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Stolen mail and East Palestine's diaspora | Scripps News Investigates

Scripps News investigates the lingering effects of nuclear testing, the rise in mail thefts and the people who left East Palestine, Ohio, behind.
Stolen mail and East Palestine's diaspora | Scripps News Investigates
Posted at 9:30 PM, Apr 12, 2024


If you're a movie enthusiast, you've heard of "Oppenheimer" — the Hollywood epic that dominated this year's Oscars about the first test of a nuclear bomb during World War II. But for many in New Mexico living near that test site, the film doesn't tell the full story. 

They're known as downwinders, and they've been trying to convince the U.S. government for years that toxic fallout from that first blast poisoned their land and made generations of people sick.

Now a scientist is on the hunt for evidence of the problem in the New Mexico desert.

Stolen mail

For more than a century, the unofficial U.S. Post Office motto has pledged that neither rain nor snow nor heat would prevent letter carriers from delivering the mail. But now the Postal Service is facing a more urgent threat: crime.

Thieves are targeting mail carriers at an increasing rate. They're after the carriers' keys, which they use to open mailboxes and steal mail.

East Palestine's diaspora

Most Americans probably hadn't heard of East Palestine, Ohio, until a Norfolk Southern freight train derailed there last year, unleashing an environmental disaster and upending thousands of lives.

From the beginning, Scripps News Cleveland investigative reporter Tara Morgan has been following the story from the very beginning.

She's stayed in touch with residents who have called the town home since childhood, but who may now never return.

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