THE NATIONAL PRAYER BREAKFAST GOING ON THIS MORNING IN WASHINGTON, D.C. MAY WE ALL BE IN PRAYER FOR OUR NATION.
Postal Service to end Saturday mail service Aug. 5
(FROM CNN/MONEY) The U.S. Postal Service plans to stop delivering and collecting letters and other first-class mail on Saturdays beginning Aug. 5, although packages will continue to be delivered.
It would mark the end of an era for the agency, which started Saturday delivery in 1863.
Tired of waiting for Congress to help, the Postal Service on Wednesday unveiled its plan, which is expected to save $2 billion a year. It’s a drop in the bucket, compared to the $16 billion loss the organization reported for 2012.
The move would impact 22,500 jobs, Donahoe said, which he plans to achieve without resorting to layoffs. Rather, he would eliminate overtime, offer buy outs and rely more on the part-time workforce. There will be no changes to post offices that are currently open on Saturday and mail will continue to be delivered to PO boxes.
The key culprit for the Postal Service’s woes has been a 2006 congressional mandate, under which it has to pre-fund healthcare benefits for future retirees. The USPS has been borrowing billions of dollars from taxpayers to make up for the shortfalls.
At the same time, technological advances have led to a decline in first-class mail, which most consumers use to pay bills and stay in touch.
In the past year, it has cut hours at thousands of post offices — some are open for only two hours a day. It has also merged some of its plants, which led to a 28,000 drop in its workforce through retirements and departures by employees who couldn’t relocate or take up other postal jobs.
Related: How to build a better post office
However, there are questions over whether the Postal Service has the authority to quit delivering letters on Saturdays. Previously, the agency had said it needs Congress to change current law to do so.
On Wednesday, however, Donahoe said he believes the U.S. Postal Service has the authority to cut Saturday service.
Congress could stop the postal service from taking such a step and unions also could file a lawsuit to prevent it from happening, but neither group has suggested such action yet.
Related: Postal worker worries about job security
“I am disappointed by the Postal Service’s announcement today regarding its plans to transition to a five-day mail delivery schedule in August,” said Sen. Tom Carper, a Delaware Democrat, who has been working on a plan to save the postal service with Rep. Darrell Issa, a California Republican. Issa said he supports the move.
The U.S. Postal Service is, by law, an “independent establishment” of the executive branch. The agency doesn’t normally use tax dollars for operations, except for its $15 billion loan from Treasury. In 2005, the Postal Service had no debt, officials said.
The unions strongly oppose the postal service’s decision and have been fighting such a move for years. The National Association of Letter Carriers’ President Fredric Rolando called for the removal of Donahoe as postmaster general for such a “reckless plan.” The NRLCA, or rural carriers union, has called for Donahoe’s removal as well.
The American Postal Service Workers Union said the decision only deepens the financial crisis.
SEVERAL SCHOOL LEVIES TO BE ON MAY BALLOT
(FROM DAYTON DAILY NEWS) Fourteen Dayton area school districts have placed tax issues on the May 7 ballot, including eight of the 11 that saw requests for new money defeated in November.
At least four of those returning school districts — Centerville, Fairborn, Huber Heights and Tecumseh — are seeking levies with higher millage than what voters rejected in the fall.
Kettering City and Brookville Local schools have new, additional levies on the ballot. These school districts filed their levy requests by Wednesday’s deadline at boards of elections in Montgomery, Greene, Miami and Warren counties.
Three districts absent from the primary election following November defeats are Beavercreek, Xenia and West Carrollton.
Beavercreek Board of Education President Al Nels has said the district expects to be on the ballot this year but board members agreed to skip the May primary to see exactly how much state funding would be available in the near future.
MASSIVE DEFENSE BUDGET CUTS LOOMING
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE —
Massive defense budget cuts could lead to the furlough of 180,000 Air Force civilian employees around the world, reduce military readiness and mean fewer aircraft in the fleet, according to an Air Force document outlining what cuts will have to be made if the scheduled sequestration isn’t stopped before March 1.
The document, obtained by the Dayton Daily News, said flying hours would be slashed, maintenance on certain aircraft and weapons systems postponed and some aircraft purchases delayed and even curtailed as part of the massive budget rollback.
The changes could have a dramatic impact on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, particularly if furloughs happen. The base is the largest single site employer in Ohio with more than 29,700 military and civilian workers.
BOY SCOUTS DELAY VOTE UNTIL MAY
(FROM WALL STREET JOURNAL) The Boy Scouts of America on Wednesday delayed until May a decision on whether to end the group’s ban on gay members, after a planned vote exposed rifts that threatened to break apart the nearly 103-year-old group.
The delay extends a longtime internal dispute that has intensified in the last six months at the group, which has nearly 2.7 million youth members. Recently, top Scouts leadership had decided it was time to end the national ban and let local groups decide for themselves whether to admit gays.
But in private meetings over the past few weeks, Scouts executives encountered bewilderment, resistance and anger, participants told The Wall Street Journal. It came to a head during closed-door executive board meetings early this week in Irving, Texas, with some church representatives imploring the Scouts to delay the vote, according to people briefed or present for the deliberations.
