American Scene

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Gov. Paul LePage ordered the removal of the 36-foot-long mural, saying it presented a one-sided view of history.

Critics of his action sued, contending that Mr. LePage violated their First Amendment right of access to the artwork.

Maine Attorney General William Schneider applauded Judge Woodcock’s decision, saying the judge correctly found that elected officials can and should express their views.

NEW JERSEY

Koran-burning employee gets lost job back

NEWARK | The New Jersey Transit employee fired for publicly burning pages of the Koran on the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks is getting his job back.

A settlement, a copy of which was obtained by the Newark Star-Ledger, shows Derek Fenton will receive $25,000 for pain and suffering when he resumes his $86,110-a-year job. He’ll also receive back pay equal to $331.20 for every day since his firing on Sept. 13, 2010.

The state will also pay $25,000 in legal fees to the American Civil Liberties Union, which filed a lawsuit claiming Mr. Fenton’s right to free expression was violated.

The 40-year-old was not working when he set fire to three pages of the Koran in September in Lower Manhattan to protest a planned Islamic center near ground zero.

NEW YORK

Parade shows off Easter finery

NEW YORK | Bonnets both elegant and zany took center stage at this year’s Easter Parade on Fifth Avenue - along with spirited talk about Christ’s Resurrection and gay marriage.

It was “a real New York spectacle,” said John Leone, a Long Island electrician who came Sunday with his native Ecuadorean wife and two young daughters - and their over-the-top hats.

Victoria Leone, 7, and her 8-year-old sister, Valentina, wore huge white domes, fashioned from pastel Froot Loops and marshmallow Peeps attached to white plaster that had been shaped around a balloon.

Sitting atop Mike Revenaugh’s thrift-shop straw hat was a miniature Ferris wheel filled with Lego figures, on a lawn of fake grass graced by plastic eggs. In his multicolored striped jacket, the 28-year-old graduate student had no plans to attend a religious service. “It’s a little difficult, with this equipment,” he said.

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