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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Kerry Rhodess Wife
2
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Kerry Rhodess Wife 08/08/07 - 01:45 pm
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rwyatt26, Dreams is a 21 and

rwyatt26, Dreams is a 21 and older establishment so please arm yourself with the right information before you begin taking stabs at every club you feel houses gang activity. I however agree with the idea that these issues need to be resolved but closing the clubs is not the answer, Majescas or however you spell it, The VUE, and Last Call also have adults that can barely hold their liquor so while you are labeling please do it correctly and dont leave out ANY ESTABLISHMENTS THAT SERVE LIQUOR!!!!!

Venus
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Venus 08/08/07 - 01:47 pm
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Let's take color out of the

Let's take color out of the picture! How many mothers will have to receive a call in the middle of the night saying " your child has been shot?" Age is not the issue here because we all have a mothers or family member(s) who care about us. South Augusta realize black or white establishments which has violence and grown folks partying with children is not wanted in our community! When we try to clean up and rid our coummuinty of undesirable business and gang activity we are picking on the business or children. What will it take for our Commissioners or any other elected official to understand we are losing children to violance by the minute? Now if some Commissioners and elected officials what this type of establishment to stay open may I suggest your district. Second Mr. Holland didn't want Low Income Housing in his district, Mr. Harper and District 4 community supported him on this issue. Can someone explain why Mr. Holland couldn't support the will of the people in district 4 and the Commissioner of District 4. Last I wouldn't want the blood of any child or adult on my hands. GET IT TOGETHER OR CLOSE THEM ALL DOWN, DOWN, DOWN!

jackfruitpaper833
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jackfruitpaper833 08/08/07 - 01:50 pm
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Let's hope Strength has given

Let's hope Strength has given an updated list of "sore spot clubs" in Augusta to the commissioners. They should start closing them down NOW.

unknown1
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unknown1 08/08/07 - 01:58 pm
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I reserved my judgement until
Unpublished

I reserved my judgement until now because I wanted to see what was going to happen to Super C club. Before you start jumping on my case, let me say that I am in no way trying to speak ill off the deceased. But I knew Stedmund very well and the trouble makers he hung out with. While most of you are saying it is not the parents fault because he was 18 and considered an adult. What about when he was 17? Was she responsible for him then? I knew Stedmund very well because he hung out with my son. My son also was into shady activitiies and I used to preach to him and Stedmund all the time about changing their lives around and nothing seemed to work. I finally shipped my son to his father in Chicago. He ended up thinking he was the baddest of the baddest until he got shot trying to carry on the same activities he was doinge here. His father waited until he got out of the hospital and showed him no mercy. He was complaining that he wished he were in jail because of the restrictions placed upon him as a 19 y.o. "man". I sent him to his father, not because I am a bad parent who couldnt control my son, I didnt want the influence to rub off on my 14 y.o. son. When I got that dreadful phone

SHOCKER1
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SHOCKER1 08/08/07 - 02:02 pm
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I agree with marien about

I agree with marien about Augusta Mall. It is slowly turning into Regency Mall! It's a shame when you can't go for fear of an outbreak. I hope that those who voted for these commissioners who voted no or abstained are ashamed of their representation. In my opinion it is cowardly to abstain.

jackfruitpaper833
41
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jackfruitpaper833 08/08/07 - 02:04 pm
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From my recollections of

From my recollections of Stedmund he was very hyper, he was a good standout player in football at Laney his 9th and 10th grade year he kinda reminded me of Robert Dunn. Last I heard he was not playing anymore, maybe just maybe, if he had stayed on the team under Coach Parker, he may not have been in that place.

