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News and notes from around town:
• If you think tests are just for the classroom, you’ve evidently never stood with a very tiny bottle in your hand. (Or else you have a really odd classroom.)
Medical testing, of course, is big business, and there is a new player in the field in Lawrence. A Kansas City businessman has opened ARCpoint Labs of Lawrence, which is part of a national franchise that provides all types of blood tests, drug tests and other similar services.
Allison Vance Moore of Lawrence’s Colliers International brokered a deal for the business to locate at 600 Lawrence Ave. That’s basically at Sixth and Lawrence near Stone Meadows Liquor Store. (There might be some synergy there.)
Tim Rebori owns the franchise for both the Lawrence and Kansas City areas, and says the business has a varied client base. He said about half of the business will come from companies sending employees or job candidates for drug screenings or other testing. But the other half will come from people who have some desire for a particular test. That’s where it sounds like the business can get pretty interesting.
“We have some people come in to take a test before they apply for a job,” Rebori said. “They want to make sure they can pass the test before they apply.”
Here’s a fact that may keep some Lawrence job seekers up at night: There is a fingernail test that can detect some types of drug usage up to six months after the fact, Rebori said.
Some parents also bring their children in for testing, and it is not always for narcotics or alchohol. Rebori said steriod testing and other performance enhancing drug testing has become more frequent.
Sometimes children caught in custody battles also end up at the business. Rebori said one scenario is that one parent suspects the other parent is doing drugs around the child. Rebori said there is a test that can be done on the child’s hair to determine if they were in an environment where certain drugs were used.
The business, which is starting out with hours of 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., doesn’t accept medical insurance. But Rebori said the company provides all the documentation needed for people to submit the insurance claim on their own.
“We still feel like we’re more affordable than going through a doctor or a clinic,” Rebori said. “Some of the tests we charge $49 for will cost $300 or $400 through other channels.”
Rebori said the company gets some efficiencies by being part of a national franchise. The company, in case you are wondering, only does the testing at the Lawrence location. The actual processing of the test results are sent to an off-site location.
That’s all fine and good, but what I want to know is this: Can they test my wife’s hand for credit card residue?
• The Lawrence Police Department was in the news a lot on Thursday, but here’s news on the department of a different sort. Each year the department reports how often officers use their TASER devices.
In a nutshell, the TASER usage in 2011 didn’t seem out of the ordinary. There were seven instances where members of the public had a TASER used upon them. All seven were examined by medical professionals, and the department said there were no medical issues to report. None of the individuals has filed a complaint against the city regarding improper usage of the TASER.
The most interesting thing about these annual reports, though, is they provide a glimpse at some of the situations officers have to deal with. In summary, everything from a 2-by-4 to a lathe tool can get you tased. I also learned this: There must have been some crazy type of moon in May 2011. Of the seven TASER incidents, four of them happened between May 18 and May 24.
Here’s a look at each of the seven:
— March 10: In the 1300 block of Maple Lane, officers respond to a criminal damage disturbance. The suspect struck an officer in the face when he was attempted to be handcuffed, then tried to put the officer in a “head lock.” The officer delivered a TASER jolt, which did not completely subdue the suspect, but officers were able to complete the arrest.
— March 27: In the 1600 block of West Fifth Street, officers responded to a domestic disturbance. The suspect was armed with a baseball bat and threatened an officer with it. The officer pulled his sidearm, and the suspect dropped the bat. But the suspect refused to get on the ground as ordered by the officer. A second officer arrived on the scene, and the suspect threatened the officer and began to advance toward the officers. The first officer pulled his TASER and delivered a charge.
— May 18: In the 1200 block of Brook Street, officers responded to a domestic batter disturbance. The suspect ran into a kitchen area, but was taken to the ground by officers. The suspect, though, continued violently kick officers, which led to an officer delivering a TASER charge.
— May 21: At 11th and Massachusetts, police officers received a report of an individual armed with a gun and a knife who had threatened at least two people. Several officers responded, and observed a man with gun in his right hand and a knife in his left. The suspect was ordered to drop his weapons but did not do so. A TASER charge was delivered, which caused the man to go to the ground.
— May 26: In the 1700 block of Harper Street, a suicidal individual barricaded himself inside his home with a woman and four children. He refused requests to allow the woman and the children to leave. Eventually, the man agreed to come out of the house to negotiate, but then ran. An officer blocked his path and ordered him to stop. The suspect refused to stop and received a TASER charge.
— May 31: In the 600 block of Walnut Street, officers responded to an extremely intoxicated man who said he wanted to commit suicide. The man locked himself in a bedroom and said he was stabbing himself. The man emerged with a lamp in one hand and a sharp object in the other. When the man began to approach the officers in a threatening manner, a TASER charge was delivered. The object in the man’s hand was later discovered to be a wood lathe tool.
— Oct. 9: In the 1900 block of Miller Drive, officers responded to a domestic disturbance. The suspect was found in his father’s basement. He was holding an 8-foot 2x4 and started yelling at officers. The father, who was also in the basement, tackled his son. Officers tried to restrain the son, but the son began kicking the officers. An officer deployed one TASER but it was ineffective. They placed a new cartridge on the TASER and that charge was successful in subduing the son.
You can read the full 2011 TASER report from the department by clicking here.