by: Katie Gray
Posted: / Updated:
LUBBOCK, Texas – The year started out hopeful as the City of Lubbock began a mass covid vaccine clinic at the civic center. Thousands of people would rush to sign up for a spot to get the vaccination to avoid getting sick and avoid getting the virus that is still with us today.
In January, the FBI swarmed the offices and home of Lubbock Dentist Jason White. Several months later, he pled guilty to the production of child pornography and admitted he made pornographic videos with boys under the age of 18. He is scheduled to be sentenced in January.
Gov. Abbott came to Lubbock… Twice
In March, Governor Abbott announced in Lubbock he was lifting the statewide mask mandate and reducing restrictions at businesses across Texas. Governor Abbott returned in October to help announce Leprino Foods would open a cheese factory in Lubbock, creating 600 new jobs and nearly a billion-dollar investment in the community.
Bart Rigors’ trial
Bart Reagor went to trial in a federal courtroom in Amarillo. A jury would find him guilty of one count of making a false statement to a bank. This week a judge denied his appeal to overturn the verdict. He is expected to be sentenced in March.
Lubbock joins ERCOT
In June, the City of Lubbock began transitioning its power source to the ERCOT grid. Residents lost power for about 15 minutes during the transition, and many worried about ERCOT’s reliability after most of Texas lost power on its grid during the big freeze in February.
Sergeant Josh Bartlett is killed
In July, a SWAT standoff in Levelland turned tragic as Lubbock County Sheriff Sergeant Josh Bartlett was killed by an armed suspect shooting from a home. Three other officers were wounded in the shooting.
Luke Seigel passed away
In August, Lubbock lost someone who brought the community together in many ways. Luke Seigel passed away after complications of covid and pneumonia. But his legacy lives on after his family started the team Luke hoped for Minds organization that gained national attention.
Chad Read shot and killed
In November, a shooting in South Lubbock would go on to make national headlines. Chad Read was shot and killed during a custody dispute. The accused shooter Kyle Carruth was not charged with any crimes.
Reed’s family has filed several lawsuits against him, saying it was murder. Carruth’s lawyers have said his actions were within the bounds of the law and necessary as reasonable self-defense. The Texas attorney general has taken over the investigation.
Crazy year for Weather
It was a memorable year for our wacky weather on the south plains. The polar vortex in February is a winter weather event that many will not forget. We got down below zero and the high on Valentine’s Day was just 14 degrees. The hub city stayed below freezing for several days causing many pipes to burst and some brief power outages. Our spring weather provided some scary days across the South Plains. In May, a tornado warning in Lubbock caused many to take cover as a funnel could be seen right over the hub city.
Texas Tech switched head coaches
Changes in coaching staff at Texas Tech dominated local sports coverage. Texas Tech basketball head coach Chris Beard shocked a lot of Red Raider fans and headed south to become the new head coach of the Longhorns. But fans rallied around new coach Mark Adams who took the team into the top 25 at the end of the year.
The Red Raider football team made an unexpected coaching change midseason after a loss to Kansas State. Coach Matt Wells was let go, and interim coach Sonny Cumbie took over. He led the Red Raiders to a liberty bowl win over former Tech coach Mike Leach’s Mississippi State Bulldogs. New coach Joey McGuire now takes over the team.
Last, but not least, in March, the Lady Chaps of LCU won their third NCAA division two national basketball championship.