Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Inmates back working in Fla. cemeteries

Regulations prevented inmates from working on "private property," but now, officials have determined that they may in fact work to maintain the grounds of the local cemeteries in Chiefland, Florida.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Cubs' fans final resting place

A columbarium set up to look like a part of Wrigley Field has opened at a Chicago cemetery. Here is one of the links with video.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

North Dakota lawmakers OK cemetery protection from assessments

From the Grand Forks Herald, which requires registration to see content:
By: Ryan Johnson,
Grand Forks Herald

The North Dakota Senate reapproved a bill today that will ban cities in the state from charging nonprofit cemeteries special assessments.
Senate Bill 2441 was introduced by Sen. Ray Holmberg, R-Grand Forks, in March. It was unanimously approved by the Senate on April 7, and passed the House of Representatives 88-4 on April 15.
The bill needed to go back to the Senate for lawmakers to approve an amendment that was added during its House discussions. With Tuesday’s 45-1 vote by the Senate, the only remaining step before it becomes law is approval by Gov. John Hoeven.
“The legislature is totally done with it,” Holmberg said.
He became involved this spring after the Grand Forks Cemetery Association unsuccessfully appealed its $240,000 of previous special assessments to the Grand Forks City Council.
If signed into law by Hoeven, the bill would allow cities to spread the loss of revenue among the entire municipality or to use non-tax funds to make up the difference.

Green burials in Michigan

With the approach of Earth Day, the Detroit Free Press reports on the growing phenomenon of green burials.

Monday, April 20, 2009

North Carolina cemetery under local man's care

Because there is no record of actual ownership of a historic cemetery in Dobson, North Carolina, a local businessman has taken it upon himself to care for the site.

Foxes take up residence at Orlando cemetery

Rather than trap and remove a family of foxes that has made a den on the groups, operators of the Greenwood Cemetery in Orlando, Florida, have decided to let the foxes remain there, and warn visitors of their furry residents.

Erosion threatens historic Ohio cemetery

Heavy rains and the spring thaw have created an erosion problem that threatens graves in Spencerville, Ohio, of soldiers who fought in the War of 1812. The local historical society and Auglaize County officials lack the funds to fix the problem, and the project would need backing from sponsors to approach the Army Corps of Engineers to do the work.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

MoMA features cemeteries in landscape architecture exhibit

The Museum of Modern Art in New York is the host of a new exhibit, In Situ: Architecture and Landscape, and features Erik Gunnar Asplund’s Woodland Crematorium (1935-1940), Aldo Rossi’s San Cataldo Cemetery (1971-1984), and Enric Miralles and Carme Pinos’s Igualada Cemetery (1985-1996). Here is the link from the MoMA site. From
The exhibition closes with three cemeteries whose designs demonstrate that
our relationship to landscape often transcends our quotidian needs. The
exhibition is on view in The Philip Johnson Architecture and Design Galleries,
third floor, from April 8 to September 14, 2009. It is organized by Andres
Lepik, Curator, and Margot Weller, Curatorial Assistant, Department of
Architecture and Design, The Museum of Modern Art.

Philadelphia cemetery in disarray, draws outrage

The Mount Moriah cemetery is a national landmark, but the conditions are in disarray, a Philadelphia TV station reports.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Illinois residents working to restore 19th-century cemetery

The Friends of Mount Bloom Cemetery in Illinois are working to restore some of the grandeur of the graveyard, which dates to 1847.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Massachusetts town seeks labor cut at cemetery

Officials in Milford, Massachusetts, are seeking ways to cut labor costs at Vernon Grove Cemetery without laying off workers.

North Dakota Senate OK exemption from assessment for cemetery

The North Dakota Senate approved a measure that would protect the non-profit Grand Forks cemetery association from being hit with special assessments. The city is seeking $300,000 from the association, but it claims a state Supreme Court ruling exempts it from such assessment.

Missouri groups work to reclaim old cemetery

Several groups in Missouri will work to reclaim an old cemtery in Hannibal, Missouri.

Georgia DOT uncovers old cemetery

While doing work on a highway extension in Bibb County, Georgia, Department of Transportation workers discovered remains from an old, unmarked cemetery that may contain slaves.

Planners in Tennessee at a loss over cemetery zoning regulations

A local surveyor in Dyer County, Tennessee, said he has been asked to establish a family cemetery on private grounds, but the planning commission does not know what the current regulations require.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Funeral home alleged to have mistreated veterans' corpses

This isn't the type of thing I normally follow at this blog, but the story merits as much attention as possible: A funeral home that handles the remains of slain veterans is accused of, among other things, leaving remain in an unrefrigerated garage and in hallways and on make-shift gurneys. The funeral home is part of the Service Corporation International conglomerate, one of the world's largest death-care providers, whose work includes managing and owning cemeteries.
Here is a link from the Washington Post, which broke the story Sunday. The Post coverage includes video.

Skulls and bones at church in Wamba, Spain

This is the Associated Press caption that accompanies this remarkable photograph:

Skulls and bones are displayed inside the Santa Maria's church at the small village of Wamba, near Valladolid, Spain, Sunday, April 5, 2009. According to investigators, somewhere between the 15th and 17th centuries, the need for
room in the surrounding cemetery prompted the opening of the oldest tombs and
placing the bones in the ossuary. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

Noted Philadelphia cemetery gets makeover

The famous Laurel Hill cemetery, one of the first cemeteries in the rural cemetery movement, which was long neglected and became overgrown for years, is undergoing a revitalization.

Lean times hurt cemeteries in Maine

Here's a story from Maine that further illustrates what I reported in mid-March: In times of tight budgets, cemeteries can suffer.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Green-Wood Cemetery "gallery"

An art gallery of sorts has been created at the historic Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Grand Forks update

Here are a couple of updates on attempts to protect the Grand Forks, North Dakota, cemetery association from being assessed a tax levy for flood control.
Dickinson Press

StoneMor earnings up

Here are a couple of items about the latest earnings report from StoneMor, in Levittown, Pennsylvania, a death-care/cemetery management firm.
Fox Business
Philadelphia Inquirer

Voters in Illinois town to decide cemetery fate

Voters in Pontiac, Ill., will go to the polls on Tuesday to determine whether the town should take control of the cemetery.

Opinion piece on maintaining cemeteries

Here's an op-ed from Utica, New York, that says it's our civic duty to maintain cemeteries. And here is a link to a New York-based adopt-a-cemetery organization linked to the article.

Bees nesting in North Carolina cemetery

Some solitary mining bees are making their homes in the Gaston, North Carolina, Memorial Park. But folks shouldn't fret; experts say the bees' nests -- holes in the ground -- actually aerate lawns. The bees are not aggressive. From the article:

Solitary, ground nesting bees play a vital role in ecological systems,
especially in pollination of crops and wild plants.

Alabama update on remains

Some remains that have been discovered in Montgomery, Alabama, appear to be medical waste, while other are believed to be from a yellow fever epidemic in the 1800s.

New cemetery in Henrietta, New York

Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Henrietta has begun work on a new, 109-acre cemetery. It initially will have 8,000 graves, but could eventually grow to 100,000 officials say.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Mass grave in Alabama may contain bodies from 1870s epidemic

A mass grave was discovered this week in Montgomery, Alabama, and officials say it might contain victims of a yellow fever epidemic that that hit in the 1870s.

Arkansas cemetery gets cleanup help from inmates

The famous Evergreen Cemetery in Fayetteville, which was damaged by a January ice storm, got help from inmates in the ongoing cleanup effort. Here's our earlier link to the impending reopening.