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<div> Senate To Vote On Added Job Protections For Women</div>

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A package of workplace protections for women is primed for a Minnesota Senate vote.

The bill that supporters have dubbed the Women's Economic Security Act was to be debated Wednesday.

It would require many companies with government contracts to certify they pay men and women similarly. It would prevent any company from preventing employees from discussing their wages. And it provides longer leave time and more workplace accommodations for new and expectant mothers.

The Minnesota House easily passed its version earlier this month. Unless House members embrace the Senate bill, a conference committee will try to negotiate a bill that will ultimately reach Gov. Mark Dayton. The Democratic governor has said he supports the thrust of the bills.

Mower County Recycling Center Turns 25

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- By itself, one plastic bottle probably doesn't mean much. But imagine if you're recycling thousands or tens of thousands of them a day ... then imagine if you've been doing that for 25 years.

“This October we will have been in business for 25 years," said Mower County recycling director Jeff Weaver.

And 25 years is a good time to look at the big picture: “Each year we would fill this room approximately eight times," Weaver told us, standing in a warehouse-like room that measures 100 feet square and 17 feet high.

“Over the last 25 years, we would have filled this room over 160 times," Jeff Weaver explained.

"The total number of tons we have recycled is just over 42,000 tons, or 84 million pounds. Over the last 25 years we've sold over three million dollars of material."

Environmentally, it's much better than the alternative.

<div> 550 Cited For Texting And Driving During Crackdown</div>

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The Minnesota Department of Public Safety says law enforcement officers across Minnesota cited 550 people for texting while driving during a recent 10-day crackdown on distracted driving.

The enhanced enforcement campaign by more than 400 departments this month also netted nearly 1,400 citations for failing to wear a seat belt and more than 400 citations and arrests for driving with a revoked or suspended license.

State Patrol Lt. Eric Roeske tells the Star Tribune some drivers think they can multi-task. Besides texting, Roeske says drivers were distracted by shaving, applying makeup, reading newspapers, using their laptops and eating.

DPS says distracted driving contributed to about 17,500 crashes last year. Sixty-eight people lost their lives and more than 8,000 were injured.


Two Grand Meadow Sisters Celebrate Long Lives

Two Grand Meadow sisters celebrate long lives with friends and family. -

(ABC 6 News) -- In today's world, living an entire century is quite the accomplishment.

After more than nine whole decades, two Grand Meadow sisters are still throwing birthday parties with their friends and family.

95-year old Beulah and 100-year old Alvena had their celebration at Grand Meadow Lutheran Church today.

The sisters had posters and pictures of one another that dated back as early as the 1920s.

Beulah was born in 1919 and Alvena was born in 1914.

Alvena loves that her family and friends celebrate with them, "My family is here and so are many many friends. That pleases me."

Both sisters were born in Iowa and then moved to Minnesota.

A Local Church Opens its Doors to Community on Easter

Christ Episcopal Church in Austin opens its doors to the community. -

(ABC 6 News) – For more than a decade, the Christ Episcopal Church in Austin has given an opportunity for any resident who needs a sense of community on Easter.

It’s the 15th year of their free community Easter dinner. The event brought people from in and out of the state.

Busy hands prepared food for over a hundred people. There were 25 pounds of ham, 24 pounds of creamed corn.

Easter, like many other holidays, holds a different meaning from person to person, between families of separate cultures. But across all heritages, holidays like Easter bring people together.

"And coming together to eat a meal, having joy, and celebrating together just personifies Easter."

Austin's Christ Eh-piss-cuh-pole Church continued their Easter tradition of serving a free meal to its community.

"Everyone is welcome, all of the community is welcome." And they mean everyone.

Minneapolis Eyes Styrofoam Ban for Food Containers

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- You deal with it many times each day in its various forms, and probably don’t even think about it.

But one of those forms is drawing some heated debate in Minneapolis.

"I've never talked to a market that was interested in taking Styrofoam in any of its forms," said Mower County recycling director Jeff Weaver.

But it's the doggie box you bring home from the restaurant that's drawing attention in Minneapolis, where a city council member wants to ban them to better protect public health and the environment.

"I would say that in a lot of instances there are good alternatives to using Styrofoam," Jeff Weaver told us.

Restaurants like the Styrofoam containers because they're light weight, sturdy and cheap.

Deborah Edge Pleads Not Guilty

(ABC 6 News) -- Last week ABC 6 told you an Austin man and his wife were working together to create and distribute child pornography online.

Last week, 34-year-old Anthony Edge was charged after police say he raped a child and posted explicit videos involving children online.  A few days later, police charged 36-year-old Deborah Edge with four counts of using minors in a pornographic work.

Both have now plead not guilty.

Police say in examining one of the computers they took from the couple's home, they found a video of Deborah Edge and a naked six-year-old girl in a bathroom.

Authorities say the video shows Deborah Edge deliberately exposing the girl's body and giving her a sign with some kind of web address written on it.

Edge told police she made the video for her husband, but admitted sending it to someone else.