Panel pulls Super C's licenses

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Augusta commissioners yanked the alcohol and business licenses for Super C's nightclub on Tobacco Road, where a teen was shot to death on the dance floor last month.

On the recommendation of Richmond County Sheriff Ronnie Strength, commissioners voted 6-2 with two abstentions Tuesday to revoke the licenses held by club owner Charles Cummings, a recommendation triggered by repeated reports of gunfire, fighting and gang activity and the death of 18-year-old Stedmund Fryer in July.

Voting in favor of Commissioner Andy Cheek's motion to close the club were Commissioners Jerry Brigham, Jimmy Smith, Joe Bowles, Bernard Harper, Don Grantham and Mr. Cheek. Voting no were Commissioners Marion Williams and Calvin Holland. Mayor Pro Tem Betty Beard and Commissioner J.R. Hatney abstained.

The vote followed a heated debate, with some commissioners questioning the sheriff's competence and suggesting a commission conspiracy to shut down black-owned nightclubs.

Mr. Cummings' attorney, Ben Allen, asked that Tuesday's hearing be continued for two weeks to allow Mr. Cummings to work with the community and the sheriff's department "to come to a workable solution."

A majority of commissioners rejected that request.

The board also rejected Mr. Allen's request that Mr. Cummings surrender his liquor license and be allowed to keep his beer, wine and business licenses. He said Mr. Cummings had taken steps to reform the club by changing the kind of music played and barring those younger than 21.

Sheriff Strength said commissioners were correct in saying that if Super C's were closed the teens would just go somewhere else.

"But if the right message is sent, these other bar owners in town will know the commission is not going to stand by and let this type of activity go on in their bar, and they will not let them patronize their establishment," he said.

He reminded commissioners that he told them last week that Super C's was a hangout for gang members and drug dealers.

"That's our job to know this," he said. "We have intelligence in these places. We have undercover in these places, and that's how we get our information firsthand."

Mr. Holland and Mr. Williams argued against revoking the licenses, and Mr. Williams wanted to know why the sheriff hadn't come to report the problems before.

Sheriff Strength said a check of the record would show that Super C's had been on probation one time and double probation another time.

"They have been up here," he said. "The commission makes those decisions. I don't."

Mr. Holland said if a fight starts at your house and ends up at Kroger's, you are not at fault.

"We've got to look at all of the different clubs that we have in this city," he said. "If we're going to revoke the license of Super C's club, we've got to be consistent about what we're doing in reference to the rest of the clubs, especially those clubs in the areas that are black-owned. And I'm looking at, and I see that, and to me I see somewhat of a conspiracy in terms of trying to close these different clubs down."

That brought a response from Mr. Cheek.

"The leadership of this city should be most concerned about the young men that get locked up at a young age that will never become anything but hardened criminals by continuing to find places where they can go and congregate, be involved in crime with drugs and gang activities and violence instead of saying, 'We will end this now,' " Mr. Cheek shouted.

"The bottom line is everybody in this city, no matter what they look like, they want their children to grow up and become something of themselves," Mr. Cheek said.

"That's right," said Sheila Fryer, the mother of Stedmund Fryer, who was at Tuesday's hearing.

"We are contributing to their downfall when we should turn that around and say, 'No, this is enough.' And any other place that's like this needs to be shut down," Mr. Cheek said to applause.

Reach Sylvia Cooper at (706) 823-3228 or sylvia.cooper@augustachronicle.com.

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intheknow
16
Points
intheknow 08/08/07 - 04:27 am
0
0
I really wished that they

I really wished that they would have given the owner a chance to clean it up, but he went through the system, and it has spoken LOUD AND CLEAR.

worriedboutdafuture
5
Points
worriedboutdafuture 08/08/07 - 04:38 am
0
0
My Prayers were answered!!!

My Prayers were answered!!! This place got it's final DUE!! now let's see what happens with DREAMS, DIRRTY SOUTH and all those other establishments which cater to that (thuggish type) of crowd. This action with Super C's should be a wake-up call for those owners to get get their stuff together! People (Particularly us people of color!) need to get our head out of the sand take a stand and confront these issues (black on black comunity violence head on!) I give a heart felt BIG SHOUT OUT and vote of thanks to the local surrounding community of that club for standing up and standing strong together and to their elected commissioner who further and boldly echoed the the will of the COMMUNITY!! Maybe this will embolden other communities to stand up an say to these other establishments in their neighborhoods "Change your ways or you too will be out of (as the young folks say) BIDNESS!! This ain't an attack against these club owners, this is to force them to look beyond the mighty dollar (Which many of them are Making BIG TIME!!) to take the time to make their establishments MORE SAFER for the PATRONS THAT PAY TO FREQUENT THEM!! Maybe then we won't lose another kid on their DANCEFLOOR!

ghughes51
1
Points
ghughes51 08/08/07 - 05:01 am
0
0
If an establishment has a

If an establishment has a history of problems like Super C does it should be closed. Crying race only divides. This is leadership?

