Sports Minister Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange says that Jamaicans should feel privileged to have seen sprint legend Usain Bolt compete.Grange was speaking at the launch of the JN Racers Grand Prix, and hailed Bolt for continually achieving excellence on behalf of the country. She described him as someone who is a superstar but also very humble, adding that he should be respected for succeeding every time he competed.”We have said it many times. He’s extraordinary, he’s wonderful, he’s funny, he’s truly amazing,” Grange said. “But I’m not sure that we quite understand yet what a privilege it is for us to live in the time of Usain Bolt. In a way, he has spoilt us – not only Jamaicans, but he has spoilt the entire world! He represents tremendous talent, hard work and he knows how to have fun.”STATUE THIS SUMMERGrange also reminded the audience that Bolt will be honoured at Statue Park at the National Stadium this summer with an eight-foot statue to be made by local sculptor Basil Watson.”We are on schedule to complete this statue by Independence and to have the mounting coincide with Bolt’s final World Championships in London,” Grange said. “It will be spoken about and studied by athletes for generations to come. I’m determined that Jamaica will do its part in memorialising and celebrating this once-in-a-lifetime athlete, and there are more things to come.”The minister said that although this is only the second staging of the meet, she is expecting it to be a “highly anticipated event”.”(This is) particularly because the country’s greatest athletics son – the world’s greatest athlete, Usain Bolt – will compete for us one last time on home soil. Is that so?” Grange said while jokingly suggesting to Bolt that she wants him to reconsider retirement.- R.P.
Torrential rains have drastically degraded the Lofa County highway leaving dozens of trucks and other vehicles stranded for one week, travellers have told the Daily Observer.According to reports, several trucks and smaller vehicles are in deep mud about 15 to 25 feet in some areas on the Lofa/Gbarnga highway.“We spent about five days traveling from Gbarnga City in Bong County to Voinjama City in Lofa due to the bad road,” said truck driver John Baysahwala.As a result, perishable farm items such as bitter balls, pepper, egg plants, peanuts, and greens intended for Monrovia markets continue to rot.Some of the affected farmers, who spoke to the Daily Observer via mobile phone, described the situation as discouraging because they are losing their markets.Peanut farmer Sumo Yallah of Voinjama District said 55 bags that he harvested to take to Monrovia rotted while waiting to be transported.“I now have money problems and don’t know what I will do to get money to continue farming,” Yallah said.Another farmer, Domawah Kemah, said out of 24 bags of the vegetables he intended sending to Monrovia, only 10 bags reached because the rest spoiled as a result of the road condition.With such huge loses, the farmers believe that next year’s production and harvest will certainly drop.In his reaction to the bad Lofa road condition, pineapple farmer Yallah M. Ballah said the only alternative left to any Liberian government is to begin paving the road.Ballah added that if such initiative had been accepted by the past and present governments, the pavement of the road would have begun ever since in Mendikormah in Foya Statutory District.Labour and other financial investments in the production of the farm produce are on many occasions left in the hands of commercial drivers. Business people and aid agency vehicles that continue to ply on the deplorable road are being faced with expensive mechanical repairs.In separate interviews with truck and small vehicle commercial drivers in Monrovia recently, they called on the Liberian Government to place priority on the pavement of the Lofa highway.“Let the current administration leave some works done on our Lofa highway as a mark of a genuine legacy for our poor farmers,” one of the drivers recommended.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)