Saturday, February 10, 2018 • Page 1B
Heart Disorders Can Mimic Anxiety or Panic Attacks
Preferred Health Directory
Memorial Hermann Greater Heights For The Leader A racing heart. A fluttering heart. Both are symptoms of anxiety. However, they can also signal a heart rhythm disorder (arrhythmia), such as atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation, often called AFib or AF, is a rapid and irregular heartbeat. It is the most common type of heart arrhythmia and increases the risk for stroke and heart failure. Proper Evaluation is Needed Sunil K. Reddy, M.D. , is an electrophysiologist (EP) affiliated with Memorial Hermann Greater Heights Hospital and UT Physicians. EPs are cardiologists with additional training in treating the heart’s electrical system. Dr. Reddy says individuals can often dismiss a racing heart as anxiety. “Heart arrhythmias, such as AFib, and panic attacks can feel very simPhoto supplied ilar with shortness of breath, heart palpitations, chest pain and light- Sunil K. Reddy, M.D., is an electrophysiologist (EP), a cardiologist with additional training in treating the heart’s electrical system. Affiliated with UT Physicians and Memorial Hermann Greater Heights Hospital, he performs heart headedness,” says Dr. Reddy. “Any- procedures at the hospital’s catheterization lab. one with these symptoms should be evaluated by a physician.” rial Hermann Greater Heights who The risk for AFib increases with perform these ablations are faculty age and is more common in indi- members of McGovern Medical viduals with high blood pressure, School at UTHealth and affiliated diabetes, obesity and European with the Center for Advanced Heart Memorial Hermann Greater Heights Hospital ancestry. Approximately 2 percent Failure at Memorial Hermann Heart Monday, February 12 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. of individuals under age 65 have & Vascular Institute. AFib, but approximately 9 percent “We’ve had patients with AFib • Learn about community services for seniors of those older than 65 have AFib. who undergo an ablation and now • Hear from a panel of cardiologists including Dr. Reddy, followed enjoy a marked improvement in by Q&A Cardiac Catheter Ablation Can quality of life,” says Dr. Reddy. • Free health screenings Successfully Treat AFib • Heart-healthy buffet In the past, antiarrhythmic medi- “They’ve stopped toxic medicacations were the only treatment for tions, stayed out of the hospital Free event, but registration required as space is limited. patients with AFib. Now, newer, and, for one patient, come off her minimally invasive surgical treat- oxygen.” Call 713.222.CARE to register. ments, such as cardiac catheter ab- Advanced Cardiology Care lation, are providing patients with Close to Home better outcomes. The modern electrophysiology “Memorial Hermann Greater heat, is delivered through the cath“The success of a cardiac abla- lab at Memorial Hermann Greater tion depends on what we’re treat- Heights features an advanced map- Heights has some of the best tech- eter to destroy the tissue causing ing and the underlying health of the ping system that provides physicians nology in the city, which means abnormal heartbeats. This procedure heart,” says Dr. Reddy. “For certain with efficient, real-time, 3-D images advanced cardiology care in the sometimes requires an overnight hospital stay. patients with AFib, the success rate of a patient’s heart. This state-of-the- Heights,” says Dr. Reddy. During an ablation, a thin, flexible For an appointment to deterof ablation can be as high as 70 art technology significantly reduces tube, called a catheter, is inserted mine if symptoms are related to percent to 90 percent.” radiation exposure while giving phy- through a vein or artery into the anxiety or a heart condition, call Dr. Reddy and the affiliated sicians a clear view inside the heart. heart. Energy, similar to microwave 713.222.CARE. heart rhythm specialists at Memo-
Northwest ChiropraCtiC George G. Junkin, D.C. D.A.C.B.N. Nutritionist 11500 NW Frwy - Suite 201 Houston, Texas 77092 Tel: 713-686-0828 www.drjunkin.com
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Cord blood and tissue banking: is it worth it?
Stephanie Fulton, M.D.
1740 W. 27 St. Suite 301 Houston, TX 77008 713-880-2727 www.fultonobgyn.com
Zarah Parker firstname.lastname@example.org Soon-to-be mothers always want what’s best for their baby, and if there’s something they can do to help the baby in the future, they want to know about it. Cord blood and tissue banking is an option many local mothers are choosing. Cord blood refers to the blood inside the baby’s umbilical cord that has stem cells within it with the capability to grow into blood vessels, organs, and tissues. According to babycenter.com, cord blood is currently the subject of FDA-regulated clinical trials that explore their potential in helping people with autism, brain injury, and other conditions. Stem cells can help repair tissues, organs, blood vessels, and a multitude of diseases. Cord blood is a valuable source of stem cells. These stem cells are still immature and haven’t learned to attack foreign substances, making it easier to match them for a transplant because the stem cells are unlikely to reject the transfusion. More than eighty different diseases have been treated by cord blood stem cells; including, leukemia, aplastic anemia, Hodgkin’s disease, and many more. How the cord blood is collected is simple and painless. After birth the cord is clamped and cut in the usual way, then a needle is inserted into the umbilical vein where the cord is still attached to the placenta. One to five ounces of blood is drained into
Ana M. Torres, M.D. , P.A.
