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NEWS STORIES

Huge, Divinely-Inspired Bible Camp Struck DownSubmitted: 02/05/2013

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com

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WOODBORO - God told the Jaros family to build a huge Bible camp on Squash Lake west of Rhinelander.

That's what the family told a federal court.

But the court is now telling the family they'll need to look somewhere else.

The Jaros family claimed divine calling when they decided to build a Bible camp fit for hundreds of people on the lake.

That process started seven years ago.

It was designed to have an indoor archery range, climbing wall, and even a train to take campers from the road into camp.

The only problem is this area of Squash Lake is zoned by Oneida County for quiet, single family homes, with not much noise, not many buildings, and not many people.

So the Jaros' went to elected officials to try and change that.

"Those petitions were not approved by the Town of Woodboro. Oneida County looked at it and did not approve them either. That was affirmed by the Oneida County Board," said Karl Jennrich, the Oneida Co. Planning and Zoning Director.

After that rejection, the family took the case to U.S. District Court.

They said a Religious Land Use act protected their right to build.

But Friday, Judge William Conley sent an even stronger rejection their way.

He said, "Patently obvious is this court's inability to discern whether the
plaintiffs' utter lack of success to date is God's way of telling them...to look elsewhere for a more acceptable location. Ultimately, only God knows if they should continue to knock at this particular door or look for an open window somewhere else."

"We respectfully disagree with some of the conclusions that the court reached, and we're going to appeal the decision," said Roman Storzer, the attorney for Eagle Cove.

That appeal goes to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago.

But for now, there's no massive Bible camp in the works.

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