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Video: Tacoma letter carrier accused of stalking, assaulting women on his route

TACOMA, Wash. — A Tacoma mailman with a history of strange behavior is accused of sexually harassing and assaulting a number of women on his delivery route.

Robert Joseph Taitano, a mail carrier with The United States Postal Service, is facing charges of burglary, harassment and assault, and prosecutors say all the crimes are sexually motivated.

A Tacoma woman called 911 on August 5 to say she caught the mailman — later identified as Taitano — breaking into her apartment, according to court documents. The victim told police she was getting ready for work in her bathroom when she heard her young son, who was in the living room, say "hi" to someone.

Alarmed, the victim came out of the bathroom and found someone wearing a mail carrier’s uniform in the apartment. The woman recognized Taitano as her mailman and screamed at him to leave. She said he finally left when she began reaching for a knife in the kitchen.

Read more: Mailman accused of stalking, assaulting women on his route | Local & Regional | Seattle News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News | KOMO News.

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USPS 2014 Holiday Shipping Tips and Deadlines

news22s1g3WASHINGTON  — With Christmas just two months away, the U.S. Postal Service is offering holiday shipping tips to help customers ship the 15.5 billion cards, letters and packages expected to be delivered in time for Christmas.

“The key to holiday shipping is being prepared and starting early,” advises U.S. Postal Service Consumer Advocate John Budzynski. “This is our season and we are ready to deliver. The Postal Service’s knowledgeable employees are here to help customers ensure their holiday packages are packed, tracked and delivered with ease.”

In addition to offering 2014 holiday stamps, Post Offices nationwide will offer festive Priority Mail boxes and other packing items to provide customers with added convenience, including bubble mailers, mailing cartons, bubble wrap and packaging tape.

No time for a trip to the Post Office? No problem. By using Click-N-Ship on usps.com, on-the-go customers can ship their packages when it’s most convenient for them. As an added bonus, customers can receive savings off retail prices when they print their own labels with postage online.

Here are more holiday shipping tips to help customers prepare their holiday shipments for an on-time delivery:

  • Enjoy convenience: Order free Priority Mail shipping supplies on usps.com and have them delivered to your door, free of charge.
  • Be informed: Check usps.com to verify that your items can be shipped.
  • Pack smart: Pick a strong and sturdy box, cushion contents with packing peanuts, newspaper or bubble wrap and tape it closed with strong packing tape.
  • Save a trip: Visit usps.com to pay for postage and request free Package Pickup at your door.
  • Track it: Sign up for text and email alerts through my.usps.com to track the delivery status of your packages.
  • Gift options: Pick up a gift card from your local Post Office; they make great gifts for family and friends.

“We know how stressful the holiday season can be,” said Budzynski. “With a little help from the Postal Service, you can prepare your holiday shipments with ease so you can get back to enjoying this special time of year.”

USPS 2014 Christmas Shipping Deadlines:

To ensure that holiday mail and packages are delivered in time for Christmas, the Postal Service recommends the following mailing and shipping deadlines:

  • Dec. 2   – First-Class Mail International
  • Dec. 2   – Priority Mail International
  • Dec. 10 – Priority Mail Express International
  • Dec. 15 – Standard Post
  • Dec. 17 – Global Express Guaranteed
  • Dec. 20 – First-Class Mail
  • Dec. 20 – Priority Mail
  • Dec. 23 – Priority Mail Express*

The dates listed above are the earliest deadlines for international and military mail.

*Priority Mail Express postage refund eligibility is adjusted for shipments mailed Dec. 22–25.

For more shipping tips, visit usps.com.

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Video: How the Postal Service is helping monitor snail mail

An internal audit of the U.S. Postal Service found that it approved nearly 50,000 requests from law enforcement to monitor personal mail. Gwen Ifill sits down with Ron Nixon of The New York Times, who has been investigating this story for more than a year.

Read more: How the Postal Service is helping monitor snail mail.

