Archive for Wednesday, October 17, 2001

Postal workers exercise caution

October 17, 2001

Reports of mail contaminated with anthrax spores have led to heightened security measures taken by postal officials.

Kelly Fowler, Tonganoxie postmaster, said employees of the Tonganoxie Post Office are taking extra steps to be cautious. These steps include locking doors of vehicles driven by mail carriers, locking the doors inside the post office and not allowing unauthorized persons to approach the dock entrance in the back of the building.

On packages mailed at Tonganoxie, postal workers are asking for a return address.

And if packages are pre-stamped, they will be postmarked in Tonganoxie, Fowler said, so that when the mail arrives at its next stop, Kansas City, Mo., postal workers will know that the package was accepted through the window.

The post office has received only a few calls from patrons concerned about suspicious mail.

One call came Monday, Fowler said, when a local resident received an envelope with a Boca Raton, Fla., return address and an Atlanta postmark. Fowler said she and the recipient believed the letter was most likely a valid solicitation of some sort.

Fowler asks residents to continue to be more aware of what arrives in their mailboxes and to notify the post office or law enforcement officers of any suspicious letters or packages.

"It's wise to be cautious," Fowler said. "I think we have to be realistic and see that in the mail stream anything is possible. If a terrorist wanted to get to the heart of America, what better way to do it."

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