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this gets the Halloween image -- must go on page 1, so move up if need beCry Goes Out For MoreTales From The CU CryptWEST PALM BEACH, Fla.-It's been a ghoulish year for many credit unions, with frightening assessments and investment returns paying little more than "boo." CUs have also had to deal with member "horror stories" of their own, and once again Credit Union Journal is looking to collect them for its annual Halloween tribute to scary member stories. As always, it's anonymous. Have a terrifying tale or two to share? Members with strange loan requests? Zombie-like finances? Email your stories to Managing Editor Lisa Freeman at firstname.lastname@example.org, or use the Letters to the Editor tab at cujournal.com. Stories will appear in the Oct. 25 issue.CU-Backed CandidatesLose In Several ElectionsMANCHESTER, N.H.-Former New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly Ayotte edged credit union-backed Ovid Lamontagne in last week's Republican Senate primary, despite extra efforts by CUNA, which funded last-minute radio ads for Lamontagne in the days leading up to the vote. Lamontagne, who was backed by the state's Tea Party affiliates, attracted the unusual CU support-a $70,000 independent expenditure-because of his 10-year service on the board of St. Mary's Bank (see related story, page 10). Lamontagne served as chairman of the nation's first credit union until last April. CUNA also contributed a $5,000 campaign donation to Lamontagne, who lost by just 1,667 votes out of almost 150,000 cast in the Republican primary. The failed effort came just weeks after another CUNA special elections initiative, a $69,000 mailing on behalf of former Arizona state Sen. Jim Waring, failed to propel the sponsor of the state's controversial immigration law to victory in the Republican primary for the state's insert halloween item herehas mug of MarquardtCCCU CEO, Marquardt, DiesFT. LAUDERDALE, Fla.-William "Bill" Marquardt, CEO of City County Credit Union, has died after a brief battle with cancer. Mr. Marquardt began in credit unions in 1989 with Tropical Telco CU in Miami, before joining City County CU in 1993. "Throughout his 21 years in the credit union arena, Bill was known as a visionary, initiating programs that were unique in the industry," the credit union said In a statement. "His ideas of assisting credit impaired members blossomed into the Encore 'second chance' accounts." Marquardt also pioneered the opening of AutoBranch, a CU auto dealership. Marquardt was active in numerous volunteer roles within CUs, and during his career at CCCU oversaw growth to $275 million in assets from $67 million. Llody Gill has been named CCCU's acting president/CEO.CU 'Health' Score DeclinesWILMINGTON, N.C.-The Credit Union Industry HealthScore complied by Glatt Consulting here shows the industry's overall health declined to 2.377 in Q2 1010, a -1.70% change from Q1 2010 and a -6.74% change from Q2 2009 in the rankings. The score is based on a five-point scale, with 5 being the most healthy and 0 being the least healthy, and measures earnings, capital, growth, member relationship, liquidity, asset quality and efficiency.The industry's highest score over the last 10 years, 3.321, came in Q1 2001. The lowest score, 2.366, occurred in Q1 2009. "The credit union community has seen improvements in credit quality scores, as well as in scores reflecting efficiency/expense management," the firm said. "Significant declines in industry earnings and growth scores, however, are combining to drive the aggregate HealthScore to a negative change from Q1 to Q2."Credit Card Usage DeclinesSAN FRANCISCO-Usage of credit cards by consumers declined 31% between 2007 and 2009, and should the rate of decline continue, credit card use will drop below 50%, according to new data from Javelin Strategy and Research. The analysis found ath of the 11% of consumers who claim they have an increased ability to put funds into savings, 46% have decreased credit card use, and 51% have cut their spending on goods like entertainment, travel, luxury items and cars. Data released by CUNA last week, however, showed that outstanding card balances have remained mostly flat at credit unions, at $35.1 billion as of June 30, 2010.At credit unions, outstanding card balances have increased annually from 12.2% as of June 2006 to June 2007, and 6% from June 2009 to June 2010, although there has been a slight decrease in balances outstanding in the past six months, which is often typical for the first six months of the year.Texas League Honors TrioDALLAS-The Texas league last week named Wayne Vann, president/CEO of Navy Army FCU in Corpus Christi, as its Professional of the Year; Sandra Allm, president of BNSF CU in Amarillo as its Small CU Achiever of the Year, and Ollie B. Harris of Smart Financial CU in Houston as its Volunteer of the Year.MSU To Vacate BranchEAST LANSING, Mich.-Michigan State University FCU plans to vacate its longtime branch in its former headquarters building to give new tenant IBM room to grow, while opening a new branch on campus. The MSU Board of Trustees voted on a 99-year lease of about four acres on campus for the $415 million credit union to build a new office. The credit union moved into a new headquarters in 2009.Students Finally Can Join FUECUFAIRFIELD, Conn.-Fairfield University Employees CU can finally serve students at the university after merging into larger Personal Care CU, based in nearby Trumbull, Conn. As a result, students returning to campus this fall were met with two new ATMs and another way to do their banking besides Bank of America. Previously, the $2-million CU was too small to serve the university's student body. The entry to the Fairfield campus is a first for $17 million Personal Care CU.