Denton County Magazine January-February 2019

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DENTON County Celebrate Diversity With the Denton Black Film Festival



Fitness gurus, nutrition experts and medical pros on embracing wellness in 2019


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JANUARY/ FEBRUARY Volume 2, Issue 1

Journalist Charles Gasparino speaks at the UNT Speaker Series.




Health & Wellness

Inspirational stories, fitness advice, health tips and local wellness resources to help you conquer 2019


Speaking Up


Common Thread

Photo courtesy of UNTAdvancement

UNT’s Kuehne Speaker Series raises funds for the university and boosts the school’s profile with worldclass presenters.

The Denton Black Film Festival celebrates diversity with films, visual art, spoken word, live music and more.

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DE PA RTME NT S This small town has big opportunities and a vibrancy that is drawing young families from across Texas.

30 Dining: The Table



What defines our county today

11 Ally’s Wish

A nonprofit that grants wishes for terminally ill moms and their families

New ownership and an expanded menu usher in a new era for this Flower Mound restaurant.

12 Waiting Game

33 Shopping: Sleeping Lizzards

14 War on Insomnia

Sleeping Lizzards offers an ever-changing range of handcrafted and locally made gifts and jewelry.

Flower Mound’s quest to build a 12-court tennis center Research to establish the connection between PTSD and sleep issues

16 Mini Mall Fire: One Year Later

How the people and businesses affected are recovering

18 Style Watch

Wedding trends from the Denton Bridal Show

20 The Perfect Cup

Brewing tips from two coffee champions


22 Time Machine

Z. Wiggs, the man who brought roads to Denton

IN E V E RY ISSUE 8 About This Issue 72 New in Town 74 See & Do On the cover: Rock climbing is just one of many unique fitness activities in this month’s Health & Wellness feature. Kick the treadmill and head to Summit Climbing, Fight Right Martial Arts, Twisted Bodies or one of the other exciting options. Photo courtesy of Getty Images/yacobchuk.


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Top photo courtesy of the City of Denton; Middle photo by Abigail Boatwright; Bottom photo by Collective Mark Studios

26 Community Spotlight: Sanger

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Get Inspired!


elcome to 2019 and our Health & Wellness Issue. Whether you have a list of New Year’s resolutions a mile long or believe that January 1 is just another day on the calendar, it never hurts to be inspired by amazing stories and people in our community. In our Health & Wellness section (starting on page 37), you’ll meet plenty of your most inspirational neighbors: uu A Lewisville resident whose heart stopped 44 times and the persistent medical team who refused to give up on him uu A Corinth teen with special needs who brings joy to sick kids at local hospitals uu A Highland Village woman who lost 51 pounds to change her life and open a boot camp uu A Denton trainer who has been choreographing workouts for seniors for 25 years uu A nurse who does not let her own diabetes keep her from helping others with the disease uu Two instructors who use yoga to bring relief and strength to cancer patients and survivors If you’ve got health or fitness goals for the New Year, you will love the expert tips from nutritionists and personal trainers, advice on workouts that won’t make you yawn and our list of 2019 races and fitness events. In our first issue of the year, you’ll also get updates on what’s happening with the Denton Mini Mall one year after the fire and the proposed Flower Mound tennis center. You’ll read all about the Denton Black Film Festival and UNT’s Kuehne Speaker Series. You’ll learn to make the best cup of joe from two coffee champions, and you’ll get the scoop on some hot spots to dine, shop and relax. As always, we’re open to feedback, story ideas and letters to the editor. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us by emailing And don’t forget that subscriptions are now available at for just $25/year.

PUBLISHER Bill Patterson

EDITOR Kimberly Turner

M AG A Z I N E CO N S U LTA N T Rich Alfano


A DV E R T I S I N G DI RECTOR Sandra Hammond S A L E S M A N AG E R Shawn Reneau ACCO U N T EXECUTIVES Becka Corbitt Linda Horne Joanne Horst Danielle Thompson Shelly Vannatta MAILING ADDRESS 3555 Duchess Drive Denton, Texas 76205 EDITORIAL 940-566-6879 A DV E R T I S I N G INQUIRIES 940-566-6843

DESIGN DI RECTOR Ben Carpenter DESIGNERS Whitney Holden Phil Lor CO N T R I B U T I N G W R I T E R S Kristy Alpert Abigail Boatwright Mary Dunklin Paula Felps Nicole Foster Rachel Hedstrom Kylie Ora Lobell Malcolm Mayhew Marshall Reid Ellen Ritscher Sackett Leslile Thompson CO N T R I B U T I N G PHOTOGRAPH ER Abigail Boatwright C R E AT I V E PA R T N E R madison/miles media

SUBSCRIPTIONS Subscribe to Denton County magazine for $25/year. Subscribe online at or mail a check or visit us at 3555 Duchess Drive, Denton, Texas 76205. For subscription questions, call 940-387-3811. S T O RY I D E A S LETTERS TO TH E EDITOR Write to Please include your full name, city and phone number. Denton County magazine reserves the right to edit for length and clarity. L I K E U S FAC E B O O K FIND US ONLINE

© Copyright 2019: Denton County magazine is published by Denton Media Company, publishers of the Denton Record-Chronicle. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part of any text, photograph or illustration without written permission from the publisher is strictly prohibited. Editorial content does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the publisher.


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40+ restaurants, dishes and drinks every local foodie should experience


Fitness gu rus, nutrit on embracinion experts and me dic g wellness in 2019 al pros MALL FIR E: ONE YE AR LATER UNT’S KU EHNE SPEA KER SERIE S SPOTLIGHT ON SANGER CORINTH’S COFFEE CH AMPION


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What defines our county today

INSIDE: u u The Mini Mall fire: One year later u u Secrets from two coffee champions u u Flower Mound's tennis center




A Flower Mound nonprofit provides cherished memories to families dealing with heartbreaking circumstances. BY NICOLE FOSTER

N Photos courtesy of Ally's Wish

othing can erase the pain of knowing that a child will grow up without his or her mother. Something can be done, however, to make sure terminally ill moms and their kids can create joyful memories together before they have to say goodbye. Flower Mound nonprofit Ally’s Wish does that by fulfilling the final hopes of mothers across the nation. The Inspiration Ally’s Wish Founder Missy Phipps met the organization’s namesake, Allyson Hendrickson, at church. After a tumor was removed, Allyson relapsed to stage 4 cancer and eventually passed away, leaving three boys behind. Missy, who is a mother herself, wanted to help but wasn’t sure how. “I was driving my four kids to school, and God just laid it on my heart,” she recalls. Before Allyson passed, the two women worked together to build the foundation for Ally's Wish. Today, Missy’s team of five helps families from all over the country. They

Ally's Wish has helped make dreams come true for nearly 100 families since it started five years ago.

have granted nearly 100 wishes, and requests for consideration pour in from unwell mothers, their family members and healthcare professionals. Unforgettable Moments The Ally’s Wish team coordinates the wishes from their home base in Texas, so they rarely get to meet those receiving the benefaction, but there are exceptions. In 2017, two local women living in hospice were each granted a wish, and Missy was there every step of the way. One mom wanted to see her children enjoy an unforgettable Christmas. Every item from the kids’ Christmas lists was purchased and wrapped, and a holiday feast was catered for the family. A choir sang carols while a musician played trumpet. All of this took place in a winter wonderland, thanks to a snow machine. The other homegrown wish came from a mom who knew she would not live to see her daughter’s 10th birthday. The hospice center was transformed into the little girl’s dream soirée, complete with lavish decorations, guests

and a Willy Wonka-worthy candy station. "We got to be a part of those wishes," says Missy. "It was emotionally difficult, but we're so grateful." Moms Making a Difference An annual gala in April, Boots and Blessings, raises money to fund the final hopes and dreams of these mothers. The 2018 celebration raised $75,000. The 2019 event will take place on April 6 at Austin Ranch in Grapevine. Paired with donations throughout the year, Ally’s Wish is able to contribute $5,000 toward making memories for each family. The most requested experiences are trips to Disney and Hawaii. The nonprofit has also landscaped a backyard oasis and built a memory garden. In August, an Australian Shepard puppy was adopted to provide love and companionship for a daughter who was losing her mother. Missy says she feels blessed with the donations of time and money Ally’s Wish has received over the years. “We’re just moms,” she says of her team. “Just normal people trying to make a difference.”

