More than 400 pieces of mail addressed to the Great Falls Tribune have been delivered eight years late.
The 435 pieces that were to have been delivered on Jan. 16, 1999, reached the newspaper Thursday. Included were checks for Tribune subscriptions.
“This was truly a case of the check was in the mail,” said Tribune Publisher Jim Strauss, who accepted the mail delivered by Great Falls Postmaster Jeanne Downey and Jacque Stingley, a customer service representative for the U.S. Postal Service.
Besides checks, the mail included newspapers from other cities and towns. Among the news topics: President Clinton’s impeachment trial.
Stamps were 33 cents back then.
“We are truly sorry,” Stingley said. “I’m sure people have been wondering where their mail went.”
When a postal clerk was distributing mail on Jan. 16, 1999, the Tribune’s was placed in the wrong locker, one that is used rarely, Stingley said. On Thursday a customer who was assigned the locker opened it, and saw the mail.
Strauss said the delay may have caused frustration for Tribune customers who were called about payment of bills. Now the checks will be returned to customers, he said.
“I credit Jacque and Jeanne for being very up front about this and personally delivering the mail to us and offering their assistance,” Strauss said.
The Postal Service plans to send letters of apology to the affected customers.