OSHKOSH - When most people die, there is usually a funeral with a cremation or burial to follow, but not everyone has family or the money to make that happen.
"Unfortunately there are indigents, there are people who don't have anything, people who've worked all their life and can't come up with a couple thousand dollars and that's pretty sad," said Winnebago County Coroner Barry Busby.
Busby told FOX 11 the county deals with about two unclaimed bodies a year. Burials cost about $4,000 each. That becomes money the county is on the hook for.
So Busby worked with the county to pass a new ordinance. Now any bodies not claimed within seven days can be cremated. That would cost no more than $500.
Busby told us his office will do all it can to find a family member within that week.
"Through the internet and all of the mass media, anything we can do to find out who might be the next of family," explained Busby.
The county is considering some other options. For example, the Catholic Cemeteries of Oshkosh has stepped forward to help.
"We have spaces here. We'd give them free. It's part of our faith that this is part of our completion here on Earth," explained Thomas Donovan, the Administrator for Catholic Cemeteries of Oshkosh, Inc.
Donovan told FOX 11 the requirement that a person be Catholic would not apply.
"We would waive them in this situation, because of the nature," said Donovan.
According to Busby, the area VFW has also offered to take care of any unclaimed veterans' bodies.
Busby said he is considering other options including donating bodies to science, if state and national laws approve of that kind of measure.
For now, though, Busby says the ordinance is the first step and will help give the unclaimed some dignity.
"They deserve a proper burial or cremation or at least something to happen," said Busby.
Firefighters are battling a house fire in Kewaunee County.
Wind, snow, cold and ice played a role as firefighters battled a fire in downtown Ripon Wednesday morning.
Outagamie County's second largest employer is expanding, and veterans are encouraged to apply.
The State Building Commission has approved $5 million to help build the Wisconsin Maritime Center of Excellence in Marinette.
Fond du Lac police have released more information about the weapons they found in the apartment of a man who was at the center of a five-hour standoff on Monday.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is announcing a public meeting has been scheduled to provide road closure and design information for the Velp Avenue interchange area.