Idaho rural carrier helps retrieve small girl from frozen river

From USPS News Link:

Saint Anthony, ID, Rural Carrier Vance Blanchard had just finished his route when he noticed people had gathered on the bank of a frozen river. He soon realized a 6-year-old girl had walked out on the frozen river and had fallen through the ice.

Despite the hazards of the rapidly running river and a wind chill of minus 6 degrees, Blanchard sprang into action. He found a tow rope in his car, which he used to rescue a man who had tried to walk out on the ice and had fallen through near the bank. Blanchard gave the man his coat and then threw the tow rope to the little girl.

At first, the girl put the rope around her neck, but Blanchard told her to put the rope around her arms and chest.

Firefighters arrived and pushed a ladder onto the fragile ice which they used to pull the girl from the water. Blanchard and others then pulled the ladder, with the girl and firefighter, back to shore.

Blanchard later said he thought the firefighter on the ladder was the hero. But Postmaster Corey Knapp disagreed. “I think they both were,” said Knapp. “Vance was very good at keeping the little girl calm, and he helped her get the rope on, which kept her from going into the current. He made some quick and good decisions, which saved her life for sure. She wouldn’t have lasted long in that cold water.”

Rural carrier union president says Obama budget misses the mark on USPS reform

nrlcaALEXANDRIA, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–This morning, President Obama released his Fiscal Year 2015 budget, which endorsed the Postmaster General’s proposed plan to eliminate six-day mail delivery. The following is a statement released by Jeanette Dwyer, President of the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association:

“The Administration’s budget released today simply misses the mark when it comes to solving the current fiscal crisis plaguing the U.S. Postal Service. For decades, the Postal Service has provided consistent quality service to each and every household nationwide. Despite the Postal Service posting a profit delivering mail and packages in 2013, elected officials continue with misguided and unacceptable attempts to slash and eliminate service.

“Our Postal Service is in need of true reform, not ill-advised, counter-productive attempts to slash service. By re-working the Postal Service’s funding of its retiree health benefits, an obligation which accounts for 80% of USPS losses over recent years and is forced on no other public or private entity, lawmakers could take the easiest and most-sensible step toward getting this venerable institution back on the right page. Allowing the Postal Service to continue to innovate with same-day parcel delivery and other services will provide a great opportunity to generate needed revenue and allow the USPS to remain a competitive player in the shipping and delivery industry. We need to grow our Postal Service not shrink it.

“While many say the Postal Service should be run like a business, it has been shackled by burdensome obligations and left to drown in red ink. Misguided legislation and a dysfunctional Congress have brought the Postal Service to this point, but these problems are easily solvable.

“Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have expressed support for the protection of six-day mail delivery. The NRLCA and its members urge President Obama and his administration to support the U.S. Postal Service and abandon its insistence on slashing and eliminating service.”

USPS agrees to offer bonuses and pay raises to recruit rural carriers in North Dakota

nrlcaWASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today announced that the U.S. Postal Service has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Rural Letter Carriers Association that will grant pay increases and bonuses to recruit and retain rural carriers in the Bakken region, including Minot, Dickinson, Williston, Watford City and most of the communities in western North Dakota, effective May 17, 2014. The increases are designed to attract and retain rural carriers.

In August 2013, Hoeven invited Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe to visit Williston to hear from local business and community leaders and local postal employees about challenges to mail delivery in the region owing to economic and population growth. In November, the senator arranged a follow-up visit to the state with Drew Aliperto, United States Postal Service (USPS) vice president of area operations for the western area.

Hoeven wanted them both to see firsthand the tremendous commercial and demographic growth in western North Dakota and its impacts on postal service. As a result of these visits, the Postmaster General and regional vice president committed to addressing the difficulty local post offices were having in efforts to recruit new workers. Wage levels were not competitive with other area jobs owing to the region’s rapidly growing economy.

“This is great news for western North Dakota,” Hoeven said. “We’ve been working to improve postal service in western North Dakota and this agreement will help do that by recruiting and retaining more carriers in Williston and beyond.”

USPS and union officials outlined the basics of the agreement to Jon Cameron, Hoeven’s Western North Dakota Regional Director. The terms are described as follows:

1. All newly hired or converted career rural carriers will receive a 9 percent increase to their base pay.

2. All part-time/flexible rural carriers will receive a 9 percent increase to their base pay.

3. All Rural Carrier Associates (RCAs) will receive a 20 percent increase to their base pay.

The career rural carriers and the part-time/flexible carriers also receive fringe benefits in addition to their wages, as well as some of the rural carrier associates. The increases outlined in the agreement will result in starting hourly wages in the $21.00 to $22.00 range, plus fringe benefits as applicable.

All members of the three categories above will also receive a $500 hiring bonus 90 days after their hiring or conversion and another $500 bonus at the end of one year. Current rural carriers will receive a $500 retention bonus “as soon as practicable” and a second $500 bonus at the end of one year.

The agreement will allow for cities or towns to be added or removed as agreed upon without having to modify the agreement.

Video: Postman for America's longest mail route drives 187 miles a day

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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.

Read more: Postman for America's longest mail route drives 187 miles a day – The Daily Nightly.

Video: Neither scorpions, snakes nor storms stop this mailman

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.

via Neither scorpions, snakes nor storms stop this mailman.

Continue reading

Video: NRLCA Calls for Restoration of Bioterrorism Protection Program

ALEXANDRIA, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–September 10, 2013–

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

Friends remember Alabama letter carrier killed in vehicle crash

WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

MILLBROOK, AL (WSFA) –

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.

Read more: Friends remember Deatsville postal worker killed in vehicle cras – WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL..

Postal unions write joint letter to Reid against Carper-Coburn postal bill

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

Video: Body found in burned out Jeep believed to be missing Texas rural carrier

Update: more details are available at Montgomery County Police Reporter

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.

Read more: Body found in burned out Jeep in San Jacinto Co. believed to be missing postal worker | abc13.com.

Make Mommy Proud: Contribute to the Nation's Largest Single-Day Food Drive

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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:
    • Peanut butter
    • Canned soup
    • Canned meats and fish
    • Canned vegetables, fruits and juices
    • Boxed goods (such as cereal)
    • Pasta and rice
  • For more information about the annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive, ask your letter carrier, contact your local post office or visit either www.helpstampouthunger.com or www.facebook.com/StampOutHunger, and follow the food drive at www.twitter.com/StampOutHunger.