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Video: Thieves Targeting South Florida Mailboxes for Tax Refunds

The United States Postal Service says thieves are getting into mailboxes using counterfeit keys to steal tax returns.

In a video obtained exclusively by NBC 6, U.S. postal inspectors said William Gomez is seen inside a Coral Gables apartment building using an unauthorized key to gain access to the mailboxes.

via Thieves Targeting South Florida Mailboxes for Tax Refunds | NBC 6 South Florida.

USPS responds to wing-nut hysteria over ammo “hoarding”

Screenshot 2014-04-19 at 7.56.03 AMIn January the US Postal Service announced on the Federal Business Opportunities web site that it was planning to buy “assorted small arms ammunition”. People who know anything about the USPS wouldn’t have been particularly surprised about the announcement, given that the USPS has a sizable armed police force, the Postal Inspection Service. But right wing commentators quickly went, well, postal about the news: “USPS ANNOUNCES GIANT AMMO PURCHASE” crowed WND.com. The fact that no quantities were specified in the solicitation wasn’t mentioned.

The claims were so outlandish that even one anti-gun control site felt the need to debunk it. In February, gunssavelives.net carried a post pointing out that the USPS “contains within its organization the oldest federal law enforcement agency in the country – The United States Postal Inspection Service.” The post continues:

So the Postal Service has most likely been purchasing “assorted small arms ammunition” for over 200 years. The department has over 1,000 armed agents. Fourteen USPIS agents have been killed in the line of duty.

Move along, nothing to see here.

But conspiracy theories continued to make the rounds. This past week, Newsmax.com, the most popular right wing extremist news site carried the news. (Newsmax may be popular, but it’s apparently a bit slow on the uptake). While the story made passing reference to the Inspection Service, it also pushed a new theory- that the USPS was trying to drive up the price of ammunition.

Finally this week the USPS issued a statement denying the bizarre story:

U.S. Postal Service PR manager sets the record straight on 4-15-14 Newsmax.com article that USPS hoards ammunition.

The U.S. Postal Service is not hoarding ammunition. The Postal Service Inspection Service is a law enforcement agency and its Inspectors carry firearms. Periodically, the Inspection Service must purchase ammunition for activities like firearms training, required annual firing range qualifications and for duty. As the Postal Service’s primary law enforcement arm, the Inspection Service is a highly specialized, professional organization, which performs investigative and security functions essential to a stable and sound postal system and the security of the U.S. Mail. The Postal Inspection Service has a proud and successful record of fighting criminals who misuse postal services and products to defraud, endanger or otherwise threaten the American public.

Dave Partenheimer
Manager, Media Relations
U.S. Postal Service

The USPS statement probably won’t carry much weight with the committed gun nuts out there, but on the bright side, the conspiracy theory seems to be confined to the usual lunatic fringe outlets like Newsmax and Fox News.

Video: Mail Pallets Fall Off Truck On Hollywood Boulevard

HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA.com) — Several pallets of United States mail fell off a truck in Hollywood overnight.

The Los Angeles Police Department received a call just before 3 a.m. about a mail truck driving along Hollywood Boulevard with its doors open.

Officers responded to the scene and guarded the six mail pallets until postal workers arrived.

Read more: Mail Pallets Fall Off Truck In Hollywood « CBS Los Angeles.

Kentucky postal worker pleads guilty to federal drug and theft charges

A former Pike County postal worker has pleaded guilty to charges of misappropriation of postal funds and selling or distributing oxycodone.

According to court documents, on Tuesday, Sherry Jo Justice, 52, of Pikeville, pleaded guilty to the charges, and faces a maximum prison sentence of 10 years on the postal funds charge and a maximum sentence of 20 years on the oxycodone charge upon sentencing, set for Aug. 13.

Read more: Former postal worker pleads guilty to federal drug and theft charges – Appalachian News-Express: News – Former postal worker pleads guilty to federal drug and theft charges: News.

PA postmaster sentenced for embezzling post office funds

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A Murrysville man will spend six months on home detention for embezzling $13,255 from an Armstrong County post office, a federal judge ruled Thursday.

