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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.

Comments (69) Add comment
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countyman
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countyman 02/28/10 - 09:06 pm
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Pepperidge is nowhere near

Pepperidge is nowhere near Barton Village. Barton Village is lower middle class. There are people who have professionals jobs in Pepperidge.

to tell the truth1
500
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to tell the truth1 02/28/10 - 09:07 pm
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It's getting there honey, I

It's getting there honey, I see it everyday.

to tell the truth1
500
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to tell the truth1 02/28/10 - 09:09 pm
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Just becasuse you have a

Just becasuse you have a professional job that don't mean you can't be a hodlum at the same time.

brimisjoshan
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brimisjoshan 02/28/10 - 09:15 pm
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I live and work in harrisburg

I live and work in harrisburg and things are bad there to. It takes all of us working together to make a change. I believe in prayer, faith and action. We need to run out the money makers (drug dealers and pimps) and we need to provide a sense of belonging in community groups for these kids. Also, our jails have got to quit giving these criminals such an easy life in front of a TV and give them hard labor so they would never want to come back. There have been some good comments on this site. Unfortunately, if things don't get better I will have to carry a Bible in one hand and a gun in the other.

to tell the truth1
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to tell the truth1 02/28/10 - 09:20 pm
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countyman, you are off base,

countyman, you are off base, I am speaking of the s/d in reference to crime and violence, I am sure there are a few law abiding citizens in Barton Village that are not lower middle class as you have it. I know a few people that live out there that have good jobs they just decided to stay there. Just like I am still here in Pepperidge until I decide to leave.

MomInRC
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MomInRC 02/28/10 - 10:09 pm
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Welfare has to do with this

Welfare has to do with this article because many of the parents of these teens are in the category to receive gov't handouts, certainly not all, but that's how much of it starts. The parents who live off the gov't tend to have more children, less time to spend with each child, and don't instill work ethic, respect for others' property, and basic morals that a nonviolent teen would be more likely to have. I'm not saying anything about Pepperidge in particular because I don't know about those folks' financial situations, and I'm not saying everyone on gov't subsidy is violent or criminal, but I do know the ones who start the most trouble in my neighborhood are section 8 who've come within the last few years. That's one reason I'm moving. I'm sure many of the Pepperidge neighbors feel exactly the same.

countyman
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countyman 02/28/10 - 10:19 pm
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Okay but I see nicer cars in

Okay but I see nicer cars in Pepperidge than Barton Village. Barton Village is mainly working class and lower middle class. Pepperidge is middle class.

countyman
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countyman 02/28/10 - 10:26 pm
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My old neighborhood off Old

My old neighborhood off Old Evans road in Martinez. The neighborhood had a couple of section 8 homes. The people who were causing the problems weren't on section 8 either. My car was broken into twice. Four of my neighbor's have to deal with break-ins. I moved to a loft on broad street downtown and now love it.

I have a friend who lives in Evans off North belair rd before it intersects with Cox rd. They been having problems with burglaries and car-break ins too. It wasn't because of the section 8 living there either.

WW1949
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WW1949 03/01/10 - 12:36 am
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Countryman, do not judge

Countryman, do not judge people by the type of car they drive. That would be very misleading. I have friends who are very rich and drive older Fords, a doctor friend who drives an old Mercedes and sits on a box because the seat is worn out. Cars do not mean anything but bank accounts and paid for homes do. Some people choose to stay where they are and not have any money worries. I know I do.

Brad Owens
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Brad Owens 03/01/10 - 10:58 am
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tlnvols, Doesn't matter what

tlnvols,

Doesn't matter what YOU think, it happened. Ask Mr. Merry, from Merry Trash and Treasures, about the time he covered me from his truck while I chased down a 'would be' mugger, disarmed him, and held him until the cops came. THAT was a different time than this one in fact.

My point is, if you are ORGANIZED and willing to really 'take' back the streets, then you can.

You can doubt the stories all you want but I would tell you to stroll on down to the 8th Street smoke shop, on the corner of 8th and Ellis, and ask for the owner. Ask Tony if I am making this up. Tony and can elaborate on this, and MANY other times, I/we ran off the criminals down there.

The fact is, we knew who the deputies were working our beat and we kept them informed on everything. When we caught someone we had them come and take them away. We were in fact, a very aggressive neighborhood watch and it worked.

I love punks who talk trash without knowing the facts.

By the way, I have arrested, as a bond agent, about 30 folks myself. You know, that's where I put the handcuffs on them and take them to 401, so I fell that I have done my part.

Brad

P.S. Riverman1, I am not lucky to be alive at all. These street punks downtown are wannbe gangsters. When they sent someone down to try to intimidate me I tols the fella to go on back and tell the folks that I wasn't going anywhere and that they had best shove on off to a different location to do business from then on. And they did, not to mention right after the incident, the sheriff sent in his deputies and they cleaned out a whole nest of criminals.

I called him to complain about the 'plain sight' stuff going on and he said, "Brad, I am on it. Give me a little more time." And By God he did do something.

So I am a big fan of Sheriff Strength given what he has to work with and all that he has to deal with.

Brad

to tell the truth1
500
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to tell the truth1 03/01/10 - 11:29 am
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ww1949, good point. There is

ww1949, good point. There is a percentage of people that have money and don't glorify material things. I know too many middle class people are living above their means to impress their family and friends, while they are struggling financially in the process just to try and keep up with the Jones. These type of people, most of them tend to be somewhat deprived when growing up and I guess don't want their present situation to be like it was back then. I was raised in a moderate middle class environment, we weren't rich but I never had to want for essentials. I've brought moral values into my adulthood and I instilled those same values in my now grown kids and they are passing them to their kids. It all boils down to the HOME training. Parents need to get a grip on their out of control kids. I see young, small children everyday out in the streets for hours and hours, just hanging. I just wonder why their parents aren't concerned about their whereaboouts and what they are doing.

eachoneteachone
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eachoneteachone 03/04/10 - 01:33 pm
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One would think that the same

One would think that the same people would realize how harmful school bussing is to the students. Why aren't they calling to end school bussing?

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