- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 4, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) — The postal service is considering consolidating or closing as many as 1,000 local offices as it battles staggering financial problems.

The post office has been struggling with a sharp decline in mail volume as people and businesses switch to e-mail both for personal contact and bill paying. The agency is facing a nearly $7 billion potential loss this fiscal year, despite a 2-cent increase in the price of stamps in May, cuts in staff and removal of collection boxes.

Also on the block are branch offices across the country and postal officials sent a list of nearly 700 potential candidates to the independent Postal Regulatory Commission.

More may be added, the postal service says.

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