May 19, 2020 7:00 AM

Facility in Kan. will create 300 jobs, help COVID-19 testing

Posted May 19, 2020 7:00 AM

JOHNSON COUNTY — Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., the world leader in serving science, announced Monday it has received a contract from the U.S. government to provide highly specialized viral transport media (VTM) for COVID-19 sample collection.

According to a media release, the VTM is used during collection of patient samples for proper transport to laboratories that can test for the presence of the virus.

To ensure accuracy of COVID-19 test results, VTM must be manufactured and dispensed into tubes in an aseptic environment. Thermo Fisher currently produces VTM at its site in Lenexa, Kansas, which meets this requirement, and has ramped production from 50,000 to more than one million VTM-filled tubes per week.

Given the significant demand for COVID-19 testing and associated sample collection, Thermo Fisher will expand capacity in Lenexa with a new $40 million facility dedicated to VTM production and quality control. The added capacity and increased efficiencies will allow the company to scale production to more than eight million VTM-filled tubes per week.

The company plans to complete the new Lenexa facility in Q3 and expects that it will create approximately 300 new full-time jobs.

"Our production ramp-up in Lenexa has been impressive and our employees deserve recognition for their ingenuity and dedication to making this happen," said Marc N. Casper, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Thermo Fisher Scientific. "We have a proven blueprint for high-quality VTM production in Lenexa and look forward to bringing significant new capacity on line as quickly as possible to continue the necessary testing ramp-up in the U.S."

Casper added, "We're proud of our role in helping customers to battle the pandemic. With our leading scale and depth of capabilities, Thermo Fisher can support virtually every aspect of the COVID-19 response, which demonstrates what it means to be the world leader in serving science."

Continue Reading JC Post
May 19, 2020 7:00 AM
Former Kan. cop convicted of child sex crime has license revoked
Heit-photo Finney County

GARDEN CITY —A former southwest Kansas police officer who pleaded guilty to child sex crimes has also lost his law enforcement license,  according to the Kansas Commission on Peace Officers' Training and Standards.

In October, a Finney County judge sentenced Douglas Heit, 51,  to life in prison after a no contest plea on two Jessica's Law counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child younger than 14 years of age, according to Kansas Attorney General's office. He was originally charged with six counts, all involving the same child.

The Kansas Commission on Peace Officers' Training and Standards took action to revoke Heit's license earlier this month, according to their web site.

Heit is currently being held out of state, according to the Kansas Department of Corrections.

Heit worked as a police officer in Garden City for 14 years.

-------------

GARDEN CITY – A former Kansas police officer has been sentenced to life in prison for child sex crimes, according to Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt.

Douglas Heit, 50, pleaded no contest in October in Finney County District Court to two Jessica's Law counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child younger than 14 years of age.

District Judge Michael Quint yesterday ordered Heit to serve two concurrent sentences of life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years. Heit is also subject to lifetime post-release supervision and sex offender registration. The crimes occurred in August 2018. He was originally charged with six counts, all involving the same child.

Heit worked as a police officer in Garden City for 14 years.

The case was investigated by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation with assistance from the Garden City Police Department. Senior Assistant Attorney General Melissa Johnson and Assistant Attorney General Stephanie Plaschka of Schmidt’s office prosecuted the case.