Major Hospitals Photo supplied Local resident Roger White had a heart attack back in March 2017, but has avoided re-hospitalization and dropped 40 pounds since the attack thanks to MHGH’s cardiac rehab program
a collection bag. Next, the blood is shipped, tested, and preserved at a bank. Cord tissue is the insulating tissue around the two arteries and one vein found in the umbilical cord, according to cyro-cell.com. Stem cells within the tissue was discovered in the 90s, and because cord blood banking was already established, it was simple to begin preserving the tissue to test it for possible therapeutic use. The stems cells in cord blood and cord tissue are different and both work in different ways. Currently clinical trials are being held for the potential in cord tissue to help treat Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and more. To bank cord tissue, a segment of six inches of the umbilical cord is cut and collected in a container of antibiotics for transfer to a laboratory for processing. There are two options when it See Blood P. 4B
MHGH cardiac rehab a blessing for local resident By Landan Kuhlmann email@example.com Heart attacks occur at a moment’s notice, necessitating action to keep results from becoming fatal, and Roger White experienced that firsthand last March when he was revived three times before slipping into a coma for 11 days following an attack. Once his immediate danger passed, however, the paradigm shifted to “what now”; and Memorial Hermann Greater Height’s cardiac rehab program has helped him answer that age-old question. MHGH’s cardiac rehab consists of a 12-week heart program geared towards patients who have had a major cardiac event, such as an angioplasty, stints or in White’s case, a heart attack. The CDC estimates 790,000 Americans experience
heart attacks each year; and while interventions exist to clear blocked arteries, more can be done to improve future heart health, such as cardiac rehab. The medically-supervised program shown to reduce the risk of re-hospitalization has already aided White and many others. “I’m definitely eating a little better now. I don’t eat a lot of fried food, and I really try to watch what I eat,” said White, 60. “I owe [my recovery] all to rehabilitation, and that program [at MHGH] really taught me how to exercise, too.” According to Bernice Ware, BSN, RN, Clinical Manager of Cardiac Rehabilitation at Memorial Hermann Greater Heights Hospital, the cardiac rehab program lessens the See Rehab P. 5B
Memorial Hermann Greater Heights 1635 North Loop West Houston, Texas 77008 Tel: 713-867-2000 memorialhermann.org Physician Referral 713.222.CARE
St. Joseph Medical Center in The Heights 1917 Ashland Street Houston, Texas 77008 Tel: 713-757-1000 Physician Referral 713-757-7575
Setting the pace for cardiovascular care in Greater Houston. At Memorial Hermann, our team of world-renowned, affi liated heart physicians provides innovative cardiovascular care – from revolutionary new medications, to minimally invasive procedures for correcting atrial fibrillation or repairing heart valves to innovations in heart and lung transplants. These cutting-edge solutions are less traumatic and aim to reduce a patient’s pain and recovery time. Our innovations are putting Memorial Hermann at the forefront of advancing heart health in Greater Houston and helping our patients lead a better quality of life. Learn more about heart care at Memorial Hermann Greater Heights Hospital at heart.memorialhermann.org
Women’s Health Directory Page 2B • Saturday, February 10, 2018 • The Leader
Directory of local female health service professionals. Dr. Stephanie Fulton Dr. Fulton is certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Her practice consists of obstetrics, gynecology, and cosmetic procedures such as laser hair removal. She is a graduate of the University of Texas and completed residency at St. Vincent’s Medical Center where she was a Chief Resident. Dr. Fulton volunteers as part of the health team ministry of her church. 1740 W. 27 St. Suite 301 • Houston, TX 77008 713-880-2727 www.fultonobgyn.com
Dr. Julia Kovacs Dr. Julia Kovacs has more than 20 years of experience practicing primary care and internal medicine in Houston. She focuses on preventive medicine and the management of chronic diseases including diabetes, thyroid disorders, HIV and hypertension, among others. She graduated from the University of Arizona College of Medicine and did her internship and residency at Baylor College of Medicine. Board Certified Internist 427 W. 20th St., Ste. 303 • Houston, TX 77008 713-231-1880 www.sjmcphysicians.com
Dr. Dora E. Cantu Board Certified Ophthalmologist Dr. Cantu has been practicing ophthalmology for over 20 years. She sees patients daily for ocular problems including glaucoma, diabetes, macular degeneration, and ocular infections. Her passion in cataract and pterygium surgery. Dr. Cantu has been recently named one of the Leader’s best ophthalmologist! 1740 W. 27th St. Suite 180 • Houston, TX 77008 713-864-8652 www.northwesteye.net
Dr. Alexandra Pellicena Dr. Pellicena is committed to providing state-of-the-art health care services in an environment where patients always come first. She is bilingual English-Spanish and an experienced doctor in women’s care. Her goal is to provide firstclass medical care that consistently surpasses patient’s expectations. 1919 North Loop West, Ste#215 • Houston, TX 77008 713-370-7325 www.drpellicenaobgyn.com
Dr. Attiya S. Khan Dr. Khan focuses on the prevention of heart disease through early diagnosis and provides the latest interventional techniques to treat coronary and peripheral vascular diseases. She is one of the few female interventional cardiologists in Houston available to perform emergency angioplasties and stents for patients who are experiencing a heart attack. 1631 North Loop West, Ste. 220 • Houston TX 77008 713-365-0786 www.nwcardiology.net
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Dr. Rosemary Buckle specializes in knee and hip joint replacement surgery, treatment of adult and pediatric fractures, and treatment of sports injuries. She is a native Houstonian and a competitive athlete and relates to her patients in a way that brings her advanced medical knowledge to life. She has over 20 years of orthopedic surgery experience using a wide range of technologies. Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon 427 W. 20th St., Ste. 303 • Houston, TX 77008 713-756-5546 www.houstonsportsandortho.com
Dr. Becky J. Fredrickson Board Certified Ophthalmologist. Dr. Fredrickson has been practicing ophthalmology for over 12 years. She routinely sees patients for diabetes, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and ocular infections. She specializes in surgical procedures including cataract, eyelid lifts, eyelid cysts, Botox and Juvederm, and pterygia. 1415 N. Loop, Ste 400 • 427 W. 20th St. Ste 100 Houston, TX 77008 713-668-6828 • www.houstoneye.com
Erin Thole, CNHP Erin is a Certified Natural Healthcare Practitioner and Certified in Nutrition. She has worked in the health and wellness field since 2008. She specializes in digestive health, autoimmune conditions, hormonal health, and weight loss. She is also passionate about helping women throughout their Motherhood Journey, preconception through postpartum.
