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Central Maine News: Maine Audubon Seeking Return of Stuffed Hare + Turtle

Scott Olson, Getty Images

These are some of the stories central Maine is talking about today.

A group of environmental advocates are urging lawmakers to support measures aimed at expanding solar power and making homes more energy efficient. The six-bill package outlined by the Environmental Priorities Coalition includes measures that provide incentives to increase solar power in the state and a $30 million bond to help families pay for upgrades like insulation and heat pumps to lower their heating bills. Another bill would add several species to the endangered list, including the black-crowned night heron, little brown bat and Northern long-eared bat. Gov. LePage clashed with environmental groups last year over their efforts to expand solar power. The governor believes it remains too expensive and that the state needs to focus on things like expanding natural gas infrastructure to lower energy prices. (AP)

Maine Audubon is seeking the return of a stuffed hare and turtle that it uses for educational purposes. The snowshoe hare and pond turtle, each preserved by a taxidermist and mounted in a Plexiglas box, as well as a red fox pelt, were stolen from an Audubon instructor’s locked vehicle last weekend while it was in a Portland parking garage. They’re part of a state-licensed, 130-piece collection of wildlife specimens that are considered difficult to replace and critical to education programs offered by Audubon and teachers across Maine. The theft has left “a big hole” in the collection. (AP)

The Maine Human Rights Commission says three women were discriminated against because of their age when Shaw’s supermarkets laid off hundreds of workers three years ago. The commission ruled that the supermarket chain’s actions in 2012 unfairly affected older workers. The commission voted that the company discriminated against the three workers because a policy decision to lay off only full-time employees primarily affected older workers. The commission also says Shaw’s did not engage in age discrimination in the way it treated the three workers. Maine law says the commission can differentiate between treating someone in a discriminatory way and enacting policies that result in discrimination. (AP)

A Maine veteran finally has the medals he earned almost 20 years ago. According to WCSH, Oscar Gerry served in the Army on a peacekeeping mission to Bosnia in the late 1990′s. After his tour, he returned home to Oakland and still lives there with his family. Gerry reached out to Senator Angus King for help getting his medals when he had trouble accessing his health benefits. Those medals fill in a gap in his service record that expands his benefit eligibility. Senator King hosted the medal ceremony at his office in Augusta Wednesday. (WCSH)

We have barely finished digging out from this week’s blizzard can expect another heavy storm today. The snow is expected to taper off Saturday morning, leaving another 6 to 12 inches.  The forcoast also predicts more snow next week. (AP)

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