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Dana Nessel is part of a coalition of nearly two dozen attorneys general calling on the Postal Regulatory Commission to oppose Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s efforts to increase delivery times for First-Class Mail and other essential postal services.

U.S. Postal Service retirees in front of post office
Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) has introduced a bill to strengthen the United States Postal Service.

The agency has struggled for years. Performance especially suffered upon the appointment of Louis DeJoy as postmaster general in the final year of the Trump administration, say observers.

Peters says Americans depend on the post office for more than delivering and receiving first-class mail.

The U.S. Postal Service predicts this week will be the busiest time of the season for mailing, shipping and delivery. It’s also turning out to be a season of delays. Some people are tracing their problems back to Allen Park, Michigan.

That Detroit suburb is home to the U.S Postal Service Detroit Network Distribution Center. That facility serves not just Detroit, but a chunk of southeast Michigan and the Toledo, Ohio area.

The U.S. Postal Service's inspector general has outlined a number of ongoing concerns about the agency's ability to manage the influx of mailed ballots for the 2020 election — separate from the recent controversial actions by the postmaster general.

The internal watchdog said in a report that it found several potential problems in the way mail was being processed, including ballots mailed without bar code mail-tracking technology and out-of-date voter addresses.

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Today on Stateside, state health officials report that there are currently 14 COVID-19 outbreaks in Southeast Michigan associated with schools, but they won’t say which ones. A reporter talks us through how the health department shares—and retains—information on outbreaks. Also, the story behind the viral video of U.S. Postal Service mail sorter machines being scrapped in Grand Rapids. Plus, a new podcast documents the history of the Ford Bronco.

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Today on Stateside, U.S. Senator Gary Peters joins us to talk about his plans to investigate delivery delays in the United States Postal Service. Also, a check in with a University of Michigan researcher on the impact of the pandemic on Michigan's many homeless students.

post office vehicle
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) is investigating delays in mail delivery.

Peters is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee – which oversees the United States Postal Service.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

The final rush is on to get packages delivered in Michigan before the Christmas holiday.

Suzzi Nowak delivers mail in Kentwood, a suburb south of Grand Rapids. She says most of her days this time of year start at 7 a.m. Usually, she’s done by 5 or 6.

"A day at the post office is never the same," she says. "They’re always different. It all depends on how much mail you have."

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Postal workers are protesting the postal service’s plan to close three mail processing centers in Michigan later this year.

United States Postal Service processing centers in Lansing, Kalamazoo and Iron Mountain are slated to close.  Centers in Saginaw and Gaylord have already closed. The closings will leave three centers to process mail delivery in Michigan. 

The closings are part of a Post Office plan that also includes slowing first class mail delivery. In some cases, it may take a first class letter up to three days to be delivered.  Before this week, first class mail would usually take a day.