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The Leader • Saturday, February 10, 2018 • Page 3B
Medical ailments bond long-standing friendship For The Leader Linda Powers and Rich Ruckel have known each other since grade school. While they’ve experienced a lot as friends and neighbors, they never realized that would include two trips to the Emergency Center over just a few days. “I fell while cooking out with friends. I thought I’d just twisted my ankle, so I put some ice on it and went to bed. The next morning, I woke up in a lot of pain, and wanted to make sure it wasn’t broken. That’s when I called my friend and neighbor, Rich Ruckel, to take me to the Emergency Center,” says Powers. Powers heard about the recent opening of the Memorial Hermann Convenient Care Center in Greater Heights, and Ruckel took her there because it was close to her home. “I was amazed at how quickly I was seen,” recalls Powers. “I’ve taken my mother to other emergency facilities before and had to wait several hours. Not there. I was able to
Photo supplied Linda Powers and Rich Ruckel
get right in. They did an X-ray on my foot and confirmed that it wasn’t broken.” Little did the pair know they would end up back at the Convenient Care Center just a few days later. “Several days after taking Linda to the Emergency Center, I began to experience severe pain in my abdomen. We went back to the Emergency Center at the Convenient Care Center, where I had a MRI. Turns out I had kidney stones,” says Ruckel. Ruckel said he was im-
pressed by the care he and Powers received during their separate visits. “The attention I received during my visit was great, and the day after my visit, someone called to follow up and check on me. When you’re having an emergency, you want to be seen as quickly as possible. Houston has a lot of people living here and the Convenient Care Center is a great option where you can receive emergency care more quickly,” says Ruckel. Memorial Hermann has Convenient Care Centers located around the Houston area, designed to offer patients a convenient option for emergency care from a trusted name, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The outpatient imaging department offers CT scans, X-rays, ultrasound and MRI services. Patients at a Convenient Care Center who need a higher level of care can be transferred to the closest Memorial Hermann hospital.
St. Pius X students take home multiple essay awards
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By Landan Kuhlmann firstname.lastname@example.org Five students from inside the walls of St. Pius X on West Donovan are on cloud nine after taking home honors at the 14th Annual University of St. Thomas/Archdiocese of Houston-Galveston Essay Contest last week. Junior Emma Bradley and freshman Sasha Durocher both took top honors, senior Audrey Murdock and junior Nina Martinez took third place, and senior Lexi Platsas was awarded honorable mention in their respective divisions in a contest that featured more than 8,000 essays submitted from students aged 3rd grade through high school seniors. Bradley focused on her experience in Catholic school vs. public school in her awardwinning essay. “I never would have been fully aware of the world around me, much less brought to the faith had it not been for my Catholic schooling,” she wrote. “I can truly say that my Catholic education is a full education and one that will not desert me once I enter the world as an independent adult.” Duroche, on the other hand, took an in-depth look at the decision process in her essay. “I can think that if I was a parent I would want my child to grow up to embody great virtues like love, charity, and respect which can be found to be built in a Catholic education,” she wrote. “To know that my essay was recognized out of the 8,000 submissions makes me feel
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Photo courtesy of St. Pius X Shown here are Emma Bradley, Sasha Durocher, and Nina Martinez (front) along with Audrey Murdock and Lexi Platsas (back) from St. Pius X. All five girls placed at the recent University of St. Thomas/ Archdiocese of Houston-Galveston Essay Contest.
extremely honored and thankful for the education I’ve received,” she added. Murdock, meanwhile focused on the mission of the Catholic school and the truthfulness she has experienced at St. Pius, as considers the most important aspect of Catholic education to be the sense of shared values instilled. “I believe that having a sense of truthfulness, veritas, is essential for a student’s success, both academically and socially,” she said. “Writing this essay allowed me to process and reflect on my Catholic education. As a senior, being able to look back on the past four years and how they’ve shaped me has allowed me to realize the impact that St. Pius will continue to have on me as I move forward.” Martinez’s essay focused on Mother Mary’s Fifteen Promises. “Every simple phrase uttered to our Mother is one of
her fifteen promises granted. Mary’s first promise grants the receival of signal graces. Teenagers believe best by seeing, so being able to receive a sign of God’s grace is comforting to our kind,” she wrote. “...We fear many things in this world and are tempted in all sorts of way to turn from God; by receiving this blessing we can be certain of guidance and guardian angels.” In addition to being recognized as a first-place recipient, Bradley was also awarded a $2,000 scholarship to UST. “At St. Pius X High School, we are very fortunate to have truly stellar students,” Principal Diane Larsen said. “The fact that our students took top honors in half of the high school categories and placed three other times, speaks great volumes to our student body’s abilities and commitment to Catholic education.”
