IS IT TRUE We Have Alignment And Downed HeadStones Problems At City Owned Cemeteries



locust & alexander 046IS IT  TRUE that political activist Jordan Baer’s public crusade to correct the obvious problems at both city owned  cemeteries should be no surprise to anyone?  …that Mr. Baer made a formal presentation to Evansville City Council during last years budget hearing.  …that his presentation was so effective that City Council voted to put $35,000 in the cemeteries 2013 to budget to reset down and mis-aliened head stone throughout both cemeteries.  …the majority of the downed and mis-aligned head stones that need to be uprighted and straighten up by Mr. Cooke and his staff  has been caused by vandals and mowing equipment.? …the down and mis-aliened  grave headstone problems has been going for many years and Mr. Cook is not the sole  cause of this huge problem that exist at our city owned  cemeteries?   …we are surprised to learn that some of our local media outlets  feel that there isn’t any problems at Oak Hill and Locust Hill cemeteries?  …we encourage everyone of our readers to click on the blogspot link posted below called “agraveinjustice”?  …we like to personally thank political activist  Jordan Baer for his outstanding work on documenting the major alignment and downed head stone problems at  our city owned  graveyards?


click here to link:


    • Is that all you gleaned from the story? Perhaps you need a Florida vacation.

      • Just The Facts….I was thinking more like Europe or California… Maybe I’ll ask Proud Republican and past courier blogger to join me…:) 🙂

  1. I think a bigger problem might be the graves of babies that were allegedly paved over, is the city going to do anything about this? and at what cost?

    • Agreed. That is a problem, and it’s going to be an expensive one, unfortunately.

      A few of the problems pointed out by Jordan Baer could be considered of a lower priority, like misaligned headstones. Some of the alignment issues are just par for the course when talking about older cemeteries. But other things like broken or fallen headstones should be addressed, and the babies under the road thing is just…sad. This should be priority #1 as I see it.

  2. Who is legally responsible to repair headstones?
    Is it the City or the families? If it is the City, $35,000 is a drop in the bucket to really do the job correctly and timely.

    The Democrat “Gang of Six” look bad beating up on Cooke particularly Brinkerhoff-Riley attack. While there are some problems that need attention, the majority of the cemetery looks pretty good.

    I am surprised the Council gave Jordan Baer that much time on “budget” night.

    It appeared to me the Democrat “Gang of Six’ choked on a flea and swallowed an elephant. Poor waste of time on $300 million plus budget night.

    • Some clearly did not watch and have not been out there lately. The point of the discussion is the alignment/realignment of headstones that have been moved by man, time and weather over the years. We started this project 3 years ago. Jordan Baer made a presentation last year. He’s why the cemeteries got $35k this year instead of the $10k of the prior two years. We are not responsible to repair or replace stones that the City did not break. That’s not the issue with literally thousands of stones. I am primarily talking about stones that are not hundreds of years old and were clearly meant to be in a row when set. Water is a huge problem. It loosens up a stone on the side of a hill and then in time literally rolls it over. The simple solution is exactly what we thought we were getting for the last 3 years- it’s called a shovel and a bucket of stone. It’s a labor intense but a simple job that is just one stone at a time, one row at a time.

      I didn’t invite the Superintendent of Cemeteries to City Council or commission any video. You can clearly see from Baer’s website of last year that I was not his champion. I did what I’m supposed to do. I went out to the cemeteries and looked around and asked some questions when I saw the topic on the agenda. This idea of an ambush is silly. If the Superintendent had attended last year’s budget meeting, he would have met Baer on the first presentation. It seems absurd to me that a second presentation in year two under the same title would be a surprise. I’m also confused as to why the superintendent wouldn’t have been thrilled to see Baer. He is the reason he had $25k more in 2013 to work on the problem.

      The fact that about 20 deceased infants have been separated from their stones when the City put in an access road at Locust should have been the biggest story from Monday. It will not go ignored or unaddressed.

      What we know from the horror stories of just the last 50 years in managing those cemeteries is that the current superintendent is probably irrelevant. I heard it said at least a half a dozen times at the meeting how old some of these problems are and how frustrating the lack of records has been for the current superintendent. He is guessing as to the location of the missing infant graves. But it was clearly not done on his watch.

      What I saw was media coverage that didn’t match the actual event. There’s a big difference between those who actually watched and those who just heard/read about it. I think Martin got it right in the very first story, although he was there. It’s an old problem that is further exacerbated by the fact that we can’t see progress because it’s so slow. Once again, it comes down to putting our money where our mouth is. $35k a year is not enough, and perhaps we should consider a new employee as opposed to annual contracts.

