Dec. 17, 2009
 
BRINGING HOME MORE BACON: Byrd Announces Funding $4.575 Million for MU’s DNA Laboratory, Forensics Science Advancements
 
Special to Huntingtonnews.net
 
Washington, DC (HNN) -- Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-WV, announced that he has obtained $16.4 million in funding for key university and community-based projects throughout the State of West Virginia. The money was included in the Fiscal Year 2010 Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations bill. The bill was part of an Omnibus Appropriations bill, which combined 6 of the 12 annual spending appropriations measures. The bill is currently awaiting President Obama’s signature.
 
“The funding for these university-based programs enables them to maintain a competitive edge in their academic programs, while at the same time, providing critical work with their federal government partners. This funding also helps to address the scourge of drugs, to help combat crime and to ensure that we are on the cutting edge of technological breakthroughs. This funding will help to address all these objectives.”
 
Byrd secured funding for the following initiatives throughout the State of West Virginia:
 
--Marshall University’s Forensic Science Center DNA Laboratory: $4.575 million to continue funding to support further development of the Center to provide essential support and services to the West Virginia and the national forensic science communities through DNA analysis for database development, forensic casework, parentage DNA testing, and training in the area of forensic science.
 
--Computer Forensics Initiative at Marshall University: $855,000 for continued infrastructure development and upgrades for the Computer Forensics Initiative. This program focuses on research and training of specialized personnel who will meet the future needs of law enforcement and corporate America in the area of computer crime investigations at all levels, including terrorist attacks on computer networks, internet fraud, identify theft, child exploitation, drug transactions, and corporate espionage.
 
--West Virginia University Forensic Science Initiative: $4 million for the development of critical technologies for homeland security and national defense, and which concentrates on forensic science research, education, and forensic curriculum development. This program operates under a memorandum of understanding with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Criminal Justice Information Services Division.
 
--Community Connections, Inc., Bluefield: $2 million to conduct a youth training, leadership, and workforce development initiative across West Virginia to foster the growth and development of future leaders in community-based drug and crime prevention efforts.
 
--National Technology Transfer Center at Wheeling Jesuit University: $5 million for continued efforts in adapting an electronic medical records system developed by the U.S. military for use by health care clinics in medically underserved rural areas.
 
To further underscore the importance of the federal government spending in the State of West Virginia and its economic impact for the State, Byrd also noted the following appropriations that were contained in the Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill:
 
--Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division: $651 million for this facility in Clarksburg which has an employee base of over 2,575 employees in West Virginia, as well as more than 400 full-time and more than 600 part-time contract personnel in the state.
 
--Beckley Federal Correctional Institution: $40.29 million for operations of this Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) facility which contains 1536 beds and employs approximately 330 personnel.
 
--NASA Independent Verification and Validation Center: This Center, located in Fairmont, will receive $40 million for continued operations.
 
--Gilmer Federal Correctional Institution: $34.17 million for operations at this 1280-bed facility which employees 275 personnel.
 
--Green Bank Observatory: $15.7 million for operations at the Observatory which supports a $75 million radio telescope.
 
--U.S. Penitentiary and Secure Women’s Facility in Preston County: $54.06 million for operations of this 1088-bed U.S. Penitentiary and Secure Women’s Facility, with a combined employment level of 460.
 
--McDowell Federal Correctional Institution: $22 million. This facility will become fully operational in 2010 and will employ approximately 330 people.
 
--NASA Classroom of the Future (COTF): $1 million for continued operations of the COTF. Located on the campus of Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, the COTF supports approximately 50 full-time and part-time personnel.



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