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> DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Postal Service backed on Saturday delivery

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Postal Service could save a substantial amount of money by reducing mail delivery to five days, the Government Accountability Office said Tuesday.

The post office, which lost $8.5 billion last year, has proposed eliminating Saturday delivery as one of several moves aimed at reducing costs.

Postal officials have estimated the change would save $3.1 billion annually, and a new GAO study agreed that savings would be large, depending on how efficiently the cutback is handled.

In its analysis, GAO looked back at postal operations in 2009 and calculated that if there had been no Saturday delivery that year the post office would have saved $3.3 billion.

The GAO report comes just days after the independent Postal Regulatory Commission issued its own report, calculating that the post office had overstated its projected savings from ending Saturday delivery by $1.4 billion.

The final decision on Saturday delivery will be made by Congress.

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> NORTH CAROLINA

FBI investigating hole found in jet's fuselage

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Bloomberg News) -- US Airways said Tuesday the FBI is probing a possible bullet hole found in the fuselage of a Boeing 737.

The nickel-size hole was detected on the left side of the plane near the tail as a pilot did a preflight check at the airport, said Michelle Mohr, an airline spokeswoman. The jet, which flew from Philadelphia with 84 passengers and 5 crew members, was taken out of service.

"To us, it looked like it could potentially be a bullet hole," Mohr said. "That's why we involved the authorities immediately."

The hole extended from the jet's skin into the cabin, said Amy Thoreson, an FBI spokeswoman in Charlotte. She declined to say what caused the hole or comment on whether it appeared to have been made by a bullet.

Shots have been fired at U.S. airliners in the past, said Fred Mirgle, ex-chairman of the aviation maintenance department at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla. It would be unusual for the crew or passengers not to notice if the plane were hit in flight, he said. "It almost sounds like it was shot on the ground or close to it, if it was shot," Mirgle said.

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> MICHIGAN

Mother in scam jailed for drugging son, 12

MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. (AP) -- A judge ordered a Michigan woman to spend a year in jail Tuesday for scamming thousands of dollars from donors by drugging her 12-year-old son to make him appear to have cancer -- a sentence that her family complained was too lenient.

Carol Schnuphase, 47, pleaded no contest in February to charges of second-degree child abuse and acting under false pretenses. On Tuesday, she apologized for her actions in Macomb County Circuit Court before Judge Richard Caretti announced that, under a plea deal, he would send her to the county jail rather than his preference -- state prison.

"Your conduct, ma'am, in this case is reprehensible. To tell a vulnerable, defenseless young boy that he is dying of cancer for your own pecuniary gain is almost beyond the realm of comprehension," said Caretti.

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