February 10, 2008
Albany -- The death of 16-year-old Antwon Luke was the last straw for Willie Ross, and it put him to action.
"I went up to the city manager's office, and its is a sad thing to say that it took somebody's child having to get killed to get their attention,' said Ross.
Since this incident the city has invested time to Willie's cause. "After the shooting, I would say three working days after, Mr. Postell, the city manager and the code enforcement supervisor all met me. And we teamed up and cleaned up our street and also the three streets across," said Ross.
The city installed new street lights, posted signs, and even painted curbs all in effort to clean up the South Albany neighborhood. "It's been pretty nice since the shooting. It's sad to say that," said Ross.
These results took a lot of work. "I went door to door and talked to most of the citizens and like I said the shooting opened a lot of eyes. Most of the guys and older residents tell me thank you," said Ross.
But not all of the responses have been positive ones.
"All the threats I've been getting, that don't bother me because I have the Lord. Half of them come back and apologize anyway. I just want to let them know that in Telafax, we are not going for it. We are taking our neighborhood back," said Ross.
Ross's only regret is this didn't happen sooner.
"We all need to team up and get with some churches. Not wait for somebody to get shot and wait for somebody to go to jail for selling drugs . We need to try to help the people before it gets this way," said Ross.
Willie Ross continues to try to improve his South Albany neighborhood. He says that there are a few more street signs that still need to be put up. And he is also trying to start a crime watch program.