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THE WAITING GAME Flower Mound calls “match point” in its quest to build a 12-court tennis center. BY KRISTY ALPERT


he number 13.11 may not mean much to tennis players in other parts of the world, but to the racket-wielding residents of Flower Mound, that number could mean a new future for the sport and the locals who love it. Hope Is Alive It’s been nearly a decade since the residents of Flower Mound first requested a tennis center to call their own, but a recent rezoning approval for 13.11 acres within a new housing development is getting the ball rolling on this long-discussed project. “We are hopeful the tennis center could be constructed on the 13.11 acres dedicated to the town on the future Townlake East development,” says Chuck Jennings, director of parks and recreation. “This location is centrally located in Flower Mound with frontage off of Cross Timbers Road, very close to

the Flower Mound Road intersection.” There are a lot of steps that need to happen before construction could even begin on the site, starting with transferring the property deed over to the town, but once the conceptual master plan, design and funding have been approved, residents could be looking at a state-of-the-art tennis center within the next few years. “The town has operated with five public tennis courts for many years, and adding a 12-court tennis center to the mix will help exceed the recommended level of service standards for tennis courts as indicated in the Town’s 2017 Parks and Trails Master Plan,” Jennings explains. A Major Upgrade The Parks and Recreation Department is hoping for approval on a plan for the tennis center that would include a pro shop, offices, locker rooms, a multipurpose room, up to 96 parking spaces, 12 lighted courts,

a playground and a pedestrian trail amongst lush landscaping. Even a bathroom would be a welcome addition for those in the growing tennis community in Flower Mound, who currently compete on courts without any facilities. For them, the new center would provide a clean, safe environment for socializing while encouraging sportsmanship throughout the community. “Another major benefit will be the economic impact to the town,” Jennings adds. “Players often extend their tennis time to after-match meals or drinks at nearby restaurants. Tournaments bring out-of-town players who book hotel rooms, purchase meals and buy items at retail outlets, thus helping out local businesses, as well as contributing to a city’s local sales tax.” For now, the ball remains in the town’s court, where residents and sports fans remain hopeful of the center’s imminent construction dates.


The Best Places to Retire


n MONEY magazine’s recent list of the nation’s eight best places to retire, Flower Mound was named the “best for encore workers.” In other words, if you want to retire without retiring, Flower Mound is your spot. According to MONEY, there will be 13 million workers over the age of 65 by 2024 — compared


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to the 9 million seniors working today. Flower Mound’s projected job growth of 16 percent by 2026 helped land it on this short list of retirement destinations. Currently, 36% of Flower Mound residents are over the age of 50, but if MONEY is on the money, that number could skyrocket in the coming years.

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THE WAR ON INSOMNIA The Sleep Health Research Laboratory is working to establish the connection between veterans’ sleep issues and PTSD. BY KRISTY ALPERT


hey say war is a nightmare, but for the men and women of the armed forces, it could be the after effects of those traumatic events that continue to haunt their sleeping patterns, according to experts at the Sleep Health Research Laboratory at the University of North Texas. Created by Dr. Daniel Taylor, the Sleep Health Research Laboratory has focused its research on insomnia, sleep health and military sleep medicine since it first opened in 2004. Dr. Taylor — who is the son and son-in-law of veterans and a professor of psychology at UNT — solidified his interest in uncovering a connection between PTSD and sleep during an early study on insomnia through a grant with the South Texas Research Organizational Network Guiding Studies on Trauma and Resilience (STRONG STAR). During the consortium, which was funded by the Department of Defense, he discovered that the two premier treatments for PTSD — prolonged exposure therapy and cognitive processing therapy — did not address insomnia or nightmares.


These two key symptoms of PTSD do not fully respond to daytime-focused treatments. Knowing that the University of North Texas is one of the top veteran-serving communities in the country, Taylor set to work building a facility to investigate the relationship between insomnia and comorbid disorders (infection, PTSD, cardiovascular disease, etc.) in both civilians and military personnel. “Military populations face a number of stressors and challenges that place them at increased risk for sleep problems compared to most civilians,” explains Dr. Taylor, “One of our first studies of insomnia in the military showed that the disorder is highly prevalent in the military, where one in five members of the U.S. Army had it pre-deployment.” Sleep disorders like insomnia and sleep deprivation are often robust predictors of worsening health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, endocrine problems, immune and inflammation responses and more. Although the relationship between PTSD and sleep

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Dr. Daniel Taylor, founder of of the Sleep Health Research Laboratory, is studying the connection between PTSD and insomnia in veterans.

remains unclear, recent findings at the Sleep Health Research Laboratory have found possible evidence that PTSD actually causes insomnia and nightmares. Those symptoms are two of the most frequently unresolved problems for patients with successfully treated PTSD. “Currently, we are testing a variety of other questions about sleep in the military,” Dr. Taylor adds. “We have shown that sleep problems before basic training can predict one-year attrition from the Air Force, and we are also examining risk factors for developing insomnia over the course of a military deployment. We are trying to determine the risk of insomnia, nightmares and sleep apnea on PTSD treatment response and how best to treat the sleep disorders within the context of PTSD.” Visit or for more information.

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One Year Later:



n early-morning phone call awakened Julie Glover, Denton Main Street Association manager. The caller said, “The east side of the Square is on fire,” she remembers. The fire started around 3 a.m. on the day after Christmas 2017, shortly after the downtown bars had closed. It was eerily quiet as shooting flames and smoke billowed high above the rooftops. Firefighters worked valiantly to control it. By the time Julie got there, it was


daylight, and the Square was filled with smoke. “It was super cold and windy that day,” Julie recalls. She watched firefighters shoot thousands upon thousands of gallons of water into the building. Their efforts and a firewall are credited for containing the fire; miraculously, only one building was destroyed and no was hurt. What was forever lost was what some called “the heart and soul” of Denton: the Mini Mall. It was a favorite spot for rummagers hoping to find a treasure or

D E N T O N CO U N T Y J A N UA RY/ F E B R UA R Y 2 0 1 9

bargain among the booths of memorabilia, antiques and unusual pieces. To this day, no one is sure what started the fire, which Julie says burned “so hot and so long” and “smoldered for days.” It engulfed the entire building and obliterated its contents. When it was finally over, irreplaceable history was gone. While neighboring businesses La Di Da and Jupiter House were forced to close their doors due to smoke, Hooligan’s to the south and Mini Mall II to the north were spared.

Photo courtesy of the City of Denton

It’s been a year since Denton lost a piece of its history. We find out how the businesses, vendors and people involved are recovering and rebuilding. BY ELLEN RITSCHER SACKETT

The Mini Mall’s owner, Leo Will, continues to own and operate the second smaller location. Many of the Mini Mall vendors, all of whom completely lost their inventory, relocated to Mini Mall II. The fire-damaged building was eventually demolished, and today, a bright, whimsical mural painted by Kelsey Heimerman — with paint donated by First State Bank — stretches across the length of the property.

Top photo by Jeff Woo/DRC; Courthous Museum photos by Jake King/DRC

Recovery Begins Nick Miller is president of The Martino Group, which owns and manages the buildings that housed retailers La Di Da and Shop the Barn as well as several apartments. He says repairs have begun on those buildings, and he expects them to be complete within a few months. “While we did not have any structural damage to our building, there was a lot of soot and smoke damage,” Nick says. “The biggest piece was figuring out what to do about the shared demising masonry wall between our building and the Mini Mall. It was damaged by the fire and started to lean. We were afraid it was going to fall, so ultimately, we decided the only option was to tear it down completely and build a new one.” The demolition began in November, and a new wall was built over the holidays. Damage to the interior was minimal, he says, and won’t take long to complete. The Return of Jupiter House Joey and Amy Hawkins look forward to reopening their coffee shop, Jupiter House, any day now. It has taken some time because, as Joey explains, “a lot had to happen” to repair the significant smoke and water damage. Most of the work has been done during the last three months. “It was a shell,” Joey says. The space had to be gutted; repairs included new plumbing, a new electrical system, roof repairs, added beams and asbestos removal. The new Jupiter House will have room for a covered patio and a full kitchen. The restaurateurs — also part owners of Hoochie’s Oyster House and Sweetwater Grill and Tavern — will incorporate new menu items when Jupiter House reopens,

Jupiter House will reopen in January after extensive repairs.

