Porter council considers banning funeral protests

2013-03-13T19:19:00Z 2013-03-13T19:59:04Z Porter council considers banning funeral protestsHeather Augustyn Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
March 13, 2013 7:19 pm  • 

PORTER | Town Council President Elka Nelson referred to Westboro Baptist Church demonstrations Tuesday when she asked the council for its support in prohibiting funeral protests after receiving an email from a resident.

Nelson said the correspondence had referred to the Westboro Baptist Church funeral protest against servicemen and women and a recent 8th Circuit Court of Appeals decision that allowed a town to prohibit that type of protest.

“My first inclination was that we don’t have cemeteries in town, but we do have churches in town that do host funerals. There is allegedly some support at the county level and in neighboring jurisdictions and I would like to invite the council to join in,” said Nelson.

Council member Jeannine Virtue said she would support protecting residents from such protests and Nelson asked the town’s attorney to look at drafting an ordinance for consideration, which received unanimous council support.

In other business, parks officials will host their annual Easter Egg Hunt at 1 p.m. March 23 in Hawthorne Park. It will include an area for special needs children this year. Call (219) 926-1687 for information.

Nelson also reported that the Duneland Economic Development Commission is offering facade grants again this year, including any ADA modifications to make an entrance more accessible. Applications are due April 19. They are available at Town Hall and the Chesterton/Duneland Chamber of Commerce.

The council also passed an ordinance to lower the speed limit on Tremont Road. Council members said speeds have increased since the road was repaved.

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