If Mr Williams and Mr Holland can show there are other clubs with similar records, then please have them do so and I would expect Sheriff Strength to take similar actions.

PFLY775
2
Points
PFLY775 08/08/07 - 06:35 am
0
0
This is not the first time

This is not the first time that club was in the news. Thanks to Mr. Cheek for his comments. Finally somebody with some guts who can act like a man, a trusted elected official, and a good citizen! My heart goes out to Sheila Fryer and her family and I appreciate her presence at the meeting.

lezniack01
0
Points
lezniack01 08/08/07 - 06:42 am
0
0
The owner was asked to clean

The owner was asked to clean it up a year or so back if anyone remembers, so its not like he wasnt warned.And ofcoarse, wouldnt you just know old Marion and Holland would try to stand in the way of progress. Why cant we just get rid of the baggage.It makes me sick to watch this city go down the tubes.

pantherluvcik
628
Points
pantherluvcik 08/08/07 - 06:56 am
0
0
Great decision Commisioners,

Great decision Commisioners, for once you focus on something worth addressing. Club owners should be held accountable for what happens in and around their establishment, especially when they sell alcohol. The safety of their patrons should be priority one.

Rob
0
Points
Rob 08/08/07 - 07:10 am
0
0
I was sadden to hear about

I was sadden to hear about the lost of life at Super "C". Someone failed in doing their job by not checking for weapons upon entry. What happened there can happen any place any time, to anyone. We need to go back old school where we respect ourselves and others and a lot of these social ills will vanish.

0369Howard
0
Points
0369Howard 08/08/07 - 07:19 am
0
0
Holding club owners

Holding club owners accountable for the action in and around their clubs is right. I wish that Williams would stop thinking about himself and look out for the communities as he was appointed to do. If it means shutting down all clubs that has this type of activity then so be it.

rwyatt26
0
Points
rwyatt26 08/08/07 - 08:09 am
0
0
Close these establishments.

Close these establishments. Dirty South, Soundtrack, Dreams, and Tinted Windows all need to be shut down. Teenagers and liquor do not mix. And those individuals that are 21 normally can't hold their liquor without starting senseless fights that lead to gunplay.

education
0
Points
education 08/08/07 - 08:10 am
0
0
What about the teen club

What about the teen club where that young man lost his life? What that club shut down? What about the club on Washington Road where the security guard got shot? Is that club closed? I feel that they have targeted this one club when the same problems are happening at the other clubs. If you shut him down you need to shut down the other clubs as well.

work for a living
0
Points
work for a living 08/08/07 - 08:12 am
0
0
I have never visited this

I have never visited this club and never had any intentions of doing so. With that being said I can't judge the club one way or the other, and we can blame the clubs all day and night long but these thugs will find another place to handout though, even in the middle of the streets at night. I am sorry but sometimes the truth hurts, the clubs may have contributed to the demise of these young kids but ultimately the responsibility is that of the parents. You are responsible for your children, not the clubs, not the neighbors, and not the government. You had them you are responsible for them. If you had a curfew in your home and stuck to it that young man mgiht just be alive today. There are no winners in this situation, and unfortunately lives were lost and my heart goes out to all but sooner or later it is time to take responsibility for your own actions as parents and get off your butts and raise your children as responsible human beings and only then will the crime in Augusta decrease.

J.W.
2
Points
J.W. 08/08/07 - 08:12 am
0
0
Shame on those of you who

Shame on those of you who voted no or abstained. You have lost total touch with reality! Calvin Holland, where is that passion for our youth that you once had? Shame, Shame, Shame!

aintryt
189
Points
aintryt 08/08/07 - 08:16 am
0
0
Betty Beard shouldn't even be

Betty Beard shouldn't even be on the commission - she has quite a record for abstaining. Williams, Holland, Beard, and Hatney always play this same vote game. 2 or 3 vote opposite of the other commissioners with 1 or 2 abstaining. Get out already!

john
886
Points
john 08/08/07 - 08:21 am
0
0
You can keep pointing to

You can keep pointing to other places and claim that it is unfair, but you have to start somewhere. This seemed like a good choice to send a message. Why do people run for the commission and then abstain on important issues? I guess by abstaining, they allow the motion to pass without actually voting for it.

