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Neighbors in Pepperidge subdivision rally against violence after deaths of two teenagers

Community hunts solution after teens killed

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Parents and families in the Pepperidge subdivision stood together Saturday and said "enough is enough."

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A Pepperidge resident is consoled over the deaths of two teens in the past month.   Bianca Cain/Staff
Bianca Cain/Staff
A Pepperidge resident is consoled over the deaths of two teens in the past month.


"We're taking our neighborhood back," the Rev. Claude Harris of New Life Worship Center told a crowd of about 60 people in the subdivision, where two teens have died in the past month. "I'm sick and tired of elderly people afraid to come on their porch. I look around, I don't see the girls playing hopscotch and jumping double Dutch in the yard. It's time now to get them back where they feel comfortable in the front yard and not hiding in the back."

The Jan. 26 death of Brandon Desean Taylor, a sophomore at Butler High School, was linked to gang activity, according to Richmond County authorities. Hephzibah residents Brandon Ira Le'Keith Helm, 18, of Warwick Place, and Darian Deandre Postell, 19, of Thames Place, are each charged with murder.

Sixteen-year-old Tykiah Palmer, who was pregnant, was shot to death Feb. 17 during an argument with a friend of her brother. Loviet Nushawn Edwards, 15, is charged with two counts of murder.

Families gathered Saturday at a Stop the Violence rally not only to console one another but also to search for an answer to the problem.

Neighbors joined hands in prayer, asking God for help to bring safety back to their community.

"They say we have a lost generation," said Augusta Mayor Pro Tem Alvin Mason. "That's just something I don't believe."

Harris has been working with gangs in his church and said he has found the solution.

"We found there is one thing these young men need," he said, "and that's family."

After working with the boys, he saw four gangs join to play basketball. After that, he saw no violence for three months.

Bernard Harper, a former Augusta commissioner, said the answer lies in community centers, which would give the children something to do besides congregate in the streets.

Alecia Reed, who has lived in Pepperidge for nine years and reared six children there, said the violence isn't going to scare her out of her home.

"I want to stay here and see this through," she said. "I'm volunteering to do anything I can."

If you go

A gang awareness class will be offered at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at New Life Worship Center. The South Augusta Teen Summit on teen violence and guns will be at noon March 13 at Gracewood Community Center. Call (706) 993-8739 for more information.

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Nat the Cat
1
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Nat the Cat 02/28/10 - 01:23 am
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"They say we have a lost

"They say we have a lost generation."
Who are "they?"
Who are "we?"
Why is there a "lost generation?"
And what is Alvin Mason going to do about it, besides saying that he doesn't believe it? Talk is cheap, so are his suits!

SteadyRising2010
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SteadyRising2010 02/28/10 - 03:47 am
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I feel its about time

I feel its about time somebody stood up for their children... i say children because they are the ones being effected the most... They are the ones that are losing thier childhoods and living in fear... True the parents have alot of burdens as well but they lived thier childhood years, and things have never been as bad as they are now... The new generation of parents are very young now, and so kids are just adopting the bad examples of their parents. The parents need to step up first before we start working on the youths.

Brad Owens
4914
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Brad Owens 02/28/10 - 07:40 am
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Go with God, and a bag of

Go with God, and a bag of guns. The criminal element must be disciplined by society, or society will be disciplined by the criminal.

These folks need to set up organized patrols, open up lines of communication with the Sheriff's Dept., report any and all criminal and suspected criminal activities to the Sheriff, and travel in numbers.

To 'take' anything you have to have the will to use the means to accomplish the mission.

I hear lots of talk, but never see any REAL action.

On 8th Street at Ellis, when I moved in down there dope deals and sex workers were in plai sight from my corner behind the Summit.

I went to WALMART and bought a 3million candle watt spotlight that plugs into your lighter in a car and a Bullhorn that had a siren in it.

I started staying up, sometimes all night, and when a 'John' pulled up I turned on the spotlight and read out the tag number through the bullhorn. I would say things like, "Georgia plate BEV 376, this is the 8th Street neighborhood watch and we see what you are doing! The Sheriff's office has been called and you are being filmed! We don't support drug deals or whores on our streets! Go somehwere else, the Cops are on the way!"

I also hired extra duty cops to work our streeton First Friday and other big days like St. Patty's Day ect.

Once I caught a guy selling pills on one of our corners, I looked at him and he looked at me. I said, "Hey! What are you doing?", he said, "It's cool man.", I said "No hell it ain't!" and he took off running, I took off after him. I caught him in less that 40' right in front of the 8th Street tobacco store (Tony who owns it was right there and saw everything) and grabbed his collar from behind. I stopped and yanked back which caused his legs to fly out from under him. I drug him halfway up the block and then I called for the extra duty cop which in turn searched him and found drugs. She called the Vice Cops as the man cowered under her feet in mortal fear of me until they arrived and arrested the guy.