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Connecticut letter carrier saves customer’s life

From USPS News Link:

goodnewsVernon, CT, Letter Carrier Shawn DuPerry became concerned when he noticed uncollected mail in a customer’s mailbox. Sensing something was wrong, DuPerry called the police, who entered the woman’s home and found her lying on the floor. She was conscious and breathing but in dire need of medical care. The woman was taken to a hospital, where she recovered. Her family later thanked DuPerry and credited him with saving the woman’s life.

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APWU: Plans Taking Shape for National Day of Action

apwulogo10/29/2014Plans are taking shape for a National Day of Action on Nov. 14, when members of the four postal unions and supporters will send a powerful message to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe and the USPS Board of Governor’s: Stop Delaying America’s Mail.

The four unions are working together at the national level to produce flyers, posters, T-shirts and press releases, and they are encouraging their members to work together to organize local events. A special web page, www.StopMailDelays.org, has been created to share information and resources.  Flyers are now available for union locals and branches to distribute to their members. Information about local activities can be printed on the back. Additional material will be made available as it is produced, including a list of local activities showing the times, locations and contact information.

On Jan. 5 the Postmaster General and the Board of Governors are poised to make devastating cuts in service to the American people – cuts so severe that they will forever damage the U.S. Postal Service, the union presidents said in an Oct. 16 letter calling for the National Day of Action.

  • The USPS is slated to lower “service standards” to virtually eliminate overnight delivery – including first-class mail from one address to another within the same city or town.
  • All mail, including medicine, online purchases, local newspapers, church bulletins, bill payments, sale notices, throughout the country will be delayed.
  • Beginning Jan. 5, 2015, 82 Mail Processing & Distribution Centers are scheduled to close or “consolidate operations.”

The four postal unions, the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), National Postal Mail Handlers Union (NPMHU) and National Rural Letter Carriers Association (NRLCA), are urging their members and postal customers to send a message to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe and the USPS Board of Governors: Stop Delaying America’s Mail!

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Video: Tireless Ohio Postal Worker Retiring After 58 Years on the Job

COLUMBUS OH (Dawn Faugl) — After more than half a century, a tireless postal worker is finally ready to take a break and retire.

Moses Jamison has worked with the US Postal Service in Columbus for 58 years. Jamison says in that time, he’s seen just about anything you can imagine being shipped.

His coworkers at the Columbus Processing and Distribution Plant near the airport call him Mr. Post Office.

In those 58 years of work, Jamison has never even taken a sick day. The president of the mail handlers union says Jamison has over 5,000 hours of sick leave earned over his career. "You feel bad and everything, but you’re taught and raised ‘still got to work, still got to eat,’" Jamison said.

Read more: Tireless Columbus Postal Worker Retiring After 58 Years on the Job – WTTE – Breaking News, Weather, and Traffic.

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Evansville MDO charged with stealing veterans’ precriptions

A grand jury in Indiana has indicted a Manager of Distribution Operations at the Evansville, Indiana mail processing center on charges that he stole painkilling medication intended for veterans.

From the indictment:

US-Department-Of-Justi_fmtFrom in or around July 2014 through August 2014, in the Southern District of Indiana, Evansville Division, KEVIN RAY HICKS, the defendant herein, while working as a United States Postal Service employee, did unlawfully embezzle and steal packages and prescription pain medication contained therein which were entrusted to him and intended to be conveyed by mail, and carried and delivered by any carrier or other employee of the Postal Service, to wit: while working as a Manager in the Evansville, Indiana Postal Processing and Distribution Facility, HICKS removed packages mailed by the Veterans Affairs Administration from the processing facility, opened the packages, and stole the prescription pain medication contained therein.

The indictment lists 23 individual packages alleged to have been stolen by Hicks in July and August of this year. Hicks has been employed by the USPS since 1985.

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LLV flips after being rear ended in Ohio

From WHIO TV Dayton:

SPRINGFIELD —

A postal worker turning in to a funeral home on Route 68 was rear-ended this morning.

