Center will train for terrorist attacks

Developers are planning a training center at Aberdeen Proving Ground where trainees could learn to prevent or respond to terrorist attacks and other emergencies. They would train through drills at an urban assault village and a mock airport or rail station, Army officials announced.

The Army selected APG Development Partners, a joint venture of Bethesda-based developer LCOR and Weston Solutions, to develop and operate the estimated $350 million "simulated city." It will be equipped to train tens of thousands of people each year from government and private sectors.

The center is expected to be the largest high-tech counterterrorism facility of its kind in the U.S., the developers said.

The developers have signed a memorandum of agreement with U.S. Army Garrison Aberdeen Proving Ground, which maintains and operates APG, and the Army Corps of Engineers.

The agreement kicks off a four-month process to develop a business and lease plan for the property. The developer is to lease the land from the Army, finance the project and operate it.

The Center for Security Training and Technology is expected to generate several hundred permanent jobs.

Wednesday, Business section, Page 1D

Meissner and coach turn focus to future

CALGARY, Alberta --Kimmie Meissner concluded her first season skating among the sport's elite in spectacular fashion.

The Bel Air 16-year-old enjoyed a meteoric rise to the top of the sport's competitive ladder this season. And with last Saturday's surprising win at the World Figure Skating Championships, life might soon be changing.

Neither Michelle Kwan nor Sasha Cohen is expected to skate much past this year, which leaves Meissner as U.S. figure skating's torchbearer heading into the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Her coach, Pam Gregory, says it's a role Meissner has dreamed about.

"It's been the goal for her," Gregory said. "We thought no matter what, after this season Michelle would definitely retire. We're not sure about Sasha and what her plans are, but Kimmie's excited for the future."

Cohen was tight-lipped about her future after her third-place performance Saturday, saying only that she's looking forward to some vacation time.

Monday, Telegraph section, Page 1A

Harford director's 'ATL' opens

Chris Robinson, a Harford County native, had been offered the kind of film scripts you would expect an award-winning director of rap and hip-hop videos to receive - action movies, violent movies, comedies. All predictable, none worthwhile.

Finally, he found ATL, a story of four high school friends in working-class Atlanta trying to find a way out of the drugs, violence and hopelessness that permeate their neighborhood.

"For me, this script was about character," Robinson, 38, said in an interview. ATL opened nationwide Friday. "It was about heart. It was about friends. I wanted to start my film career in that realm."

Warner Bros. gave him $20 million to make the movie. But his career as a director got its start some 20 years ago, when Robinson began making videos for his friends' rap groups on the 17 acres surrounding his family's home in Edgewood. They'd build bonfires, and Robinson would stand on top of his dad's tractor-trailer for high shots.

Eventually, he would make videos for the likes of Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, Snoop Dogg, P. Diddy, Mary J. Blige and others. Robinson's life is now the typical bicoastal affair , but he still calls Maryland home - he has a house in Bel Air - and he still talks to his parents every day.

Monday, Today section, Page 1C

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