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Here’s what Link covered April 21-27

Mr. ZIP, digital detectives and others stepped into the spotlight

A color drawing of the Mr. ZIP character wearing a blue USPS cap
USPS has given Mr. ZIP a new lease on life.

Last week, Link looked at the Postal Service’s efforts to update its beloved Mr. ZIP character.

The organization is licensing Mr. ZIP to publishers, toymakers and other companies that pay USPS a fee to use the character.

“Our vision is that Mr. ZIP becomes a beloved character to today’s children, and they grow up remembering him and having an affinity for mail and the Postal Service,” said Amity Kirby, the organization’s licensing and creative manager.

We also marked Earth Day by highlighting the Postal Service’s commitment to environment sustainability, previewed this year’s Stamp Out Hunger food drive and told you about the USPS rules about contracts.

Additionally, we went “On the Job” with Aaliyah Smith, a part-time flexible retail associate in Loveville, MD, and “Off the Clock” with Tina Geiger, an Arcadia, KS, retail associate who makes dollhouse furniture, and we introduced you to “Heroes” such as Kharalyn Ford, a Memphis, TN, mail processing clerk who performed the Heimlich maneuver on a choking co-worker.

Finally, Link visited the USPS Remote Encoding Center in Salt Lake City as it celebrated 30 years of service.

The center receives digital images of letters and packages with illegible addresses from other postal facilities around the country. More than 730 employees work at the center, doing the detective work of determining where the poorly addressed mailpieces are supposed to go.

Johanna Luckau, the center’s senior manager, said she feels “quite fortunate” to work there, adding that “not many people can stay with an organization and still love their job after 20-plus years.”