'Irreplaceable' headstones damaged at Mound Cemetery

2014-03-25T11:35:00Z 2014-03-26T18:37:36Z 'Irreplaceable' headstones damaged at Mound CemeteryMARK SCHAAF Journal Times

RACINE — Steve Bedard started giving school tours of Mound Cemetery a few years ago as a way to fight back against vandalism.

Bedard, the cemetery supervisor, wanted to give children a better understanding of the deep history of the roughly 50 acres at 1147 West Blvd., which has been used as an American Indian burial grounds and is the final resting place for war heroes from as far back as the Revolutionary War.

Vandalism dropped off since then as kids gained respect for the people buried there, Bedard said.

That made the discovery Monday that 24 gravestones were damaged and pushed off their bases all the more upsetting.

“It’s just unbelievable, in my opinion, that someone would come in here and do this,” Bedard said.

The headstones were damaged or pushed over sometime between Friday and Monday. Police say some of the damaged stones date back to the 1880s and, because of the materials used, are irreplaceable.

As of Tuesday afternoon, police did not know who was responsible and if the vandalism was done by one person or a group.

“We’re hoping that someone will come forward with that information,” police Sgt. Jessie Metoyer said.

Bedard is still assessing the damage, though he knows at least some of the stones can be put back together and brought upright. He’s not seen vandalism on this scale at Mound Cemetery in years, he said.

Depending on the amount of damage, the offender or offenders could face a felony charge of criminal damage to property, Metoyer said. Police could also seek charges of criminal damage to religious property, which is also a felony.

Police will look to prosecute the offenders to the “fullest extent of the law,” Metoyer said.

“Anytime you see something like this, it’s disheartening to see such callous disrespect,” Metoyer said.

Police seek information on cemetery vandalism

Anyone with information that could assist the police investigation is asked to contact the Racine Department Investigations Unit at 262-635-7756.

People may also contact Crimestoppers at 262-636-9330, or by texting RACS #TIP417 plus your message to CRIMES (274637).

Copyright 2015 Journal Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(30) Comments

  1. Rick Ray Earle
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    Rick Ray Earle - March 26, 2014 5:01 pm
    Just wait and see which monument firm gets the contract to fix this.

    Meanwhile, why are lying John's supporters all over this like a cheap suit? People who were hired under bid-rigging defend their master and use Dickert's favorite tactic: blame the victim. We're the bad guys because we don't like criminals running our local government and we don't like seeing our money go to pals of the mayor for nonsense marketing while our streetlights come down and our streets themselves are undrivable. Choke on our money, liars. I can't wait for the federal criminal investigation to start, if it hasn't already.

    Again, which monument firm gets the contract for this? We already know, because our mayor and the Common Council are lying thieves.
  2. Bruce and Donna
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    Bruce and Donna - March 26, 2014 3:50 pm
    Before you jumped in with your false assumptions, TRolfson and his employee Justin Wheeler were here on the comments promoting their business Racine TV and linking to their website and videos, claiming how they broke this story as part of their private business. Some of those links and comments were removed but we all saw them and it was shameful self promotion of their business to benefit from a tragic incident.

    So we began to question what his involvement in this was. After he admitted to being on the cable television commission, called us trolls and lied to everyone, we looked into this a bit more and stated the clear and obvious truth that he is ABUSING HIS POLITICAL POSITION TO BENEFIT HIMSELF AND FRIENDS OF THE MAYOR.

    This whole Car 25 deal is COMPLETELY CORRUPT. This guy is now a part of it, and trying to cover it up by saying he was just volunteering. THAT IS NOT TRUE - HE IS DOING THIS FOR HIS PRIVATE BUSINESS Racine TV, and separately with Belle TV he and the cable television commission are giving away advertising and special favors to the Mayor's friends, just like they RIGGED THE CONTRACT for more of the Mayor's friends that has cost us over a hundred thousand a year when we are told we don't have any money to even afford streetlights.

