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Community pays tribute to Nizzear Rodriguez | News

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Community pays tribute to Nizzear Rodriguez
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CARROLLTON, Ga. -- For many people in Carrollton, Ga., the name "Nizzear" is becoming synonymous with change.

Nizzear Rodriguez had just turned 13 when he was shot to death while sleeping in his own bed.

Five people have been charged in the crime, but the community is now focusing on healing.

A once-dilapidated playground in Carrollton has undergone a makeover and now has a new name: The Nizzear Rodriguez Memorial Park.

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Carrollton City Councilman Gerald Byrd said this is the final stretch in a year-long playground rejuvenation project; he said putting Nizzear's name on the park was the icing on the cake.

"The playgrounds in this area were dilapidated and falling apart; we had all of the playgrounds redone recently," Byrd said.

Organizers hope it can show young people the positive things happening in their neighborhood – and keep them out of trouble.

"We hope this playground just serves as a reminder to everyone that gangs do exist, and there are a lot of young people sitting around with idle time," Byrd said. "We want them to be a part of this group, to be part of something positive."

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Three miles away, there is another name change in the making: Chancery Lane, the street where Nizzear lived with his grandmother, will soon be renamed "Nizzear Lane."

For Nizzear's grandmother, Alice Stout-Osorio, walking the street where her grandson died will now have new meaning. She says she has already noticed change in the area.

"Everybody, to me, is getting closer together and making sure that the community is safe for the other kids that live out here," she said.

The Carrollton City Council is set to officially vote on the name change at Monday's council meeting.

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