associates, was slated to begin Saturday on Seattle's ABC and CBS affiliates. Among the contributors are Washington State Employees CU, Boeing Employees CU, Seattle Metropolitan CU and Watermark CU.

Bomber Gets 24 Years In Prison

FORT WAYNE, Ind.-A disgruntled former employee at Meijer Department Stores who planted pipe bombs outside two different credit unions to divert police from a robbery at the local Meijer's was sentenced to 24 years in jail.

Thomas Hansen must serve the prison term after he finishes a 12-year sentence in Ohio for robbing two Meijer stores. Hansen told the court he didn't rob the Meijer stores for retribution for his firing, but chose the locations because he was familiar with the security.

Hansen pleaded guilty to two counts of arson and one count of robbery from the Fort Wayne robbery for exploding pipe bombs at Midwest America FCU and Indiana Postal and FCU, which were both used to divert police while he robbed the nearby Meijer store. No one was injured in the bombings, which caused $5,000 worth of damages at Midwest America FCU, and $8,000 of damages at Indiana Postal and FCU.

Robbers Frustrated At Cashless CU

PETALUMA, Calif.-Two armed men left Community First CU frustrated after they tried to hold up the credit union branch.

The reason: the branch is a cashless one. One of the suspects took one of the employee's wallets and fled. No one was injured during the failed hold-up.

Murder Suspect Ruled Incompetent

ORLANDO, Fla.-A man charged with shooting to death a Fairwinds CU teller during an armed robbery last year was found incompetent to stand trial. Instead, Luc Termitus, Jr., 21, was ordered treated at a state psychiatric hospital and evaluated for 90 days, when a redetermination will be made on his competence to stand trial.

Termitus is charged with shooting Sue Ellen Gelsinger in the head while trying to rob the credit union on Sept. 7, 2004. He ended up leaving the credit union without any cash.

A psychiatrist's report found Termitus has an IQ in the low 60s, placing him in the mentally retarded range of functioning, and suffers from auditory hallucinations and paranoid ideas.

Termitus told police he meant to pistol-whip the credit union teller, but became frustrated when Gelsinger, a new hire, was unable to open the vault and the gun went off.

'All Aboard' At Everyone's FCU

TUCUMCARI, N.M.-In a search for a new headquarters design Everyone's FCU returned to its roots.

For the $10-million credit union, chartered 51 years ago in the kitchen of a Southern Pacific Railroad worker, then operated out of a train depot, the idea of an old train depot was a natural.

So it is that the credit union's new headquarters offices, with its arched ceilings and an exterior train mural, was built to resemble an old railroad station.

Many members connected to the credit union, originally known as the Southern Pacific Railway Employees FCU, have been bringing in railroad mementos, like a conductor's uniform and photos or railroad workers to decorate the hallways. Inside is a display case for a model train.

Shell Community Eyes New HQ

WOOD RIVER, Ill.-Shell Community FCU has broken ground on a new headquarters building.

The two-story building will sit on a three-acre lot and provide 22,000 square-feet of space for the $80 million credit union.

The project is expected to be completed in late 2006.

Wilcoxen Architects of St. Louis designed the project and Jun Construction Co. of Godfrey, Ill., is the builder.

Prosecution Hopes Third Time's A Charm In CU Trial

RACINE, Wis.-A court-savvy suspect who has been through seven lawyers began his third trial last week in the December 2000 armed robbery at Belle City CU.

The first trial for 49-year-old Ricky McMorris ended in a mistrial after his brother invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself during testimony.

A second trial ended in a hung jury on the armed robbery charge and McMorris was convicted of a weapons charge. In the meantime, McMorris has gone through six court-appointed lawyers, either because they have withdrawn from the case or he has fired them.

During opening arguments, McMorris' latest lawyer told the jury it was McMorris' brother, Charles McMorris, who robbed the credit union, and not his client.

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