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Page 4B • Saturday, February 10, 2018 • The Leader
Upcoming games crucial to local teams’ playoff dreams By Mike Tenney For The Leader The high school basketball season is down to just a couple of games for everybody with a couple of Leader-area teams fighting for playoff positioning in the TAPPS classification. St. Thomas It remains to be seen if the Eagles can catch top-ranked Concordia Lutheran in the District 3 standings, but St. Thomas entered the final days of the season with a playoff berth in its grasp. The Eagles began this week 7-1 in district play and just a game behind Concordia Lutheran. St. Thomas got hot at the end of January, closing the month with four straight wins. In their most recent games, the Eagles played very well in defeating Kelly, 54-47 and Awty International, 78-35 to stay within range of first place in the district. The Eagles host Village School 6 p.m., Friday, Feb. 9 before they wrap up the season with a pair of games next week. Beaumont Kelly comes to town Tuesday, Feb. 13 to face the Eagles at 7:30 p.m. be-
fore they close the year 7 p.m., Friday, Feb. 16 at archrival St. Pius. St. Pius X The Panthers aren’t going to win a TAPPS district championship, but they still had motivation entering February with a few more victories meaning a spot in the postseason. They began this week with a 4-4 record in 6A District 3 and could punch their ticket to the playoffs by finishing strong as they have three league games left starting Friday night, Feb. 9 at Awty International. They entered this week with a two-game winning streak, which they started with a hardought 53-50 win over the Village School to keep them in the upper half of the league standings. The Panthers then stepped out of the conference last Thursday night to whack CMHS, 77-49. Taylor Steele led the team with a dozen points while Josh Chadbourne had 11. Jarvis Johnson and Sydney Shipp each tossed in 10 apiece. Besides those solid efforts, Stanley Asiegbu had eight points and seven rebounds and Terrell Jenkins finished with seven
points and eight rebounds. St. Pius X started the week with a 15-11 record overall and three games left on the schedule. They are at Awty International, 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9 and then play their last road game of the year Tuesday, Feb. 13 with a trip to St. John’s XXIII in Katy. They finish the year at home 7 p.m., Friday, Feb. 16 against archrival St. Thomas. Lutheran High North The Lions began this week with some work to do if they hope to make the TAPPS 4A playoffs as the games dwindle, as they stood fifth in the seven-team District 5 with a 4-6 record, but were just two games behind third place Northland Christian and one game behind fourth-place St. Thomas Episcopal following a much-needed 78-64 win over the Hawks Friday night. Besides getting the win to stay within range of the teams ahead of them, the win also snapped a three-game district losing streak. The blue-andwhite have had their ups-anddowns this year with a young team that features only one senior -- Weldon Keller -- in
Blood from P. 1B comes to banking cord blood and tissue: public or private. Public is when parents decide to donate their baby’s cord blood and tissue to a storing bank. Donating means if something happened later and your child needed stem cells they wouldn’t be able to retrieve their own back. They themselves would need donated stem cells. Private banking is storing the baby’s cord blood and tissue specifically for the baby or possibly for a close family member. By privately banking the family is assured the cord blood and tissue are stored safely and at ready if ever needed to be used. In a Facebook discussion on cord blood and tissue banking, Amy Kind said, “We did it as a just-in-case it was ever needed.
It was a peace of mind in the end we couldn’t let go.” However, the fees to private banking are high and make this option unavailable to some. At one company, Viacord, for one child and only cord blood banking it is an initial cost of $1,575 plus $175 per year, or $2,765 for prepaid twenty-year plan. For both cord blood and tissue banking its initial cost for one child is $2,445 plus $350 per year, or $5,530 for prepaid twenty-year plan. Fortunately, there is a payment plan option. The price may be doable with one, but in the case of another child, “we skipped it with my second child for cost reasons,” said King. Private banking gives parents the peace of mind that if something happened to their child,
their own cord blood or tissue could help them. Yet, in cases of cancer or genetic blood disorder a person is unable to use their own cord blood because the stem cells are compromised, therefore causing them to have to be treated by a donor. “We were planning on it with cord blood registry. However, they told us if our child was ever diagnosed with a condition like cancer we couldn’t use the banked cord blood. I thought it defeated the purpose in saving it,” said mother Pamala Stahl. Cord blood and tissue banking aid in many ways. Public banking gives back to others who are in need and private banking gives the child the ability to use their own stem cells in the case that they need them.
its eight or nine-man rotation. Sophomore guard Evan Butts has been the team’s leading scorer in district with junior guard Jaxon Wolf also contributing heavily. Junior Nick Grant, freshman Grant Deutsch and junior Emmanuel Butts have also been playing well for the Lions. The Lions complete the regular season this week with games on back-to-back nights. They were in League City Thursday night to play Bay Area Christian and then are back home Friday, Feb. 9 to play Cypress Christian in a pair of games they need to win to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Photo courtesy of St. Thomas High School (Twitter) A St. Thomas player rises above the defense to release a shot. The Eagles have won four consecutive district games, and remain within striking distance of top-ranked Concordia Lutheran at 7-1 in the TAPPS District 3 standings.
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The Leader • Saturday, February 10, 2018 • Page 5B
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Rehab from P. 1B need for cardiac medications and encourages a return to work following a heart-related illness. Patients are fitted for a heart monitor, and visit MHGH three times per week for a check-up. Upon initial visitation, doctors conduct a preliminary assessment, from which data is derived to personalize an exercise and diet program bestsuited for helping each patient create a healthier future. “There are no two patients doing the same thing, and we don’t turn our patients loose to simply exercise on their own,” Ware said MHGH’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Center guides patients through each exercise, and will typically have patients go through at least four different exercises to provide a full-body workout coupled with a cardio component during each visit. The hospital also offers classes for patients as part of the program, such as one-hour heart-heathy eating classes taught by a resident dietician, as well as a class on the benefits of cardiac medication taught by a pharmacist. “It’s not often you get a pharmacist to talk to you for an hour, but they do that for our patients,” Ware said. “We try to make [the program] informative, and when [patients] are exercising, we try to make it as enjoyable and fun as we can.”
Until speaking with a professional and witnessing an increase in endurance or completing of tasks unmanageable prior to the cardiac event, Ware said many patients remain unaware – or skeptical – of how the program can assist in postevent health. White is a living testament. “I think the last time I had exercised before this was playing football in junior high. I didn’t think I had to do that anymore,” he said with a hearty laugh. Ware added cardiac rehabilitation can also strengthen the heart, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and even decrease depression for those battling rampant stress. “[Roger] didn’t really get the benefits of exercise and how big of a role in plays in your heart health until after he had his heart attack, and came in to do [cardiac rehab],” she said. “He was skeptical about it initially, but he’s all in now. You’ve got to commit to coming on a regular basis.” And commit, White has. Through the personalized workout schedule created for his post-attack prevention, he has dropped about 40 pounds since the attack . “I’ll tell you what, I probably feel better today than before I had the heart attack, and I feel more confident about a lot of things,” he said.