Lawrence F. Stoken III, 47, of Murrysville, pleaded guilty in December to misappropriating postal funds. The postmaster at the Rural Valley post office between October 2011 and March 2013, he pocketed money customers paid for stamps and money orders, prosecutors said.

Read more: Rural Valley postmaster sentenced for embezzling post office funds | TribLIVE.

West Virginia letter carrier rescues woman from creek

From USPS News Link:

Wheeling, WV, Letter Carrier John Smith was delivering mail when he saw the driver of a car hit a patch of ice and lose control. The car hit a tree and swerved into a frigid creek.Without hesitation, Smith drove to the scene. Disregarding the freezing temperatures, he waded into the water to see if the driver was OK. The 18-year-old driver appeared dazed and injured from the impact of the air bag and seat restraint.Since the driver’s door was jammed, Smith had to pull the young driver through the passenger-side door. Then, he carried her through waist-high water to safety.Smith kept the girl warm in his LLV until emergency responders arrived.

Advisory council says USPS should stop selling off historic post offices

Washington, DC – Responding to a specific requirement placed upon the agency by the 2014 congressional appropriations bill, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) today issued PRESERVING HISTORIC POST OFFICES: A Report to Congress. The report finds that significant improvements to United States Postal Service (USPS) planning and compliance for its historic preservation and disposal programs are needed.

The report results from congressional concerns that the USPS may not be fully meeting the requirements of Section 106 and other sections of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) when closing and disposing of historic post offices. Section 106 requires all federal agencies to consider the effects of their actions or undertakings on historic properties and seek ways to avoid, lessen, or mitigate any potential adverse effects.

Milford Wayne Donaldson, FAIA, chairman of the ACHP, notes that in preparing the report the agency found that “…the preservation community and the public have significant concerns about the potential closure of these historic facilities, including the loss of public use of the buildings, the risk posed to the integrity of historic buildings and the artwork they contain, and the potential loss of public access. The limited consideration of the historic values of these iconic buildings along with the lack of transparency in Section 106 consultation further exacerbates these problems.”

The ACHP, which has a long history of working with the USPS as well as other federal agencies, makes 15 findings in the report and provides recommendations for addressing each of them. Notable among them are the following:

 Congress should clarify that the NHPA and its implementing regulations apply to all programs of the USPS, in order to remove any doubt that the USPS is legally obligated to comply with Sections 106, 110, and 111 of the NHPA.

 The USPS should suspend any further actions to relocate services out of historic postal facilities and dispose of these historic facilities until such time as it fully implements the recommendations of this report.

 The USPS should initiate Section 106 consultation at the time relocation or cessation of services at a historic postal facility is considered, rather than waiting until disposal is proposed.

 The USPS should expand and reorganize its historic preservation program.

To view all of the recommendations and comprehensive information on the USPS disposal of historic post offices, the full report can be accessed at www.achp.gov.

About the ACHP: An independent federal agency, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation promotes the preservation, enhancement, and sustainable use of our nation’s diverse historic resources, and advises the President and Congress on national historic preservation policy. It also provides a forum for influencing federal activities, programs, and policies that affect historic properties. For more information, please visit www.achp.gov.

 

Video: APWU President discusses Staples deal on The Ed Show

A new partnership between the U.S. Postal Service and corporate giant Staples could be detrimental to union workers. Ed Schultz and Mark Dimondstein discuss the impact.

That’s not ‘easy,’ at least not for unions | MSNBC.

Video: Canada Post Richmond BC plant causing major mail delays says union

A $200-million Canada Post processing plant that opened in Richmond, B.C. earlier this year is experiencing technical difficulties with its automated sorting system, creating backlogs and delays in mail delivery services, according to union officials and customers.

Read the rest of this entry »

Video: Robber steals Florida letter carrier’s master key

Investigators hope surveillance video will lead them to the man who robbed a postal employee.

Thousands of mailboxes may be in jeopardy after a robber stole a valuable postal key from a mail carrier Monday in Lauderhill.

The robbery happened about 5 p.m. Monday as the letter carrier was delivering mail at the Continental Apartments, 1761 NW 46th Ave, according to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

Read more: Robber steals Lauderhill mail carrier's postal key – Sun Sentinel.

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Read more: Surveillance video released in postal robbery | News – Home.