      Spinning legitimate criticism into an allegation of a personal attack is a classic debate technique. It changes the focus off of the actual issue and tries to minimize the problem by blaming the speaker. It seems to be a favoritte in politics. However, I think the allegation of a personal vendetta against the superintendent should require some meat. A personal vendetta assumes a very personal history between the participants. I frankly need to be educated as to my personal vendetta against the superintendent. I think it requires that he did something to me in the past or that I perceive that he did. I have no personal history with this person. We didn’t go to school together, work together, participate in the same social clubs, etc. This distraction surely has to fall at some point based on the complete lack of evidence. And it must, because these problems didn’t start and end last Monday, and it’s far from over. There is an information request that will go to the City that includes the infant grave issue, and a meeting has been requested with the superintendent to discuss the same.

      • Thank you Ma’am, it’s nice to see a council member who takes the time out of their busy day to explain the circumstances surrounding an allegation, it’s also nice to see a person not go off half cocked with idle threats because they feel slighted by a comment and threaten the poster or the CCO.

        I really wish you were my ward representative.


      • You certainly made the issue more clear to me. The truth is that without people like Mr. Baer, we would not know about many issues that impact local spending. He did not deserve the reactions he got from Mr. Cooke and Mr. Weaver.
        I do hope you see fit to run for Mayor! We need someone who will take the time to look for the best solutions to our local problems.

      • This is not standard for the budget meeting. Jordan not only has not bothered going directly to the cemetery office but has ditched a person that tried to help him. Instead of helping correct an issue with the help he asked for he took to it upon himself to roll more incorrect footage. That does not strike anyone as odd? I am all for righting wrongs here but I chose to go directly to the source with my concerns and offer solutions. I did not need a soap box.

      • Hello Mrs Riley! I am posting at a Late Date but hope you go back and re-read blog posts! I taped and watched the entire segment of City Council Meeting for this particular week and yet again you Monopolized the entire meeting during this segment. Yes, I now Oakhill and Locust Cemetary’s are in your Ward but honestly, as you state CC gave 35K to begin addressing this issue one year ago. So, where were you during this timeframe? Did it just escape your thoughts as you said you had just visited both properties doing a 4 hour tour on the day of CC Meeting, where were you in the 1 year that had elapsed? The reason why residents are in an uproar is due to your all to apparent Anger directed at Sup Cooke. Not once did you declare on your whirlwind 4 hour tour that you had met with the Sup Cooke, so did you as you were on the property? I think had you of done this many of your questions would of been answered and your all to often fits of anger that is viewed while your seated would of been quashed! You spoke to a person who seemed to do his job in earnest with abundant disrespect. In 4 hours you, “know it all”!
        You cant write that you didn’t have an issue with Sup Cooke and go into great detail but while rambling on at CC Meeting you said many things that were apparently targeting his ability to do his job and were attempting to direct light into things like, there was a Dog on Locust Property. I sat watching my DVR recorded CC Meeting is utter disgust at your Hatefulness! None of the other CC Members spoke in the way AT ALL like you did.
        You state that you don’t know why Sup Cooke wouldn’t have been thrilled with Jordan since he is the reason why 35K was targeted to Stone Repair due to Baer? I didn’t see Mr Cooke in anyway treat Baer offensively. He shook his hand as Mr Baer had never it appears from the footage, he’d never bothered to go and meet Mr Cooke, is what I observed! I also with horror saw on Tape Baer move a headstone. Had he of taken the time to speak with any of the employees at Oakhill he may of learned as I did during your inquisition that years ago large plots were sold and many family members were buried in one area with Headstones not in any logical order. Had that been one of my many family members headstones I’d of marched to the police station and demand he be charged, but you said not one word about this.
        See a persons agenda need not be known, yours was clearly implied. Perhaps you have a family member you would rather run our City Cemetary’s or maybe you dislike that he is a Democrat who works for a Republican Administration who knows but, whatever the cause of your Innappropiate Behavior at the CC Meeting I was ashamed as a Fellow Democrat that once again another Dem was making us Look BAD! The Democrat Party will fall further and further down due to Clowns like you monopolizing time and dragging out the length of meetings at weekly CC Meetings. I have watched you in past weeks run your hands through your hair like a disturbed person, direct arguments like your in Court when speaking to persons at the Podium. Do you ever re-watch the meetings or do you just get a copy of the minutes from the CC Secretary? Not one, either Rep or Dem behave as you do!
        Do you see my AGENDA? I didn’t go to school with you, nor do I socialize with you, nor do I have any interaction with you on either inside or outside the CC Meeting Forum. I just watch meetings and make my own opinions. My agenda is, don’t re-elect Stephanie Brinkeroff-Riley she’s not professional, hateful, and unfit to hold the seat she was elected in!

