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Lewes, Delaware
Jim's Towing Service
August 15, 1997     Cape Gazette
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August 15, 1997

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Policing Continued from page 14 woman's home and shortly after- ward notified the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), who han- dles cases that cross state lines. "Once inside, the investigators lo- cated two-month-old Edith M. Garcia and the suspect, Tamika Smith, 20," said CpI. Preston Lewis, state police spokesman. "The child was not injured." Lewis said the police turned the baby over to federal authorities, drug or alcohol abuse, the dangers of teen sex, or the need for show- ing respect to adults and others to gain self-respect. At events like Saturday's pic- nic, the monthly working group meetings, the steering committee meetings and the annual SCI sum- mit, communities share informa- tion about their programs and re- sources. "Strong Communities helped our community become more in- volved with other communities," said Smith, "and it's grown as far as knowledge of resources is con- cerned. The different communi- ties being together makes it so much better. We learn about the things they're doing that are help- ing, and we can tell them the things we're doing that help in our community." Sturdivant said that she is par- ticularly pleased that SCI events allow children from different ar- eas of Sussex County to meet each other and have opportunities that they may not otherwise have. For example, she said, teens CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, August 15 - August 21, 1997 - 15 from some of the communities were afforded the opportunity to attend a communications course at Delaware State University this summer. The participants im- proved communication skills as well as benefited from meeting teens from the other communities. The youth are also encouraged to attend meetings, and Sturdivant encourages teens to give the WSNB report at the working group meetings. The meetings, although comprised primarily of adults, offer a warm and accepting environment, she said, so her teens get to practice public speak- ing skills without fear of failure. "I know with Strong Communi- ties, I can try out new things with my youth, and it's appreciated. They're helping us empower our- selves. We learn from each oth- er." "If you're going to do some- thing, you start at home," said Sturdivant, echoing one of the Strong Communities' mottoes: "We're not looking for a handout; we're looking for a hand up." who reunited the mother and child later that night. Smith was arrest- ed in Delaware as a fugitive, and the FBI added a kidnapping charge. Several hours later, after contin- ued investigation, police also ar- rested Smith's acquaintance Paul Samuel Edward Brundge, 40, of Frederica, for his role in the kid- napping. An FBI affidavit stated that Smith said "that nine months ago she informed her boyfriend that she was pregnant, in order to maintain her relationship with him." During her false pregnancy she allegedly purchased toys and baby clothes and was motivated to "find a baby" to prove the preg- nancy to her boyfriend. The New Hope neighbor, how- ever, was suspicious of the child's identity and did not accept the ex- planation that Smith proffered - that Smith had delivered the child the morning of July 30. Her re- sponse to the suspicious situation that resulted in reuniting a mother and infant exemplifies the concept of community policing - commu- nity members worked together with police to form a team intent on reducing crime. Strength is sharing Crime is not the only common affliction in the impoverished communities, and the rural polic- ing unit - comprised of four troop- ers who make themselves avail- able to the SCI communities 24 hours a day, seven days a week - is but one of several components that unite the communities. First State Community Action Agency (FSCAA) provides ad- ministration assistance for funds garnered from both state and fed- eral grants. It sends specialists from the Office of Prevention into the communities to work with members who need to access a vast array of resources for prob- lems such as deficient housing, lighting, water, sewer or roads. FSCAA coordinates many of the resources needed to improve basic living conditions. Education is another key com- ponent of the program. SCI mem- bers in each of the communities strive to improve life for their children through offering them academic programs as well as pro- grams that will assist children in gaining self-confidence, self-es- teem and self-respect. Grant monies provide for educational supplies and staff. Most of the programs include motifs on social issues such as "1 Sold My 4-Bedroom Home in Rehoboth and Moved to Plantations" Ben Davis found himself, like so many other retirees, alone in the big family home with large gardensto tend and not enough time for all of the activities he loved. He explains, "1 put my home on the market and it sold in three weeks. I needed a new home right away. Good friends told me about Plantations. "1 found a waterfront Courtyard unit already built and was able to move in quick- ly. He says, "It's a blessing to be away from Route 1 and on a county road. Now that I have no yard work to do," he says, "1 take full advantage of the pools, tennis courts, the clubhouse and the state-of-the-art fitness center. Also at Plantations I feed the families of geese and ducks living there with their little waddlers." Other residents of Lewes and Rehoboth Beach have also found a home at Plantations. Why don't you come over, too, for just one look? Prices start at $113,500. For information, call 302.645.2727 or 800.777.1530. From Route One, turn west at Midway Shopping Center traffic light onto Postal Lane, then right 1 on 275.