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Yantic post office shut down for undisclosed security issue

By Claire Bessette

Publication: The Day

Published February 08. 2012 4:00AM
Sean D. Elliot/The Day
Patrons said it was business as usual Monday before the Yantic post office closed.
Operations moved to Bozrah for now

Norwich - The Yantic post office will be closed indefinitely for security and safety reasons based on an undisclosed issue that arose last week and is under investigation by the U.S. Postal Service, a postal spokeswoman said Tuesday.

"For the safety of the customers and the employees, we felt we had to close," spokeswoman Christine Dugas said today.

The "emergency suspension" on Monday automatically sparked a study of whether the Yantic post office should be closed permanently, Dugas said. Because security issues are involved, she said, she could not comment on the reasons for the closure.

The one Yantic employee was transferred to the Bozrah post office 1.2 miles away, where the mail and even the 230 post office boxes will be moved, Dugas said.

Mail still will be collected from a mailbox in front of the Yantic post office, she said.

The postal service announced the closure Monday night after the Yantic office had closed for the day at 5 p.m.

Michele Jorge, who lives in the Yantic Village, was walking her Chihuahua, Henry, past the post office Tuesday morning. She was surprised to see the closure signs taped to the windows and doors. Jorge was in the post office Monday and said it was just like a normal day.

"Nobody said anything," she said.

"We're in there on a daily basis," said Frank Blanchard, chief of the Yantic volunteer fire department a few doors down from the post office. "I was there yesterday at 11:30 and she said nothing. We were talking about my Patriots losing and that's all."

Blanchard said Yantic residents have been coming to the fire station all day today to ask about it.

"For a small post office, that has a pretty high volume," Blanchard said. "It's one of the three focal points in the village, the church, the post office and the fire house. People go to the post office and stop at Lazizah's (Bake Shop) for lunch. I hope it's only temporary."

Lazizah's owner Bassem Salahi said he too was surprised to learn the post office had closed.

"I feel bad for the residents," he said of the tight-knit former mill village. "Some of them are elderly, and they don't get mail at home. Some can't drive, or won't drive on the highway. They will have to get someone to get it for them."

The "emergency suspension" notice, posted on the post office front doors and windows, tells customers that their mail will be delivered to the Bozrah post office at 181 Fitchville Road, Bozrah, and they will keep their current mailing address. The Bozrah post office is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4:30 p.m., and on Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to noon.

c.bessette@theday.com

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