5 things to know: Tuesday

5 things to know: Tuesday

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Customers concerned over Reagor-Dykes 'unwinding' process

LUBBOCK, Texas - Since Reagor-Dykes filed for bankruptcy, sources told us sales associates were told to "unwind" any deal done within the last few weeks. This focuses on trade-ins, where salesmen are trying to locate Reagor-Dykes vehicles then help customers find their old vehicles. 

Since Wednesday, Rebecca Francois and her husband worried they would end up without a vehicle at all. 

"We're in the middle of trying to pay my husbands college, trying to pay his tuition for this year," Francois said. "We're in the middle of my son, buying things for him, and now we might be out of a car. "

About 30 days ago, her husband traded in his Camaro for a Range Rover. After signing paperwork that day and putting down a $3,000 deposit, they drove off the lot with the new ride. 

"They told us they found a bank, they gave us a bank name, but they never gave us a date,'" Francois said. "So after a couple of weeks, we called the bank like, hey we're financed through you guys, we just want to know when we need to make this payment and the bank had no records of us being financed through them."

Francois said Reagor-Dykes staffers told her they were working on finding another bank. During that time, she was unaware she would still be responsible for the loan on the trade in. 

"We had no idea of Amarillo Bank expecting a payment from us because from what we were aware, we handed over the money, and from there they were going to cover the loan for the Camaro," Francois said.

Francois is not the only one dealing with this. A viewer told us on social media they traded in two vehicles on July14th and signed papers. Since then, neither of the trade in's have been paid off, but both have been sold off at auto lots. In addition, the new vehicles are not financed. 

Lubbock County Tax Assessor Ronnie Keister is fielding many of these concerns. 

"There's a whole lot of uncertainty which is not good for them and we understand that and unfortunately we're at a whole lot of uncertainty ourselves," Keister said.

Keister said until the bankruptcy court lets loose of things, the dealership will not be able to process title paperwork.

"We've tried to be organized, we've tried to contact DMV to see how they want us to proceed, if there's anything we can do in the interim and their direction was pretty much, wait for the bankruptcy court," Keister said.

The couple did locate their trade in at an auto lot and were able to get it back. For now, it is a waiting game to be refunded by the dealership. 

Reagor-Dykes issued a statement Monday evening regarding the status of its dealerships:

“All locations of Reagor-Dykes Auto Group were open and operating on Monday. In compliance with the order of the Bankruptcy Judge issued Friday, the dealerships have placed on leave certain personnel to comply with the budget and avoid exceeding the allowed expenditures agreed upon by Ford Motor Credit. We encourage our loyal customers to come and give us the opportunity to sell them a car.”


Ford suit against Reagor-Dykes on hold while bankruptcy case proceeds

LUBBOCK, Texas - Senior U.S. District Judge Sam Cummings Monday granted a request on behalf of Reagor-Dykes Auto Group companies requesting a stay in Ford Motor Company's $116 million lawsuit against the companies.

The order filed Monday essentially means Ford's lawsuit is on hold while Reagor-Dykes' case in U.S. Bankruptcy Court proceeds.


Lubbock Republicans select JP Carruth for Court-at-law ballot position

LUBBOCK, Texas - The Lubbock County Republican Party's executive committee has effectively appointed Ann-Marie Carruth the judge for County Court-at-law Number Three.

Judge-elect J. David Nelson's death last month vacated that seat. There's no other opponent on the ballot.

Carruth is currently the Justice of the Peace for Precinct Four.

In an address to the Republican members present, she says her experience as justice of the peace translates easily to the county court-at-law.

Since she is jumping places on the ballot, she is going to vacate the position for justice of the peace. Republican Chairman Steve Evans says the party will now have to repeat the entire process for that empty place on the ballot, with a deadline of August 27. 


TTU hosts Texas International Cotton School

LUBBOCK, Texas - Some years there's more than 3 million acres of cotton in this area, the largest in the world, according to Texas A&M Agrilife Extension. Texas Tech's capitalizing on that uniting students with producers from all facets of the industry to teach. For the next two weeks Texas Tech's Fiber and Biopolymer Research Institute is hosting the Texas International Cotton School along with the Lubbock Cotton Exchange.

This two week program will teach everything cotton, from seed to fabric through a series of  classes, lectures, tours, and hands on interaction. 

"We will go a little further and we will talk about marketing for cotton as well,"said Annalisa Clark, Texas International Cotton School coordinator. "We will have other cotton companies as well, will have PIMA and OLAM come in and they are talking about their product and what they do and how they use it."

Molly Vardeman's from Slaton, her family has been growing cotton for decades so she knows the growing phase. She said during this two week program she hopes to learn what happens after the cotton is ginned.

"It's important for everyone to be very well informed about the product," said Vardeman. "It's goods for people to know the sustainability of it and how vital it is for areas like this where our main industry is cotton, like this place wouldn't be here without farmers."  

Since the inception of this program 38 years ago, more than 600 students from 60 countries and 17 U.S. states have attended the course.


Arkema CEO and plant manger charged with reckless release of chemicals

LUBBOCK, Texas - Executives from the chemical plant company Arkema face a judge following their federal indictment.

The company CEO Richard Rowe and Crosby Plant Manager Leslie Comardelle are charged with reckless release of chemicals.

There were explosions and days of fires after Hurricane Harvey flood waters knocked out a generator meant to keep the chemicals properly refrigerated. 200 people had to be evacuated and at least 21 first responders were injured after breathing in fumes.

The Federal Chemical Safety Board reported the company had safety measures in place, but didn't prepare for Harvey.

Prosecutors argue the incidents could have been prevented.

"Arkema did not have a flood plan. What they had was a plan that recklessly assumed that they would never experience more flooding than they had in the past," Harris County District Attorney's OFC, Alexander Forrest, said.

"To say that somehow, people that tried to save the community and the plant committed a crime, is unbelievable," Defense Attorney, Randy Hardin, said.

Hardin said the company had three backups for the chemicals, and all failed.

He said that's due to Harvey's flooding and not a lack of planning.

The charge carries penalties of up to five years in prison for the men named in the indictment, and up to $1 million in fines for the company.

The next hearing is scheduled for October.

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