Cemetery vandalism costing locals thousands

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Wood Cemetery.jpg
More than $10,000 in damage has been done to Wood Cemetery in Wood Township, Huntingdon County. 
 
“They desecrated a Holy place and they’ll be captured and they’ll be dealt with,” said St. Michael’s Orthodox Church Council President Ronald Pawuk.
 
The small cemetery has around $13,000 in damage total.
 
“We had one tombstone that was broken off and we had a number of tombstones that were slid sideways on their bases,” Pawuk said. “Numerous solar lights were stolen and smashed. Flag holders for the veterans and VFW auxiliary members and legion members were taken out of the ground. Some of them were broken. Some of them disappeared.”
 
Vandals also took a brand new flag from the flagpole, leaving the cut up rope behind.  On top of that, they dented the fence surrounding the cemetery.
 
The church owns the almost-100-year-old cemetery.  Pawuk said the small congregation of 15 families isn’t sure how they’ll afford the repairs. 
 
“We’re probably going to have to take donations up throughout the community to try to get it repaired… if it’s repairable,” he said.
 
One headstone is the most costly of the damages.  To get the same shape headstone with the Orthodox cross on top, Pawuk estimates it will cost at least $10,000. 
 
“Usually the stones are the people’s responsibility, but with no family somebody has to step up and take care of it,” he said.
 
State police said the vandalism at the cemetery is linked to damage done at the little league field and community park in the middle of town. 
 
“If they do make arrests, we’ll push for restitution for repairs of everything,” Pawuk said.
 
Police have not released information on any leads as to who the vandals are at this time. 

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