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Celebrations In Texas For MLK Federal Holiday

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
Tom LeGro/PBS NewsHour
Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Parades, music and community programs have been scheduled across Texas to mark the federal holiday honoring the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Texans joined other Americans today to honor King's memory 44 years after the civil rights leader was assassinated.

An MLK festival Monday at Fair Park in Dallas features a health fair, a gospel concert and poetry readings.

The seventh annual MLK Symposium, "The World Dr. King Inherited and Changed," will take place at 7pm tonight at the Winspear Opera House in Dallas.

Houston scheduled a parade and an MLK day of service.

Organizers say tens of thousands of participants turned out for the MLK march in San Antonio. It's the 25th anniversary of San Antonio's celebration of King's life and legacy.

Some Texas communities held weekend MLK events. San Angelo's celebration included a Gospel Fest at a church.

First US full face transplant patient smiling

Ten months after becoming the first person to get a full face transplant in the United States, a Fort Worth man marvels at recovering the ability of expression.

Dallas Wiens was the only patient of the first three surgeries done in the U.S. who did not suffer an acute rejection of the transplant within the first six months.

The 25-year-old Wiens told the Dallas Morning News he can now smile and express emotion with a face he didn't have a year ago.

Wiens' face was burned off in 2008 when his head touched a high-voltage power line while he was standing in an elevated cherry picker.

The Department of Defense funded the transplants through a $3.4 million grant with the hope of offering the procedures to wounded soldiers.

3rd man held over 2 bodies in burning Dallas car

Dallas police have arrested a third suspect over the apparent drug-related killing of two men whose bodies were in the trunk of a burning car.

Bond has been set at $2 million for 19-year-old Daryl Dotson of Dallas on two counts of capital murder. Electronic jail records Monday did not list an attorney for Dotson, who was captured Saturday at an apartment.

The bodies of 20-year-old Steven Govan and 19-year-old Jonathan Williams were found Dec. 18 after emergency personnel responded to a report of a burning car. Both victims h ad been shot.

Police say 17-year-old Debanair Wynn was taken into custody two days later. Officers on Jan. 3 arrested 18-year-old Nathan Scott.

Each has been charged with two counts of capital murder, with bond set at $2 million.

Money-saving summer schedule set for Austin ISD

Leaders of a Central Texas school district have decided to change the summer schedule to save money on utilities.

Austin Independent School District offices will be closed on Fridays the last week of June and all of July. The district offices will also close for a week this summer.

The Austin American-Statesman reported Sunday that workers were notified of the change when they returned from the winter break. Employees who normally are scheduled for work must take vacation time to cover the week when Austin ISD offices are closed.

The district last summer saved more than $334,000 with similar cutbacks. Officials estimated the savings will be higher this year because of rising utility costs and the lingering drought.

Boll weevil making final stand in South Texas

Cotton's long-time enemy the boll weevil is quickly running out of U.S. territory and is now confined to the southernmost part of Texas along the border with Mexico.

And even there, near where the boll weevil first entered the country in the 1890s, farmers aren't finding the destructive bugs in nearly the numbers of years past.

Texas is the country's largest cotton producer and the last state with boll weevils. The southernmost Lower Rio Grande Valley Zone is the last infected area in Texas. An eradication campaign coordinated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture is responsible for the dwindling numbers.

Brad Cowan, a Texas AgriLife Extension Service agent, tells the Brownsville Herald that many Texas growers haven't seen a boll weevil in several seasons.