Average gas price in Maine continues downward trend

Gas prices in Maine are down, but still remain well above the national average.The price-monitoring website MaineGasPrices.com reported Monday that the average retail price of a gallon of gas has fallen more than 3 cents in the past week to $3.34.

That compares with the national average, which has fallen more than 4 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.23.

Maine prices are 24 cents more than at the same time last year, but more than 11 cents lower than a month ago.

New stress for post office: Holiday mail by the billions

This week, it’s not just job cuts and potential bankruptcy stressing out the U.S. Postal Service – the organization is in the midst of its busiest two days of the year.

The service expects to deliver 16.5 billion pieces of mail over the holiday season. Today alone, postal workers will process 600 million cards and letters. On Monday, the service was expected to deliver more packages than at any other point during the year.

That’s about the same amount of mail as the Monday before Christmas last year, when the Postal Service saw 800 million pieces enter its system, up 40 percent from the year before. The service will sell 2.5 billion holiday-themed Forever stamps over the season.

On the busiest day in its history earlier this month, FedEx dealt with 17 million shipments. On an average day, the USPS deals with 551 million pieces of mail.

The Postal Service is planning a significant downsizing, with hundreds of mail-processing centers and thousands of post offices on the line starting in mid-May. The agency gets no tax money from the government but is subject to congressional oversight.

– From news service reports