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The Ticonderoga, NY Post Office. Many rural post offices across the North Country may reduce their hours to save money, and Saturday home delivery is also likely to be eliminated. Photo: Linda Osborne via <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/auvet/">Jimmy Emerson</a>, CC <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/deed.en">some rights reserved</a>
The Ticonderoga, NY Post Office. Many rural post offices across the North Country may reduce their hours to save money, and Saturday home delivery is also likely to be eliminated. Photo: Linda Osborne via Jimmy Emerson, CC some rights reserved

Heard Up North: Tough times at the post office

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The US Postal Service lost another $1.3 billion in the last few months of 2012.

As a result, many rural post offices across the North Country are expected to see their hours cut back to half a day, opening from 8 am until noon.

It's also likely that Saturday home delivery will be ended nationwide as part of cost-cutting measures.

In all, the Postal Service plans to cut hours at more than 9,000 rural post office nationwide -- a move that is expected to phase out roughly 21,000 jobs.

North Country Congressman Bill Owens has blasted he move, arguing that families in small towns "depend on" the post office more than residents in urban areas.

In today's Heard Up North, reporter Jon Alexander set out to talk with people about how the cuts in service might affect them.

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"You don't really think it's going to impact, no Saturday delivery, [but] if you have a holiday on Monday, no you're going to be going from Friday delivery to Tuesday delivery, so that could make a difference," says Sandy Foley from Ticonderoga.

Patt Ross from Hartford says post offices should be open later hours, rather than reducing afternoon service. "Most people work, so it's hard for them to get there."

"It's the economy!", says Rebecca Desourdy from Thurman. "Ain't nothing we can do about it." Asked if she thinks a reduction of hours is a fair compromise, she says "not really…what's the working people gonna do when they have to check their mail? They ain't gonna be able to get off work and check it. It'll be closed by the time they get home."

Vaughn Vernald from Fort Edward says the changes at the post office aren't a huge surprise. "I think it's going to have to go that way, I'm afraid, from everything I've been reading…People think it's going to hurt them, but I'm not sure it's going to hurt them as much as they really think. I think It's gotta be, or we're going to be in more trouble."

Reporter Jon Alexander contributed to today's broadcast, courtesy of the Glens Falls Post Star.  For more of his reporting, go to poststar.com.

 

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