Conservators cleaned and restored artifacts from the Courthouse-on-the-Square Museum after the fire caused smoke and soot damage.

including the popular cinnamon rolls from Royal’s Bagels & Deli, which they closed in October after nine years. The Courthouse Collections The fire caused considerable smoke damage and left a layer of soot in the Denton County Courthouse-on-the-Square. As a result, everything had to be thoroughly cleaned, from museum artifacts such as quilts, paintings and papers to office equipment. Numerous Texas conservators were enlisted to help, and in some cases, artifacts had to be shipped elsewhere. According to Michelle Brewer, the city’s risk manager and assistant director of human resources, items valued at approximately $22,000 were beyond salvageable, and the entire cost for detailing nearly every aspect of the building and its contents was nearly $1 million. “We did what’s call deaccession — what museums do to cull their collections,” says Peggy Riddle, director of Denton County Office of History and Culture. It enabled the staff to focus on the county’s collections in detail for almost a year and archivally rehouse its contents. The Courthouse-on-the-Square Museum is set to reopen on Saturday, March 30. The reopening will feature the exhibit “40 for 40: 40 Artifacts to

Celebrate 40 Years of the Courthouse-onthe-Square Museum.” An interim exhibit, “Denton County at Work,” will run through February. A Promising Future The fire was a personal tragedy for Mini Mall owner Leo Will and his family, who have been reluctant to share publically about it. “It was like losing a family member,” says Leo’s wife, Shirley. “We raised our children and grandchildren there.” After much deliberation, they have decided to sell the property. In a written statement, Shirley and Leo wrote, “We are looking forward to seeing all of the businesses that were affected on the east side of the Square open and thriving again in the very near future as well as someone purchasing our property and building something that the people of Denton will appreciate.” “This represents the missing tooth in our grin,” says Glen Farris, president of the Denton Main Street Association. “This is such a loss to downtown. As long as it exists as it does, the downtown neighborhood is not what it was before; that’s the tragedy. We, the community, need to stand up and say this is an awful thing to happen, and we will rebuild.”

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Average cost of weddings in the DFW metroplex


Average cost of weddings in the U.S.


Number of staff and volunteers on site during the Denton Bridal Show


Number of permanent staff for the Denton Bridal Show


Percentage of brides over the age of 30 in 2018

THE BIG DAY The Denton Bridal Show’s cofounder reveals wedding trends for 2019. BY KRISTY ALPERT


he Denton Bridal Show has been one of the biggest events on the Denton County calendar since it began in 2015. Now in its fifth season, the leader of North Texas nuptials continues to woo as many as 1,000 brides-to-be with dreamy experiences and exclusive offers. Brides come from all over the area to explore more than 80 of the county’s best wedding vendors. We sat down with co-creator Lisa Moore before the January show to find out what kind of trends she is seeing this season.

modern and even an industrial feel for their décor choices.

What are the biggest color trends you’re noticing?

The Denton Bridal Show takes place Saturday, January 12 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Monroe Pearson. Admission is $10, which includes one raffle ticket for prizes like a free wedding venue and photography/videography packages. Pre-register online at dentonbridalshow. com before 10 p.m. on January 11 for an extra chance to win. The first 350 brides through the door will also receive a Bridal Swag Bag.

It seems like I’m seeing a lot of gold, burgundy/wine and blush colors this season. Also, navy suits for guys seem to be trending right now. How have wedding trends in Denton County changed over the last decade?

Brides are moving from the rustic, farmhouse look towards more of a clean,



he city of Denton has the best-tasting tap water in the state, according to the panel of judges at the 2018 Texas Water Conference in San Antonio. The sample that took top honors was treated at the Ray Roberts Lake treatment plant, which uses ozone purification on top of more traditional techniques. Another Denton sample from the Lewisville treatment plant took third place. Judges assessed the taste, odor and mouth feel of each of the 17 samples from around the state, which were required to be drawn from a tap with the same water the utility delivers to customers.


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What makes the Denton Bridal Show so unique?

[Co-creator] LeeAnn Widyn and I bring over 30 years of combined experience in the wedding industry of North Texas, and we strive to offer an intimate feel that won’t overwhelm or intimidate. We also have a pop-up dress shop in the bride’s room at the venue where couples can shop for attire during the show, as well as several giveaways going on at the event.






Perfect Cup

James Combs with his wife, Mandy, and 10-year-old daughter, Caley

Nick Stevens (right) with his roaster Jeremy Ottens


Two award-winning coffee connoisseurs share their thoughts on one of America’s favorite beverages. BY MARSHALL REID


ames Combs and Nick Stevens have a lot in common. Both make their living through coffee and neither subscribes to the snobbery often associated with their field. Combs, of Combs’ Coffee in Corinth, and Stevens, of West Oak Coffee Bar in Denton, recently gained further notoriety through competition. Combs took top honors at the third annual AeroPress competition and Stevens earned a coveted spot to compete for the United States Brewers Cup in March. Meet the Champions Combs entered the restaurant industry as a dishwasher when he was 12. He rose through the ranks and was managing two

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restaurants by the time he graduated high school. His eclectic interests included car repair, pottery, finance, tea and coffee until he decided to open his own shop nearly six years ago. At his Corinth location, he greets each customer like a friend of the family, describing his brews with explanations that gain both speed and warmth as he speaks. Stevens, by contrast, speaks slowly and with a subdued interest unexpected for his industry. He started in 2005 as a Starbucks barista and floated around the coffee industry until landing at his current gig four years ago. As director of coffee for West Oak and its two sister shops, Stevens oversees training of staff, but he’s more interested in sourcing than pouring.

Magic Beans The two caffeine authorities out-brewed the competition to highlight their farmers, a largely eclipsed part of the industry. Rotating a jar of beans in his shop, Combs shows how every bean seems identical. That consistency, coupled with the region and grower, indicate that the beans are high quality. Coffee producers, he explains, sort beans by a host of factors, including size, shape, density and color. Compared to traveling the world to meet with farmers and select the best beans, actually “making a cup of coffee is relatively trivial,” Combs says.

Nick Stevens competes at the U.S. Brewers Cup in Seattle.

H-2-Oh, That’s Hot! Combs and Stevens agree that after farm selection, the next most important factor is quality water that’s hot enough. After all, the majority of every cup is water. Stevens’s tip for the average coffee drinker is simple: Boil the water before you put it into your coffee maker. This

will help to ensure that the water gets hot enough. Water extracts the ideal flavors from coffee when it’s between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit. Many home drip coffee makers brew around 180 then heat the finished product on the hot plate. Combs has an electric kettle behind his bar to keep water at precisely 200

degrees — what he considers the sweet spot for many of his hot brews. For his recipe at the AeroPress competition, he used water from Iceland, but he generally sticks to regular coolers of Ozarka water. He notes that overly purified water won’t have the impurities necessary to react with coffee.

Is 2019 the year to check out the Active Adult Resort Community of Robson Ranch? Come have a cup of coffee, tea or wine and a few snacks with a resident or residents and find out what Robson Ranch is all about. Text or call (940) 368-1013 for more information. RightSize Realty Associates, LLC is located within the Robson Ranch Community. While we don’t only serve Robson Ranch, we do specialize in the Ranch because we live here!

Deborah Siefkin Broker / Owner / REALTOR©

Call or Text: (940) 368-1013 Email: Visit:

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Paving the Way

Photo courtesy of Denton Public Library

As street commissioner for Denton in the early 1900s, Haywood Zephaniah Wiggs (aka “Zeph” or “Z. Wiggs”) was tasked with the enormous responsibility of maintaining all roads and sidewalks in town. Wiggs and his small crew toiled tirelessly to change the face of the county, building bridges, roads, culverts, sidewalks and other infrastructure. The main photo shows the team starting to lay the base to pave East Hickory Street in 1910. The other photo shows the Wiggs at their family home at 218 Blount Street, which used to run from McKinney to Sycamore streets. Zeph (third from the right) was married to his wife, Rachael (seated), for 59 years and had 10 children.

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VNA’s mission is to help people age with dignity and independence at home. VNA offers Meals on Wheels in Dallas County, and VNA Hospice, Palliative and Private Care in Collin, Cooke, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Grayson, Henderson, Hunt, Kaufman, Navarro, Rockwall, Tarrant and Van Zandt counties. If you or your loved one needs help aging with dignity, or if you wish to volunteer or donate to VNA, please take a tour of this website or contact us directly at 1(800)CALL-VNA or

WHAT MAKES US UNIQUE The best part of what we do is helping people when they are at their most vulnerable—whether facing serious illness or needing end-of-life care. Our quality data is what we look to when defining success, and our patient and family feedback describes VNA as comprehensive, ethical, and compassionate. As a nonprofit organization, patient care is our bottom line.