    • I have to sort of agree with you on this one Wayne. Picking on the cemetery guy was not cool IMHO. I’ve never liked it when the legislature picks on the executive branch at any level of government. The GOP House is really harshly picking on the Federal Executive Level Employee if the Health and Human Services Agency. Shame on them for harshly picking on that poor woman. I hope you agree with me and post your comments in here. Or is that a different situation as t’s being done by YOUR friends?

      Poor Chris ( I think that’s his name) was sweating bullets and thought he was ambushed that night. He was set up pretty good with the other presentation before the city council. And you are right they were suppose to be talking about the budget not holding a inquiry or public hearing (lynching) As we all know the legislatures hold the purse strings and therefore use the with holding of money to get the executive branch to do their bidding. Sort of like the GOP Congress with holding moneys to the Feds and demanding concessions about Obama Care before finally caving in and putting funds back into the Government coffers. Shame on people who use their political power to brow beat other branches of the Government. That’s about as low as one can go IMHO.

      And you have a good question about who’s actually legally responsible for the upkeep of the head stones. The Cemetery sells these plots to the people and is it not the peoples responsibility to buy and put the head stone in place? And are they not also responsible for it’s upkeep on their purchased spot? The cemetery is responsible for cutting the grass but not maintaining the privately owned head stones. That is what I heard Chris say in the meeting that was published on Channel 9 Public TV station. I did watch part of that TV show. I missed the first presentation and the first part of the inquiry of Chris about the Cemetery.

      And I just saw a picture of the broken and overturned head stones at the cemetery on this web site or another web site for the very first time. That picture makes it look like all the head stones are overturned. But that picture represents of only a small section of the entire cemetery from what I heard.

  3. We’ll it is common knowledge that citizens can get stuff accomplished much cheaper then
    our government can .
    seriously speaking with government doing any projects your gonna have 5 consultants ,12 engineers , 6 lawyers wanting to do the project and as many not wanting to do it , 4 workers watching while 1 guy does the job ,,,the guy doing the job gets paid minimum wage and can’t
    even feed his family while all the others are bringing in $60k-$150k
    I couldn’t pass it up Wayne

  4. Shame on you Wayne. Forget your legal crap because we have a moral responsibility to preserve the final resting place of our deceased love ones with dignity. As a right wing Republican and a christian your blog statement really offend me. I was told by a friend that you are the Chairmen of the local GOP. The power that be should demand your resignation.

    • I find it strange you claim to be an up-right person, but you do not use your own name. Why are you hiding?

      You state “As a right wing Republican and a Christian…” It would appear you do not really understand those words. Republicans and Christians believe in personal responsibility and accountability. Do you?

      You indicate “we” have a moral responsibility to preserve the final resting place…Question for you: what are you going to do about the problem? You are a part of “we”.

  5. Wayne Parke your remarks about the horrible condition of our city owned graveyards offend me. You’re a sorry individual.

    • I challenge Wayne in the ring…. All donations will be donated to the Miracle Center. Brad can’t hog all the fun. Wayne?

    • past courier blogger: I have been there and seen them. Have you?

      There are some problems but they are not in horrible codition.

      What are you going to do to correct the problems?

      • About all we can do Wayne is to add our voices to correcting this problem in what ever way possible and avoid politicizing it.

        We should also commend Jordan for his taking action rather than just being another person gawking at this disgrace.

  6. Here is what I propose on the issue of the road going over baby graves… Erect a monument with all the names of the people whose graves have been paved over, calculate the cost of demolishing and/or rerouting the road around all graves (if that’s even possible) and make a donation equal to that amount in memory of these people to a charity for LIVING children, so that they might have a better life.

    I understand the dilemma of the road, and it’s a tough one, but I don’t think I could justify spending hundreds of thousands on rebuilding a cemetery road when there are so many living children in need.

    Can storied urn or animated bust
    Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath?
    Can Honour’s voice provoke the silent dust,
    Or Flattery soothe the dull cold ear of Death?

    Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid
    Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire;
    Hands that the rod of empire might have swayed,
    Or waked to ecstasy the living lyre.

    But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page
    Rich with the spoils of time did ne’er unroll;
    Chill Penury repressed their noble rage,
    And froze the genial current of the soul.

    – selection from “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” by Thomas Gray

    • Once while in Europe, myself and some other United States Servicemen decided to go to the battle fields we knew our Dads and Uncles fought at. Quite an tour,took several days and several countries.
      We stopped at a roadside monument in Belgium, kind of a rubble stone wall, with a plaque on it,the place was really kind of off the beaten path, so to speak,there was a hill side meadow,and several wind chimes about the hillside field and old Norman row planted forest nearby.
      Nice quaint country side crossroads setting at first look.
      Those chimes tubes were different materials,and different sizes,really made an awesome rendition softly with a slightest of breeze. real impact,just beautiful sounds blending with the sounds of the wind and forest.