IT’S BEEN 14 YEARS SINCE 9-YEAR OLD ERICA BAKER DISAPPEARED IN KETTERING, POLICE AND FAMILY MEMBERS HAVE REVEALED PUBLICLY FOR THE FIRST TIME THEIR FEARS SHE MAY HAVE SURVIVED INITIALLY THE HIT AND RUN ACCIDENT THAT PROBABLY CAUSED HER DEATH. ERICA WAS APPARENTLY STRUCK BY A VAN DRIVEN BY CHRISTIAN GABRIEL, CHARGED IN HER DISAPPEARANCE, AND SERVING AROUND SIX YEARS IN PRISON FOR VARIOUS CHARGES, YET RELEASED NEARLY TWO YEARS AGO AFTER SERVING TIME. GABRIEL NEVER HAS TOLD AUTHORITIES WHERE ERICA’S BODY IS, SAYS KETTERING POLICE.
WEEC SPORTS – THURSDAY 2-7-13:
NBA: CLEVELAND 122 CHARLOTTE 95, INDIANA 88 PHILADELPHIA 69.
NHL 7PM TONIGHT: CALGARY AT COLUMBUS, 8PM: DETROIT AT ST. LOUIS.
COLLEGE MENS BASKETBALL: WITTENBERG 64 WABASH 47, THE TIGERS WIN A BIG NCAC GAME!, DAYTON 60 SAINT JOSEPH’S 54, MICHIGAN STATE 61 MINNESOTA 50, WISCONSIN 74 IOWA 70, TCU 62 NO. 5 KANSAS 55. IN TUESDAY NIGHT’S WIN BY CEDARVILLE OVER OHIO MID-WESTERN, 102-54, THE YELLOW JACKETS MATCHED A SCHOOL RECORD WITH 20 THREE POINTERS, GOING 20-30 FROM BEYOND THE ARC!, SAYS CEDARVILLE.EDU.
THE PGA GOLF TOUR IS AT PEBBLE BEACH, CALIFORNIA THIS WEEK.
NATIONAL SIGNING DAY YESTERDAY, AND ALABAMA FINISHES NO. 1 OVERALL FOR THIS YEAR. . .AGAIN! OHIO STATE NO.2, NOTRE DAME 3RD, FLORIDA 4TH, AND MICHIGAN NO. 5, SAYS 247SPORTS.COM. SPEAKING OF COACH URBAN MEYER AND OHIO STATE, SAYS CBSSPORTS.COM, RECRUITINGNATION HAD OSU 3RD, AND SCOUT RANKED 1ST! HIS RECRUITING CLASS WEDNESDAY GOT A NICE BOOST WITH THE ADDITIONS OF SAFETY VONN BELL, WIDE RECEIVER JAMES CLARK, AND AS WE MENTIONED WEDNESDAY TEXAS RUNNING BACK DONTRE WILSON, WHO HAD ALSO CONSIDERED TEXAS AND OREGON!
HIGH SCHOOL BOYS BASKETBALL: BELLEFONTAINE 41 GRAHAM 24, MECHANICSGURG 83 BRADFORD 48, RICHWOOD NORTH UNION 75 TRIAD 54.
HIGH SCHOOL WRESTLING: URBANA OVER CATHOLIC CENTRAL 51-21, AND NORTHWESTERN 47 URBANA 27, SAYS THE DAILY CITIZEN.
HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS BASKETBALL: CENTERVILLE OVER SPRINGFIELD, TECUMSEH 69 BEN LOGAN 56, STEBBINS 42 URBANA 36, BELLEFONTAINE 58 INDIAN LAKE 42, KENTON RIDGE 90 GRAHAM 36, GREENON 48 NORTHWESTERN 36, HEATHER SLAUGHTER SCORES 15 POINTS TO LEAD THE LADY KNIGHTS!, THE NEWS SUN SAYS.
STANDOUT RUNNER MEGHAN VOGEL SIGNS WITH PENN STATE WEDNESDAY, IN A FORMAL SIGNING CEREMONY AT WEST LIBERTY-SALEM HIGH SCHOOL. MEGHAN HELPED LEAD THE LADY TIGERS TO THE STATE CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS AGAIN THIS PAST SEASON, AND IS A STATE CHAMPION IN GIRLS TRACK.
BELLEFONTAINE GIRLS SOCCER REGAN PRICE SIGNS WITH DIV. 1 TOLEDO TO PLAY COLLEGE SOCCER ON WEDNESDAY AS WELL IN A CEREMONY AT THE SCHOOL, SAYS PEAKOFOHIO.COM.
LONG-TIME HIGH SCHOOL WEST LIBERTY-SALEM FOOTBALL COACH TOBY SMITH HAS BECOME THE NEW HEAD FOOTBALL COACH AT BELLEFONTAINE HIGH SCHOOL IN LOGAN COUNTY. SMITH WILL COACH THE TIGERS BASEBALL TEAM THIS SPRING.