Olivia Rogers, CNO of VNA

VNA Texas

The Visiting Nurse Association of Texas (VNA) is the community’s most trusted provider of quality healthcare services in the home and is the oldest, most experienced hospice care agency in Texas. SERVING THE COMMUNITY SINCE 1934 Established in 1934, VNA is a nonprofit organization helping elderly neighbors maintain their independence by providing the services that allow them to age where they are happiest and most comfortable—at home. Celebrating their 85th anniversary in 2019, VNA provides care to the aging, disabled, and dying in North Texas as well as providing their loved ones with much needed support. By listening and responding to patients’ needs, VNA ensures comforting care and quality of life. As the first hospice provider in Texas, VNA’s longevity in the community is unsurpassed and their reputation and quality of care are unmatched.

We build trust by always striving to go above and beyond, delivering the highest quality health care possible. VNA has been serving North Texas for 85 years. We are uniquely positioned to be able to serve the aging population, including the significant population growth projected in North Texas over the next five to ten years. “The biggest need we are solving in the community is helping our patients navigate life-altering illnesses with dignity, respect, and comfort. It is a great privilege to be trusted by patients and their families to provide care at such a difficult time. We are honored to serve our patients as well as their loved ones and caregivers.” Olivia Rogers, Chief Nursing Officer of VNA

Customer Testimonials “The care and love in which these amazing angels on earth took care of my mother in her final weeks was amazing.” “You guys at VNA are first class, the best. We couldn’t have managed without you.”

VNA facilitates a variety of educational events and works with many health care providers in the Denton area. VNA hosts bereavement events each month as well as providing the SafeHaven program, a bereavement support program for children. These events are open to the public and anyone in the community may attend.

VNA Texas | 1600 Viceroy Dr., Suite 400, Dallas, TX 75235 • 214-689-0000 | |



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All the Ingredients of a Vibrant Life Come Together at Union Park both the young and the young at heart come together to celebrate a vibrant life at Union Park. This suburban refuge is anchored by a 30-acre Central Park, where friends and families gather for morning strolls through tree-lined greenbelts, afternoon get-togethers in the shade of the pavilion, and movie nights on the event lawn. Find your Union Park home today.

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Celebrate a Vibrant Life

Just minutes from Frisco near the shores of Lake Lewisville,




ith a population of just 8,400 and only one ZIP code, Sanger is small in size, but it is rich in history and full of energy. Located off Texas State Highway 35 — 52 miles north of Dallas and 10 miles from Denton — Sanger is familiar to many thanks to its proximity to Ray Roberts Lake State Park. “We have the small town feel,” says Mayor Thomas Muir, who grew up in Sanger. “It’s an everybody-knows-your-name kind of a deal. Everybody rejoices when somebody in the community does well, and everybody rallies around them when they have challenges.” Affordable housing, a younger population, industrial opportunities and a good location are attracting more and more people to this cozy, community-centric town.


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Photo by Abigail Boatwright

This small town has big opportunities for growth and a vibrancy that is drawing in young families from across North Texas. BY KYLIE ORA LOBELL

Young and Thriving Though it’s sometimes assumed that younger people only want to live in big cities, many of them are moving to the small town of Sanger. In fact, 16 percent of residents are between 25 and 34 years old, and another 13 percent are between 35 to 40 years old, according to Shani Bradshaw, Director of Economic Development for the City of Sanger. Several factors are drawing these younger residents to town. Sanger is just 11 miles from the University of North Texas and Texas Women’s University, and 20 miles from North Central Texas College. For young families, there are a number of education options including two elementary schools, one intermediate school, a sixth grade campus, a middle school and two high schools. “Sanger has an outstanding school system that is large enough to offer a well-rounded curriculum, and at the same time, small enough to be responsive to the needs of parents and students,” says Bradshaw. In addition to the educational options, younger residents love that housing is affordable. Single-family homes start at around $250,000, and more than 300 new homes are in the planning or development stages. “By being a little farther out, we’re more affordable relative to suburbs that are closer to the metroplex area,” says Muir. “People are willing to come out to Sanger to get their first home.”

Historical photo courtesy of Tona Batis

Business Opportunities Major employers include the Wal-Mart Distribution Center and Sam’s Distribution Center, but there are also jobs in industries such as oil, manufacturing, healthcare and retail, says Bradshaw. Right now, R+L Carriers is building a 104,715-square-foot truck terminal that will have support offices north of Sanger. It is expected to create 200 jobs within the first five years after it opens. Construction has also begun on a Holiday Inn Express, which will have 77 guest rooms and open in early 2020. Muir says this will encourage people to stop and spend the night when they visit the lake. There are about 80 acres of land for industrial use off I-35, which could help usher in even more businesses and jobs. “It’s an ideal location for distributors and manufacturers that are considering relocating or expanding to the North Texas area,” says Bradshaw. “It’s a great little area for future industrial development.” Outdoor Fun While Sanger’s history is interesting, its present is even more so. Residents looking for something to do on the weekends have a number of choices. They can head to Lake Ray Roberts, 3 miles away, to go boating or fishing on the 29,000-acre lake. Visitors can also go camping, hiking, biking or horseback riding. Sanger itself has 87 acres of parkland with ball fields, parks, public buildings and more. There’s also the Sanger Sports Complex, which takes up 40 acres and includes a 1.5-mile paved walking path, two pavilions, a playground, picnic areas, grills, a three-field softball complex, concession stands for sporting events, a 3-acre fishing pond and a dock.

Santa Fe Depot Agent Fred H. Scheu poses in front of the Sanger train depot in 1930.

S A N G E R H I S T O RY Founded in 1886 as a Santa Fe Railroad stop, Sanger was a critical point along the cattle trails that led cattle farmers from Denton County to the north during that time. Sanger got its name from the Sangers, a prominent family who had stores in Dallas and Waco, but the first people to settle in town in 1887 were F.M. Ready and his family. According to Sanger native Tona Batis, who runs the Sanger Area Historical Society, Ready saw an opportunity in the new town. He built a boarding house for the cowboys who were crossing through with their cattle, and then opened a post office and a saloon for them. “Sanger started growing because of all the cattle being brought to town,” says Batis. “This saloon was the perfect spot for these cowboys.” Visitors and Denton County residents who want to learn more about the history of Sanger can go to the Sanger Area Historical Society’s museum, which is open on Saturdays. There, they can view maps, photos and documents, and even purchase a book Batis and her co-authors wrote called Around Sanger. Since it was established three years ago, Batis says 750 people have visited the museum. “We get a lot of out-of-town people. Of course, there is Babe’s Chicken Dinner House nearby, so a lot of people stroll over to the museum while they are waiting their turn to eat.” Another historical highlight people can learn about during their visit is Eleanor Roosevelt’s stopover in Sanger. The former first lady came to Denton to dedicate the Little Chapel in-theWoods and needed to catch the train in Sanger, says Batis. The home economics teacher brought her class of girls to meet the first lady. While Mrs. Roosevelt waited for the train to arrive, she spoke to the students and asked what they were learning. When she found out they were learning to can food, she replied, “Oh, I just canned 27 quarts of green beans before I took this trip.”

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A Bright Future There’s no doubt that Sanger has a bright future ahead of it with its many amenities, affordable lifestyle, job opportunities and perks for families. But Muir is convinced that even these changes will not affect the town’s heart. “It’s changing,” he said. “There’s growth. There are a lot of newer folks moving here. But we’re still retaining that small town flavor.”

Historic buildings, tasty dining options and unique shopping make downtown Sanger — seen here from the intersection of 3rd and Bolivar streets — worth a visit.

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Photo courtesy of Shani Bradshaw

Stay a While When it comes to food, Sanger offers two coffee and donut shops, several mom-and-pop restaurants and a number of fast food joints, but its most popular restaurant is Babe’s Chicken. There are also several annual events in Sanger. The largest is Sanger SELLabration, held by the Sanger Area Chamber of Commerce every September. It features live entertainment, an art show, music, food trucks and more than 5,000 attendees. During Halloween, hundreds of kids dress up and go trickor-treating at businesses around town, and at Christmastime, residents gather for a festive parade. Other annual events include the Easter egg hunt and Sanger Annual Trash Off, which is hosted by the Keep Sanger Beautiful Board and Parks Board, and encourages residents to pick up trash and beautify the town.

