Atomic Mining Services is a relatively new company in Appalachia, but its practices should be familiar to anyone who knows a little West Virginian history. Reports of armed teams of "security personnel" used to "disperse" rioters and labor protests have been an almost daily occurrence that this newspaper has reported on. We are sorry to say that a new low has been reached.
When AMS first came to West Virginia, they were lauded as saviors to the region, bringing a new method of digging even deeper into the old mines. The fact that these methods included detonating atomic charges didn't phase the hardened mining communities, who were used to the kind of risks common in coal country.
But AMS abandoned the project almost as soon as they arrived, citing "technical failures." Employment dried up again. The area lurched even deeper into poverty. You would think that would be enough damage, but AMS wasn't done.
Like thieves in the night, AMS suddenly swooped into the town of Welch, claiming that they had the resource rights to the land, including the residences the people of Welch were living on. Naturally, the town resisted this attempt to take away their homes, and that's when AMS's now infamous "security personnel" came in.
Why does AMS want Welch? AMS has provided no comment, and our reporters were escorted out of the town by armed men, wearing AMS logos.