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State DOJ says no to atheist group's request over Holmen land sale

The state Justice Department says it will not make the Village of Holmen nullify a recent sale of public land with a religious display on it.

Madison's Freedom from Religion Foundation was hoping to buy the property where the Holmen Lions Club has had a lighted star and cross display for years.

But the village recently sold the site to the Lions for $600, half of what the foundation offered.

The foundation said the sale seemed prearranged.

It asked the Justice Department to nullify it on the grounds that the State Open Meetings Law was violated.

Assistant AG Bruce Olson said he couldn't find any proof that the law was broken and the Freedom from Religion Foundation should take its case to the La Crosse County district attorney.

Foundation co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor says the state is just passing the buck but she'll go through with a complaint to the district attorney.

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