By CRAIG MEDRED
Rumors circulating around Anchorage that the Alaska Dispatch News was no longer paying its bill have been given credence by a lawsuit filed by the newspaper’s newsprint provider.
Catalyst Paper went into an Anchorage court on June 22 asking for an order forcing Dispatch, which also does business as ADN.com, to pay its March and April paper bills.
Based in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada, Catalyst is the largest producer of newsprint on the West Coast.
Its suit against the ADN follows another filed against Arctic Partners, Inc., the Tacoma, Wash., company which owns a building on Arctic Boulevard that Dispatch was renovating as its new print plant and Alaska news headquarters.
Only last fall, the building was emblazoned with a banner proclaiming “Alaska Dispatch News – COMING SOON.” The banner is gone now, and Dispatch appears to have been locked out of the building housing its new press after running up a bill of approximately $1 million with M&M Wiring, an Anchorage electric contractor.
Dispatch paid about half the bill, and then stopped making payments. M&M sued the building’s owners for the rest of the payment and slapped a lien on the old, oil-field-services warehouse to secure the debt.
An attorney for Arctic refused to comment on the case, but it appears the company’s response to the suit has been to lock Dispatch out of the building that houses its press.
Former clients of the Anchorage Daily News’ commercial printing operation – a sideline to newspaper production the Dispatch continued – say that might not matter much, however, because the new press apparently was installed on an inadequate foundation, sank inches in one corner, and because of that is inoperable.