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The US Postal Service is not dead, but it’s hit hard and bleeding badly.
For months now, we’ve been hearing about the demise of the Postal Service, about cuts in services, closing offices, reducing mail delivery, etc. Where it will all end is anybody’s guess. But the bottom line is that we might as well get used to slower delivery. Overnight delivery will soon be out the window, if it’s not already.
In the newspaper industry we are being told to let folks know that delivery is going get slower than it is now, especially for out-of-state and distant subscribers.
Tonda Rush, our friend at the National Newspaper Association, said recently that Congress passed last-minute legislation before Christmas that keeps Saturday mail delivery alive through September of this year. It also placed a new restriction on closing of small and rural post offices for the time being.
However, Missouri Press Association is telling us to prepare our subscribers for slower delivery of their newspaper. One of the biggest factors we face here at the Douglas County Herald is the closing of the Springfield distribution center. That will have little or no effect on the papers we mail to folks with Ava addresses because they go directly from the Post Office dock to the rural carriers’ cars or the post office box. What will be affected is papers delivered to neighboring post offices – Mansfield, Mtn. Grove, Norwood, Seymour, Fordland, etc.
Currently, these papers go from the Ava Post Office to the Springfield distribution center, then back to destination post office. When Springfield closes, they will go to Kansas City before they come back.This delay will be multiplied for folks across the country when roughly 250 of the nearly 500 mail processing centers are shut down. That’s half of the processing centers!
Of course, we are looking at our options, because we know timely delivery is crucial to us being able to retain advertisers and subscribers. We want to do everything we can to provide the best service possible to our advertisers and our readers.
In the meantime, during the past year we have made changes to enhance our on-line newspaper. Some out-of-state subscribers have found this very helpful and we will continue to work on that service
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Several years ago, the editor of the Herald did a column called “From Our Exchanges.” At the time I wasn’t exactly familiar with the term, but I came to realize “exchanges” are area newspapers that we trade subscriptions with. This week I decided it would be fun to go through some of these area newspapers and pick up articles that would interest folks in the Douglas County area. To put this in perspective for the younger generation, it’s like browsing the internet, but actually holding the newspaper in your hand.
Here’s an example of what we gleaned from our neighbors in the business:
The Webster County Citizen reports that Memory Lane Dairy at Fordland has sold to Hiland Dairy. Hiland promises to continue delivering farm-fresh milk to local stores in glass bottles and the operation in Fordland will remain the same, with the same employees.
Joe Donley, high school principal at Gainesville for the past seven years, will be the school’s superintendent effective July 1, according to the Ozark County Times. Donley, a native of Thornfield, has been in the Gainesville school system for 12 years. Donley will replace Bill Looney, who is retiring.
Local church youth ministers worked together in the Cabool area to provide a New Year’s Eve extravaganza for students in grades 5-12, the Cabool Enterprise said.