Begich, Murkowski sign on to post office bill

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JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) -- Alaska's U.S. senators are helping sponsor legislation intended to save rural post offices from closure.

Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich have joined Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden of Oregon; Jerry Moran of Kansas, and Jon Tester of Montana in sponsoring the Protecting Rural Post Offices Act.

The measure says post office cannot be closed if the closure results in more than 10 miles between post offices. This would be measured on roads with year-round access.

In July, the financially-troubled U.S. Postal Service said it would study more than 3,600 offices for possible closure or consolidation, including 36 in Alaska. At least 25 of those are remote sites not connected to a road system.

The agency later removed all but five Alaska offices from consideration.