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Klobuchar and Franken: Save four of Minnesota's snail mail processing centers

Fifty U.S. Senators, including Minnesota's Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar, want the Senate Appropriations Committee to delay the planned closing of 82 mail processing centers around the country, including four in Minnesota.

The processing centers in Duluth, St. Cloud, Bemidji and Mankato are on the shut-down list, with the closings set to start in 2015.

Duluth had been on the list in 2013, but was spared in that round. But now, the Duluth News Tribune reports, postal workers at the processing plant there have been told by Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe in a video that the closures would come in 2015 as a continuation of USPS reductions started in 2011.

The plan also includes cutting 15,000 postal workers.

The postal service is adjusting its business model, as it tries to compete with electronic mail delivery; part of the change includes slowing delivery of some mail.

The Wall Street Journal reports the 50 senators want to delay the closings by at least a year, saying in a letter that postal changes already have made it "more difficult for the American public and small businesses to receive mail in a timely manner. Slowing down mail delivery even further will hurt senior citizens on fixed incomes, small businesses and the entire economy."

The Senate letter urging a delay in the cuts was signed by 42 Democrats, seven Republicans and one Independent.

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