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Table Talk

Flower Mound’s The Table expands its offerings under new ownership. BY ELLEN RITSCHER SACKETT


att Locke has an eye for what makes a good business. He and his wife, Jennifer, bought The Pub McKinney and turned it into one of that suburb’s most popular neighborhood bars. They also invested in Eastwood’s Bar in Uptown, which routinely tops lists of Dallas’s most happening hotspots. “When my wife and I were looking for another opportunity, I liked the idea of a bigger, more restaurant-focused endeavor,” the entrepreneur says. They found what they were looking for in The Table, a once-thriving restaurant up for sale in Flower Mound. The Lockes became the new owners last May.


Refreshing Ambiance The Table is the kind of spot you’d expect to find in a metropolitan setting, not the strip mall along a busy suburban thoroughfare where it stands. Inside, the dining room is sophisticated and minimal — a refined mix of urban, industrial and rustic décor. There are no tablecloths here. Rather, heavy dark wood tabletops are lit with single Edison bulbs hanging overhead. Customers have choices. Would you like to dine by the fireplace or on the enclosed patio? Do you prefer to sip your drinks outside, overlooking the fountain, or inside, where you can catch a glimpse of the busy team of cooks from one end of the extended bar?

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A Valuable Partnership Flower Mound resident Gordon Keliikipi was familiar with The Table before he met Locke. Keliikipi is part-owner and cofounder of Collective Mark, a restaurant and bar consultancy. The two men hit it off and forged a business relationship that also includes Collective Mark partners Clay Muirhead and Tony Dao. “The connection happened at the right time,” says Locke. “[Jennifer and I] were looking for a way to take this to the next level.” Keliikipi agrees. “It’s become a team effort,” he says. “We all function as owners and operators.” With the recent addition of a managing

Top photo by TuckerRayPhotography ; All other photos by Collective Mark Studios

For late-night noshing, nibble on cured meats and fine cheeses for two with assorted accouterments chosen by the chef based on what’s fresh and available. You’ll find this delightful option, which is available from dinner until close, on the wine menu.

Standout Dishes

Stacked Caesar

There are so many ways to spin a Caesar salad, but The Table wins for its elegant presentation. This version forgoes the traditional Romaine and substitutes stacked, tender butter lettuce leaves with creamy dressing between the layers and a generous sprinkling of shaved Parmesan.


No, these European fried dumplings aren’t on your diet, but this splurge is a staple on The Table’s appetizer menu. Stuffed with potato and cheddar cheese, the order comes with a generous side of garlic butter and sour cream with chives.

partnership with Collective Mark, The Table is experiencing its next incarnation, building upon the foundation of its original cachet. Enduring Favorites, Seasonal Flavors One order of business was a menu update. “We want to give people a fresh reason to come back into the restaurant,” Locke says. “We added onto it and diversified,” Muirhead explains. They kept some of the favorites, like the perogies and the schnitzel — menu items that reflected the European influence of the original chef, Ray Skradzinski. Even though the menu has expanded, “we haven’t changed a lot of the things people loved about the restaurant before.” The Table’s new executive chef is Justin Samsill, whose culinary credentials include some of the trendiest spots in Dallas, including Smoke Restaurant, Hide, Twisted Root and The Mitchell. Chef Samsill plans to roll out a seasonal menu that will change every four months and use local food purveyors. “What you see is a continual work in progress,” Locke says.

The “Tank” Burger

Dallas Cowboys defense end Demarcus “Tank” Lawrence (#90) created this gargantuan burger. It is made, according to the menu, from “fresh Wagyu beef grilled and topped with homemade chili, cheddar cheese, bacon and the souls of unlucky QBs across the league.”

Filling a Niche The Table is open every day for lunch and dinner and serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. “The Happiest Happy Hour” is from 3 to 6 p.m., seven days a week. The restaurant is open until midnight on Friday and Saturday nights to serve the late-night crowd with a select menu that focuses on flatbreads and appetizers. “We have a fantastic bar here and really good craft cocktail bartenders who are continually inventing and reinventing,” Locke says. He recognized there was an opportunity to fill a niche for people who live in Lantana, Flower Mound,


Come hungry or plan to take home some of this popular menu mainstay. The hand-pressed, breaded pork tenderloin covers the plate and is topped with two sunny-side-up eggs and served with a side of arugula salad and German potatoes.

Highland Village and Denton and may not want to be on the road late at night from Dallas or Frisco. “The Table is a place you can go, have a great cocktail, hang out with people you know in the area and still be close to home.” The Table 3701 Justin Road, #150, Flower Mound Online:, dineatthetable Reservations: Use Open Table or call 972-874-1010 Price Point: $8 to $16 for appetizers; $14 to $35 entrées

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The Intersection of and



Sleeping Lizzards, in the heart of Denton, offers an ever-changing range of handcrafted and locally made gifts and jewelry. BY ABIGAIL BOATWRIGHT

Photos by Abigail Boatwright


hen friends Beth Klein and Roxane Clark opened Sleeping Lizzards in 1994, they planned to sell off some beads and jewelry-making pieces that were leftover from Klein’s wholesale jewelry business. They would never have guessed that 25 years later, the shop would be an award-winning destination for one-of-a-kind gifts and eclectic pieces from local and national artists. “We started [Sleeping Lizzards] as a way for her to sell her beads,” Clark explains. “It was more of a bead shop, and then we were making items too. Neither of us majored in art, but it’s just something we both like to do, and we’re good friends, so we wanted to see if we could make it work. Thankfully, it did, and we’re still good friends.” Although they are both originally from the Chicago area, where their parents lived near each other, Klein and Clark did not become friends until they ended up at the University of North Texas. At that point, they were drawn together by their mutual love of creation. “Both of us have always made things, ever since we were children,” Clark says.

Keeping It Fresh The winner of Denton Record-Chronicle’s Best of Denton Reader’s Choice Award, Sleeping Lizzards has earned a number of regular customers who have been loyal to the store since it opened. Early on, the store relied heavily on those regulars, so it was vital to keep things fresh to help them find something new and exciting every time they came in. Klein and Clark got into the habit of constantly evolving.

This way to Denton's most unique gifts!

r Careful curation and constant change keep the inventory fresh.

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Owners (and long-time friends) Roxane Clark and Beth Klein


The shop's reptilian name was inspired by a foam lizard once owned by Beth's daughter.

“We had to always change things up, because if our customers came in, they weren’t going to come in again and buy the same thing,” Clark says. Today, Denton is booming and brings a steady stream of new customers, including many university students, into the shop, but the owners’ habit of keeping the inventory fresh still serves them well. New products come in weekly, and customers pop in to check them out. “We have customers that come in once a week and make the rounds to see what’s new,” Clark says. “I think that’s neat. You can always come in here and find something that you didn’t see last time.” This ever-changing inventory also makes Sleeping Lizzards a go-to spot for customers who are looking for unique Christmas and birthday gifts, year after year. “We have people that come in every Christmas to buy their presents, and they depend on us to come up with great products,” Clark says. “I think we do that, and that’s probably what we’re most proud of about our store.” Positively Eclectic Over the years, Sleeping Lizzards has carried a variety of products, even flowers, but Klein says that ultimately, the store sticks close to jewelry and gift items


You can always come in here and find something that you didn’t see last time. as its main offerings. Step into the shop and you’ll be surrounded by a dazzling array of funky décor, fabulous feather earrings, strands of glimmering necklaces and bath and body products in a variety of scents and materials. Some of these products are made by Klein and Clark; others are created by artisans. Klein is a silversmith, so she makes a lot of the store’s jewelry. “We sell a variety of semi-precious stones, minerals and rocks,” Clark says.

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The selection is so eclectic that some shoppers mistake it for a consignment shop or a store that rents booths to artists. It is neither, but Clark says the misconception makes sense because “it has that feeling of a lot of different artists selling their products.” Customers play a big role in what Sleeping Lizzards carries. “We change with the desires of our customers,” Clark says. “Right now, we’re expanding our bath and body section because a lot of our customers really like handmade soap, for example. “We try to be a good buyer. We have to buy what will sell — not necessarily only what we like. In our case, we choose both what we like and what our customers want. It’s fun. We choose things that are our style, but we’re always aware of the items our customers want.” It’s all arranged in a colorful, visually exciting layout that is an adventure for the eyes and a delight for shoppers. Wander through this cozy, fun boutique and you’re bound to find that special something you didn’t even know you wanted until you laid eyes on it. Sleeping Lizzards, 424 N. Elm St., Denton,, 940-4844056

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health& wellness Inspirational stories, fitness advice, health tips and local wellness resources to help you conquer 2019 BY ABIGAIL BOATWRIGHT, MARY DUNKLIN, RACHEL HEDSTROM, KYLIE ORA LOBELL, MALCOLM MAYHEW, MARSHALL REID AND KIMBERLY TURNER

J A N UA R Y/ F E B R UA R Y 2 0 1 9 D E N T O N CO U N T Y




Skip the Treadmill Your resolution to stay in shape doesn’t have to mean tedious hours at the gym.


f you love taking care of yourself but hate being bored, give these fitness options a try. They’ll help you find new ways to move your body, burn calories and build strength in 2019. We’ve even got some great options for kids. What are you waiting for?