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Jose Cordero, a member of the Lutheran High North Concert Band, will perform with the Texas All-State ATSSB Band in San Antonio, Saturday, Feb. 17 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center as part of the 2018 Texas Music Educators Association Clinic/Convention. Jose plays at school under the direction of Laura Molitor who is a member of the Texas Music Educators Association, a 19,000+ member organization headquartered in Austin. This is Jose’s first time to perform as a member of a TMEA All-State organization. Jose is the son of Jose Cordero and Yamileth Bobby. Students selected to perform in the All-State concerts have competed through auditions to qualify at the state level. All-State is the highest
process begins throughout the state in auditions hosted by 33 TMEA Regions. Individual musicians perform selected music for a panel of judges who rank each instrument or voice part. From this ranking, a select group of musicians advances from their Region to compete against musicians from other areas in eight TMEA Area competitions. The highest-ranking musicians judged at the TMEA Area competitions qualify to perform in a TMEA All-State music group. Only the top 2.5 percent musicians who initially audition become All-State musicians. These All-State students participate in three days of rehearsals directed by nationally-recognized conductors during the TMEA Convention.
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Page 6B • Saturday, February 10, 2018 • The Leader
El Gato celebrates one year, 100 kitties ing, sipping and petting. There is also an extensive schedule of events and classes such as yoga with cats, crafting with cats, cat bingo night, and the popular painting with cats. (No, flying cat fur has not presented a problem, says Reed.) The first cat cafes appeared in Japan a decade ago. The country is densely populated, and so many Japanese live in small apartments and very few own pets. Instead of heading to a bar to relax in the evenings, they often go to cat cafes and play with kitties. The concept is now showing up world-wide. Reed did her homework before signing the lease for El Gato; she visited cat cafes in the U.S. to learn everything she could. There are about 32 in the U.S. The only other one in Texas, the Blue Cat Cafe, is in Austin. “When I would visit, I would try to speak with regular customers to get feedback. One woman told me that she often sits sipping coffee and petting cats for hours on end. She called it ‘free therapy’,” Reed stated. Megan Rodgers has been working with Reed at El Gato for months and she enjoys her work. “I love the interaction with people and with the cats too, [and] helping the pets find great homes is very rewarding for me,” said Rodgers. “There is something about it all that is magical. It’s just about impossible to leave in a bad mood.”
By Kim Hogstrom For The Leader Fourteen months ago, The Leader brought news of Houston’s very first “Cat Cafe.” The unusual business signed a lease for a free-standing cottage located at 508 Pecore St. in the Heights in late 2016. At that time, Renee Reed, founder/owner of El Gato Coffeehouse Cat Cafe, had a vision for the structure’s 1,150 square feet that included colorful walls, big windows, coffee - and live cats. On Feb. 17, 2018, El Gato will celebrate its first year in business as well as the addition of its food truck, and the cafe’s 100th adoption of formerly homeless kitties. The “cafe” or food preparation portion of El Gato was always part of the plan, but took time to bring to fruition. “The city of Houston’s health department requires that we maintain a separate space from the cats for food handling,” Reed explained. “Originally, we were going to add a shipping container on the property where consumables could be made, but that didn’t work out. Instead, we’re launching the food truck.” The truck will sit in the parking lot and serve tacos, muffins, cakes, cookies, biscuits and cinnamon rolls. Reed and her team mates are also expanding their cat-themed beverage line including their specialty Es-purr-esso and Cat-puccino. Customers are encouraged to enjoy food and drinks at outside tables, or venture into the
Contributed photo Workers at El Gato Coffeehouse Cat Cafe do “Yoga with Cats.” The establishment recently celebrated its 100th adoption, and will soon celebrate its one-year anniversary.
