News and Blogs

Extended review at Arlington hasn't resolved problems

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Arlington National Cemetery officials said they are making progress in rectifying the problems with more than 200 grave-sites identified in an Army Inspector General's report by verifying paperwork, using ground-penetrating radar and, in a few cases, digging up graves with a backhoe.

But although it has been four months since the report was released, many of the record-keeping issues remain unresolved, the full scope of the problems at the nation's premier military cemetery is unknown and the cemetery's leadership cannot say how long it will take to fix the situation.

The Washington Post has the full story.

Last Updated ( Friday, 26 August 2011 11:48 )
 

Home Funerals - "How-To" Videos

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Interested in conducting a home-directed or "do it yourself" funeral, but do not know where or how to start?

If you are seeking practical "how-to" information, these excellent Home Funeral Workshop videos produced by Adam Bates of Austin TX fit the bill.

View Home Funeral Video 1

View Home Funeral Video 2

Last Updated ( Friday, 26 August 2011 11:46 )
 

Indiana funeral director accused of stealing prepaid money, switching ashes

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Indiana prosecutors say a funeral director misused his customers' prepaid funeral money, cremated humans and pets together, and gave the wrong ashes back to families:

A southern Indiana funeral home director faces more than 60 charges for allegedly defrauding families of money and delivering bogus cremated remains to others.

Richard D. Pyke was already in jail at the Clark County Detention Center facing similar charges. On Tuesday, prosecutors filed an additional 36 charges against him, including theft and insurance fraud.

Asst. Chief Prosecutor Jeremy Mull says Pyke mishandled money intended for a cemetery trust fund, which was established for families who pre-paid for burial services.

Indiana State Police found human bodies and several dogs at Pyke's crematorium in May, some of which had begun to decay.

Pyke also faces charges of violating Indiana's cremation statute for allegedly providing families of the deceased with bogus remains. Some of the latest charges deal with infants, whose bodies were found in a refrigeration unit at Pyke's funeral service in Henryville, Indiana.

WDRB-TV has the whole story here.

Last Updated ( Friday, 26 August 2011 11:44 )
 

Wall Street Journal on the Undertakers vs. the Monks

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8/27/2010— The Wall Street Journal has an excellent piece on the Louisiana Funeral Board's embarrassing crusade to put the Benedictine Monks out of the casket business. Some LA undertakers offered some choice quotes:

"They're cutting into our profit," says Leonard Dunn, the owner of Serenity Funeral Home, located a short drive from the abbey. He adds. "I don't think the monks are actually making the caskets—I think it's a marketing gimmick."
Boyd Mothe Jr., a member of the fifth generation of his family to run Mothe Funeral Homes outside New Orleans, says Louisiana's law should remain on the books because licensed directors have the training to sell caskets—transactions he calls "complicated." For instance, he says, "a quarter of America is oversized. I don't even know if the monks know how to make an oversized casket."
Some in the industry complain that Funeral Consumers Alliance unfairly smears the industry's reputation. We don't need to, since funeral directors are doing such a competent job themselves.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 02 March 2011 22:51 )
 

Louisiana goes after monastery for selling coffins; monks sue

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UPDATE 7/23/2011---Chalk up another loss for the bier barons. The US District Court for the Eastern District of Lousiana ruled the state's ban on retail casket sales is unconstitutional. Judge Stanward R. Duval, Jr.'s opinion is particularly damning to the state's claim that the law, which allows only licensed funeral directors with full-service funeral homes to sell caskets, was essential for "public health and safety."

Clearly, [Louisiana’s Embalming and Funeral Directors Act] does not protect consumers from higher prices. Moreover, the fact that any Louisianian can purchase a casket on line without the “aid” of a funeral director results in the only persons being protected are the funeral directors of Louisiana and their coffers. The Act only applies to in-state sales. Other forms of distribution (such as delivery in Louisiana of containers purchased out-of-state, gift and home manufacture for personal use) are not prohibited.

Last Updated ( Friday, 05 August 2011 13:40 ) Read more...
 


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