MANGUM, Okla. — Before golden rays paint over the dry and dusty plains in rural Oklahoma, one man is already hard at work. Jim Ed Bull — known to the locals as Jim Ed — rolls out of bed, powers through 50 sit-ups, and kisses his wife Susan before hopping into his trusty Ford Ranger.
Bull has racked up a lot of miles on his little red truck, more than 295,000 of them. As the postman for America’s longest mail route, he delivers mail to the tiny towns of Duke and El Dorado, as well as the homes and farms along winding country roads in between. The 72-year-old travels 187 miles a day, making 198 stops, and serving 247 families.
For nine hours each day he sits in the middle seat, steering with his left arm and slamming mailboxes shut with his right. He’s one box closer to home with each off-load of bills, birthday cards, and magazines.
AVRA VALLEY — The question was about dogs, the snarling kind that chase letter carriers in comic strips, but David DiPalermo came up with a more interesting answer about the menaces of a mail route.
“I’ve walked down a path to someone’s house and run into a rattlesnake,” he said. “And I have had scorpions in a mailbox. I actually get to see a lot of wildlife out here.”
DiPalermo’s “out here” hugs the edges of long, mostly straight, partly unpaved roads west of the Tucson Mountains and along the edges of Saguaro National Park, a patch of rural Pima County the U.S. Postal Service has designated Route 9 in ZIP code 85743. At 55 miles, it is among the longest routes in the area.
In the weeks and months following the September 11 attacks, rural letter carriers nationwide stepped forward to volunteer for a program called the National Postal Model (formerly part of the Cities Readiness Initiative), which utilizes the U.S. Postal Service’s one-of-a-kind delivery infrastructure to respond to potential bioterrorism attacks. Unfortunately, this program’s funding is at risk of elimination through federal budget cuts. Below is a statement from Jeanette Dwyer, President of the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, on the National Postal Model: Continue reading →
Beatrice Tatum will never forget her mail carrier, but more importantly, her friend Gloria Cleveland. "When I got the call I was devastated. She made my life special by just being sweet and kind," said Tatum.
Cleveland spent her entire postal career, all 20 years and more with the Deatsville post office 7 miles north of Millbrook.
"We called her ‘Glo’ because she was always happy," said postmaster Sherry Worrell.
"She always remembered my birthday and things like that," said Tatum.
Ms. Cleveland died on Cold Springs Road Monday morning. For some reason the mail carrier lost control of her ’98 Ford Explorer and crashed on the other side of the road.
August 5, 2013—Today, the presidents of the four postal employee unions—the National Association of Letter Carriers, the American Postal Workers Union, the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association and the National Postal Mail Handlers Union—sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid D-NV “to express our utter dismay with the introduction of S. 1486 on August 1,” a postal bill introduced by Sens. Tom Carper D-DE and Tom Coburn R-OK that “renews a commitment to the disastrous Bush administration policy to mandate massive pre-funding of future retiree health benefits and provides for major downsizing measures to pay for it.” Continue reading →
HOUSTON KTRK — Authorities believe they have found the body of a missing postal worker in San Jacinto County.Related Content
Eddie Youngblood, also known as ‘Marie,’ was using her Jeep to deliver mail in San Jacinto County yesterday. That burned out Jeep was later discovered on the side of Morris Creek Road near Coldspring.First responders found the car on fire after receiving a 911 call. It’s still not clear who made that call.
WASHINGTON, May 8, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The day before Mother’s Day, make mom proud by contributing non-perishable foods to help Stamp Out Hunger.
On Saturday, May 11, the U.S. Postal Service and the National Association of Letter Carriers will deliver for America by conducting the nation’s largest single-day food drive. Other partners of the food drive include the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, AARP, Feeding America, Campbell Soup Company, Valpak, United Way, AFL-CIO, Uncle Bob’s Self Storage, GLS Companies, Publix, Source Direct Plastics and Valassis.