“cat lounge” located in the cottage across the lot for some feline face-time. The lounge portion is pleasing, peaceful and hard to resist. Dark Oak dining tables and large, padded benches beckon one to stay. Interesting furniture and cat-friendly sculptures dot the space. The cheery colors and sunlight pouring in make it an inviting place to socialize, study, read, work and play with the cats. The best part of El Gato are the certainly the animals. Each is social, affectionate and available for adoption to a loving home. Reed works with the Houston Human Society so they are all spayed or neutered, vaccinated, micro chipped, and temperament-
tested. There is a veterinary technician on staff at El Gato and each team member is trained in adoption screening. The adoption fee for a cat is $75, which is less than half the cost of the medical care, and a reasonable investment for a loving companion “fur” life. Still, how does this cafe pay its bills? An hourly fee is charged customers to visit the cat lounge based on age, or if he or she is an “El Gato frequent flier.” Many are. “The cover charge is the only way to create a sustainable business model. We’ve kept it going for a year now, and hoping there are more to come,” Reed stated with a smile. The activities held in the lounge are not limited to chew-
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Smiles were had as the students of St. Rose of Lima Catholic School arrived at Garden Oaks American Legion Post 560 after a hike from school grounds. They hand delivered Valentine’s day cards to six veterans, while the veterans shared a small story about their time in the service. This year was Post 560’s second annual Operation Valentines, which calls on local schools to, “make a handmade card, write a little message, so we can make a soldier smile,” the chair of Operation Valentines said. Eight schools answered the call, including Garden Oaks Montessori, Alexander Hamilton Middle School, New Heights Christian Academy, Northside High School, Oak Forest Elementary, John J. Perishing Middle School, Stevens Elementary, and St. Rose of Lima Catholic School. The other schools dropped off their Valentines pervious to Operation Valentine’s day on January 31, but the Kids of St. Rose, being near Post 560, appreciated being able to bring a box full of handcrafted cards and meet the veterans. “I’m honored, because not everyone could come,” one 8th grader said. St. Rose ran a lottery to choose one student who would represent their class, from pre-school 4 to 8th grade and the kids were excited to have
their name drawn. The school teaches the students to appreciate all that veterans have done for us, and to know that it’s an honor to meet them. When the students arrived, everyone was smiling and from behind one kid was pulling a red wagon with a big box. The box was decorated with cut out pink hearts and it was filled all the way up with lovingly crafted cards. The kids began to hand out cards to each veteran, some eagerly digging through the box to find the one they made. One high school students card read, “Your job is to fight for our county—my job is to love and support you. Thank you for being our hero.” In attendance was World War II veteran, Bud Walker, who served in the U.S. Navy Pacific Theater and told the crowd about his time on a landing craft. Korean War veteran Jesse “Chuck” Custard, who served in the U.S. Navy on an aircraft carrier of 6,000 men and 100 aircraft, made everyone laugh at a story about a care package his mother sent to him. “My mother sent me a fruitcake, but because we moved around, by the time the fruitcake got to us it was three months old. We still enjoyed it,” Custard said. Peggy Mondy also served during the Korean War in the U.S. Marine Corps by working in code, but soon chosen for publicity. She’d ride on floats and went to movies while in
uniform, and soon she was dubbed, “Miss Beachhead” after the 1954 movie, Beachhead. While doing a photoshoot with USMC mascot bull dog, Gunnery Sergeant Little Britches, Mondy told the kids how the dog made growling noises at her. Eventually, the dog decided to give her a chance and right before the photographer clicked a photo, the dog turned and licked her cheek from chin to temple. “Out of all the photos the photographer took that day, guess which one they chose,” Mondy said. The Korean War veteran, Robert “Bob” Weggemann, served in the U.S. Air Force overseas. Stationed 60 miles off the tip of Korea at a radar station, Weggemann was told, “you know you’re expendable,” the moment he arrived because if there was an attack, that station would be hit first. Luckily, nothing like that happened. U.S. Army veteran of the Vietnam War, Richard Voorhies was there as well. He isn’t just a member of the post, but he is the 1st Vice Commander of Post 560 and the 8th District Commander of the American Legion. Lastly, Josue Matamoros, a U.S. Army veteran who served in Bosnia gave the kids a few tips on sending care packages. The American Legion, founded in 1919, and Post 560, founded in 1946, is a commu-
(Photo by Jennifer Saladino) Kids from St. Rose of Lima Catholic School surround veterans from WWII, Korea, and Vietnam before handing out Valentine’s day cards at the Garden Oaks American Legion Post 560, 3720 Alba Rd.
nity centered Veterans Service Organization dedicated to helping other veteran organizations in the area, developing a strong sense of national pride in the youth, and advocating for a strong, efficient military. As for the kids from St. Rose, they’re already devoting time to help veterans. “I feel happy that these vets get to receive these Valentine’s; that they feel special,” a 5th grader said. The Valentine’s day cards will also be delivered to the Veterans Hospital, Camp Hope, and the USO at Bush Intercontinental Airport.
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The Leader â€˘ Saturday, February 10, 2018 â€˘ Page 7B
The Classifieds. Wanting to run a classified ad? CALL 713-686-8494 Monday - Friday. We accept credit cards.
LEGAL NOTICE THE PURPLE CAT RESALE AND THRIFT: Open Thursday - Saturday 11-4 only. 2126 W. 34th St. Benefiting Animal Rescue. (TF) You simply canâ€™t find a better advertising value than The Leader.
MANNA â€“ DONATIONS AND VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: Your neighborhood thrift store appreciates any and all donations. We can arrange pickup for large items or large donations. Donate temporarily at Temple Oaks Church, 2101 W. 34th St. Thank you. (TF)
Donâ€™t Miss a Great Estate Sale NEXT WEEK! Wed. Thurs. Fri. Sat. Feb 14th, 15th 16th 17th8am â€“ 4pm 748 W. 43rd Garden Oaks. The home of Dr. James & Ola Mae SYNNOTT. House FULL of Antiques & Collectibles www.houstonestatesales.com 713-666-0970 Town & Country Estate Sales Penny Millican - Owner
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BUS DRIVERS NEEDED FOR CHURCH SHUTTLE: Approximately six hours a week. Must have CDL and passenger endorsement. Call 713-681-3600. (TF)
DRIVERS, CLASS-A CDL: Increased pay and new trucks. Dedicated routes. No CDL? No problem! Call Swift Today! 855-292-2945. (3-3)
MECHANIC WITH EXPERIENCE on Econoline vans needed. Experience with A/C, alternators, brakes and suspension. Tools required. Salary commensurate with experience. 713-681-3600. (TF)
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Notice is hereby given that the United States Department of the Interior is hereby commencing a forfeiture proceeding against the following items of wildlife or wildlife products, which were seized in the Houston area of Texas on the dates indicated because they were involved in one or more vioÂŹlations of any of the following laws: Endangered Species Act, Title l6 U.S.C. Sec. l538, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, 11 U.S.C. Sec. 1371 1372, the Lacey Act, l6 U.S.C. Sec. 3372, Wild Bird Conservation Act, 16 U.S.C. Sec. 4901-4916 or the African Elephant Conservation Act, 16 U.S.C. Sec. 4221 4245. These items are subject to forfeiture to the United States under Title l6, U.S.C. Sec. l540(e), 16 U.S.C. Sec. 1377, or l6 U.S.C. Sec. 3374 and Title 50, Code of Federal Regulations, Section l2.23. Any person with an ownership or financial interest in said items who desires to claim them must file a claim with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Law Enforcement office, 19241 David Memorial Drive, Suite 175, Shenandoah, TX 77385, telephone 936-271-2250. Such claim must be received by the above office by 02/14/2018. The claim will be transmitted to the U.S. Attorney for institution of a forfeiture action in U.S. District Court. If a proper claim is not received by the above office by such date, the items will be declared forfeited to the United States and disposed of according to law. Any person who has an interest in the items may also file with the above office a petition for remission of forfeiture in accordance with Title 50, Code of Federal Regulations, and Section 12.24, which petition must be received in such office before disposition of the items. Storage costs may also be assessed.