A life snuffed out before time.

unknown1
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unknown1 08/08/07 - 02:08 pm
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call at 5 a.m. I felt my
Unpublished

call at 5 a.m. I felt my whole world had collasped and the air was knocked completely out of me. I flew to Chicago and when my son saw me he probably wished he was dead. He tried to argue with his father becasue he felt I was too controlling but he has had a change of heart and now he is still recovering from his gunshot wounds. He was shot five times and lived to tell about it but he is still in rehab. He calls me everyday and tells me how much he loves me and thanks me for being hard on him. Now he understands that trying to grown is not all it is cracked up to be. While in rehab he has started to take college courses and plans to be a social worker, He also talks to some of the younger children about gang affiliation. When my son was shot he was also in a nightclub. He was shot in the stomach once inside the club. As he was running to save his life the young man chased him and shot him four more times. Twice in the back and twice in his legs. I am grateful he is still alive and praise God everyday day for sparing his life. But instead of lobbying to close the club we decided to make something positive come rom this tragedy. The club owner had numerous problems in the past

unknown1
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unknown1 08/08/07 - 02:14 pm
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but we used that to our
Unpublished

but we used that to our advantage. We lobbied so hard that sanctions were placed on Mr. Davis and his establishment. We even made him make contributions from the money he took in at his club to the community center. He must also volunteer and pay for youth activities on the weekend. I know to some of you that may seem like nothing but I wanted something positive to come out of my son's situation. Closing the clubs are not the answer but education and unity is the answer. Even closing Super C will not bring back Stedmund and the same problems will continue to exist in Augusta until our youth understand that there are better choices in life.

irishgent
22
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irishgent 08/08/07 - 02:27 pm
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Reverend Williams,I would

Reverend Williams,I would like to be sitting in your congregation Sunday morning and you explain to me why you voted(being a man of the cloth)the way you did.A young man shot,gang activity,drugs why would you want this establishment left open.

KingJames
10
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KingJames 08/08/07 - 02:31 pm
0
0
Unknown1, I'm sorry for the

Unknown1, I'm sorry for the situation that your son put himself in. I hope and pray that he stays on the right path. While you ask was Mr. Fyer's mother responsible for him when he was 17 and hanging out with trouble makers, you come right back and say that your son used to hang out with Mr. Fryer, and that you used to preach to both of them about changing their lives. You didn't give up on your child, but were fully aware of the fact that he wanted and needed to make his own decisions about his life. You were able to send him to Chicago to be with his father. Mr. Fryer didn't get that type of luxury. All of the preaching you did, and the stern influence that his your son's father probably had on him were still not able to prevent him from getting shot. The same holds true for the family of Mr. Fryer and every other young person that gets shot becuase they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. The outcome of the club owner in Chicago is different from the outcome of Mr. Cummings. If the commissioners wouldn't have wanted to make race an issue, maybe one of them could have suggested some type of "cleanup and give back" approach for Mr. Cummings.

toppergem
125
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toppergem 08/08/07 - 02:38 pm
0
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I feel sorry for

I feel sorry for establishments that cater to the general public. A shooting like the one at Super C's could happen anywhere. Are we going to close down everything under the sun because a few thugs cause trouble everywhere they go? I hope the demise of Super C's will be the beginning of a string of closings that should follow in our fair city. If the city of Augusta is really serious about cleaning up the lawlessness that is going on in our community; regular reports of activity from the sheriff department of known problem areas should be brought before the commission and business and alcohol licenses should be pulled left and right...close them all down if need be. I hold our Sheriff's office responsible for a lot of the things that go on this community. If the Sheriff's office knows there is a problem area...then others in the community should be made aware of the problem area. Put the word out in the community and maybe alot of things will begin to be cleared up. Make everyone accountable for correcting the situation.

unknown1
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unknown1 08/08/07 - 02:49 pm
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KingJames, you are correct.
Unpublished

KingJames, you are correct. All the preaching in the world didnt change him. He was told by his father the very night he was shot not to go out but took it upon himself to ignore orders. Chicago is alot diferent than August and I agree with you 110% that race was an isue. I wish I could turn back the clock but I cant. I let my son know everyday I still love him despite the choices he made and the unconditional love that was shown has made him a better person. I sincerely hope that he does stay on the right track. I am bearing my pain because I felt the same for
Stedmund as I feel for my son. Not a day goes by that I dont think about Stedmund even though he wasnt my child. I preached to both of them and wish the outcome would have been different. People were balming me for everthing my son did. Even though my son was 19 he lived in my house and knew he would either abide by my rules or locate his own living quarters. I was responsible when my son was 16 and wrecked my car at the ame time running down a neighbors fence. I ended up paying for all the damage but I took my payment out on him. it worked for awhile but then he was back to acting out.

