DALLAS — A Rowlett, Texas, man was arrested this morning by special agents with the FBI and inspectors with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service on a criminal complaint charging an offense stemming from hundreds of white powder hoax letters he allegedly mailed from North Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.

White-powder-letters-072814

n 2012, the FBI released excerpts from a letter mailed along with white powder.(Photo: WFAA-TV, Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas)

Hong Minh Truong, 66, is charged in the complaint with false information and hoaxes. Truong made his initial appearance this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Irma C. Ramirez, who ordered that he remain in federal custody. Continue reading ‘Texas Man Arrested for Sending Hundreds of Hoax White Powder Letters’ »

According to the Office of Inspector General, “In September 2013, the Postal Service approved $33.1 million to implement the National Recycling Program. The funds will cover capital improvements and expenses related to recycling operations.”

recycling

According to USPS the National Recycling Program involves backhauling recyclables from Associate Offices (AOs) to its servicing Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC). Backhaul recycling is transporting recyclables such as mixed paper to P&DCs in properly placarded empty mail transport equipment (MTE). This allows for the consolidation/aggregation of recyclables to maximize economies of scale and to receive the highest contract market prices for the recyclables. Since empty MTE is already returned to the P&DCs via existing Continue reading ‘USPS to assign duties of National Recycling Program to mail handlers, custodians’ »

KT’s Auto Repair was the first VPO to open on the island of Oahu.

KT’s Auto Repair was the first VPO to open on the island of Oahu.

Hawaii welcomes new VPOs

Six Village Post Offices (VPOs) recently opened on three different islands across Hawaii.

The new VPOs, a pair each on Maui, Oahu and Hawaii Island, bring Honolulu District to a total of seven VPOs.

Keoki Torres, owner of KT’s Auto Repair and VPO in Hawaii Kai, Oahu, said opening the VPO has generated positive awareness about his business in the neighborhood.

When Torres arrived at work the day after the opening, several people were already lined up at the door, ready for business at the VPO. “Previously these customers were not even aware of our business,” he said. “Now they know we are here not only to provide Forever stamps and flat-rate boxes, but also for all of their auto repair needs.”

Ruth Maeda, manager of Blackie’s Pit Stop IV in Kihei, Maui, had a similar experience. “We’ve gotten a few new customers who came in because of the VPO banners outside, but it’s our existing customers who are the happiest,” she said. “They love that we are selling stamps now.”

VPOs are operated by community businesses and offer select products and services, such as stamps and Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes and envelopes.

Hawaii welcomes new VPOs

A U.S. Postal Service employee reported Saturday that a man in the 1900 block of South Lumpkin Street threatened to shoot her, Athens-Clarke County police.

The mail carrier told police that she screamed when the man’s dog charged at her while delivering a package to a neighboring house, and when the man confronted her she told him that if the dog ever did that again she would spray it with mace, according to police.

The man told police that the dog “was like his child” that “no jury in Georgia would convict him for shooting someone who was macing his dog.”

The responding officer wrote in a police incident report that the man did not understand that using deadly force was not warranted in defense of his dog and that he tried to explain the law to him.

The man was not charged because he made no “direct threat” to shoot the mail carrier, according to the report.

Athens man threatens to shoot postal worker | Online Athens.

A Columbus man was arrested over the weekend and may face federal charges after he allegedly assaulted a mail carrier.

Columbus Police Department Spokesman Sgt. Matt Harris says that officers responded to the initial call at 9:50 a.m. Saturday in the 3800 block of Camelot Lane. When they arrived, they found a 55-year-old mail carrier with the U.S. Postal Service on the ground with cuts and bruises to his face.

Police spoke with the mail carrier and other witnesses at the scene. Their investigation has concluded that the postal employee was delivering mail in that area when he was approached by a dog that was acting aggressively. The mail carrier then sprayed the dog with mace. That allegedly brought out the dog’s owner, 54-year-old Anthony W. Stevens. Witnesses say that Stevens approached the mail carrier in an aggressive manner and began shouting. The men had a few words before Stevens began the alleged assault. Sgt. Harris says that Stevens struck the postal service worker in the face with a leather leash and punched him in the face several times, ultimately knocking him to the ground.

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SSaThe Social Security Board of Trustees today released its annual report on the long-term financial status of the Social Security Trust Funds. The combined asset reserves of the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) Trust Funds are projected to become depleted in 2033, unchanged from last year, with 77 percent of benefits still payable at that time. The DI Trust Fund will become depleted in 2016, also unchanged from last year’s estimate, with 81 percent of benefits still payable.

In the 2014 Annual Report to Congress, the Trustees announced:

  • The combined trust fund reserves are still growing and will continue to do so through 2019. Beginning with 2020, the cost of the program is projected to exceed income.