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Page 8B â€˘ Saturday, February 10, 2018 â€˘ The Leader
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â€˘ Commercial â€˘ Residential â€˘ New Roof â€˘ Re-Roof
GOT LEAKS? NEED REPAIR?
Roofing, siding, Painting, etc. Keep it local and call the pros.
w w w. h o u s t o n h e i g h t s r o o f e r s . c om
+ Quality Work + Low Prices + + Hand Nailed + Hardi-Siding + Oak Forest Area Resident 40+ years Free Estimates
You may have been affected by a storm and not know of your damage. Let us give you a FREE damage inspection! CALL NOW
www.PrimeRooďŹ ng.com Peteâ€™s Quality
Water Damage repairs â€˘ Exterior/Interior â€˘ Pressure Washing â€˘ Sheetrock Repair â€˘ References
The Foam STore
ď‚Ť Custom Cut ď‚Ť Memory Foam ď‚Ť Chair pads ď‚Ť Couch Cushions ď‚Ť Mattress Foam 2217 W. 34th, Ste. A.
Johnny & Rhea Danna, Owners Retail CenteR www.thefoamstore.com wholesale pRiCes
COMMERCIAL - RESIDENTIAL â€˘ Custom Homes â€˘ Garages â€˘ Room Additions â€˘ Kitchens â€˘ Bathrooms â€˘ Hardi Siding Free Estimate REMODELING
â€˘ Sheetrock â€˘ Texture â€˘ Paint â€˘ Trim â€˘ Flooring
â€˘ Roofing â€˘ Siding â€˘ Driveways â€˘ Gutters â€˘ Cabinets
With their phones and small digital cameras, everyone can now be a photojournalist for The Leader. If you get a great shot in our area, e-mail it to us and we'll share it with the whole community on our website. Contact our editor for more information.
J&D HANDYMAN SERVICE For Your Home Repair Needs:
âœ” Painting âœ” Drywall âœ” Hardi Plank Siding âœ” Any Type of Carpentry Work âœ” Complete Remodels
Since 1953 - TECL 19210 Res./Comm. Wiring
cc accepted firstname.lastname@example.org
wiring and repairs
Lights-Plugs-Breakers Cover all electric needs
Since 1975 Low Rates
TEL. 713-721-5490 17823
John Kuenstle Electric,LLC
Oak Forest Resident/Office â€˘ Residential â€˘ Commercial â€˘ Service Licensed - Insured - 26 Yrs. Exp. â€œAâ€? On Angieâ€™s List
ALL HOME REPAIR â€˘ Termite/Water Repair
â€˘ Sheetrock â€˘ Painting â€˘ Texturing â€˘ Roofing Repair/Replace â€˘ Shower/Bath Redo â€˘ Tile â€˘ Flooring/Carpet â€˘ Ceramic Tile â€˘ Fence Repair
Native Houstonian - 46 Yrs.
832-425-2152 - Free Estimates
â€˘ Painting â€˘ Sheetrock â€˘ Tile Work â€˘ Rooďƒžng â€˘ Carpentry â€˘ Carpet â€˘ Concrete â€˘ Power Wash â€˘ Burglar Bars â€˘ Brick â€˘ Trees FREE ESTIMATES - Hector
Martinez Concrete Works
â€˘ Driveways â€˘ Patios â€˘ Sidewalks â€˘ Stamp Concrete â€˘ Foundations. Bonded and Insured Free Estimates
Best Value ConstRuCtion Home RepaiRs
Handyman Services: Carpentry, Painting-Int/Ext, Cabinets, Doors, Trim. Insured Eddie Lunsford
WOOD FLOORS Installation Repair Sanding Finishing
GARAGE DOORS Repair or Replace Doors/Openers
7 Day Service Â˝ HP Sears Openers Installed
WOOD FENCING ROOFING by Repair & Install Pressure Washing Painting â€˘ Siding
Gilbert 281-948-4879 Frank Montes
Sheetrock Repair Match any texture
Roofing Work Carpentry Handyman Services Power Washing Maid Service Good References
Commercial â€˘ Residential â€˘ Commercial Refrigeration
Repair & Installation All Type Fences â€˘ Chain link â€˘ Wood â€˘ Ornamental Iron Small jobs welcome Call 7 Days
Cell (281) 221-0637
House Painting â€˘ Interior/Exterior â€˘ Sheetrock Repairs â€˘ Door Reďƒžnishing â€˘ Wood Repairs â€˘ Pressure Washing
$20 OFF with this ad
American Standard Authorized Dealer
Looking to hire good local people? Leader classifieds get great response and cost less than the daily paper.
10 Year Warranty 713-660-0370 832-867-3191
APPLIANCE & TV REPAIR Davidâ€™s
(281) 815-0085 www.MissionAC.com
All Makes & Models â€œWe Make House Callsâ€?
Local â€“ Family Owned â€“ Trusted REPAIR â€“ INSTALLATION - MAINTAINENCE TACLB51004E
I Buy cracked Flat Panel TVâ€™s 1622 W. 23rd
FENCES & DECKS
Cooling & Heating Res. - Com.