The postal truck was flipped on its side after the silver Voyager minivan’s driver hit it.

No one was seriously injured in this crash in front of Jennings Funeral Home.

Read more: Mail truck rear-ended on Rt. 68 | Dayton, OH News | www.whio.com.

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APWU, USPS Settle Custodial Subcontracting Dispute

apwulogo10/27/2014The APWU and Postal Service have reached an agreement that prohibits management from subcontracting cleaning services based on an employee’s voluntarily transfer from an office where USPS custodians are employed. The Oct. 27 agreement settles a Step 4 dispute.

The union and management agreed that voluntary transfers are not considered “voluntary attrition,” which must occur before the Postal Service may subcontract the custodial work in offices where USPS custodians are employed. “Voluntary attrition” occurs when an employee bids out, is promoted, quits, retires, or dies. If voluntary attrition occurs, the USPS may apply the 18K Square Footage Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which permits management to subcontract custodial duties for offices of less than 18,000 square feet.

“With the changes Maintenance Craft officers negotiated in the 2010-2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement, the only opportunity to apply the MOU would be in small Associate Offices – most likely those with just one facility as the Post Office and no other facilities (such as a carrier annex) attached to it,” said Maintenance Craft Director Steve Raymer.

“The recent POStPlan settlement also plays into this somewhat,” he added. “Our position is that the square footage of all the new RMPOs (Remotely Managed Post Offices) must be added together along with the new APO (Administrative Post Office) to determine if the 18K square foot requirement is met. Once the 18K square-foot threshold is reached, management is prohibited from subcontracting the work.

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Carper says USPS slowdown underscores need for reform

Thomas_CarperWASHINGTON – Today, a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report finds that the Postal Service’s recent changes to its service standards have resulted in slower mail delivery across the country. Sen. Tom Carper, a co-requestor of the report and chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, underscored that the Postal Service’s ongoing financial challenges are causing the Postal Service to make the changes to its delivery standards and operations across the country outlined in the GAO’s report.

In 2012, as part of its effort to reduce overall network costs, the Postal Service announced its intent to change delivery standards for certain classes of mail over the coming years, including ending overnight delivery of First-Class Mail and relaxing delivery standards on Periodicals and Standard Mail. In its report, GAO examined the changes implemented so far to the network, and determined that the revised standards have resulted in longer delivery times for First-Class Mail in many parts of the country. While the report only examined specific delivery data for the Chicago and Dakotas postal districts, national mail volume and performance data obtained from the Postal Service by GAO supports an overall trend in longer mail delivery throughout the nation. The report also looked at delivery performance under these new standards, as well as operational changes, such as the closure of mail processing facilities, that the Postal Service has undertaken as a result of these service changes, and as part of its overall cost-cutting efforts.

“This report by the Government Accountability Office tells us something we already know: the United States Postal Service is expected to provide, ‘prompt, reliable and efficient nationwide service,’ but continuous cuts to services affect the Postal Service’s ability to thrive and provide a dependable service that all Americans and businesses can count on,” said Chairman Carper. “These budget cuts, service changes and facility consolidations and closures have a real impact on communities across the country. But, in the absence of reform, the Postal Service will be forced to continue these painful measures and others in order to keep the lights on. To create a service that Americans can rely on – a robust institution to serve generations to come – Congress must take action. The bipartisan Carper-Coburn Postal Reform Act of 2014, reported out of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee earlier this year, addresses the myriad challenges ailing the American institution and ensures it has the tools and resources it needs to thrive in the 21st century. The bill is a bipartisan and balanced solution to the Postal Service’s financial crisis that would preserve key postal operations and service standards, protect millions of mailing industry jobs, and enable this critical institution to serve the American public for years to come. Before the year is done, I urge my colleagues in Congress to take up comprehensive postal reform and fix the serious, but solvable challenges facing the Postal Service.”