Mail deliveries not always ‘swift’

Jackie Nunnery

by Jackie Nunnery

KILMARNOCK—As the unofficial postal motto goes, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” But something is amiss that is preventing folks from getting their mail on a timely basis, including the community newspaper.

Initial requests for answers from the United States Postal Service (USPS) pointed to the annual holiday rush as a reason for delays. “The 2020 holiday season was a record for the United States Postal Service with more than a billion packages delivered,” said USPS spokesperson Freda Sauter.

But locally, delivery problems go back much further.

“It started about four or five years ago,” said Michelle Smith, circulation manager with the Rappahannock Record. Initially, there was an occasional hiccup, and Smith said local postmasters were “immensely helpful” in smoothing out delivery issues. Now she estimates that roughly 10% of the paper’s readers outside the Northern Neck are experiencing at least a one week delay in getting the newspaper. 

George Snead, a longtime subscriber in Locust Hill, Middlesex County, said he had experienced “intermittent problems” over the last four years in receiving a newspaper. However, now he says the newspaper is often 10 days late and first class mail is also slow to arrive.

Across the state, so many late mail complaints have been registered that…

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