June 16, 2011
Liebenthal, Kansas, was founded in 1876 by immigrants from the Ukraine. Named for Liebenthal (“love valley”), Russia, the settlement received a post office on November 28, 1899.
According to the Hays Daily News, this week a sign appeared on the door of the Liebenthal Post Office, telling customers the post office was closed and to pick up their mail in La Crosse.
“The U.S. Postal Service isn't shedding much light into the situation either," says the Daily News. "We're going to leave it at that," said Postal Inspection Service spokesman Mark Hines, based in St. Paul, Minn. "We're conducting an inquiry into the operations of the Liebenthal community post office operations."
All the USPS would say is that there is an “emergency suspension” of the post office. “They won't tell us nothing," said local resident Darold Randa. "It's the craziest thing you ever saw. Leave it up to the federal government to do that."
(Photo credit: Liebenthal post office)
UPDATE: June 28, 2011: The mystery deepens as the Postal Service announced that it has terminated its contract for the community post office in Liebenthal and will be closing it permanently. "Contractual irregularities at this facility have made this move necessary," said USPS spokesman Brian Sperry. When asked by residents for more details, the Postal Service said it was a Human Resources matter, and they don't discuss them. (Hays Daily News)
UPDATE: Hutchnews.com, Aug. 29, 2011: "Amanda L. Casebier, 33, of La Crosse, is charged with misappropriation of U.S. Postal Service funds. The crime is alleged to have occurred from March to June 2011 while she was a postal contract employee at the Community Post Office in Liebenthal in Rush County. If convicted, she faces up to five years in prison."