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In brief: Andrus joins company board

Former Idaho Gov. Cecil Andrus has joined the board of Coeur d’Alene-based RockStar Resources, a new North Idaho company.

Andrus was governor from 1971 to 1977 and again from 1987 to 1995. He was U.S. secretary of the interior from 1977 to 1981 and was instrumental in passage of the federal Alaska Lands Act. In 1995, he founded the Andrus Center for Public Policy at Boise State University.

Former Coeur d’Alene Mines CEO Dennis E. Wheeler is the chairman of the new privately held company. A news release said the company will help spur mining projects involving precious metals through financial and permit support.

Wheeler was head of Coeur d’Alene Mines for 25 years, leaving in July 2011.

The president and CEO of RockStar Resources is K. Leon Hardy, who’s worked with a number of major mining companies in North and South America.

Texas, Connecticut banks fail

WASHINGTON – Regulators have closed banks in Texas and Connecticut, bringing the number of U.S. bank failures to 22 this year.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said Friday it has taken over First National Bank, based in Edinburg, Texas, and The Community’s Bank, based in Bridgeport, Conn.

The failure of the two lenders is expected to cost the deposit insurance fund $645.3 million combined.

First National, which operated 51 branches, had about $3.1 billion in assets and $2.3 billion in deposits as of June 30.

The Community’s Bank had about $26.3 million in assets and $25.7 million in deposits as of June 30.

U.S. bank failures have been declining since they peaked in 2010 in the wake of the financial crisis and the Great Recession.

Siebert sees to dogs in will

NEW YORK – The will of the first woman to become a member of the New York Stock Exchange has left $100,000 for the care of her dogs.

Documents made public Friday in Manhattan Surrogate Court show Muriel “Mickie” Siebert also requested that her pets not be left alone for long periods during the day. Siebert died last month at age 84. She was founder and president of a brokerage firm that bears her name.

Most of her nearly $50 million estate she left to the Muriel F. Siebert Foundation, which promotes finance education. She left $1.5 million in a trust for her sister; money and jewelry to friends; and airline miles to the executors of her estate.

Hotel magnate Leona Helmsley left $12 million to her dog Trouble after her 2007 death.

Scooter Store shutting down

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas – A major vendor of wheelchairs and motorized scooters is shutting down for good after a year of federal scrutiny over alleged Medicare and Medicaid fraud that led to a bankruptcy filing.

The San Antonio Express-News cites a company statement in reporting that The Scooter Store plans to phase out operations and furlough its remaining 370 employees and managers. The decision came from the New Braunfels, Texas-based company’s board of directors.

The company said the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services notified it recently that the company is losing its federal contract for reimbursement of the sale of its products. That takes effect Oct. 26.

The company statement said the federal decision “effectively eliminates” its ability to sell its assets in a Chapter 11 reorganization, so it will liquidate.