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Atheist group wants state AG to look into Holmen land sale

Madison's Freedom from Religion Foundation didn't get what it wanted in Holmen.

So now, it wants the state attorney general to nullify the Village Board's sale of a small piece of land with a lighted cross and star display on it.

The Lions Club has been running the display for years. But the foundation and a similar group in Washington both said it violates the separation of church and state.

So they each offered $1,000-plus to buy the land this spring. The Village Board turned them away and sold the land to the Lions Club for just $600.

Foundation co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor said the move appeared to be pre-arranged. She said the Lions Club got to appraise the land and they claimed it was only worth $100.

The sale will be finalized June 29. Before then, Gaylor's group wants an injunction to halt the proceedings and she wants Attorney General J-B Van Hollen to order a new sale.

The AG's office says it's reviewing the matter.

Holmen village president John Chapman refuses comment.