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Top Morning Stories January 17, 2011

Austin's first female council member, Emma Long, passed away over the weekend.
Photo courtesy of the City of Austin.
Austin's first female council member, Emma Long, passed away over the weekend.

Funeral Services Pending for Emma Long

Funeral services are pending for Austin's first female city council member.  Emma Long passed away Sunday at the age of 98.  She was first elected to the council in 1948 and served for over 16 years.  She was an advocate for integration and worked to preserve Austin parks.  The Emma Long Metropolitan Park in northwest Austin was named after her.  Long was also Austin's first woman Mayor Pro Tem.  The Austin American Statesmanreports she spent her time on the dais "pushing the policy envelope in what had been a more conservative, traditionally Southern city".

MLK Day Closures, Events

City of Austinoffices are closed for Martin Luther King Junior Day today.  Garbage and recycling will be picked up as usual.  All recreation, cultural and senior centers are also closed today.  City golf courses, tennis center, and pools are open. 

The MLK Day community march will close some streetsdowntown this morning.  The march starts at 9 a.m. at the MLK statue on the UT campus, heads east on MLK Blvd, down to Huston Tillotson University for a festival until 4 p.m.

Hispanics At the Border Living Long Lives

Emily Ramshaw, of our reporting partner the Texas Tribune, has posted a story about how people in the state's border counties live some of the longest lives.  Some are calling this the "Hispanic Paradox" because so many people are poor along the border, lack health insurance, and lack higher education.

Some say it's because many Hispanics have physically demanding jobs that keep them fit, others say long term family care at home (versus a nursing home) gives elders a will to live.  But some doctors say this long life trend may not continue for long. That's because more young Hispanics are becoming diabetic and obese.