RealNews

N.M. Town Preps for Anti-Terror Training

The eerie silence in this once-bustling mining town won’t last long. Soon, helicopters and planes will zoom overhead, and the buzz among locals will be of bio-weapons, agro-terrorism and suicide bombings. Playas — population about 60 — is destined to be bought up by a New Mexico university and transformed into a sprawling classroom for lessons in anti-terrorism. With help from the federal government, the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology has agreed in principle to buy Playas from Phelps Dodge Corp., the mining company that built it in the 1970s. The $5 million deal includes 259 company-owned homes, apartment buildings, a community center, grocery store, medical clinic and air strip. Several hundred nearby acres also are included. Michael Hensley, a New Mexico Tech program manager, said the training center could bring at least 200 jobs to Playas and possibly more high-paying technical jobs once a proposed 600-acre research park is built. Full Story

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