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Tightwad bank short on cash to stay open

By TIMES WIRES
Published November 21, 2006


There really is a Tightwad Bank, but only for a few more weeks. The 22-year-old institution in Tightwad, Mo., which played off its name nearly from the outset and gained national attention in the process, will close Jan. 31. With it dies a novelty that had attracted mail-in customers from California, Massachusetts and points beyond to the small community along Missouri's Highway 7. What better way to settle an old debt than to draw a check on the Tightwad Bank? UMB Bank, which operates the Tightwad branch office, is cutting costs and urged customers to do their banking at UMB's branches in the nearby Missouri towns of Clinton and Warsaw. Gene Henry, a local banker, said up to a dozen checks would arrive daily, each with a note asking for an account and a batch of Tightwad Bank checks, Henry said. In two years, customers from near and far stuffed the bank with $2.2-million in deposits.

Those Bratz are ours, Mattel says

Mattel Inc., the world's largest toymaker, claims it owns the rights to MGA Entertainment Inc.'s Bratz dolls. Mattel filed a request in court Monday to add claims to its earlier lawsuit against Carter Bryant, the creator of the Bratz dolls and a former Mattel employee. Mattel's Barbie dolls have been losing market share to closely held MGA Entertainment's Bratz dolls. The popularity of Bratz, promoted as "the only girls with a passion for fashion," led to a television series, a line of electronics, a magazine and products including bikes.

13 imports get top auto safety grade

Imported models took all 13 spots on the U.S. insurance industry's list of safest vehicles this year, due mainly to a new requirement that all cars and sport utilities on the list have systems to keep them stable in an emergency. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says its studies show up to 10,000 fatal crashes per year could be prevented if every vehicle had the safety feature. Winners for the 2007 model year are the Audi A6 in the large car category; the Audi A-4, Saab 9-3 and Subaru Legacy (with optional stability control) for mid-sized cars; the Hyundai Entourage and Kia Sedona minivans; the Mercedes M-class and Volvo XC90 luxury sport utility vehicles; the Acura RDX, Honda Pilot and Subaru B9 Tribeca mid-sized SUVs; and the Honda CR-V and Subaru Forester small SUVs. Times wires