Archive for Tuesday, November 25, 2003

City briefs

November 25, 2003

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Just-released inmate attacks police officer

An inmate who had just been released after serving a sentence at the Douglas County Jail attacked a Lawrence police officer last week, according to a police report made public Monday.

Police were called to the jail about 6 a.m. Friday to respond to a report of a 22-year-old man out of control in the lobby.

Police took the man to Lawrence Memorial Hospital for an evaluation. When they reached the hospital, the man tried to grab Officer Shannon Riggs' gun from his holster, punched Riggs in the face several times and spit in his face, said Sgt. Mike Pattrick, a police spokesman.

Riggs overpowered the man before he could take the gun. The suspect, whom police would not identify Monday, was then taken to Osawatomie State Hospital.

Three convicted in Medicare fraud case

Topeka -- A Lawrence woman, her son and an Overland Park man were convicted Monday in federal court in a scheme to defraud Medicare.

Paige A. Heck, 61, Lawrence, her son, Frank D. Heck, 39, Shawnee, and Terence W. Cooper, 36, Overland Park, will be sentenced later.

Cooper and Frank Heck were each convicted of one count of conspiracy, 12 counts of health care fraud, two counts of wire fraud and 14 counts of money laundering. Paige Heck was convicted of one count of conspiracy, seven counts of health care fraud, two counts of wire fraud and 12 counts of money laundering.

According to testimony, the three were involved in trying to defraud Medicare, its beneficiaries and Invacare Corp.

They defrauded Medicare of more than $600,000 by overbilling for wheelchairs, U.S. Atty. Eric Melgren said. They also used Medicare proceeds from selling Invacare products to fund other businesses and pay for personal expenses, he said.

Wireless project wins $1.8 million grant

With more wireless products hitting the market daily, Kansas University researchers have won a $1.8 million National Science Foundation grant to find ways that the increasingly crowded radio frequency spectrum can be used more efficiently.

The grant will fund the National Radio Networking Research Testbed, a research project within the KU Information and Telecommunication Technology Center.

Gary J. Minden, professor of electrical engineering and computer science, will lead the three-year project.

"The RF (radio frequency) spectrum is a limited resource and it is not being used efficiently," Minden said. "The spectrum has 'empty pockets' within it that may provide radio designers with additional resources."

Some wireless phone companies have already exhausted their capacity in some markets.

Evangelical gathering raises $4,400 for clinic

A special offering taken Sunday at the Thanksgiving Celebration of the Lawrence Association of Evangelicals raised $4,400 to benefit Heartland Medical Clinic.

The event attracted about 700 people. It was sponsored by member churches of the association.

Heartland Medical Clinic is in the lower level of Heartland Community Church, 619 Vt. The clinic, established in 1999, is a general family practice offering medical care for those who lack insurance.

The Rev. Paul Gray, Heartland Church's pastor, said the clinic signed a three-year lease Monday to move into 7,000 square feet of renovated space in the Riverfront Mall.

The move is expected to take place in January.

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