Friday, February 19, 2010

Appellate court halts grave removals near O'Hare

Several news accounts on the latest in the case:
Daily Herald
Chicago Tribune

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Chicago begins moving graves at St. Johannes

Chicago has begun moving graves in the expansion project for O'Hare International Airport.
Here's the report from a local TV station.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Update on Montgomery, Ala., cemetery

The city council wants to issue an order to stop burials at this cemetery until it's determined who owns and/or runs it.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

More links to the O'Hare vs. cemetery case

Rather than link to each story individually, here is the Google news link with a host of those stories.
Here is a report on the case by The Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty.
Here's an article from
I've also included a photo here from that site:

Airlines balk at O'Hare expansion plan

The proposed expansion of Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, which has sparked an eminent domain case involving a cemetery whose land Chicago wants, has run into another wall of opposition: Two major airlines -- United and American -- oppose fee hikes linked to the plan.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Marksmen help thin deer herd damaging Pa. cemetery

Marksmen have been recruited to help thin the deer herds that cause damage in one Pennsylvania cemetery.

Coalition works to save Ga. cemetery

Efforts are under way to preserve a historic African-American cemetery in Savannah, Ga.
Here's an interesting tidbit from the story, not directly cemetery-related, but more to do with geocaching:

Arch a big cache for gamers

Though few of the people who speed past the LePageville Memorial Cemetery on President Street pay much attention to the area, it's become a popular spot for participants in the GPS-driven game of geocaching.

Once they locate the exact coordinates, the players sign a list that's securely set inside a small canister.

Geocaching "is a worldwide game of hiding and seeking treasure," according to its official Web site. It requires GPS technology to participate, and there are some 985,877 active geocaches around the world.

The LePageville Memorial Cemetery is one of many sites in the Savannah area. Other local geocache destinations include Fort Pulaski, Columbia Square and Bonaventure Cemetery.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Cemetery owners vow to continue fight against O'Hare project

Owners of a suburban Chicago cemetery under threat of a takeover for expansion of O'Hare International Airport say they expect to file an appeal soon of a judge's order allowing the "taking."
Among their issues are religious freedom -- it is a Catholic cemetery -- and the fear that another Burr Oak could happen. (Burr Oak is the Illinois cemetery where bodies were improperly buried. Here is a link to other items posted at this blog about that case.)
A concern here at WPTG is that one town (Chicago) is trying to take land from another (Addison Township) using eminent domain.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Unmarked graves found in black cemetery

A survey of a historically black cemetery in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, has found about 60 unmarked graves.

Funeral homes and winter (cemeteries, too?)

Here's an article about the struggles of funeral homes in dealing with bad winter weather. Are cemeteries struggling, too? In ways more than the obvious, such as snow removal and digging graves?
I'm eager to find out whether there are long-term issues with heavy snow...saturated ground, wind damage, etc. Feel free to comment here and write to my e-mail address with information and leads for a future article here.
Here is a similar article in the Washington Post.
FoxNews also has a report.

Update on O'Hare expansion (aka, eminent domain) project

Hree is the latest on the plans to expand Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. From the Chicago Tribune:
DuPage County Judge Hollis Webster ordered that the title of the 5.3-acre St. Johannes Cemetery in Addison Township be transferred from St. John's United Church of Christ to the city. She also ordered that Chicago pay the church $630,000 for the land, which stands between two segments of a new runway already under construction.

At the heart of this dispute is a controversial ruling by this same judge to approve Chicago's use of eminent domain for the project.
Here's where it could get interesting for observers of eminent domain cases. First, the Supreme Court's Kelo decision of 2005 broadly expanded eminent domain powers (interestingly enough, Pfizer, the main beneficiary of that ruling, has abandoned the project after uprooting so many people's lives). In that case, the Supreme Court ruled that land could be claimed from one private by a government entity and turned over to another private entity.
Now, here we have a judge ruling that one town can take land of another. One can only imagine that this case is far from over.