Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local News

October 12, 2012

Lon Morris attempts to garner funds to pay employees

Tyler —  Former Lon Morris College employees may have a shot at seeing unpaid wages granted to them, thanks to a document filed by the school's representatives that seeks information about “millions of dollars in which the college has beneficial interest” from several charitable foundations.

 LMC attorney Hugh Ray III appeared in United States Bankruptcy Court/Eastern District Oct. 10 to give the judge “an overview of where we are in the case,” said Dawn Ragan, chief restructuring officer for Bridgeport Consulting.

“We are trying to get additional information and documents to see what additional monies the school is entitled to, based on our current status,” she said.

The funds are gifts from donors specifically for Lon Morris, which are managed by the foundations for use by the college.

 “Sometimes (gifts) are restricted, sometimes not, but we don't always have information,” Ragan said. “We want to see what additional funds may be available to assist in paying creditors and specifically, paying unpaid employee wages.”

 Former LMC head athletic trainer Jason Thomas, who was employed by the college for three years and “without a paycheck from April until May,” said he thinks unpaid wages “should have been a top priority.”

“I think they need to do whatever they can to pay the former employees the monies that are owed for our work and time. I'm still trying to recover financially from no pay for a month and a half, then being let go mid-summer,” he said.

Ragan said that of the $385,000 priority wage claims,  $369,000 are employee wages, while approximately $250,000 of the $2 million general unsecured claims are employee wages.

The school wants to “find out what gifts are restricted or unrestricted, and if they're restricted, we want to know for what purposes,” she said.

Wednesday's court appearance is the latest chapter in the college's woes.

Last May, LMC hired Bridgepoint Consulting to restructure its large amount of debt, but in July, the college filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and hired Capstone Parters LLC to help facilitate a transaction with another educational institution or strategic partner.

Capstone later suspended its efforts, but agreed to change its agreement with the college to act as a buyer's broker, which represents a buy to find property and help it through the purchase.

In August, the Department of Education suspended the school's Title IX status, revoking LMC's the privilege of participating in HEA programs, which allowed the college to disburse federal funds and federal student aid such as Pell Grant, Teacher Education Assistance for College and High Education grants, federal work study and direct loan programs.

The school filed documents in late September in the federal bankruptcy court in Tyler seeking permission to liquidate all of its assets, including building and properties in a cash-only option. A hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Oct. 31 where the judge can approve, deny or amend the college's request.

According to court documents, liens have been filed by Amegy Bank, N.A., the Scurlock Foundation, Austin Bank and Texas National Bank.

In its application to the bankruptcy court, LMC requested the hiring of Tranzon Auction Resolutions to serve as auctioneer for the proposed auction, and the college proposed three auctions to ensure maximum value for the properties.

The first proposed step of the liquidation is a sealed bid auction, with bids due by Nov. 13. The second step is a proposed Nov. 15 live auction of the properties.

If there are no bids on the personal property in the auctions, the school proposes to sell it in an internet auction on Nov. 27.  

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Jacksonville College, high schools team up to offer dual credit program

    Jacksonville College is currently offering qualifying high school juniors and seniors attending Jacksonville and New Summerfield ISDs and The Brookhill School in Bullard the opportunity to get head start on their higher education.

    April 18, 2014

  • JISD board members to consider district strategic plan

    The Jacksonville ISD Board of Trustees will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 21, to discuss a district strategic plan and consider buying new band uniforms.

    April 18, 2014

  • 2 men arrested after standoff in grocery store

    Two men were arrested early Wednesday morning after a standoff at the B&B Foods in Alto.
    According to Alto Police Chief Jeremy Jackson, a person reported seeing two black males at the store just before 3 a.m. Wednesday.

    April 17, 2014

  • Some area entities closed for holiday

    Many area offices and businesses will be closed Friday in observance of Good Friday and Easter.

    April 17, 2014

  • Dispatcher Enge 0416.tif JPD dispatcher killed in wreck

    A dispatcher for the Jacksonville Police Department was killed Monday on her way to work, according to officials.
    Amber Enge, 35, of Whitehouse was pronounced dead at the scene of a one-vehicle wreck Monday afternoon on CR 2177 in Whitehouse.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • CR speed limit changes, E-filling fee top agenda

    On Monday, Cherokee County commissioners set April 28 to hold public hearings concerning the changing speed limits on two county roads.

    April 16, 2014

  • Catherine look.tif Religious lines drawn: Protesters met by members of Church of Wells

    Other than a few community members' voices that rose above the crowd, the protest Saturday against the Church of Wells remained peaceful.

    April 15, 2014 3 Photos

  • HOPE event Pic 433.tif Folks attend weekend fundraiser for H.O.P.E.

    It was an evening fit for royalty, as supporters of the Helping Others Pursue Enrichment (H.O.P.E.) program gathered Saturday at The Castle on the Lake outside Jacksonville for “A Renaissance Evening.”

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Church Member looks.tif Church of Wells members attend protest

    About 30 members of the Church of Wells arrived at a protest Saturday. The event was planned after an incident at Wells Homecoming Day on April 5 where the church loudly "street preached" causing a disruption. Three of the church members were injured by two men at the parade. On Saturday, the event was peaceful, despite a few loud voices.

    See the complete story and photos in the next edition of the Daily Progress on Tuesday, April 15.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • ScholarshipAwards.tif 5 receive scholarships from Chamber’s Agri-Business Committee

    The Agri-Business Committee of the Jacksonville Chamber recently awarded five $1,000 scholarships at the Annual Cherokee County Junior Livestock Show on March 29.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo