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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

C&C: Community Resource Bank works with Fed to stop losing money

<ong>Community Resource Bank works with Fed to stop losing money

Northfield’s Community Resource Bank is losing money. Hopefully, not yours. The bank had a net loss of $938,000 in the third quarter of 2009. Now Community Resource Bank has to deal with the Federal Reserve in order to straighten up and fly right.

On Tuesday, the bank announced their new regulatory agreement with the Fed. In the agreement, the bank has 60 days to increase their board of directors’ oversight of its credit risk management practices, loan review program and its bank operations as a whole. The bank is also forced to remove all its assets considered “losses” from its books within 10 days. The agreement sprung out of a “routine examination” of the bank’s finances by the Federal Reserve, according to Community Resources Bank President and CEO Don Kuehnast.

Kuehnast claimed the loss of money was caused by unsuccessful small business and real estate loans. Community Resources has promised to correct its lending practices. The third quarter loss will not affect the bank strongly because there was still $24.54 million in equity left at the end of September. The bank has approximately $243.6 million in total assets.

Recent times have not always been bad for Community Resources. In 2008, the bank had a net profit of $652,000.

Northfield Teen starts program to help families in Afghanistan

A 17-year old Northfield girl has started her own fundraising program to help Afghani families. Sarah Tiano created Peace by Piece to improve the situation through incremental changes. Her inspiration largely spawned from another charity organization that has strong Northfield ties.

Tiano hopes to jumpstart her efforts by receiving a $2500 sponsorship from a local business that will be given to the War Kids Relief program to be used to train and employ an Afghani adult whose family will be rescued from poverty. She will reimburse the sponsorship through hemp bracelets that will be made at bracelet-making sessions with middle and high-school students. Tiano will then take the bracelets to Northfield businesses where they sell at $5 apiece.

War Kids Relief, organized by Children’s Cultural Connection, creates facilities and programs for children affected by war, according to its web site. Children’s Cultural Connection was begun by a Northfield woman, Dina Fesler, who was a former fashion designer. The organization has made an impact in public schools throughout Rice County and the Twin Cities Metropolitan area. Fesler recently visited Afghanistan to film for her organization with Kelly Kinnunen of NEED magazine. When she went to visit a refugee camp there, she was emotionally struck by the desperate conditions of the camp regarding health and food supply. She subsequently decided to switch the focus of her organization’s efforts towards helping the families in the camp from education.

War Kids Relief emphasizes having teenagers play a major role in their actions. For example, one of War Kids Relief’s programs is to teach U.S. children about Afghani culture and then the students raise money for an Afghani youth’s vocational training. Children’s Cultural Connection does similar projects focusing on teaching U.S. children about various international cultures and then gives them actual human contact with someone from that country, usually by helping raise money for the young person in the country the students studied.

Tiano has decided to take matters into her own hands and follow her fellow Northfielder.

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