    This sure seems like RICO to us. This is just one of MANY shady deals involving many of the same players. This all needs to be investigated.
  3. OpinionBlogger
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    OpinionBlogger - March 26, 2014 2:25 pm
    One can only speculate until things are exposed. LOL, I wonder how many folks are going to admit their part, no doubt they're going to argue forever if someone doesn't put an end to it.
  4. ggodmuls
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    ggodmuls - March 26, 2014 1:51 pm
    How much Fraud is City Of Racine and County of Racine officials involved in? In the Criminal Syndicate formerly known as The City of Racine? It's no longer a matter of "IF" , it's how much, and when.

    Just admit your part, no need to argue over it. It's undeniable.
  5. OpinionBlogger
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    OpinionBlogger - March 26, 2014 1:04 pm
    I agree with you wholeheartedly about conflict of interest issues. COR is full of them. Well, in another way, give either side a camera and you'll get two different stories. I don't disagree with your thoughts there. At least I don't keep them company, wouldn't want to. :)
  6. PrimeTime69
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    PrimeTime69 - March 26, 2014 11:23 am
    Why create a company to profit off the city and the cable commssion, if your true intention was to be this big volunteer and just help the community? Why don't you just work for CAR25? If this guy is on the Cable Commssion and also running a business shooting videos, it would seem like a HUGE CONFLICT OF INTEREST. Honest and real people with nothing to hide, don't need the false companies to hide behind. This guy has not produced anything even close to a national news documentary or anything of like, what he has produced are embarressing little videos, featuring those personally named in a federal lawsuit alleging corruption and wrong doing. You are the company you keep.
  7. OpinionBlogger
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    OpinionBlogger - March 26, 2014 10:52 am
    B&D: I have to say, bashing TRolfson the way you started by making an assumption as to his involvement, interests, or prerogatives is a little stupid. He has always been representative of factual information and presumably takes a neutral stance. His personal and professional interests have always been in the world of documentaries and education nonetheless. Granted, people can sling names and create associations with others of "questionable" nature, but until all of the cards are played it's not appropriate to sling like this. I don't defend the aldermanics, Mayor, OR the others involved in that little RICO fiasco that has been claimed, but I do know that both sides of the party are equally to blame. Things have been very shady since the days before Becker, and hopefully this case will bring those circumstances to light. Why not be a little more productive and get your facts right instead of playing sling the dirty diaper games?
  8. Bruce and Donna
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    Bruce and Donna - March 26, 2014 8:54 am
    Additionally you failed to mention the part when the cable commission member was on here as well as his employee PROMOTING THEIR FOR PROFIT BUSINESS and linking to their web site. What say you now, LIAR?
  9. PrimeTime69
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    PrimeTime69 - March 26, 2014 8:47 am

    Other candidates with delinquent taxes include Monte Osterman, an incumbent running unopposed for the County Board’s 3rd District seat with an outstanding 2013 tax bill of more than $5,000; and Mark Gleason, Mount Pleasant village president and an incumbent running unopposed to keep his seat representing the 13th District on the County Board with nearly $26,000 in unpaid taxes for mostly 2013 on several properties.

    Property taxes can normally be paid either in full or in a series of installments, according to Racine County Treasurer Jane Nikolai.

    However, she explained that if a resident does not at least pay the amount of the first installment by Jan. 31, the tax is listed as delinquent, is no longer eligible for installments, and begins to accrue interest and penalty charges on the entire remaining balance.

    Osterman was surprised to learn that property taxes for his residence — listed under his wife’s name — were delinquent, and said the taxes would be paid soon if his wife had not paid them already.

    “If she didn’t, I’m sure it’s forthcoming,” he said.

    Gleason did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

    This combined with being named in a federal lawsuit for corruption, money laundering and bribery. Yup, this is who we want as an elected official for Racine. What a total joke!
  10. Bruce and Donna
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    Bruce and Donna - March 26, 2014 8:45 am
    You sound desperate to defend this corruption. What is your role? Did you mean another crony appointed by Mayor Dickert that is abusing his position for private personal benefit for himself and other friends of the Mayor? We are not going to allow being called trolls for asking questions about where our money is being wasted and handed out to the Mayor's friends. Please debate the facts on any of this, it doesn't take much research to uncover what really happened.

