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Wadsworth Cemetery case goes to court Friday

The first hearing on legal challenges to Barnesville’s plan to relocate graves from the old Wadsworth Cemetery to Greenwood Cemetery to make room for industrial expansion is set for Friday morning in Atlanta. There are two appeals before the court. One was filed by Mike Ross and another by Cynthia Wadsworth. Both are direct Wadsworth descendants. Attorney John Strauss represents Ross. He reported Wednesday that he and city attorney Bobby Melton agreed to ask the court to initially deal with two threshold issues. Those are (1) if venue in Fulton County superior court is appropriate and (2) whether the city was required to go to the Lamar commission with its request to move the graves (as it did) or take that proceeding to Lamar superior court. ”Mr. Furr, who represents Ms. Wadsworth, has recently agreed to that scope. After those threshold issues are resolved, the parties would have a better understanding of what steps would be appropriate for the future resolution of any remaining issues,” Strauss said Wednesday. The cemetery, which dates back to the early 1800s, has at least 103 graves. Some of those may be of Civil War soldiers killed in the nearby collision of two trains in 1864. It sits on a 126 acre tract adjacent to the industrial park. The county commission voted 3-2 last July to issue a grave disturbance permit July 13. Legal challenges emerged less than a week later and the matter has been in limbo since that time.

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