Massive Meter Theft Compounds West Pointers’ Erosion Woes

first_imgIt started with what has now been rated the worst sea erosion to ever hit and almost robbed the impoverished township of West Point of its existence, destroying dozens of zinc shacks and a few concrete buildings and leaving hundreds homeless.Then in early September, the reach of the erosion washed away the only paved road to the township, destroyed several Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) light poles and plunged that densely populated community into darkness for over three weeks, leaving residents at the mercy of marauding hard-core township criminals.Suddenly, a week ago, hundreds of West Point residents took to the only remaining street in jubilation of the LEC’s decision to restore electricity to the township. Their jubilation was, however, cut short when they realized that many of the LEC poles had been looted of the meters.Many of those affected blamed the LEC management for its “don’t care-fy attitude” towards the residents by failing to conduct daily inspections of the poles. According to sources, each of the meters costs US$150. The lootings are suspected to be carried out during the small hours of the night, with accusing fingers being pointed at some former and current LEC employees, allegedly assisted by some unemployed youths in both Clara Town and West Point. “We who are legally transacting business with the LEC have now turned beggars to those who steal current and deny government revenue,” a distraught resident told our reporter.Two of those hardest hit by the meter theft, Siahr Nyumah and Adama Bah – both proprietors of provision shops – told our reporter that they are living at the mercy of those who have by-passed the LEC prepay system and are giving out current to individuals who make monthly payments as low as US$10 and as high as US$20, depending on individual needs.According to them, a few days ago, people believed to be LEC employees visited the township to assess the magnitude of the damage to their system during the three-week blackout. When inspected, the cables connecting many of the poles were found totally without meters (each pole contains about 15 meters), which were visibly disconnected from the empty boxes.West Point Commissioner, Sampson Nyan, confirmed the theft of the meters, but could not say how many legal meter owners were affected.It can be recalled that during several appearances before Legislative Committees and Senate Plenary, the management of LEC complained that the corporation was sustaining a monthly loss of over US$250,000 due to power theft, mainly from communities like West Point, NewKru Town and Clara Town, among others.During a recent town hall meeting with community leaders in Monrovia, the LEC’s Deputy Managing Director for Customer Services, Famatta Sirleaf, disclosed that a fine of up to US$350 awaits power thieves and those tampering with electricity meters. The penalty, she said, is imposed to serve as a deterrent to power theft.The LEC executive highlighted the dangers power theft poses to thieves and the end users, saying scores of young Liberians have lost their lives stealing current.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Griffey was hurt playing with kids

first_imgAfter 21 years in the Yankees’ organization, including 16 with the major-league team, Williams feels burned and doesn’t think he should have to earn a job. His agent, Scott Boras, said Saturday that Williams hasn’t shown any desire to do that or to play for another team. “I think he’s hurt. I don’t think there’s any question,” Torre said. “He’s a very proud individual. I know there are a lot of players in this clubhouse who certainly feel for Bernie. But, again, unfortunately, it’s the nature of the game a lot of times.” Here comes Barry: The Barry Bonds buzz has begun, along with a whole lot of questions: What time will he arrive at spring training? Or will he even show at all today when the San Francisco Giants’ position players are to report? When will he speak? Is he in as good shape as he says after a winter of intense workouts at UCLA? The hype surrounding the 42-year-old slugger – who has been in Las Vegas for NBA All-Star Game festivities – will start in earnest the second his vehicle pulls up at Scottsdale (Ariz.) Stadium. His first workout with the entire team is scheduled for Tuesday, so he doesn’t have to show at the ballpark until then. He wasn’t even expected to get to the desert until later today. “It’ll be interesting,” pitcher Matt Cain said. “He’s always fun. He brings excitement to the team. He’s got a goofy comment here and there, but it’s fun to watch.” Last season, the seven-time National League MVP moved past Babe Ruth for second place on the career home run list amid further allegations of steroid use. It could be even more crazy this season considering he is 22 homers from passing Hank Aaron’s career record of 755 and reportedly failed an amphetamines test last year. What’s more, he still is being investigated by a federal grand jury trying to determine whether he perjured himself when he testified in 2003 in the BALCO steroid-distribution case that he hadn’t knowingly taken performance-enhancing drugs. Reds’ reliever still bothered by shoulder: Reliever Gary Majewski’s right shoulder was still a concern when Cincinnati opened spring training Sunday, forcing him to go easy in some drills. Reds manager Jerry Narron said Majewski won’t be allowed to throw off a mound for about a week. “Anytime someone’s not starting the first day, there’s always going to be concern,” Narron said. “But we’ll see where he is. From my understanding, he should be ready pretty quick.” Belliard signs with Nationals: Second baseman Ronnie Belliard agreed to a non-guaranteed, minor-league contract with Washington that will pay him $750,000 if he makes the team. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “It was nothing that could violate my contract,” he said Friday after reporting early for training camp in Sarasota, Fla. “It was Dad being Dad.” Griffey said the hand feels fine and he expects to be ready to go for spring training. Ken Griffey Jr. is finally saying what broke his throwing hand – wrestling with his kids. The Cincinnati Reds’ center fielder said he was wrestling with his daughter and two younger sons on his yacht in the Bahamas this past December when the oldest jumped in and knocked him off balance. He landed awkwardly on his left hand. center_img The 37-year-old Griffey had been silent about the cause of the offseason injury, not giving interviews or allowing the Reds to announce the cause. Many theories surfaced, including a motorcycle accident – but Griffey said his 2003 model has just 57miles on it because he hasn’t ridden it in three years. The Reds had reported the accident happened at home, and Griffey said Friday he lives on his yacht in the offseason. Bye, bye Bernie? Bernie Williams wants a guarantee, not a maybe, so it appears he won’t be with the New York Yankees when position players start workouts Tuesday in Tampa, Fla. Manager Joe Torre planned to call Williams again. But catcher Jorge Posada thinks Williams can’t be persuaded to accept a minor-league contract. “I called him and he hasn’t returned my call,” Posada said Sunday. “That just tells me something negative. That just tells me he won’t be here.” last_img read more