jackfruitpaper833
41
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jackfruitpaper833 08/08/07 - 03:14 pm
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unknown1 and now I dare you

unknown1 and now I dare you to WHOOP them? I mean WHOOP them old fashion good you will be in JAIL: My mom use to say to me: "When I whoop you, I'm going to get you for the old and the new", so you knew that meant when she did, it was going to be a BAD BAD OMG MOMMA PLEASE WHOOPING so you stop acting and carrying on like a fool, why, so you wouldn't get that whooping LOL.

Looks over at permanent belt mark on my ARM LOL...

KingJames
10
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KingJames 08/08/07 - 03:44 pm
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Unknown1, I didn't say

Unknown1, I didn't say anything about race being an issue. I truly think that all kids get to the point where they begin to smell their own behinds and want to be grown so bad that they can taste it. Some kids act out differently than others. I can't say that the thug mentality is a black thing because white kids do it, too. I can't say that the prep mentality is a white thing because black kids do that, too. I can only hope and pray that in a few short years when my oldest son starts to mature, he does so with very few growing pains and doesn't take on a thug nature. Once again, race hasn't anything to do with it.

computer01
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computer01 08/08/07 - 04:38 pm
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I truly feel sorry for Mr.

I truly feel sorry for Mr. Cummings,for closing his club.But my heart also goes out to the family. Because someone dropped the ball that night.So thanks to the police department no else child would be hurt there.

pav2003
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pav2003 08/08/07 - 05:21 pm
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P'lease.... Are you kidding?

P'lease.... Are you kidding? Feel sorry for Mr. Cummings??? Someone has dropped the ball for "SEVERAL" nights/months/years/ in that place and we all know that.

MyOpinion1
3
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MyOpinion1 08/08/07 - 07:01 pm
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intheknow he had plenty of

intheknow he had plenty of chances to clean that place up. I went to that club one time back in 2001 and when I noticed that teenagers were hanging out there, I quit going. He should of never allowed the younger crowd in that club. Hey, this gotta stop somewhere. I'm happy!!!! Now they need to close down the rest of those teen clubs.

NicoleKelly
7
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NicoleKelly 08/08/07 - 07:13 pm
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Closing the club isn't going

Closing the club isn't going to stop the violence!!!! People wake up, there's a bigger problem here.

LaTwon
1
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LaTwon 08/08/07 - 08:08 pm
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so much trouble in the

so much trouble in the world.....................

As It Is
2
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As It Is 08/08/07 - 11:26 pm
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First, if you are on the

First, if you are on the commission, you need to learn how to vote instead of abstaining - get a backbone. Second, this club was placed on probation, then placed on secondary probation then had a killing of an 18 year old after over 30 violations. While owners of businesses (any businesses) should not immediately be responsible for the actions of their patrons they should make a positive effort after 30 violations, probation and double probation to ensure additional incidents do not occur. This is not about race as many non-caucasion persons were very eager to see the closure of this club do to its problems. Clubs should not have persons under the age of 21, only restaurants as that is asking for trouble. As for clubs that are over 21 only, those who enter are adults and at times may cause problems but if the owner is doing his or her best to keep the club under control, not breaking laws and employing security or deputies the commission should not have the right to close their business. However, allowing under 21 opens up a whole new problem and in this case ended up having the club closed. It was a murderer who caused this problem not the club owner but 18 is to young.

intheknow
16
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intheknow 08/08/07 - 11:42 pm
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Where have you been

Where have you been hiding?@NicoleKelly. Why are some saying that there is a problem at the Augusta Mall? Other than shoplifter what is the problem? What, because a lot of teenagers are there? They do have money to spend.

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