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MARKETPLACE:  Auto | Jobs | Personals | Yellow Pages  September 24, 2004
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Church protests New England city's plan to build skating rink over Puritan graves
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WORCESTER, Mass. A central Massachusetts city's plan to build a skating rink on its historic 17th century common is provoking an angry response from members of the First Congregational Church.

Their Puritan descendants are buried under the site in Worcester (WU'-stur).

Civic leaders envision the rink as the centerpiece of a two-year, five (m) million-dollar overhaul of the green.

The common dates back to 1669.

Workers recently uncovered toppled headstones that had been buried under a sidewalk during an earlier renovation. Now, church officials want the Massachusetts Historical Commission to revoke its approval of the project.

The Reverend James Cote, moderator of the 140-member church, says the city wants to "plow through the graves" and install the skating rink.

However, Worcester Mayor Timothy Murray says many people in the city support the rink project.

Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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