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Vandals Strike The Newtonia Cemetery - KOAM TV 7

Vandals Strike The Newtonia Cemetery

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     Officials with the Old Newtonia Civil War Cemetery say vandals have struck the facility.
     Again.
Don Jessen, Newtonia Battlefields Protection Association: "I have no idea why."
Don Jessen is trying to figure out who would vandalize an historic cemetery and why, and, he's puzzled.
He fears the headstones at the site -- many dating back to the Civil War, are damaged beyond repair.
Jessen: "There's no replacing, and unfortunately, I don't really think that you can glue them back together again."
Jessen says he hopes not all is lost.
Jessen: "There's some of them that were pillars that were knocked over, hopefully we can put them back on and maybe fasten them down somehow, we're gonna try as soon as weather permits."
  This isn't the cemetery's first run in with vandals.
Jessen says a few years ago, they faced a similar incident, and were left picking up the pieces.
He says he's got a message for those involved.
Jessen: "Hopefully no one ever comes to your grave and does this, to your loved ones, and does this, because everybody in that cemetery is either a father a mother a son a daughter or child."
And he hopes the community will come together to help.
Jessen: "If anybody in the community knows anything about who, what, when and where, we'd really love to know...and...we certainly would keep things confidential, we just, we want this to stop."
Jessen says he understands weather can damage concrete, especially as old as the stones at the cemetery, but, he says the damage, was clearly deliberate.
 

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Chris Warner
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A Joplin native, Chris first started in broadcasting at age 16 at KSNF-TV in 2004..

Chris joined the KOAM team in 2017 as an Associate Producer. In April, he moved into a full-time reporter position. He spent time from 2008 to 2016 in various retail roles around the region before returning to his passion at KOAM. Chris is excited to continue telling the stories of the four states. Chris and his wife Amber live in Joplin and have three amazing children.

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