Continue reading ‘Social Security Board of Trustees: No Change in Projected Year of Trust Fund Reserve Depletion’ »

dol.jpgOn June 26, 2014, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama, Harold Ray, former Secretary of National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Branch 469 (located in Mobile, Ala.), and former Secretary of the NALC Alabama State Association (located in Birmingham, Ala.), was sentenced to two months in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons, three years of supervised release (including eight months of home confinement), and was ordered to pay $31,954 in restitution and a $100 special assessment. On March 20, 2014, Ray pled guilty to one count of embezzlement of union funds, in violation of 29 U.S.C. 501(c). The sentencing follows an investigation by the OLMS Dallas-New Orleans Office. Continue reading ‘Alabama NALC Branch Secretary sentenced to prison for stealing union funds’ »

The Road to a New Delivery Fleet

FutureUSPSVehicleWhat should the postal vehicle of the future look like? The U.S. Postal Service recently put that question to its carriers and vehicle maintenance personnel and is currently reviewing the feedback. It’s an important question because the delivery fleet is aging and the Postal Service needs to quickly replace it. In fact, our recent audit on the topic found the current fleet can only meet delivery needs through fiscal year 2017 – and that assumes no unexpected decrease in vehicle inventory or increase in the number of motorized routes.

About 142,000 long-life vehicles (LLVs) out of the 190,000-vehicle total delivery fleet are near or have exceeded their expected service life. Replacing these aging vehicles is daunting, particularly given the Postal Service’s financial constraints.

But fleet replacement isn’t just a major challenge; it’s also a big opportunity. Because the LLVs are up to 27 years old, they aren’t as fuel efficient as newer models. They also lack many of the safety features now considered standard for vehicle fleets, such as back-up cameras, front airbags, and anti-lock brakes. The next generation of vehicles can incorporate the latest safety and environmental bells and whistles, which will protect employees, cut down on fuel costs, and help the Postal Service meet its sustainability goals. Also, given the growth in packages, new vehicle designs could address the challenges of larger and irregularly shaped items.

The Postal Service has a short- and long-term vehicle fleet acquisition strategy, but we found the plan lacks details such as vehicle specifications and green technology features. Also, despite 3 years of effort, the plan has not been approved or fully funded due primarily to the Postal Service’s lack of capital. Given the urgent need to upgrade the fleet, we are encouraging the Postal Service to make some incremental purchases while formalizing a more specific long-term plan for the next generation of LLVs.

The Road to a New Delivery Fleet

crimeWest Virginia Postmaster Relief (PMR) pleads guilty to theft
MARTINSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA – United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced that Brenda Carmody, age 49, of Bunker Hill, West Virginia, entered a plea of guilty to misappropriation of postal funds between August of 2013 and January of 2014. Carmody admitting to taking $1,551.91 from the stamp drawer and $480 from post office box rentals from the Rippon, West Virginia, post office while she was working as Postmaster Relief. Carmody, who is free on bond pending sentencing, faces up to 10 year in prison. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David J. Perri and investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Continue reading ‘Postal News Briefs for July 27, 2014’ »

14-07-Gazette-CoverUSPS job opening for  Reduction in Force Administrator

“The Postmaster organizations and Postal Headquarters have spent a great deal of time discussing the implementation and events that will lead up to the final RIF date.” USPS pushed the RIF date to the first part of 2015. This new job opening for may indicate RIFs may be bigger than anticipated.

Job Posting Period
07/15/2014 – 07/30/2014

Job Title
0201-0273 RIF ADMINISTRATOR EAS-23 WASHINGTON DC

Facility Location
ORGANIZATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS
475 LENFANT PLAZA SW ROOM 9802
WASHINGTON DC 20260

Position Information

TITLE: RIF ADMINISTRATOR
GRADE: EAS – 23
FLSA DESIGNATION: Exempt
NON-SCHEDULED DAYS: Saturday/Sunday
HOURS: 08:00 A.M. to 05:00 P.M.
SALARY RANGE: 60,446.00 – 104,281.00 USD Annually

Persons Eligible to Apply
This position is posted Service-Wide. All career nonbargaining Postal employees are eligible to apply for this position.

Noncompetitive requests from career nonbargaining employees at the same or higher grade level may be submitted directly to the selecting official for consideration outside this competitive process. Noncompetitive applicants are encouraged to include a copy of their eCareer profile along with their request.

Functional Purpose
Develops and implements policies and procedures governing the conduct of all reduction-in-force activities that take place within the Postal Service. Maintains and operates system to implement a RIF and identify employee placements. Continue reading ‘USPS seeking Reduction in Force (RIF) Administrator’ »