Northeast Arkansas Earmarked for $19 Million in Defense Spending

OCTOBER 6, 2005 - Posted at 3:27 p.m. CDT

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senators Mark Pryor and Blanche Lincoln announced that the Fiscal Year 2006 Department of Defense Appropriations Bill includes significant funding for several northeast Arkansas-based projects.  Five projects in Craighead and Cross counties are earmarked for a total of $19 million.

Two projects at Arkansas State University will get the bulk of the spending dollars, including $8 million for the Standoff Sensor Radionuclide Program.  The money will be invested in smart technologies to detect nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.  ASU, the University of Hawaii, and Florida A&M will work collaboratively on the project.

ASU will also get $4 million for the Standoff Hazardous Agent Detection and Evaluation System (SHADES).  The money was secured to assist ASU, in conjunction with industry, to further research for early detection of weapons before chemical or biological threats can hurt troops or citizens.

Meanwhile, $1 million was secured for the Wolverine Shoe Company of Jonesboro, to establish a U.S. production base for high-performance boots for use by all special operations warfighters from all services.

In Cross County, $4 million was secured for the procurement of the M49/M98 fixed insulation gas filters from Mueller Industries in Wynne.  Also, the Copper Antimicrobial Program at Wynne will get $2 million for a project that supports the use of copper products as preventative measures against infectious disease.