Jennifer Dean


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Exercise in Disguise No one can be bored while they’re dancing. Let the rhythm take you to one of Jennifer Dean’s exhilarating Zumba classes for something a little different. This mix of dance and aerobics features poppy Latin music and can help you burn an estimated 350 to 650 calories per class. Why it’s great: “Zumba is a great workout because it’s fun,” says Dean. “It’s exercise in disguise. We do intermittent training so our heart rate fluctuates during class from high to low, then back to high, which studies have shown [burns] fat more efficiently.” Where it is: Various locations including LA Fitness, 1350 S. Loop 288, Denton; Life Time Fitness, 3100 Churchill Drive, Flower Mound; and 3813 W. University Drive, Denton

Dance Yourself Fit If you want the whole family to embark on a fitness journey in the New Year, sign the kids up for after-school classes at Dynasty Dance Academy. These classes, which include jazz, lyrical, musical theatre, cheer, hip-hop and ballet dancing, boost strength and self-esteem at the same time. Why it’s great: “Building self-esteem is something we focus on every class and it shows in our dancers,” says Shadae Rogers of DDA. “It’s so exciting to watch the transformation of a shy and timid student at the beginning of the semester that blossoms into a social and confident butterfly by the end of our 12 weeks together.” Where it is: The after-school programs are available in multiple locations in Denton County. Visit for a complete list.

Fight for Your Right to Good Health Martial arts is another option that’s great for both kids and adults. Try some hapkido or taekwondo classes at Fight Right Martial Arts. Co-owner and Head Instructor Chris Cagle says both disciplines include a mix of cardio and strength training, and through them, you can increase your agility and dexterity. Plus, you’ll learn a valuable survival tactic, should you ever need it. Why it’s great: “The confidence that comes with learning how to control your body and defend yourself isn’t something you’ll get out of soccer, basketball or any other typical sport,” said Cagle. “Learning how to defend yourself is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.” Where it is: 880 U.S. Highway 380, #800, Crossroads

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Climb Your Way to Fitness Perhaps you want a workout that’ll get you off the ground. If that’s the case, head over to Summit Denton, a climbing gym on West Oak Street that offers more than 6,000 square feet of bouldering opportunities. Rock climbing can burn anywhere from 500 to 900 calories per hour. It provides a cardio and strength workout while reducing stress and improving flexibility. Plus, there’s a fun social component. Why it’s great: “Climbing is especially great because of the fact that it is such a community driven sport, so even when you’re not climbing you still get to hang out with everyone,” says General Manager Ross Nelson. “If you’re new to the sport, there is always someone in the gym willing to show you the ropes.” Where it is: 220 West Oak St., Denton

Drum Up a Sweat Looking for a high-intensity group class? Try barre classes, pole dancing (it’s tougher than it looks!) or pound classes at Twisted Bodies. Co-owner and Instructor Khristen Pahler explains that ballet barre classes target specific muscles to build strength and sculpt muscles. Pole dancing students work with a pole to boost their body control, coordination and strength. Pound classes (“a full body cardio jam session”) equip students with lightweight drumsticks to increase their endurance and strength. The simulated drumming and choreographed moves can burn between 400 and 900 calories in an hour. Any of these classes can be modified to meet the needs and fitness level of students, so give it a shot! Why it’s great: “These classes are so much fun and people spend so much time laughing that it never feels like a workout,” says Pahler. “Working out doesn’t have to be boring and traditionally routine. It can be fun and exciting, and that’s exactly what people find here.” Where it is: 709 South Elm St., Denton


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Cuddles 4 Puddles giving back


n August 2017, Lyndsey Jones — a 16-year-old Corinth teen with special needs — went away to summer camp for the first time. With her was her favorite stuffed puppy, Puddles. Puddles was a gift from her brother and sister and had been with Lyndsey since she was 4 years old. Then, one night, Puddles went missing and was never seen again. “That was pretty traumatic for her,” says Lyndsey’s mother, Laura McKenzie Jones. “Puddles was her security object.” Lyndsey had gone through nine surgeries, and for most of them, Puddles was right by her side. Her plush companion was even given an IV at one point. “We kept trying to figure out a way to get past the loss,” says Laura. “It was like she was grieving somebody important.” Just a few weeks after Puddles went missing, Lyndsey and Laura came up with an idea to keep the memory of the stuffed dog alive. They would donate stuffed puppies to children in the hospital. The name of their project? Cuddles 4 Puddles. When a family friend’s daughter went into the hospital, Lyndsey bought the first stuffed puppy and delivered it with a card explaining their

When Corinth teen Lyndsey Jones lost her favorite stuffed animal, she coped by offering comfort to other young patients.

initiative. Just over a year later, Lyndsey and Laura have delivered nearly 200 donated stuffed puppies to young patients at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, Medical City Children’s Hospital, Children’s Medical Center Dallas and Lyndsey’s urologist’s office. At Texas Scottish Rite, where Lyndsey was a patient, they set the plush pups up on the counter, so kids can choose which ones they want. Other times, Lyndsey gives them out. “She loves handing them the dogs,” said Laura. “It really has seemed to replace a lot of that grief with a purpose. We can talk about Puddles without all the tears. It’s not a sad thing anymore. She talks about it making her happy.” Many of the kids become just as attached to their dogs as Lyndsey was to Puddles. Parents tell Laura how their children hold the dogs tight during testing and other stressful moments. “The parents are just so touched by the gifts,” says Laura, who plans to establish

Cuddles 4 Puddles as a nonprofit for local children’s hospitals. “To us, this was an answered prayer,” she says. “The blessing we’ve received from giving exceeded my expectations.” The original Puddles (left) went missing, but Lyndsey used the loss as motivation to bring joy and cheer to kids in local hospitals.

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You Are What You Eat expert tips

Three nutrition specialists spill the beans on healthy eating in Denton County.


he New Year is a perfect time for a “new you,” and many of us have goals that include living healthier, more active lives. We asked three experts about their favorite Denton County restaurants and grocery stores, their best time-saving tips for eating healthy on the go and their favorite dishes. Our food experts were: Brandi Matous, MS, RD, LD, MBA, director of Food and Nutrition Services at Medical City Denton Anna Love, PhD, RDN, LD, MCHES, CIC, registered dietitian/nutritionist and health coach/CEO of Love to Live Well in Flower Mound Sarah Rozell, MS, RD, LD, clinical nutrition manager at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton

Brandi Matous


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What are your favorite Denton County restaurants?

Matous: The Chestnut Tree and Barley & Board Love: I have a three-way tie on that one: Greenhouse (Denton), 7 Mile Café (Highland Village) and Spiral Diner (Denton) Rozell: Shoal Creek Tavern in Highland Village

How about your favorite grocery store or farmer’s market?

Matous: The Denton County Farmer’s Market and Winco Foods. I love to buy local from the farmer’s market and I like the variety of bulk foods from Winco, which allows you to buy only what you need for a recipe. Love: Sprouts is my favorite grocery store, and Denton Community Market is my favorite farmer’s market. Rozell: Sprouts. The design makes it easy to skip the processed food section.

What’s your number-one piece of advice for readers who want to improve their health in the New Year? Matous: Make small

changes. Doing anything over-the-top or drastic typically does not last. Set achievable goals and reward yourself with something once you meet those goals. Love: Be specific and strategic to get the most out of the goals you set. Being specific is the difference in “my goal is to lose weight” and “my goal is to reduce my portions and slow down my speed of eating,” which will help you lose weight. Be more actionable with your focus to get there. Rozell: Generally, dietitians focus on sustainable lifelong changes rather than quick fixes. This is actually two pieces of advice, but I will go for it: For most people, it’s eat less and move more.

What’s the biggest mistake most people make when it comes to eating?

