Bald Knob Cross vandalized and falling into state of disrepair - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Alto Pass, IL

Bald Knob Cross vandalized and falling into state of disrepair

Pastor Bill Vandergraph Pastor Bill Vandergraph

Bald Knob Cross vandalized and falling into state of disrepair
By: Carly O'Keefe

ALTO PASS, Ill - The Bald Knob Cross of Peace is in the dark. Vandals destroyed the lighting that illuminates the cross at night. The glass casings that held the lights have also been shattered. And the vandals left a message. Spray painted on the only unbroken glass enclosure they wrote: "From Morris with Love." The Union County Sheriff's Department is investigating.

The cross itself doesn't need help from vandals; Mother Nature is tearing it apart. The wind has blown off several tiles leaving large gaps in the more than 110-foot tall cross. However, no one can fix it right now. A court injunction has not allowed the Bald Knob Cross Board to meet since December. That followed several months of controversy and argument about how the cross' business should be done.

The injunction is part of an on-going lawsuit filed by former Bald Knob Cross Board member Tirzah Tweedy that asks a judge to dissolve the current 18-member Bald Knob Board and appoint a custodian to manage the cross until a new board of directors is selected. The case was on the docket Wednesday in Union County, however no decision was made. The ruling is postponed until June 6.

Meanwhile the cross continues to deteriorate, and folks are concerned the longer it's allowed to go, the worse it could get. But some say Bald Knob's business can't continue until the board's problems are straightened out.

"The feeling is the best way to turn this thing around is get new membership, broaden it. If you can get 200 to 300 people who are interested in Bald Knob, let them elect an entirely new board, let that board elect its officers and take care of these matters," said Pastor Bill Vandergraph.

We tried to contact current Bald Knob Board Vice President Bob Hunziker about the case. He was unavailable for comment Wednesday.

Pastor Vandergraph says in spite of the controversy and on-going court case, the annual Easter sunrise service will go on as it has for the past 70 years.

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