Serving NW Houston Since 1973 FREE estimates
PETS & LIVESTOCK
AW Appliance Sales & Service Washer â€˘ Dryers Ranges & Stoves Refrigerators Freezers
M&M Pet Sitting
713-697-0335 (open 6 Days)
Affordable Pet Care In Your Home Will Treat Your Loved Ones As My Own
9235 N. Houston Rosslyn 77088
KINARDâ€™S Appliance Service
Washers - Dryers Dishwashers - Ranges 281-350-6255 713-857-2050
!PPLIANCE ,$ 2EPAIR â€˘ Refrigerators â€˘ Ovens â€˘ Washers â€˘ Dryers
Cell (713)444-8517 (713)682-5246
Royalty Pet Center Since 1976
â€˘ Grooming â€˘ Boarding â€˘ Pet Supplies 9900 N. Houston Rosslyn
HANDYMAN SAVES YOU MONEY: Plumbing, electrical, carpentry. 281-6600350.
FIREWOOD ENJOY YOUR FIREPLACE with seasoned oak firewood. 1/4 cord $100. Car trunk load $45. 832-894-9644. (2-24)
Northwest Houstonians have been getting results with Leader classified ads for more than 60 years.
LEADER PUZZLER SOLUTIONS
Gutters â€˘ Siding â€˘ Painting â€˘ Roof Leaks Call Today
tg R d.
. in St
W. 34th St.
610 E. T .C
W. 20th St.
E. 20th St.
E. 11th St.
White Oak Dr.
N. Shepherd Dr.
W. 11th St.
N. Durham Dr.
Post Oaks Rd.
T. W. Ella Blvd.
W. 18th St.
Katy Memorial Dr.
N. Shepherd Dr.
Oak Forest Garden Oaks
te W. 34th St.
Spring Branch East
.J .C .T W
ELECTRICIAN All types of new
Candlelight Plaza Shepherd Park Plaza
W. 43rd St.
T.C. Jester Park
FREE ESTIMATES DAVID OJEMAN 713-682-8033
20 Yrs. Exp. - 30 Yr. Resident
Insured for your protection â€˘ EST 1974 email: Wells5517@sbcglobal.net
W. Tidwell Rd.
â€˘ Carpentry - Cabinets to Patios & Decks â€˘ Painting, Interior/Exterior â€˘ Sheet Rock Repair & Installation
on .M W
3308 Ella Blvd â€˘ (713) 680-3530
30+ Yrs. exp.
All Work Guaranteed Free Estimates
All Work Guaranteed
W. Little York
Hardi Siding â€˘ Gutters â€˘ Painting â€˘ Windows
thank you for your continued business Free Estimates on Fencing
Re-roofs â€˘ Repairs
Power Wash HOME CONDITIONING HEATING/AIR CONDITIONING HEATING/AIR CONDITIONING HEATING/AIR CONDITIONING HEATING/ HEATING/AIR CONDITIONING HEATING/AIR 35 Yrs. Exp. & Leader Advertiser Free Estimates REMODELING HEAT/AIR Call Sam 713-582-5500
Credit Cards Accepted
â€œThe Residential Roofing Specialistsâ€?
RIO GRANDE FENCE CO.
Itâ€™s an Investment
â€˘ Patios â€˘ Decks â€˘ Driveways â€˘ Brick Columns
Itâ€™s not just a fence
Includes: Pressure Washing, Caulking-Labor Only Rotted Wood - Extra Charge 10% Discount - Interior Painting
Free Estimates â€˘ Call Dennis 832.396.3015
Go online to our WEEKLY map page
â€˘ One Story House â€˘ Two Story House
Reyes Concrete Services
Painting - Exterior
â€˘ Stamp and Colored concrete â€˘ Driveways â€˘ Brick Pavers â€˘ Patios â€˘ Sidewalks â€˘ Pool Decks
KILL BED BUGS: Harris Bed Bug Killers/KIT. Available: Hardware Stores, The Home Depot, homedepot.com.
25 Residential & Commercial Years â€˘ Shingles: Flat - Tile - Metal â€˘ 5" and 6" Seamless Gutters â€˘ Carports â€˘ Carpentry â€˘ Free Estimates
WORD SCRAMBLE TeApoT
CRyptO fun Answers: A. steep B. boil C. leaves D. flavor
The Leader • Saturday, February 10, 2018 • Page 9B
Change Your Oil. Change a Life. Come In, Call 713-862-6630 or Book On-line at www.mastercarcarehouston.com
GET TWO FREE OIL CHANGES On Any One Vehicle When You Donate $35* to Child Advocates and Car Pros For Kids It’s a Life Changing Gift. 100% Of Your Donation Goes to Child Advocates. *Synthetic Oil Extra. Shop supplies and taxes extra. Most vehicles. Some makes/models require special oil, cost extra. Includes up to 5 qts. of motor oil and new oil filter. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Must be donated in February 2018. Limited time only. Must be used by end of 2018.
Join us throughout the month of February and help make a difference in an abused child’s life. When you make a minimum donation of $ 35.00* to Child Advocates through the Car Pros For Kids program, you’ll receive two free oil changes on any one vehicle* and Child Advocates receives 100% of your donation.
CAR PROS for kids 100% benefiting
Car Pros For Kids was founded 26 years ago by Byron Rusk, Owner of RMS Auto Care & Collision and Master Car Care and Collision.
It’s a Life Changing Gift. 100% Of Your Donation Goes to Child Advocates. Master Car Care & Collision 2305 Yale Street Houston, Texas 77008 www.mastercarcarehouston.com Phone - 713-862-6630
RMS Auto Care & Collision 1759 Westheimer Rd www.rmsautocare.com Phone - 713-529-5855
Page 10B • Saturday, February 10, 2018 • The Leader
February 10, 2018 Section B