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Postal News Roundup

Trucking firm fined for overcharging Postal Service

American Shipper - “Beam Bros. Trucking and its two owners have agreed to pay $1,025,000 to resolve allegations that they overcharged the U.S. Postal Service on contracts to transport mail, according to the U.S. Justice Department…The allegations were brought to the Postal Service's attention by whistleblower and former BBT employee, Bobby Blizzard.”

Will Far East El Paso get a new post office?

KFOX El Paso - “Trudy told me she too has had to stand in long lines at the same post office, sometimes waiting up to two hours to pick up her mail. She doesn't accept the U.S. Postal Service's apology for the slow service that’s now drawing complaints in Far East El Paso, and finds it hard to believe that local postal managers are working hard to speed up lines at the post office or provide cluster mailboxes to newly developed neighborhoods in a timely manner.”

How Accurate is the Postal Service's Delayed Mail Reporting in the Great Lakes Area?

USPS OIG - “The U.S. Postal Service considers mail to be delayed when it is not processed in time to meet the established delivery day. Postal Service personnel count mail daily, self-report delayed mail, and enter the information into the Mail Condition Reporting System.”

Charges filed for fentanyl shipped to Marion workplace

Marion Star - “Federal charges have been filed against a Columbus man accused of shipping fentanyl and other opioids to his Marion workplace…Investigators also found nine orders made in August and September 2017 for fentanyl, carfentanil, several fentanyl analogues or other synthetic drugs, according to the affidavit. A 10th order was made in February 2017 for a gram of fentanyl, the affidavit says…Law enforcement confiscated more parcels that were on their way to Kluth at the time of his arrest, the affidavit says, all of which contained fentanyl and fentanyl analogues. Law enforcement also spoke with the Marion mailman that usually delivers to Alloway Environmental Testing, who told investigators that Kluth received a lot of packages from China and Canada, according to the affidavit.”

Massillon neighborhood misses out on mail for 2 years due to damaged boxes

Fox 8 - “Diana Pachis was raised in the Walnut Hills community of Massillon. She remembers that in the 1980's, the U.S. Postal Service replaced each home's individual mailbox with cluster mail boxes. Over the years, she says several of the boxes had been damaged and were quickly replaced. But two years after one of the clusters on Osage Street was damaged, it has yet to be replaced. A second cluster was also damaged and removed about six months ago, and now no one on the street has been getting mail delivery.”

Amazon looks at dropping packages onto your patio from drones as high as 25 feet

Mercury News - “It’s not that drones get tired. It’s just that if they’re delivering your box of cat food and low-rise socks, dropping down to put them on your patio, and then flying back up for the next delivery takes power they need to conserve. Better to just hover over your home and drop the box, a new patent from Amazon proposes. No need to cover your head: the Seattle e-commerce giant has that — and the delivery box full of your precious items — covered, at least in theory. Amazon on Tuesday received a patent for cushioning packages with inflatable airbags so they can be dropped from as high as 25 feet.”

US Sen. Elizabeth Warren says bank bill could hurt minority borrowers

masslive.com - “U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, continued to rail against high-profile banking legislation Tuesday, particularly language which she argued would remove oversights that help regulators track instances of mortgage discrimination. The Massachusetts Democrat, who has repeatedly spoken out on the bill's proposed rollback of financial industry regulations, again raised concerns about the impact it could have on Americans and urged Congress to reject the legislation during a conference call with AFL-CIO and Urban League leaders. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, continued to rail against high-profile banking legislation Tuesday, particularly language which she argued would remove oversights that help regulators track instances of mortgage discrimination.”

Labor Board Allows More Time to Weigh In on Union Election Rules

Bloomberg BNA - “The federal labor board plans to extend the deadline for public comments on whether to nix an Obama-era rule that speeds the process for workers to go from organizing efforts to a union election vote, sources close to the process tell Bloomberg Law. The National Labor Relations Board has granted the AFL-CIO’s request to extend for a second time—to April 18—the deadline for public comment on the regulation, Craig Becker, the union’s general counsel, told Bloomberg Law. Other sources confirmed that the 30-day extension is in the works. The NLRB officially announced the extension March 14.”

OPM Adds Details to Benefits Proposals

Fedweek.com - “Following is the section of a document OPM has sent to Congress in support of its fiscal 2019 budget proposal addressing federal pay and benefits-related proposals outlined in the recent government-wide budget plan from the White House. OPM prepares various legislative proposals during the preparation of its annual budget submission, which align with the strategic goals and objectives of the agency. OPM designs these proposals to enhance and improve its programs, increase efficiency in executing these programs, and reduce overall costs for the Government.”

Lifting Medicare's Annual Limits On Physical Therapy Helps Ease Patients' Pain

NPR - “It's also one of several important provisions tucked into the federal budget agreement approved by Congress last month that could improve the health of 59 million Americans who have Medicare, the federal health insurance program for older or disabled adults.”

Koch group launches new ads targeting vulnerable Senate Dems

The Hill - “A group backed by GOP mega-donors Charles and David Koch is launching new ads focused on the Republican tax law in two states where vulnerable Democratic senators are seeking reelection. Americans for Prosperity (AFP) said it is spending nearly $4 million on digital and television ads in Missouri and Indiana, two states that President Trump won in 2016 where Sens. Claire McCaskill and Joe Donnelly, respectively, are facing reelection.”

Brazilian Postal Workers Remain on Strike in Rio and São Paulo

The Rio Times - Brazil - ‘“The workers showed the government and company officials that they do not accept the withdrawal of rights and benefits,” Ronaldo Martins, president of the Rio de Janeiro chapter of SINTECT-RJ (Postal Worker's Union) said on Monday night, vowing to continue the strike in the state.”