    We forgot to include Treasures Media also, are they non profit too?
  11. Racines Finest Truth
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    Racines Finest Truth - March 26, 2014 7:37 am
    Some idiots ruin headstones. A racine resident volunteers to help ( regardless of who it is ). Somebody tapes it. Racine resident blog trolls hang the volunteer. Viewing commentary on entirely unrelated issues by individuals who have an ax to grind is annoying. If you need a soapbox to vent, write a blog and post it and then wait for others to argue with you. This is unlikely, however, after reading a host of comments by the many trolls, that they would possess the ability to write an article well enough for publication.
  12. ggodmuls
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    ggodmuls - March 26, 2014 7:09 am
    Every single one of them is FOR PROFIT, to include Monte Osterman's Root River Council, Inc.

    Every single one of them is receiving taxpayer $$$ in questionable deals with the mayor.

    It's all part of of the Criminal Syndicate formerly known as The City of Racine.
  13. Kate Remington
    Report Abuse
    Kate Remington - March 26, 2014 5:24 am
    The Racine Community is being bombarded by marketing genius. It is very confusing. The ears and eyes and boggled brain get tired of sorting out the nonsense. Local marketing websites change daily and many look the same as others, just changed around. Some of it is slick, most of it is simply bad. Who are all these firms and people and their jingles and why do we have so many now? Bruce and Donna listed some of these blooming entities and there are more, like this group and the Trendpo group and the Image Management Group and the Vicki lady who is all about be this be that. It is irritating to me because I see a City that is failing to face its real and obvious financial distress because it is too busy making commercials. Leading Racine? This is an open ended blank these days I am very interested in the situation at Mound Cemetery, not marketing, not egos, not a commercial.
  14. Bruce and Donna
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    Bruce and Donna - March 26, 2014 1:34 am
    Maybe we are just confused. Are these nonprofit organizations or private for profit businesses?

    Racine TV
    Skies Fall Media
    Randum Creative Group
    Osterman Granite and Marble
    Rootworks and Root River Council Inc.

    Who else is non profit? We know the mayor doesn't work for free.
  15. Bruce and Donna
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    Bruce and Donna - March 26, 2014 1:10 am
    What is even more sad than this vandalism is seeing people try to leverage this unfortunate incident for their own private benefit.

    Everyone should read the conversation below with one of the members of the cable television commission who came on here with his employees promoting their website and bragging about covering this event and being a national news media guru, but that he is volunteering his time and that they aren't benefitting off of this in any way. Whether he was calling us trolls or not, something here seems very suspicious at best and there has been a lot of information out there showing that the whole car 25 deal was rigged and that is all tied to the cable commission.

    So then your private for profit business is somehow not a for private for profit business, and the Ostermans businesses are not for profit either? And those ads on your website are all going to charity and you are not trying to make any money off of this? What about the car 25 money - where is that going and who is sharing the pie? That must not be a for profit business either. Everyone is just doing this out of the goodness of their hearts, its not like it is that much money right? What do you think everyone in Racine is stupid?

    This is a good question - are select individuals and business being given inside tips or notified about potential private business opportunities before the public or even the police?
  16. TRolfson
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    TRolfson - March 25, 2014 11:21 pm
    Bruce and Donna, I'm sorry for the confusion as I was not calling you the trolls. That was intended to be a message for those antagonists who dragged the Osterman's into this thread. I was not implying it was you.

    I do however take exception to some of the other comments. First, I'm NOT profiting off of this. I volunteer a great number of hours and have donated money out of pocket to help produce the cemetery tours and documentary. Not one dime has gone into my pocket.. from the cemetery, the city, the volunteer center or otherwise. Like I'm Fox news? I've produced news segments that have been featured on national news prior to this. But isn't it ironic how our video was used by ALL the Milwaukee TV stations in broadcast and on their websites? Since when is accurately telling a story a bad thing to be chastised for? I haven't been involved in negotiating (or some call it rigging) ANY contracts for the city, Skies Fall or Belle TV.

    Again, I'm sorry for the confusion. You "Bruce and Donna" were not being called "Trolls". Everyone in Racine knows who those people are, they've been at it so long their patterns are obvious.