All About Me
0
Points
All About Me 08/08/07 - 08:22 am
0
0
This is not the first

This is not the first incident to happen at Super C's. If you remember the shooting that happened at the gas station on Tobacco Rd where the girl got shot that was the result of a gang fight that started at Super C's. Charles Cummings can say what he wants but he knows the type of people that darken his establishment and he did not change it 5 years ago or 5 months ago. I think it is extremly sad that a young man black or white had to die for something to be done about this place. I know I wouldn't want to live near a place that always had gunfire. Bullets have no names and strays hit the innocent.

bone
23
Points
bone 08/08/07 - 08:33 am
0
0
where is the outrage at the

where is the outrage at the commission's voting? what a disgusting mess augusta has for a gov't.

september 5th
1
Points
september 5th 08/08/07 - 08:33 am
0
0
good morning! couple of

good morning! couple of thoughts:
1. should the bar where mr cheeks got drunk at and got his DUI (which incidently he could have killed innocent lives while driving drunk) be closed?
2. if the sherrif knew that gang members and drug dealers frequented this club..why were they not targeted and arrested?
3. a lady was abducted at goody's should that department store be closed?
4. the prostitutes walking up and down MLK- being picked up by cars w/ columbia county tags...should they and their customers be targeted and arrestede?
5. known drug houses, that good citizens call in and report, should they be confiscated and torn down?
6. have we set a precedent that can lead to the closing of all clubs in augusta?
7. where do you think the gang members and drug dealers are going to go on friday nite?
8. which club will become the new "hang-out" for low lives

WW1949
19
Points
WW1949 08/08/07 - 08:37 am
0
0
I agree with neighborof jb

I agree with neighborof jb and worriedaboutdafuture. Parents need to teach their children that being the tough guy gets you nothing and being educated does. Kadoos for Mrs. Brown for standing up against disgusting rap music that degrades women and praises violence. Good job RSCD. Now go after the other clibs that allow this activity.

csralookout
237
Points
csralookout 08/08/07 - 08:39 am
0
0
Williams & Holland are jokes!

Williams & Holland are jokes! They are putting their race first before Public Safety.

feduptohere
0
Points
feduptohere 08/08/07 - 08:53 am
0
0
Williams needs to be removed

Williams needs to be removed from the commission seat. He is blatently racist and wants to make everything a black issue. I am fed up with him and the fact that he does not take into consideration the facts and in this case this club owner has been on probation not once but twice. Get a clue Williams IT IS NOT ABOUT BEING BLACK... How does one so blatently racist continue to hold office.

KingJames
10
Points
KingJames 08/08/07 - 08:58 am
0
0
If I am not mistaken, it has

If I am not mistaken, it has been about one month since Mr. Fryer died at Super C's. One month isn't enough time for Cummings to make enough changes to his club. Granted, I have never been there, but I can say that changes in security (meaning the entire security staff should have been fired for not doing their jobs properly), proper security training for new security staff, changing the type of music, changing the dress code to appeal to a certain type of crowd (no thug attire) take much longer than a month to accomplish. Until Cummings can prove these things were done, his club should be closed. For Holland to say that closing the club and any other black-owned club because of violence is a conspiracy is ridiculous. Anyone voting no or abstaining from voting on this issue because it was a black-owned establishment is not a leader. Protecting young people is part of the commission's job, even if it means protecting young black men from themselves. Mr. Cheek was correct about contributing to the downfall of the young by letting Super C's stay open. Holland, Williams, Hatney, and Beard should have made the vote unanimous, and stopped bringing up race at every meeting.

xqwbv2
3
Points
xqwbv2 08/08/07 - 09:14 am
0
0
I think there should be a

I think there should be a serious review of all clubs, black, white, green, yellow, gay, straight, teenager, 21+, old folks, VFW, whatever in Augusta, and their security protocols. Make it a condition of business and liquor license renewal. That way, no one can play the race/gay/age cards.

jackfruitpaper833
41
Points
jackfruitpaper833 08/08/07 - 09:14 am
0
0
KingJames then like Holland

KingJames then like Holland said, they need to be consistent, since Strength was there (he may have), passed out a current list to the commission of ALL clubs, who has the same type of record, offenses, problems so they can have that info right in front of them. That way IMO, they can look at it and close those down now as well before another killing takes place.

Marion is a NUT and Lord knows I wonder about his Christianity, but if Strrength knew this before hand why didn't he come before, and to Cheeks if it was such a problem, why didn't you shut it down before?