“The Postal Service is proud to again join forces with the National Association of Letter Carriers, the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, and other partner organizations to conduct the nation’s largest single-day food drive,” said Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe . “With more than 50 million Americans living at risk of hunger, food banks across the country continue to experience record demand for emergency food assistance. Together, we are helping to address this demand and making a difference in the lives of millions of Americans in communities throughout the nation.”
The nation’s 175,000 letter carriers will collect food donations left at the mailboxes of generous Americans in more than 10,000 communities and deliver them to food banks and other hunger relief organizations, such as pantries, soup kitchens and shelters.
You Can Help…
Helping Stamp Out Hunger is as easy as checking your mailbox. Just leave a bag of non-perishable food items by your mailbox on Saturday, May 11. Your letter carrier will then pick up and deliver the food to a local food bank. Examples of non-perishable items include:
Rural mail carriers driving their personal vehicles without a seat belt while delivering the mail are violating Florida’s seat belt law.
Sgt. Kim Montes, an 18-year-veteran of the Florida Highway Patrol, says the agency’s legal department reviewed the unorthodox style of mail delivery and found mail carriers are not exempt in either Florida or Federal statutes from wearing a seat belt while “performing their duties.”
From the National Rural letter Carriers Association:
Today, as federal employees gather on Capitol Hill, National Rural Letter Carriers’ President Jeanette Dwyer will give brief remarks, connecting the painful sequester budget cuts to the artificial fiscal crisis facing the U.S. Postal Service. Below is an excerpt of her remarks:
“In a political environment plagued by self-created crises, fiscal cliffs, and sequestration, it is truly critical that organizations like ours stand strong and work alongside one another. Because just as wage freezes and budget cuts threaten the livelihoods of federal employees across the country, an artificially-constructed budget crisis has been foisted upon the U.S. Postal Service, threatening to drown this essential and historic institution in billions of dollars in red ink.
“Roughly 80% of the Postal Service’s losses over the past six years stem from burdensome pre-funding requirements to the Future Retiree Health Benefits Fund, a requirement placed on no other government or private institution. While we can all agree that the Postal Service should provide for its retirees, we should also agree that paying for 75 years of benefits over 10 years in simply unreasonable. Allowing the Postal Service more flexibility to make these payments would bring it back from the brink of destruction and allow it to thrive in the 21st century.
“Instead, too many ill-informed persons will continue to spout off about how the Postal Service needs to “modernize” or how the Internet and new technology has left the Postal Service defunct. In an already weak economy, they propose laying off tens of thousands more employees and cutting service, instead of talking about expanding service and finding new and innovative methods to generate revenue for the Postal Service.
“Unfortunately, just last month, the Postmaster General joined this chorus, calling for the elimination of six-day mail delivery. With questionable opinion polls and flimsy numbers, he’s launched a one-man lobbying and PR campaign to convince Congress that he has the right to slash service unilaterally, without permission from any branch of government. But in his quest to tear-apart the foundation and competitive advantage of the Postal Service, he apparently forgot to check the law, which says he is required to provide six-day mail delivery.
“Over the coming weeks and months, it is critical that we continue our work to advocate on behalf of federal employees and postal workers, as well as the families and communities that have felt the pain of budget cuts in cities and towns across the country. Only by working together in solidarity can we protect our hardworking men and women, retirees, and the American economy from a Congress seemingly intent on inflicting as much pain as possible though the draconian slashing of budgets.“
Effective July 2012, in order to comply with the July 03, 2012, Interest Arbitration decision between the United States Postal Service® and the National Rural Letter Carriers Association, a national rural route mail count is scheduled accordingly.
Per standard procedure outlined in Handbook El-902, Agreement between USPS and National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, 2011–2015, Section 9.2.C.3.a.(1), in 2013, a national mail count will be conducted for eighteen (18) working days beginning February 9, and ending March 2, 2013. All routes will be counted except those routes which both the regular carrier and management agree in writing not to count. The mail count will be effective at the beginning of the fourth full pay period following the end of the count period.