I told him if I ever caught him selling drugs to teenager on my street again that I would kill him. I never saw his face again and everyone down on the block was happy. They knew where I stood and by God I will NOT permit that in my sight. Did I over step the law? I don't know, but I can tell you this, the crackheads, whores, and pushers stayed off our block as long as I lived and ran a business on 8th Street.

Oh, and I was registered with the Sheriff's Dept as a bond recovery agent and had a gun permit. I was always armed and prepared to defend myself and my property against these animals.

So to the folks out in Pepperidge I say, pray about it and then DO someting about it. No ammount of midnight basketball will prevent the vultures from coming out, only action. Take your neighborhood back (key word here 'TAKE') and do it the right way. Get organized. Stick together in numbers, communicate with each other and the Sheriff, buy equipment like spotlights, scanners, pepper spray, paintguns with marker paint, and radios. Set up cameras and CCTV to record areas of high crime. Get Georgia Power to put in larger lights and pay for them if you must. Whatevere you do, don't just talk, hug, pray, and talk some more.

Make the changes in your world you need, don't wait for someone to do it for you.

STAND UP! BE COUNTED! GET ORGANIZED! TAKE ACTION!

deekster
24
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deekster 02/28/10 - 07:42 am
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Rev. Harris, stand up and

Rev. Harris, stand up and tell he TRUTH. Dare to be the "man of God" you were called to be. "Sound the trumpet". "Train a child up in the way they should go and when they are old they will not depart from it". God's Word. You cannot leave a "tender shoot" to be ravaged by the "cold wind". Get off the "social acceptably secular humanism" pulpit and give these people the "truth that will set them free." What are you preaching for the pulpit, Reverend? One changed life at a time. Hundreds of changed lives in a real "revival of the truth". "Touchy Feely and I'm Okay, You're Okay will not save these lives"

deekster
24
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deekster 02/28/10 - 07:45 am
1
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You cannot cure and "illness"

You cannot cure and "illness" until you admit there is "sickness". And then you need to see the real "DOCTOR". As cute as we are at birth, we a "depraved flawed human beings" in need of a "new heart" that only Jesus Christ can give.

johnston.cliff
2
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johnston.cliff 02/28/10 - 07:46 am
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If the community wants to end

If the community wants to end the lost generation syndrome (which grows steadily worse with each generation) the boldest of actions needs to be taken. 1) End the practice of teaching their children they're being picked on and deserve a special benefit from the government. 2) Replace the subsidy check with achievement and self-confidence. 3) Teach personal responsibility and accountability from birth to independence. 4) Become American and drop all hyphenated prefixes that separate them from the whole. Being included is better than being "diversely" separate but equal. (hint: that's the same as separate)
Addressing the root causes of the "law of the jungle" mentality is the only way to overcome them. There will be no instant gratification in this effort. It will take an entire generation or longer to undo the damage done.

deekster
24
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deekster 02/28/10 - 07:46 am
0
0
Pepperridge, "Lift Up Jesus

Pepperridge, "Lift Up Jesus Christ". Don't waste your time on politicians and psychologists.

disssman
6
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disssman 02/28/10 - 07:56 am
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For the reverends

For the reverends information. We used to have a basketball court in our subdivision, but it turned out to be the catalist for drawing hoodlums to the area and we had it removed. The Pharmacys are still set up and doing a thriving business there in the evenings. I am not so sure prayer is going to help anything. I noticed that children were not mentioned in the article. Was this a gathering of adults? In anv event the people attending this charade know exactly who the trouble makers are and there is absolutely nothing they will do about it, except pray and the hood will continue to prey. Where are the shreriff patrols?

brayton99
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brayton99 02/28/10 - 07:58 am
0
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seems like the typical

seems like the typical grandstanding by a pastor , if you really want to make a difference, get your butt out in the street and do something, and shut your mouth

johnston.cliff
2
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johnston.cliff 02/28/10 - 08:01 am
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As long as prayer, extra

As long as prayer, extra lights, basketball courts and sheriff's patrols are relied on to make a change (that's what we're already doing, now), nothing will improve. More of the same and expecting different results has never been a good idea. Take the very difficult but necessary steps to cure the root cause. See the problem, address the problem, cure the problem.

elizaw
8
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elizaw 02/28/10 - 08:48 am
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Some of you guys comments is

