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Postal Service

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The U.S. Postal Service has closed a small Virginia post office over concerns about its location inside a historic train depot that also serves as a museum about racial segregation. In a statement on the closure, the postal service noted that the museum near former president James Madison’s Montpelier estate has two exterior doors, one with historical signage labeled “WHITE” and another labeled “COLORED.” The Postal Service said management considered that some customers might wrongly associate the entrance signs with the current operations of the post office. A spokesperson for The Montpelier Foundation called on the postal service to reconsider its decision, noting the exhibit and the post office have co-existed since 2010.

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Postmaster General Louis DeJoy says inflation is going to necessitate another rate increase in January. But he said Tuesday that despite inflation and staffing difficulties the Postal Service is well prepared for the November election. He noted that postal carriers already delivered about 40 million ballots to and from voters. He also cautioned against reading too much into quarterly results that for the first time reflected a sweeping overhaul signed into law in April. That resulted in a one-time, non-cash benefit of nearly $60 billion.

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Postmaster General Louis DeJoy says inflation is going to necessitate another rate increase in January. But he said Tuesday that despite inflation and staffing difficulties the Postal Service is well prepared for the November election. He noted that postal carriers already delivered about 40 million ballots to and from voters. He also cautioned against reading too much into quarterly results that for the first time reflected a sweeping overhaul signed into law in April. That resulted in a one-time, non-cash benefit of nearly $60 billion.

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Some evacuation orders have been lifted for towns near a Northern California wildfire that has claimed at least four lives. Authorities on Wednesday said residents forced to flee the Siskyou County seat of Yreka and the town of Hawkinsville can return home but warned the fire remains a threat. The out-of-control blaze that began last Friday turned much of the hamlet of Klamath River to ash. Some residents are now picking through the burned out shells of their modest houses. Thunderstorms in recent days dumped much-needed rain but it also led to threats of mudslides in the fire-denuded areas. Wednesday's weather was drier but scorching temperatures remained.

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The United States Postal Service is creating a permanent division to handle election mail issues as part of an effort to ensure swift and secure delivery of midterm election ballots. The Election and Government Mail Services will have a permanent division dedicated to dealing with election matters. Adrienne Marshall, executive director of the division, said Wednesday that the services will oversee “election mail strike teams” in communities to address problems that might crop up. The Postal Service is moving forward after being dogged by backlogs and questions ahead of the 2020 election, in which more than 135 million ballots were delivered to and from voters.

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Pete Seeger is the latest American musician to appear on a U.S. postage stamp. The Postal Service says the forever stamp went on sale Thursday. A special ceremony is planned for the evening in Newport, Rhode Island. That is the site of the Newport Folk Festival. Seeger was a performer there and for a time a member of the board. Seeger wrote or co-wrote “If I Had a Hammer,” “Turn, Turn, Turn,” and “Where Have All the Flowers Gone.” He is also credited with popularizing “We Shall Overcome." He died in 2014 at age 94.

Claremore development authority starts online jobs platform

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A bipartisan group of senators has reached agreement on proposed changes to the Electoral Count Act. That's the post-Civil War-era law for certifying presidential elections. The law came under intense scrutiny after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and Donald Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election. The changes proposed Wednesday are twofold: One would update the law to clarify the way states submit electors and the vice president tallies the votes in Congress. The other would bolster security for state and local election officials who have endured harassment.

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The U.S. Postal Service plans to further increase the number of electric-powered vehicles it is buying to replace its aging fleet of delivery trucks. The Postal Service anticipates boosting electric vehicles from 20% to 50% of its initial purchase of 50,000 vehicles in a new environmental filing. It also proposes buying more than 34,000 commercially available vehicles over two years. The proposed changes are to be posted in the Federal Register on Thursday. They follow lawsuits by 16 states seeking to halt purchases under the initial proposal that called for a greater number of gas-powered trucks.

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