    Bruce and Donna, please do not accuse everyone with these blanket allegations. Contrary to popular belief there really are people putting forth a genuine effort but when we find ourselves accused and lambasted for simply being involved... some of us ask "Why bother?" I have the freedom to live and work anywhere in the world, I choose here because my family has been here for generations and I believe the people and city are worth it.
  17. Bruce and Donna
    Report Abuse
    Bruce and Donna - March 25, 2014 8:38 pm
    SHAME ON US???

    Excuse us, but we aren't the ones trying to profit off of this shameful situation like you are. We didn't bring the Ostermans into this, you did by parading around and filming him at the crime scene on a breaking story like you are fox news.

    We also didn't rig any contracts for friends with all of the taxpayers money, did you? Nor did we call you childish names, did you?. We were just upset by this and read the comments about the filming, so we asked what your involvement was. Now it is very apparent that you are closely involved, or you wouldn't be so defensive.

    This is a real account not a fake account. We post on here all the time and we have a right to express our opinion and concerns. Mostly we are just sick of seeing our city ruined and taken advantage of. It is taking money out of our pockets and putting it into you and your friends' pockets.

  18. TRolfson
    Report Abuse
    TRolfson - March 25, 2014 8:00 pm
    My apologies to the Journal Times for the post referencing censorship. I saw my reply online, then disappear. When the message said it might take 5 minutes for approval and then was gone at 10 it appeared to have been deleted.

    To the trolls: Shame on you. You again showed your agenda by dragging the Osterman's into a message thread on a media site and article which had nothing to do with them. I wouldn't fault the JT for banning all the fake accounts that misuse their message threads by bringing a political agenda into an unrelated story.
  19. Bruce and Donna
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    Bruce and Donna - March 25, 2014 7:45 pm
    So you are on the cable commission? That answers a lot right there. Since we are the ones paying for this disaster, it is our money so it is our business.

    What if the allegations are all true, and it seems highly likely they are? Well you are now involved. You seem to be confusing your role on the cable commission with your independent business, which is surely for profit right?

    All of the evidence seems to show that the contract was rigged for the mayor's friends, and that you are providing more special favors for the mayor's friends while serving on the cable commission.
  20. TRolfson
    Report Abuse
    TRolfson - March 25, 2014 7:41 pm
    RRE, I've got some enlightening news for you. In the USA you're innocent until proven guilty, be appreciative and respectful of that... you could find yourself the next person falsely accused and wish others didn't condemn you before your day in court. I haven't a clue who you are and suspect like many others you may be hiding behind a fake name, but please do not accuse me of something derogatory when you know nothing about me, my actions, and what I do for/or against city hall when I'm trying to do things to help the entire city of Racine on my own time and my own dime.
  21. TRolfson
    Report Abuse
    TRolfson - March 25, 2014 7:32 pm
    I do not work for Belle TV, I am on the cable commission. This is something I do on my own. Contract rigging? I have only been on the cable commission since May 2013, well after anything was contracted. I was a CAR25 producer before the change and have continued to produce content after. I believe Mr. Clingman made quite clear that his allegations against Ms. Osterman are a personal vendetta when he said during the Ethics Hearing (out of order I might add) that "He would drop the whole thing if she would resign." I would suggest that everyone should reserve judgement until all the facts are revealed.

    I can sympathize with you regarding the costs and concerns with running a city. I'm not a politician, I don't work for the city, I have no city contracts and do not work for any political campaigns. I'm an independent business person trying to help others in Racine. We the cable commission are volunteers, what Monte Osterman did at the cemetery was no cost to the city. He was simply there to help ME assess the damage for my own video reporting purposes. This may be a perfect example of someone with a personal vendetta trying to incite trouble where they have no business.
  22. Bruce and Donna
    Report Abuse
    Bruce and Donna - March 25, 2014 7:12 pm
    Do you work for belle TV or are you on the city of Racine cable television commission and is this part of your job with them or something you are doing on your own? Were you involved in the contract rigging or providing special favors for the Ostermans - is this just to cover that up??? Don't you think there might be a conflict of interest especially when there are allegations of wrongdoing tied to the cable television commission and Ostermans? How much are we paying for all of this nonsense?

