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Sallie Mae Expands With Purchase

RESTON, Va.-Student loan giant SLM Corp., better known as Sallie Mae, has agreed to acquire Seattle-based Student Loan Finance Association, a non-profit lender with a $1.6 billion portfolio of education loans.

Under the deal, Student Loan Finance, which makes $50 million a year in student loans, will be converted into a for-profit entity. The deal, Sallie's second in two weeks, helps expand the company's presence on the west coast. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The week before, Sallie agreed to acquire a majority stake in Arrow Financial Services LLC., a Niles, Ill., loan collection agency.

Va. CU Seeks All Of Richmond

RICHMOND, Va.-Richmond Postal CU has applied to state regulators to serve the entire city of Richmond, which qualifies under the state's new field of membership rules as a distressed (low-income) community. The proposed FOM would cover about 200,000 residents of Virginia's Capital City.

Mich. CUL Puts $1M Toward Ads

PLYMOUTH, Mich.-The Michigan CU League said it will provide up to $1 million in matching funds to help the CU Marketing Alliance finance cooperative advertising efforts. The league hopes the funds will encourage broader participation in cooperative ad campaigns.

The marketing alliance and the Cooperative Advertising Task Force are recommending a cooperative branding campaign to aid local marketing efforts and build membership growth.

Giant Metal Bison Guards ATM

HAVRE, Mont.-Bear Paw CU has a new pet-a nine-foot-long, six-foot-tall metal bison-guarding over its ATM. The 2,000-pound creature is the first of three sculptures local sculptor Cory Holmes has been commissioned to build for the credit union.

Holmes built the skeleton of the bison from old oil and gas pipeline material, then used 150,000 machine-gun links to make a mane and the hair on its chin and legs. The bison's hair is made from telegraph wire. Both the credit union and the sculptor are mum about what the next two sculptures will be.

OK CUL May Say OK To OK City

TULSA, Okla.-Delegates to the Oklahoma league's annual meeting asked the board to investigate moving the league's headquarters from Tulsa to Oklahoma City. The board plans to make a recommendation on the potential relocation during next year's annual meeting, which is to be held in Oklahoma City.

During the meeting, the OCUL also honored retiring president Bob Bianchini, who will step down in February of 2005. He will succeded by Lisa Finley, executive vice president of the league.

Suspect Arrested In ATM Caper

PITTSBORO, N.C.-One suspect was arrested and two are being sought in a botched attempt to steal a State Employees CU ATM here two weeks ago, which ended with three abandoned vehicles and the ATM intact, lying at the side of the road. John Powell, 36, of Apex, was charged with felony breaking and entering and felony larceny for busting into an ATM kiosk, then tying a chain around the machine and dragging it off its moorings. The thieves abandoned their efforts when the alarm sounded, then fled from police, only to run their getaway car into a nearby pond.

The getaway car, as well as a stolen pickup truck and stolen front-end loader used to pull the machine from the kiosk, were all abandoned during the incident. Police have also issued warrants for two other suspects they believe were involved in the foiled robbery.

Check-Casher Expands Into Calif.

FORT WORTH, Texas-Cash America International Inc., which operates one of the biggest chains of payday loan stores, said it has expanded into California with the purchase of 32 locations. Cash America said it bought the outlets in southern California from Urgent Money and GoldX Financial for $14.2 million in cash.

The deal gives the payday lender 601 branches in 18 states.

C&C CU Breaks Ground On Office

SHILOH, Ill.-Catholic & Community CU said it broke ground last week on a new headquarters building. The two-story, 18,300 square-foot building is being built by Impact Strategies and will cost $2.5 million. Completion is scheduled for next April.

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