Some of you guys comments is awful, as far as I see it, they are making steps to make the community better. Are you upset because they are doing something about it. When they say they are taking it back, they are saying that they are going to do something about it before it get worse. Now some folks on the other side need to work with their kids selling and taking drugs work in their neighborhood. And I am not talking about richmond county either. So get over it and start with yourself and your community, so that all of this can stop. Pepperidge I am proud of you.

deekster
24
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deekster 02/28/10 - 08:55 am
0
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Faith (prayer & hope) without

Faith (prayer & hope) without Works (human action against evil) is a "dead endeavor". The Rev. Harris has read this many times to his congregation. He has forsaken a "sacred calling" to be a "community organizer". Sadly, he is not the only one. Pastors and priest used to be the eyes, ears, moral compass, and voice for a moral, law abiding community. They did not just "speak for "15 minutes on Sunday morning" and not care what happened to the congregation the other six days and 23 hours. The "visible church" has failed those whom GOD has ordained to be their "responsibility". The "visible church" has allowed it congregation" to seek the government for salvation. Salvation must now be "entitlements from Washington". "Manna from heaven" must have been a "fairy tale". Lenin used this same psychology on the starving masses. "Who is feeding you?" It worked.

justus4
113
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justus4 02/28/10 - 08:57 am
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Look at the ignorance on this
Unpublished

Look at the ignorance on this forum. It' pitiful...but take another look at the children and what U miss is that they DO know whats going on. They KNOW they are marked for death. They KNOW the bitter taste of injustice. They KNOW the American Dream (for them) is a lie. They know the politicians are selfish. They KNOW preachers are all empty suits. They KNOW and SEE the inconsistent moral behavior of those around them and consequently, they act in a manner resulting from their horrible conditions. And so, the grief continues because the so-called leaders are REACTING, not PROACTING. Change the conditions for these kids and change a life. Otherwise, it's only more high-minded rhetoric producing little results.

cubbie
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cubbie 02/28/10 - 09:03 am
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johnson.cliff. Pepperidge

johnson.cliff. Pepperidge folks need to take your good advise, print it out and stick it on their mirror. God helps those who help themselves and just talking and singing praise songs won't get the job done. God first and then action. Fatith without action is null and void.

bettyboop
8
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bettyboop 02/28/10 - 09:14 am
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I do not see any ignorance on

I do not see any ignorance on this forum..I see people speaking their opinions and offering solutions..so justus were you there?...And did you offer your words of wisdom? According to you black youth today should just go ahead and end it all is this your answer to them?

to tell the truth1
210
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to tell the truth1 02/28/10 - 09:14 am
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The 2 recent teens who were

The 2 recent teens who were killed were residents of Pepperidge and so were previous young people who decided to get on the wrong side of the law. The article states about 60 people rallied, were any teens invited? There is a neighborhood association posting board at the entrance of Pepperidge. I didn't see anything about the rally posted there. Pepperidege is one if not the biggest subdivision in Augusta and you have all mixes of people living in there. It's gotten to the point that you have to move into a neighborhood with a mortgage value that the riff raffs cannot afford to live in peace. By all means, it cannot be said that violence is being brought into the neighborhood. It lives there.

soldout
1283
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soldout 02/28/10 - 09:20 am
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The best prayer is "that all

The best prayer is "that all truth will come to light" which doesn't require God to over-ride anyone's will which He doesn't do. Classical music got the hoods away from a Hardee's years ago so might be worth a try around the homes. The spotlights and bull horns are excellent ideas. Only listen to people that have been known to fix the problems in their areas. The ultimate answer is Jesus changing the hearts of those causing the problems. Having some drugs floating around that have added products in them to cause servere illness is also good. After a while no one what is safe and what is not and they go somewhere else to buy them.

Riverman1
94190
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Riverman1 02/28/10 - 09:54 am
0
0
It looks to me like they are

It looks to me like they are trying. Whatever happened to cops walking the beat? An officer should park his vehicle at the basketball court or wherever, get out, get to know the kids and walk around looking for trouble in high crime areas such as Pepperidge and Harrisburg.

Dang, after reading Brad's post, it's a wonder he's still alive.

