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USPS audit found Bemidji post office delayed delivery of 79,000 pieces of mail

Poor management and mountains of Amazon packages are to blame

BEMIDJI – It's not enough for Karen Schaar to send a text wishing her daughters a happy Mother's Day. She has learned after years of delivery delays at the Bemidji post office to plan ahead and pay a premium so cards for every occasion arrive on time.

"I want it sitting on their table saying your mom and dad remembered you today," Schaar said at the post office Wednesday clasping two greeting cards more precious to her than a winning lottery ticket. Instead of sticking a stamp in the right corner, she has a new system: sliding cards into a priority flat rate envelope.

"And it's only going to the Cities," she added. "That's kind of depressing."

An audit this week revealed the understaffed and overworked Bemidji post office - grappling with mountains of Amazon packages - delayed the delivery of 79,000 pieces of mail during a three-day inspection in December. The U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General released the report identifying the insufficient staffing and delivery operations. The audit comes after mail carriers here staged a symbolic strike in November that gained national attention, prompting calls from lawmakers to address the delivery disruptions in northern Minnesota.


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