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AG Shapiro Calls For ‘Binding Agreement’ To Protect U.S. Postal Service

Katie Blackley
90.5 WESA
Pennsylvania is just one state suing the U.S. Postal Service over changes to mail procedures.


 On today's program: Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro joins 19 other Attorneys General in a lawsuit against the U.S. Postal Service; Pennsylvania parks experience an uptick in visitors; and a local high schooler receives one of the nation’s highest honors for student poets. 

Pennsylvania moves forward with lawsuit against USPS
(00:00 — 8:51)

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro and 19 others are suing to block the Postmaster General from changing mail procedures without the proper authority, which they say could impair voting by mail, among other things. It’s the latest of multiple suits concerning the mail or mail-in voting being litigated. All while the general election is less than 11 weeks before the election.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is backing down, saying retail hours at post offices won’t be reduced, mail processing equipment and blue collection boxes will not be removed, and no mail processing facilities will be closed prior to the November 3 election. Shapiro says he still plans on going ahead with the suit. 

“I want a binding agreement that protects our Postal Service and make sure people can have confidence in the flow of mail into their communities,” he says. 

Shapiro says his office is equipped to handle the multiple lawsuits Pennsylvania is involved in so all eligible Pennsylvanians can cast their votes in person or through the mail.

“We shouldn’t politicize the Post Office,” he says. “And we sure as heck shouldn’t politicize participating in our democracy.”

Pennsylvanians head outside during the pandemic
(8:57 — 13:05)

People continue to flock to state and local parks amid the pandemic, creating concerns about crowding. Park officials are taking steps to limit crowds in Pennsylvania’s state parks, and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources asked people to use less crowded state parks.


But this shouldn’t stop people from heading outdoors, saysJohn Hayes, outdoors editor at the Post-Gazette. He recommends visiting some of the state’s hidden gems, like Keystone State Park or Moraine State Park, and being a good visitor while there.


“As attendance increases at the parks, so do problems associated with attendance, like trash,” Hayes says. “Follow the rules.” 


Local student wins national student poetry award
(13:12 — 18:01)


A local high schooler was selected as one of five National Student Poets, one of the highest honors for student poets nationwide. In his poems, Anthony Wiles Jr., a rising junior at Sewickley Academy, writes about home and his family’s African American Appalachian heritage.


“Home for me has always been my safe space no matter if it’s the physical space of home that I’m living in right now or it’s the community that I call home or the people that I come from,” he says. “I reference home a lot because that’s grounding for me; that’s a sense of belonging; that’s where my roots are.”


The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in weekdays at 9 a.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators take an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here or wherever you get your podcasts.

Kevin Gavin is the host of WESA's news interview program "The Confluence." He is a native Pittsburgher and served as news director for 90.5 WDUQ for 34 years. Since the sale of the radio station by Duquesne University to Pittsburgh EPM, Inc. (now Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting Corp.), he served as Executive Producer of Special News Projects prior to being named as host of "The Confluence" five years ago. kgavin@wesa.fm
Marylee is the editor/producer of The Confluence, the daily public affairs show on WESA. She got her start in journalism at The Daily Reveille and KLSU while attending Louisiana State University. She took her passion for audio journalism to UC Berkeley's graduate program and worked in public radio at WPR in Madison, WI, and WOSU in Columbus, Ohio.
Julia Zenkevich is a general assignment reporter for 90.5 WESA. She first joined the station as a production assistant on The Confluence, and more recently served as a fill-in producer for The Confluence and Morning Edition. She’s a life-long Pittsburgher, and attended the University of Pittsburgh. She can be reached at jzenkevich@wesa.fm.
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