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the daily news digest of the postal world since 1998

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Postal vans set on fire in Lincolnwood IL

LINCOLNWOOD Federal authorities are investigating after someone set fire to two postal vans Monday night in north suburban Lincolnwood.Firefighters responded to a blaze at the U.S. Postal Service facility in the 6500 block of Lincoln at 9:20 p.m., according to the Lincolnwood Fire Department.Two postal vans were fully engulfed in flames, according to the fire department.The blaze also damaged a window of the postal facility, but no other damage was sustained to the building, and no one was hurt, according to the fire department.

Read more: Postal vans set on fire in Lincolnwood | Voices.

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In Virginia town, “Village” post office shares building with real PO

Screenshot 2014-08-25 at 6.08.33 PMWe’ve heard about so-called “village” post offices being located in close proximity to the real post offices they’re eventually meant to replace- but you can’t get any closer than this: the Sandy Hook Virginia post office and the Sandy Hook VPO share the same building, at 2883 Sandy Hook Road:

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Police seek 2 in Elmwood Park NJ letter carrier robbery

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Elmwood Park police were looking for two men believed to have robbed a postal carrier on Chamberlain Avenue just after 10:30 this morning. Both were described as black and around 5-foot-2 to 5-foot-3, one with a red short-sleeved shirt and the other with a black long-sleeved shirt. CHECK BACK FOR MORE…

Police seek 2 in Elmwood Park postal carrier robbery ‹ Cliffview Pilot.

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Video: Linns Stamp News Monday Morning Brief for August 25

Published on Aug 24, 2014

Watch as Linn’s Stamp News senior editor Jay Bigalke recaps the APS Stampshow that took place Aug. 21-24, 2014, at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, Conn.

Read more: Linns.com.

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USPS shows $60 million operating surplus in July, first class volume flat for second month in a row

Screenshot 2014-08-25 at 9.55.18 AMThe US Postal Service recorded an operating surplus of $60 million in July, the first month of quarter 4 of fiscal year 2014. After factoring in PAEA required accounting entries, the USPS will report a paper “loss” of $340 million. For the year to date, that leaves the agency with an actual cash surplus of $1.2 billion, vs. a PAEA paper “loss” of $4.4 billion.

One bright spot in the report is the fact that first class mail volume, long in decline, stayed just about level with the same period last year (SPLY) for the second month in a row. First class revenue was up 5.8% over SPLY, thanks to price increases. Shipping and package revenue was up 7.3% on a volume increase of almost ten percent.

On the downside, standard (advertising) mail volume dropped by 2.1% compared to SPLY, although revenue increased by 3.1%, again thanks to price increases.

Salaries and benefits for current employees were slightly lower than SPLY.

July Financials (unaudited) .pdf file.

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Biggest California quake in 25 years damages Napa post office

Napa’s fire department called for help to put out six fires, transport injured residents and repair gas leaks, ruptured water mains and fallen power lines.

Napa’s post office showed deep cracks, with shattered window panes and bricks shaken from the walls.

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Above photos by Matthew Keys

Read more: Biggest California quake in 25 years rattles Napa Valley, state of emergency declared.

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Oklahoma postal worker sentenced to three years probation for delay or destruction of mail

US-Department-Of-Justi_fmtMuskogee, Oklahoma – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, announced today that JUSTIN SLATE THRONEBERRY, age 32, of Ardmore, Oklahoma, was sentenced to 3 years of probation for Delay Or Destruction Of Mail By a Postal Employee, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1703.

The charge arose from an investigation by the United States Postal Inspection Service, Office of Inspector General. The defendant was indicted in March 2014 and pled guilty in May 2014.

The Indictment alleged that on or about December 19, 2013 in the Eastern District of Oklahoma, the Defendant, a United States Postal Service employee, did willfully, knowingly and unlawfully secrete, destroy, detain and open a package entrusted to him and which came into his possession to be conveyed by mail while performing his assigned duties as an employee of the United States Postal Service.

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Video: Wrong-way SUV driver dies in crash with USPS semi in Miramar CA

MIRAMAR — A wrong-way SUV driver died in a head-on collision with a U.S. Postal Service semi-truck on south state Route 163 at state Route 52 early Friday, the California Highway Patrol said.

The impact demolished the Nissan Xterra and knocked the big-rig, partially full of mail, onto its right side across freeway lanes, CHP Sgt. Armando Casas said.

Other motorists reported the Nissan heading north and erratically swerving across southbound freeway lanes about 1:40 a.m. The SUV approached a group of on-coming vehicles and the driver veered sharply to the right, into the path of the semi-truck going about 60 mph in the middle lane, Casas said.

The postal truck driver tried to steer away, but the two collided. Two rear axles were torn off the truck and the wreckage of both vehicles blocked all southbound lanes, Casas said.

The SUV driver, a 21-year-old San Diego resident, was found dead in his vehicle. His name has not been released. The truck driver, 49, from San Diego, suffered minor to moderate injuries and was taken to a hospital.

Casas said Postal Service employees secured the mail in the truck.

Read more: Wrong-way SUV driver dies in SR-163 crash with Postal Service semi in Miramar | UTSanDiego.com.

See also: Wrong-Way Driver Killed in Head-On Crash Along State Route 163 | NBC 7 San Diego

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NALC COLAs due Sept 26 total $1,227 a year

From the National Association of Letter Carriers:

COLAs total $1,227 annually

NALC-LOGOFollowing the Aug. 19 release of the July Consumer Price Index (CPI), the fourth cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for letter carriers under the 2011-2016 National Agreement is $686 annually.

This COLA was based on the increase in the CPI between January 2014 and July 2014. It amounts to 33 cents per hour. Under the terms of the 2011-2016 agreement, payment of this fourth cost-of-living adjustment will take effect in Pay Period 20 (pay date Sept. 26), the same pay period that the deferred second contract COLA will take effect.

The second cost-of-living adjustment for letter carriers under the 2011-2016 National Agreement was $541 annually. This second cost-of-living adjustment was based on the increase in the Consumer Price Index between January 2013 and July 2013. Combined, the two COLAs equal $1,227. This increase will be added to the salaries of all steps in Table 1 and Step O of Table 2, with proportionate application of the COLA to Steps A-N of Table 2.

Read more: NALC | The National Association of Letter Carriers, AFL-CIO.

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Sneak peek at upcoming USPS stamp issues

The Postal Service will get some help from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer this holiday season, USPS announced Aug. 21.

Four stamps featuring characters and images from the 1960s Rudolph TV special will be issued in November, Stamp Services Director Susan McGowan told attendees at the American Philatelic Society Stamp Show in Connecticut. McGowan showed a preview of a stamp featuring Rudolph and said the other stamps will be revealed later.

Also coming up:

  • The War of 1812: Fort McHenry stamp, which will be dedicated Sept. 13
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  • Celebrity Chefs stamps featuring James Beard on Sept. 26
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  • A holiday-themed Global International stamp on Oct. 23
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  • A Winter Fun stamp booklet in October
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  • A Christmas Magi stamp on Nov. 19
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  • A Wilt Chamberlain Stamp