The U.S. Postal Service says it will cut hours at rural post offices rather than shut them down entirely. USPS Chief Operating Officer Megan Brennan says only a very few post offices in small communities will be shut down. The Postal Service expects the move to cut hours will result in a savings of half a billion dollars every year once it's fully implemented in September of 2014.

The plan could have an impact on a number of small post offices in southwestern Illinois, although no final details have been set. Post offices impacted include South Roxana, Grafton, Piasa, Elsah, Brussels, Medora, and almost two dozen others in Madison, Macoupin, Jersey, Calhoun and Greene Counties. The USPS plans to work with those communities to determine need and the best course of action for the new service days and hours. The Postal Service lost more than three-billion dollars in the first quarter as it deals with a drop in demand. Second quarter results are due to be announced this week. Last year, it said it wanted to shut down more than 35-hundred post offices, but there has been opposition in Congress, as well as in many of communities set to face the loss of a post office.

(Copyright WBGZ Radio/