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Houston-area county could buy land where human remains found

February 13, 2019
FILE - In this Dec. 16, 2018, file photo, Kathy McDougal holds a sign that reads "We Honor the #Sugarland95" during a candlelight vigil on the steps of City Hall at Sugar Land Town Square, in Sugar Land, Texas. A Houston-area county will work with educators to possibly buy school district land where the remains believed to be those of about 95 African-American prisoners were found during construction. Fort Bend County commissioners voted Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019, to authorize negotiations with the Fort Bend Independent School District in what could lead to a memorial and cemetery at the site. (Karen Warren/Houston Chronicle via AP, File)

RICHMOND, Texas (AP) — A Houston-area county will work with educators to possibly buy school district land where remains believed to be about 95 African-American prisoners were found during construction.

Fort Bend County commissioners voted Tuesday to authorize negotiations with the Fort Bend Independent School District in what could lead to a memorial and cemetery at the site.

Human remains, unearthed last year during a schools construction project in Sugar Land, are believed to be ex-prisoners who were part of a convict-leasing system.

The district last fall originally sought to have the remains moved to the Old Imperial Farm Cemetery. Tuesday’s decision would leave the remains at the site, which was not marked as a cemetery.

The school board president, Jason Burdine, welcomed the decision by the county commissioners for preservation of the location.

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