Reluctantly, judge says yes to Vermont cemetery move

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A man who wants to move three graves from a historic cemetery located on land he wants to buy in Hartford has been given the green light by a judge.

Probate Court Judge Joanne Ertel says she had no jurisdiction to block the plan of Springfield businessman Michel Guite once an ancestor of the people buried in the cemetery withdrew her objection.

Guite plans to build a new home on the 170-acre farm, but says the cemetery move is unrelated. He says he fears strangers visiting the cemetery could threaten his family.

Preservation advocates, veterans groups and others opposed the plan, calling it disrespectful to the dead.

In her decision, Ertel says it’s hard to fathom Guite’s persistence in the face of such widespread opposition.

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