Tots
26317
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Tots 02/28/10 - 09:57 am
0
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To many parents in there who

To many parents in there who do or move the drugs,kids only doing what they see and hear.Totellthe truth@9:14-Did they put up a new sign for Pepperidge news.Last year someone ran over it.I dont see this posting board.

dani
13
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dani 02/28/10 - 10:09 am
0
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Raves for the residents of

Raves for the residents of Pepperidge, it is never too late to seek a way to help the young people. With the exception of the 8:57 post, most posters are being supportive and has good ideas. Hopefully, the Pepperidge community will listen and heed the advice.

deekster
24
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deekster 02/28/10 - 10:10 am
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justus4, An honest question.

justus4, An honest question. What do Black minister deliver from their "pulpits"? What do Black Sunday School teachers convey about life? On the surface Black Americans appear to be the most "spiritual", "deeply spiritual" of all souls. I am sincerely puzzled. I would like to see the dream of Dr. King come true. I think Almighty God would be pleased with that dream. I don't think everyday white people are to blame for the ills of the Black Community. I think everyday white people want to be at "peace with their neighbors". I grew up in S. Augusta. I was educated in S. Augusta. I bore no ill will toward anyone. But S. Augusta (out Deans Bridge) became a "war zone" many years ago, not just now. I don't understand how anyone can want to live in fear of shootings, police sirens all night, home evasions and drug houses. Is "sin and crime off limits" as a subject for the church?

OIC
25
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OIC 02/28/10 - 10:29 am
0
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Getting involved to protect

Getting involved to protect your community is a good thing, but don't do anything that would jeopardize your lives. Do not go head to head with the criminal element. If you choose to get involved start by communicating with your local beat cop, get his/her cell number to inform him/her of the crime in your neighborhood. I can tell you first hand that if you supply information (drug stash locations and intelligence on criminal activity) some of the criminal element will move to another area that does not pose a threat to their activities. I don't rely on any programs to rehabilitate criminals. All we can do arrest the criminals and hope that we have enough evidence to win a conviction in court. If we get our convictions then we have to worry about the convicted criminal getting jail time. Most of the time these drug dealers are returned to the street on probation or serve short sentences.

to tell the truth1
210
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to tell the truth1 02/28/10 - 10:30 am
0
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Tots, thanks for the

Tots, thanks for the observation. You are probably right, that's why I didn't see it, the board wasn't there. It was damaged last year. However, that is no excuse for the neighborhood association not to get members and non-members of the association aware of incidents of this nature. They know how to print up fliers to solicit membership, etc. You have to start at HOME and your neighborhood is where your home is. You have some associations that don't want to be bothered with or deal with negativity but that is one of their primary functions is to do just that, especially if you're soliciting and accepting folks money for support. Don't get me wrong, I am not blaming it on the association primarily but I haven't seen anything they have addressed about violence in Pepperidge lately.

eachoneteachone
0
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eachoneteachone 02/28/10 - 10:33 am
0
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Unwed generational welfare

Unwed generational welfare mothers who are having babies to collect a check, get public housing and section 8 vouchers are at the root of the problem. The solution is cutting the sugar tet: http://www.shelterforce.org/article/special/1043/

Marvin
0
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Marvin 02/28/10 - 10:35 am
0
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People are unpredictable and

People are unpredictable and even people who are not violent may tend to act violent at the spur of the moment at any given time depending on the circumstances. I think what we should focus on is prevention. I also think it has to be a team effort. I think children need to be taught the consiquences of such actions before they even think about commiting them. Alot of our youth dont know the value of a life until its too late, but they need to be taught the value of life at the most tender age. This will bring about more respect for human life. Im still not sure of the method we should use in order to reach out to the youth, but whatever method needs to be in development stages right now. I remember comming up in school, there was the D.A.R.E. thing and Snuff McGruff the dog whos message was to keep kids off of drugs. But I do not recall any character or human that came their to teach us about Murder, Homicide, The consiquences and the value of Life. And at the same time I had many video games where you had to murder and kill to win the game. Whatever we do to help stop this violence needs to be done now, and not just brought up everytime their is another murder or death due to violence in the city. I think we need to address it everyday in everyway.

Marvin Thomas
EvolutionInc.Info

OIC
25
Points
OIC 02/28/10 - 10:35 am
0
0
What is the wacko gonna use

What is the wacko gonna use the paint gun for?

eachoneteachone
0
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eachoneteachone 02/28/10 - 10:45 am
0
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Young people need to learn

Young people need to learn Algebra more than they need basketball hoops. If inner city youth spent as much time studying Algebra as they do playing basketball they would be entering collage and exiting with what they need to get the good jobs in our highly competitive Meritocracy.

Discussionstarter
501
Points
Discussionstarter 02/28/10 - 11:25 am
0
0
Was the Mayor there????? If

Was the Mayor there????? If not... why? Wrong address?

to tell the truth1
210
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to tell the truth1 02/28/10 - 11:27 am
0
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Brad Owens, a couple of

Brad Owens, a couple of reminders; NEVER use GOD and GUNS in the same sentence, especially if your intent is to protray positive. NEVER take the law into your own hands. You're lucky you are still alive today.

corgimom
38695
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corgimom 02/28/10 - 11:31 am
0
0
How was it that millions of

How was it that millions of people over the years grew up without community centers and did just fine?

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