What is your favorite food or dish you eat to power up your week?

creamy salad dressings or aioli (mayonnaise-based) sauces and dips. Matous: Most people are busy and in a hurry and therefore grab food while on the go a lot. Planning meals allows us to make healthier choices, saves time and can help decrease costs for those on a budget. When we do not take the time to slow down and enjoy our meals, we have a tendency to eat too fast, which can lead to overeating.

months, I enjoy overnight oats and eggs for breakfast and a good chili or soup for evening meals. My family enjoys homemade Texas chili. Love: I power up my week with whole grain pasta dishes that I prep ahead. I eat 1.5-cup portions for lunch and have them with a side of raw veggies and fruit. Rozell: Chili: beef, chicken or vegetarian. I love them all.

Rozell: Using too much

So, what is your best time-saving nutrition hack for busy people?

Matous: I have discovered

the Instant Pot and absolutely love it! I can pressure-cook chicken in less than 10 minutes, or I can have a onepot meal slow-cooking all day that is ready when we all get home. There are lots of tips and recipes online for pressure cookers that are healthy and fast! Love: Batch cooking! I like to invest two hours in the kitchen batch cooking and then have 20+ individual lunches frozen by the end of it. It keeps you from having to dine out or spend time every day trying to figure out what you’re going to make for lunch.

Matous: During the cooler

Dr. Anna Love

What might people be surprised to find in your pantry or refrigerator?

Matous: Gallons and gallons

of blueberries. Every summer, we visit a blueberry farm in East Texas and pick enough blueberries for the year. We freeze them and throw them in oatmeal and smoothies, mostly, but they are also great plain. Rozell: Several types of ground cinnamon from all over the world. I love cinnamon.

Sarah Rozell

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A Personal Approach to Diabetes local resources


elping others manage their diabetes isn’t just a job for Kelsie Lewis, it’s a way of life. She is the program coordinator at Texas Health Denton’s Diabetes and Nutrition Center, the first accredited American Diabetes Association (ADA) program in Denton County.

Denton County’s first accredited American Diabetes Association program teaches patients how to have happy, healthy lives despite the disease.

Practicing What She Preaches She’s also someone who has managed her own Type 1 diabetes for 10 years. When Lewis was diagnosed, she says her “whole life changed.” This personal knowledge is why she now wants to teach others how to have long, healthy

lives despite the disease. “You can control it, or it can control you,” she says. It also allows her to relate to patients on a deeper level, she says. As a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator, it fuels her no-nonsense approach to staying healthy. “No matter what your family history is, it’s important to strive for the best life,” says Lewis, adding that good nutrition and regular exercise aren’t just things she suggests to patients, but also things she incorporates into her own life. She is realistic though and knows that busy lifestyles can sometimes leave little time for self-care. During those busy times, people search for quickfix solutions. “Everything is now ‘diet,’” she says. “We need to change our mindset to healthy eating and making healthy choices instead of restrictions.”

Beating the Trends

Linda Wood, RDN, LDN, CDE (left) and Kelsie Lewis, MS, RDN, LDN, CDE (right)


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This long-term approach is essential because the number of diabetes cases is increasing. According to the American Diabetes Association, more than 30 million Americans have the disease, and an estimated 187,000 people in Texas are diagnosed with it every year. Despite those high estimates, Lewis says, “There’s a lot we can do to prevent

following in that trend.” Those who visit the center may receive an assessment, individual and group nutritional counseling, personalized goals, exercise and stress-management education, blood-sugar monitoring advice and follow-up care. These resources are available (with a referral) for patients with Type 1, Type 2, gestational and prediabetes. Some patients at the clinic been struggling with the disease for years, and others have just recently been diagnosed. They can all make great strides toward effectively managing the disease with the expert advice of Lewis and the rest of the team of diabetes educators, registered nurses, registered dieticians and physicians. The comprehensive education provided at the clinic is based on the ADA’s national standards for diabetes self-management. Seeing the progress of patients — both in managing their diabetes and in other aspects of their lives — is one of the most rewarding parts of the job, says Lewis. “We’re not just touching their diabetes. We’re touching their confidence and they start to feel better about themselves.” For more information, contact the center at 940-323-7961.

Tipping the Scale weight loss


es Nasche was on vacation with her sister and brother-in-law, hiking at a zip-lining course in Maui, when she realized she was worn out and falling behind. “I was terribly out of shape,” she recalls. “It dawned on me that they were in great health and I wasn’t. I decided I had to do everything within my power to be as healthy as I could.” So in March 2016, Nasche signed up for Fit Body Boot Camp. After eight months, Nasche was down 51 pounds. “I have more energy, more flexibility and more strength, whether I’m unloading the groceries or carrying dog food into the house. Whatever it might be is so much easier now,” she says. “I don’t ever want to go back.” After her weight loss, she decided to open a Fit Body Boot Camp in Highland Village in the hopes of helping others reach their goals. If you’re looking to shed a few pounds in the New Year, here is her advice…

Be consistent. It took eight solid months of diligently eating healthy foods and going to boot camp for her to lose the 51 pounds. It did not happen overnight. Invest in your health.

Les Nasche lost 51 pounds. Here’s how she reached her goal — and how you can too.

“It’s worth it,” Nasche says. “People think they don’t want to spend the money on their health, but they’re either going to spend it now or when they get sick. If they want to do it for the quality of life, they need to do it now.”

Les Nasche, before (inset) and after

Find a supportive group of people. It’s critical to

share your goals and surround yourself with people who support you. Don’t let plateaus stop you. Hitting a plateau during

your weight-loss journey is normal. It happened to Nasche. During that time, you might not feel like going to the gym or doing meal prep, but she says you will get past this tough spot if you “make your health a priority” and “make up your mind that you’re ready to make this change.” Don’t get overwhelmed.

Nasche advises against starting an aggressive gym plan and a new diet at the same time. “Do one thing at a time,” she says. Think long-term. Nasche

acknowledges that losing weight isn’t easy. She says it’s important to realize that “it’s always a journey. You’re never done.” J A N UA R Y/ F E B R UA R Y 2 0 1 9 D E N T O N CO U N T Y



Meet Dr. Flores names to know


r. John Flores has been named chair of the Texas Medical Association (TMA) Council on Socioeconomics. In this statewide position, the Denton County doctor will be representing patients and physicians across the state during a two-year term.

The Right Reasons Flores has been practicing medicine — primarily in Little Elm — for more than 20 years. He has also held

A Little Elm doctor is representing patients and physicians across Texas.

a number of prestigious positions in the industry. While these extra positions do take time away from his Little Elm practice and often come with no reimbursement (which is the case for his newly appointed TMA position), they are worth it for this busy doctor. “Anytime you devote time to organized medicine, it’s going to affect your clinic time,” Flores says. “If you want to get rich, don’t do

Dr. John Flores


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medicine; it’s not a money-making operation.” Flores says he practices medicine because he loves taking care of patients and improving the quality of their lives, a sentiment he carries with him when supporting his colleagues through TMA.

The Role of the Council Flores describes his work with the Council on Socioeconomics as a series of negotiations: “Basically, what we deal with are the business aspects of medicine between the provider, the patient and what we call the payers,” meaning Medicare and big insurance carriers. Anthony Chapple is senior associate vice president of medical economics with TMA and the primary staffer working under Flores. He explains that the council is an advisor to TMA, which would consider its advice and work with legislatures to improve conditions across the state. The council’s advice carries a lot of weight because, according to Chapple, TMA is one of the most influential medical associations — even larger than the American Medical Association. “We’re big, which means we have diversity of demographics and geography,” he says.

Denton County Health Flores and other doctors across Denton County have helped earn our area high marks in a recent health ranking from County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, a collaborative effort between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. Denton County was the best county for “health outcomes,” a representation of how long people live and how healthy they feel while doing it. The county also ranked sixth when considering a projection of future health factors. Flores, who is admittedly not an expert in the ranking system, explains that strong primary care and notable hospitals in the area — most notably Medical City Denton and Texas Presbyterian Hospital Denton — are likely factors that contribute to our county’s healthier residents. What’s working against the county’s health? Many of the same problems that face patients across the state: massive lack of insurance, a troubling poverty rate and a faulty healthcare system. Those problems and more will occupy much of Dr. Flores’s time during and after his tenure at TMA.

5 Tips for Going Beyond the Prescription natural resources


urrounded by 35 pharmacies within a five-mile radius, Flower Mound Pharmacy has not only survived, but thrived over the last 20 years thanks to its dedication to client education, specialization in alternative health supplements and willingness to compound medications — a rarity in today’s medication industry. This unique pharmacy provides a wealth of information and advice to customers, so we spoke with owner Dr. Dennis Song to get his top tips on natural supplements:

Photo courtesy Flower Mound Pharmacy


Read the labels carefully. The

supplement/ vitamin/herbal industry is not regulated, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers them food. Dr. Song says that means “there’s no guarantee” with natural remedies. “Everything on the front of the bottle is advertising and marketing; you need to read the nutritional label on the back.”


