Ohio country club to appeal ruling it must sell to nonprofit

NEWARK, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio country club plans to appeal an order that it sell back a lease to the state historical agency to provide public access to ancient burial mounds.

The Newark Advocate reports that Judge David Branstool of Licking County Common Pleas Court recently ruled the Ohio History Connection can reclaim the 2,000-year-old Octagon Mounds from Moundbuilders Country Club if it can afford to pay the price a jury will set in September.

The agency sued the club last year to buy back its lease with Moundbuilders. The U.S. Interior Department has said it won’t nominate Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks, which include Octagon Mounds, as a UNESCO World Heritage Site unless the course is removed.

The president of the club’s trustee board says the club is willing to move elsewhere if it’s paid fairly.

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