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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – After it was unexpectedly forced to close its Fayetteville, Tenn. branch for three days pending the results of an investigation in to a white powdery substance detected by a CU employee on March 6, Redstone FCU got the “all clear” from the Fayetteville Police Department on March 10 that it was safe to reopen the facility. VP of Communications Joyce Dye said by March 10, the Fayetteville Police Department had informed her the white residue had tested negative for a bacterial substance. One day earlier, law enforcement had notified her that the substance had tested negative for nerve agents anthrax or ricin. The “small amount” of white powdery substance was found by one of the CU’s employees on a drive-up canister around noon on March 6, shortly before the branch was scheduled to close. The police were immediately notified, and the credit union as well as its entire parking area were closed. All employees working at the branch that day were decontaminated and sent to the emergency room of Lincoln Medical Center where Dye said they were determined to be “fine.” Signs posted around the branch’s parking lot explained to members why the branch was closed, and Dye said Redstone’s main facility has fielded calls since the incident occurred to inquire about the condition of the CU’s employees. While the credit union waited to hear back from law enforcement, it made counselors from its employee assistance program available to branch staff. Dye said even when the Fayetteville police told Redstone it was safe to reopen the Fayetteville branch, the credit union hadn’t planned to do so until the employees who work there had determined they were comfortable returning to work. At press time, Redstone was planning to reopen the Fayetteville branch at 1 p.m. on March 11. Counselors will be on hand to walk the branch employees around the facility “so they’ll feel comfortable,” Dye said. Dye estimates around 50,000 of Redstone’s total 250,000 members use the Fayetteville, Tenn. Branch. During the time the facility was closed, area credit union members were encouraged to use Redstone’s Meridianville branch. In addition, for Fayetteville area members, ATM fees from other financial institutions were waived while the branch was closed.

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