      “Man the recollection still gives me goose bumps all over,simply unforgettable.” Makes the eyes well up some.

      While listening and observing that we noticed some gravestone markers strewn about some broken and shattered, with over growth and time covering some of them.
      It had an inscribed monument plaque on the wall there,my Belgian friend and guide, said that tells of “This resting place was destroyed by an horrible armored artillery battle during the Battle of the Bulge in WWII lots of casualties on all sides,they didn’t try to rebuild the cemetery,however the chimes were placed there so the abundance of all the different spirits left there in the place could all tell us their stories.”

      Just a thought,maybe a innovative way some unique local artisans might,create a cost effective,however admirable solution to “The Babies within the Road” you have there. “Tell the story,let them help you to preserve it.”
      Like Brad idea, make a few donations for the up keep. Make the hasty old mistake, a simple destination.
      Don’t create problems, identify and solve them with sustainable solutions as a community. (Historical Community Attractions)

      • In Scotland there is this thing called a “Singing Tree”. It’s a giant sculpture made out of different lengths of pipe, and when the wind blows, it creates an ethereal, singing sound, like ghosts on a breeze. Sounds very much like what you’re talking about there.

        Check it out:

        Maybe even commission a local sculptor to make something like this in the cemetery and use the remaining money toward children’s charities. Riley Hospital could use some of it, I’m sure.

    • I feel that this issue needs to be corrected with excavating and re-entombment. We dig up roads to fix water pipes, so why not to fix this desecration? A new memorial and memorial donation make make us feel better, but it does not correct restore the sanctity the parents of these infants sought for their loved ones. A memorial and generous donation would not be a substitute if it were my child’s grave being used a base for a road.

      I will not so much as step on a grave more less drive over one. I assure you that I will never use this road again until these children are returned to the dignity their short lives deserve.

  7. Outstanding post Mr. Linzy. Wayne Parke I hope the heck you read this post and realize how you offend the deceased family members. You are a real jerk.

  8. I’m curious as to how the whole saga with Weaver plays out. I check this site every morning to see if there’s anything new on it.

    • I heard that city cemetery workers are afraid now to put head stones back upright because they see Wifi Weaver lurking behind the trees, bushes, and monuments with his iPhone out at Oak Hill Cemetery.

      • ha ha. Every one now has the power of the press. With a cell phone and a video camera and u tube anyone can now be caught on the candied camera.

        Perhaps this is why the Sheriff went ahead and put cameras on his deputies? Maybe not!

        I like some of the out of the box ideas about a memorial to the baby buried under the new roadway.

        Lost records and such are not helpful but they are a reality evidently. It’s a shame that the City can’t keep the records of where people are buried over the years. The city owes that to those that purchased those burial plots at a minimum.

        • Locust Hill was family owned and a community cemetery prior to the city purchase. The city had nothing to do with the lack of records.

      • The 42nd Indiana Infantry, long thought to be decommissioned, has apparently reconstituted itself as the Mole Brigade. Their capacity for public service knows no bounds.

        Through their spokesman (front row third from left) they are reporting sightings of a councilman ducking through the public cemeteries at 80% opacity. He is said to ᴡᴇᴀᴠᴇ around at a 32° angle like a grave marking obelisk crying out to be righted. His attempts to blend in include taking iDaguerrotypes as he glides. The 42nd Indiana, while law abiding in life, grows weary of the disruptions and have dusted off the verb shanghai. They have voted to induct him at the next sighting. The 42nd, unlike Bob Dylan, does need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

        • 🙂 Your talented prose is wasted on these forums and the likes of me. Say, I’m back row second from the left. Is that you standing tall and proud back row, far right? My glare at you is screaming “OCD, latent, socialist.” I knew we had a long history, but am surprised to see us both fighting on the same side. We have been the victims of revisionist history.

          • I saw you back there, you appear to have just killed again. You Id’d me accurately. I timed the blur well, sharp pictures can lead to warrants being served. Those damn Pinkertons, you know.

            You’re one of the ones who snuck out to vote 3 times last November. Can’t blame you for that, it’s what we fought for.

          • Remember that my death has been duly reported and legally recorded. Therefore I qualify for multiple voting privileges as a registered democrat.

    • Between Brad Linzy and Jonathan Weaver, Nick Hermann has really had a busy week. It’d be oh so nice if these legends in their own minds would step back and let Hermann worry about real cases that need attention.

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