This story was originally produced in December 2011 when rural mail service was threatened and many post offices were scheduled for closure. With the U.S. Postal Service again threatened, we bring back this report on the importance of the Post Office to so many in rural communities.
(12-15-2011) As the U.S. Postal Service faces financial crisis, Central Appalachia and much of rural America may be hard hit by pending closures of post offices and mail processing centers. To avoid bankruptcy, the Postal Service had announced plans to make reductions amounting to approximately $3 billion. Such drastic cuts would result in slower first class delivery and close hundreds of mail facilities nationwide. After public and Congressional outcry, USPS announced a moratorium on closures until May 15, 2012. In this expanded WMMT report customers at the Burdine and Premium post offices, two of the nine in Letcher County, KY on the closure list, describe what the service means to their communities while officials from the USPS and the American Postal Workers Union offer differing solutions to the Postal Service financial crisis.