What backlash will be said if the commission close a predom WHITE establishment next, will it be said, they did it because of the pressure from closing Super Cs?

Augusta is BACKWARDS...

rwyatt26
0
Points
rwyatt26 08/08/07 - 09:15 am
0
0
Williams, Beard, and Holland

Williams, Beard, and Holland are a bunch of jackasses. Its time they stop playing the race card when a mother just lost her son in that hole-in-the wall establishment to gunfire. Remember was only back in 2005 when that club Alex Sports Bar on Wrightsboro Road a kid got shot and murdered. That place is now shut down. Good riddens for a place like that. They only draw wanna be thugs and punks that are so quick to pick up guns.

jackfruitpaper833
41
Points
jackfruitpaper833 08/08/07 - 09:24 am
0
0
Well rwyatt26 if you look at

Well rwyatt26 if you look at it all the white commissioners voted to close a BLACK establishment down with the exception of Bernard, so that should say something. Augusta will always be divided like that. Andy is no better, and before Don came he struck me as being fair, now, the RACE bug is so evident in his life, he can say he's not but he is, so is Brigham, Cheeks is the Grand leader of it, so is Marion.

workharder123
0
Points
workharder123 08/08/07 - 09:31 am
0
0
I'm tired of people saying

I'm tired of people saying Augusta is messed up. It's not Augusta. It's the voters who keep voting for Williams, Beard and Holland. When they realize these commissioners are in it only for themselves...then they can vote them out and get commissioners who think of his people not himself. Think about it and find someone you can elect that would help your community not stand in the way of progress.

KingJames
10
Points
KingJames 08/08/07 - 09:35 am
0
0
Jackfruit, the rest of the

Jackfruit, the rest of the clubs in Augusta were not on the agenda last night, but Super C's was. If the commission is interested in knowing more about the rest of the clubs so that they can be consistent in shutting them down, then they should request the Sherrif provide that information. Bringing up other clubs that could be dangerous should not have mattered unless the commission decided they wanted to review reports of their activities involving law enforcement. Super C's should have been closed, a law enforcement and safety standard set for all other clubs, and an immediate review of those clubs performed. That is the only thing that should have been consistent. None of the commissioners should have mentioned anything about black-owned businesses. The fact that Strength knew about the gang activity at the club doesn't mean he wasn't doing anything about it. He said he has undercover cops that provide intelligence. That lets me know that he should be planning something to bring down a lot of people. Sometimes smaller, petty crimes are overlooked so that undercover cops covers aren't blown. I think that could be why nothing was done until now.

RebelTA
1
Points
RebelTA 08/08/07 - 09:40 am
0
0
"the vote followed a heated

"the vote followed a heated debate, with some commissioners questioning the sheriff's competence and suggesting a commission conspiracy to shut down black-owned nightclubs" This would have been right before the same bozo's started swearing up and down that aliens abducted them right? Race is NOT the issue here it is crime, it is MURDER. If this happened in a white club where the same white club had a LONG history of violence it should have the exact same handling.

charles yonce
0
Points
charles yonce 08/08/07 - 09:45 am
0
0
august8th, you get the dunce

august8th, you get the dunce cap of the day award.your crap is so weak.the sheriff's dept compiles all calls and knows where the trouble spots are in the county.the drug crowd or trash is under survelliance,they will be arrested once they slip up.anyone who has ever driven has probably drove under the influence,there is a big difference in trying to drive home,and taking a weapon to a club.when clubs apply for licenses,they have guidelines to go by.isn't it strange that most of the minority commissioners took sides with the club owners?i'm not the least bit surprised.2 young black females were shot down and killed in columbia within 2 days.both WERE going to go to college,but guess what? both were identified as gang members here.pat yourselves on the back parents,you're doing a heck of a job!

CoastalDawg
125
Points
CoastalDawg 08/08/07 - 09:48 am
0
0
Every time I read comments on

Every time I read comments on these kinds of issues I'm amazed at the lack of logic on the part of some. First, the commissioners that attempted to turn this into a racial issue should be embarrassed but having read some of their previous shenanigans makes me believe that embarrassment is not in their characters. When a club has this many strikes against it, especially a fatal shooting, it is way PAST time to close that "club". The sheriff presented some damaging evidence about the "club" (I don't think an establishment like this fits the term club in any way) concerning drugs and thugs hanging out there. What more should it take to let the commission know that the owner(s) have lost control and more time would mean more crime? "Club" closed, case closed. The next step is to be aware of who requests a license for a new "club" - chances are that the same people will attempt to just go to another location and start over under a new name.

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