Adams County Coroner James Keller is western Illinois has a great way to self-fund his department: if a poor person dies and their family can't afford the $1,000 for cremation, Keller just dumps the ashes in an unmarked mass grave; and then if the family needs a death certificate to access their dead loved one's estate, Keller makes them sign over the first $1,000 out of the estate to his office before he'll hand over the paperwork.
Keller -- a funeral director -- says he has no choice because the state cut funding. Grieving families in Adams County now crowdfund to get their loved ones' ashes and death certificate.
Cookson likes Keller’s program and said and it’s not right that some are making him out to be “next to the devil.” While some places such as Chicago’s Cook County pay for indigent burials, in other counties poor residents must call around to funeral homes until they find one that will help.
“These people that don’t have any money are very, very lucky to live in Adams County,” Cookson said.
Keller also works as a funeral director, but he insists his decision to create the policy was unrelated to his other job.
He says he had 90 inquiries about indigent burials last year. He says he asks families multiple times if they’re sure they want to sign over their loved one’s body, and gives them time to change their minds. He says he doesn’t give them the death certificate or ashes to protect against “abuse,” such as a case in which he later learned a family that didn’t want to pay for burial had received life insurance.
Illinois coroner to poor: Pay $1000 or county keeps remains [Sarah Burnett/AP]
When teachers from the largest school district in America walked off the job this week, they were not campaigning for wages: rather, they were demanding smaller classes; more librarians, counselors, aides and special-ed teachers; and to rein in the Charter school movement, and that last demand is the key to understanding the whole thing.
LA teachers are on strike today, fighting against privatization, standardized tests, giant classes, and clawbacks of in-class teachers' aides.
The Ferguson uprising was triggered by the police assassination of Michael Brown, but even before that killing, the city was a powder-keg, thanks to the practice of financing the city government by levying fines on the poor and putting those who couldn't pay in debtors' prison to encourage the rest to cough up.
For the newbie, Python can seem like the most intimidating programming language. After all, it can be used to create everything from simple apps to vast networks of web crawlers. But there are fundamental principles that underlie all the uses of this versatile platform, and you can absorb them all with the Python Master Class […]
Building a website on WordPress has always been easy. But if you really want to make your website stand out from the growing crowd, you’re going to need some help. For our money, a subscription to Storeshock WordPress Themes & Elements does the trick almost as well as having a pro designer by your side […]
These days, there isn’t much our iPhone camera can’t do – except feel like an actual phone. Despite years of steadily increasing resolution and image sensing technology, we’re still taking shots awkwardly with two hands, fumbling for the shutter button. Leave it to an avid photographer to design Shuttercase, a versatile iPhone case that solves […]