    What is going on in this city?????? No streetlights but lots of money to give huge corrupt contracts to friends with no strings attached and now we are spending another $800,000 on some new software. What is that going to do to create jobs here and if the software is so great what are we spending all the money on the city administrator for? What are we wasting our money on next???
  23. Bruce and Donna
    Report Abuse
    Bruce and Donna - March 25, 2014 6:43 pm
    This is sad to see. It is rather unfortunate that with the long history of Mound Cemetery and years of peace and normalcy, we have now had two scandals in less than one year. They are both horrific in their own regard.
  24. ggodmuls
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    ggodmuls - March 25, 2014 6:17 pm
    Steve Bedard says he saw the damage first thing in the morning.

    Why wasn't RPD called until 12:55pm?

  25. Rick Ray Earle
    Report Abuse
    Rick Ray Earle - March 25, 2014 6:08 pm
    I would call any other firm than Osterman Granite and Marble. The Ostermans are deeply involved in city hall corruption. They personally benefit from our tax dollars. They're under investigation. They are ethically challenged.

    I would call ANY firm other than the tainted one, but you work for the good ol' boys, so you'll do as you're told.
  26. TRolfson
    Report Abuse
    TRolfson - March 25, 2014 4:02 pm
    Is it any wonder good people don't want to volunteer and help preserve the heritage and educate people about the history of Racine with people spouting twisted facts like this?

    Here's the facts:
    I volunteer to educate people and raise money for the volunteer center and cemetery via the cemetery tours. I'm doing a documentary to help this cause with my own money. I was there documenting more of the history, albeit tragic because of people who don't respect other's property and not the effort of the good people buried there who invested in Racine creating jobs, serving the military and leading the way politically without hiding behind anonymity. Your "minutes after" was hours after and while there was still daylight and not snow on the ground. If you want to talk to someone about the damage of marble and granite headstones, who would you call... some anonymous "PrimeTime69" or a guy who has been in the business of restoring building and cemeteries for years and proudly puts his name on the line?

    I don't see any correlation between anything else you mentioned. In my opinion those are unfounded allegations until someone with a name and title comes out and officially declares otherwise.
  27. PrimeTime69
    Report Abuse
    PrimeTime69 - March 25, 2014 3:35 pm
    Really? Wow!! So you own some kind of video production company and you were on scene with Monte Osterman, who is named in a federal corruption lawsuit and who also is under investigation in his roll in the Rootworks scandal, and you and your company were in the cemetery with Osterman minutes after the police investigation ended?? Hmmmmmmm....whats Osterman's business again....Oh yeah GRANITE & STONES!!!! HMMMM go figure, nothing to look at here, move along, move along....What a total joke!!
  28. TRolfson
    Report Abuse
    TRolfson - March 25, 2014 2:50 pm
    Why is JT censoring honest comments? Here someone anonymously makes accusations about a situation they don't know the facts, yet JT removes a subscriber's comments that help to clarify.

    Perhaps the real reason there are so many antagonists in Racine is they can't learn the truth through the JT.
  29. TRolfson
    Report Abuse
    TRolfson - March 25, 2014 2:39 pm
    Why so quick to rush to judgement? Monte, myself and others were there AFTER the P.D. left. Yellow tape? The damage spans almost 1/3 of the cemetery, should they have closed the whole place to the public after they already investigated?

    For the record before Monte is falsely accused of even more. I'm doing a documentary about Mound Cemetery and called him in to ask his opinion.
  30. ggodmuls
    Report Abuse
    ggodmuls - March 25, 2014 1:14 pm
    It's a crime scene and RPD is investigating - so what is Monte Osterman, who is not a member of RPD or a City of Racine official doing along with at least one other person, disturbing a crime scene and potentially damaging evidence? Where is the yellow tape?

    Strange days in Racine. A Jacato Drive arson goes unsolved, while garnering odd remarks and concern from the Mayor; a mysterious midnight fire at Mitchell school, during debate over a unnecessary Ordinance change; a Zoo fence gets crashed into at high speed and The JT does not follow the story; and now this - in an area over which there was great controversy with the Mayor.

    Strange days, Indeed.
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