Find a reputable product. Dr.

Song recommends looking for the phrase “Good Manufacturing Practices” (GMP) on the product label. “Some big discounters will say ‘independently lab-tested,’

This Flower Mound Pharmacy offers conventional medication and alternative supplements — with expert advice on both.

but if you look closer, that independent lab is owned by the company.” Other good indications of a reputable product include professional bottling and sealing, but Dr. Song says to be aware of sub-par supplements, and when in doubt, consult your pharmacist.


Pay attention to serving size. Most


Get medical advice. Don’t

that a qualified pharmacist can go over each item with the client. The expert pinpoints their health goals, evaluating the product and offering advice. “It’s kind of a medication or supplement checkup,” Dr. Song says. “We advise customers to know why they’re taking a particular supplement, and determine if

they’re seeing results. Beyond it possibly being a waste of their money, those supplements could actually interact with your other medications, or even be causing some symptoms.” Flower Mound Pharmacy is located at 1001 Cross Timbers Rd. #1170 in Flower Mound and is online at

supplements require you to take more than one pill, multiple times a day. Know how long a bottle will last.

self-diagnose your issues and purchase supplements based on advertising. “The biggest mistake you can make is self-diagnosing and then trying to find a solution,” says Dr. Song. “You need to see a doctor. We have to know what we’re treating before we lay out a treatment. Go to the doctor first before you try to treat yourself.”


Dr. Dennis Song

Ask questions.

Once your doctor has diagnosed you, ask as many questions as you need to. Flower Mound Pharmacy offers “Brown Bag Reviews” where customers bring their medications and vitamins to the pharmacy so J A N UA R Y/ F E B R UA R Y 2 0 1 9 D E N T O N CO U N T Y



A Bridge to Healing strike a pose

Yoga brings relief and strength to Denton County cancer patients and survivors.


oga has been known to calm the mind, balance the body and reduce stress, which makes the gentle, restorative poses taught by Susan Reeves and Pamela Ryan a great option for cancer patients and survivors.

A Brilliant Idea

Yoga Bridge founders Susan Reeves (front left) and Pamela Ryan (front right) help students build strength and a supportive community.


After her brother-in-law was diagnosed with brain cancer, Reeves spotted a sign at the hospital promoting free yoga for people with cancer. “That gave me the idea to do it,” she says. At that time, Ryan was working as a sports massage therapist for former Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans linebacker Bradie James, who ran a nonprofit

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(Foundation 56) that provided breast cancer screenings to disadvantaged populations. The foundation inspired her to get involved in the nonprofit world, and when she was approached with the idea of offering yoga to cancer patients, she says it just clicked. After all, she says, “my job is to make people feel better.” Soon the two instructors began Yoga Bridge, a nonprofit that hosts two weekly classes ($5 for survivors or $10 for guests) at Texas Oncology-Denton South in Denton and Texas Oncology-Flower Mound. To ensure that students are receiving the care and attention they need, Reeves and Ryan hire teachers who have experience with cancer patients. They also hold annual training sessions for yoga instructors — about 12 to 15 from across the nation attend each year. At theses sessions, instructors learn things like what happens to the body during chemotherapy and which poses are most helpful. (Reeves says many students enjoy tree

pose and the reclining bound angle.) If a pose like downward dog is too hard, for example, the student can do it on the wall. The goal is to help them get strong through weight-bearing exercises and help them maintain balance.

The Effects While controlled clinical trials have not yet definitively determined the link between yoga and health improvements among cancer patients and survivors, more and more oncology centers around the nation are offering yoga as an option. Reeves and Ryan have seen the results firsthand. “Yoga is great for the nervous system,” says Reeves. “It helps [our students] stay strong and release some of their stress.” The nonjudgmental sense of community in Yoga Bridge classes, the calming breathing exercises and the modified poses can help patients take a much-needed mental break. During a period when stress, chemotherapy, uncertainty and physical discomfort can seem overwhelming, yoga practitioners can see benefits ranging from improved sleep quality and lowered anxiety to decreased pain and increased strength. Ryan also incorporates, with

participants’ consent, massage into the classes and finds that a compassionate human touch can also be beneficial. Students apply the techniques they learn outside of class as well. Ryan recalls when one of their students, Kathy Wagner, who has since passed away, began to panic about an upcoming PET scan. Using the breathing exercises she had learned during yoga, Wagner was able to calm herself down. “Kathy was

literally able to control a panic attack,” says Ryan.

Looking Forward Reeves and Ryan have seen so many positive benefits for their students that they want to expand Yoga Bridge to other cities. Reeves has talked to people in Dallas, and they hope to bring the program there. “There is a need for it, especially in the big cities,” she says. “I see us teaching more classes.”

For now, the duo will continue to help their students heal mentally, physically and emotionWarrior pose for ally. Ryan says, cancer warriors “I’m extremely happy that Yoga Bridge is stable and it’s growing so that we can serve more people.”

A Shocking Story miracle workers


hirteen might not be U.S. Navy veteran Ed Burkett’s lucky number, but 44 definitely is. It was on the 13th hole on August 13, just after 1300 hours, when the Lewisville resident started beating the odds. What Burkett initially shrugged off as a “gas pocket” in his chest went from uncomfortable to painful in the time it took him to play from the 7th hole to the 13th. As Burkett arrived at the emergency room at Medical City Denton, a top-level chest pain center, his heart was about to stop for the first time. It would happen 43 more times before his ordeal was over. He was shocked back to life with the defibrillator for the first time while being wheeled into the operating room. His

Ed Burkett’s heart stopped 44 times after his heart attack, but his cardiology team refused to give up on him.

dedicated, persistent cardiovascular team continued bringing him back over and over while they simultaneously worked on placing a stent, a pacemaker and a heart pump. According to his physician, Burkett had a one in 1.75 million chance to make what would become a historic complete recovery. “I have never seen anyone as sick as Ed, who needed as much as he did, come out intact,” Gary Fazio, M.D., cardiologist at Medical City Denton, explains. “We were there at the right time. It’s very gratifying to see. I’ve been a physician for 30 years, and I have never heard of someone being shocked 44 times. The only reason we continued to shock Ed is that we were able to restore blood flow to his brain each time.”

Dr. Gary Fazio and Ed Burkett

“I managed to recover from something no one else has managed to recover from,” Burkett says. “Because there were so many coincidences, I feel like it was choreographed by God.” “I’m still trying to wrap my brain around what a big deal this is,” Burkett remarked as he offered this advice to

others: “Take it seriously if you have a painful gas pocket. This didn’t feel anything like a heart attack ‘should’ feel,” he said. “Get to a hospital.” While he didn’t get to finish his round that day, you could say that Burkett hit the ultimate hole-in-one, facing incredible odds and coming out a winner.

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races & events

On Your Mark, Get Set... Go!... To these 2019 events and races to get a running start on your goals and support some great causes.

Knobs Hill Trail Race When: January 19, 6 a.m. Where: Scout Barn 771, 9955 Cross Timbers Road, Flower Mound The third annual DORBA Knob Hills Trail Race, presented by the Denton Area Running Club, gives participants the chance to race along Denton Creek and Lake Grapevine, which are known as challenging and gritty courses. All finishers receive awards.

NEDA Walk When: February 23, 9 a.m. Where: Denton County Courthouse-on-theSquare, 110 W. Hickory St., Denton Support the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) by walking through Denton on a lovely Saturday morning. Register as a team or as an individual to help raise $10,000 to combat eating disorders.


Old Town Brewhouse St. Pat’s 5K

CCR 2nd Annual Mud Run When: March 2, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Where: Cinnamon Creek Archery, 13794 Old Denton Road, Roanoke Run through 1, 2 or 4 miles of good ol’ mud and qualify for drawings and giveaways, all while supporting The Sadie Keller Foundation, which helps children fighting cancer. After you complete the course, you and your family can participate in kids’ activities, spend time at the LandShark beer garden or enjoy archery and live music.

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When: March 16, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Where: 146 Whatley Ave., Lewisville At this annual 5K hosted by Dallas Athletes Racing, racers don St. Pat’s themed costumes then enjoy two free Old Town Brewhouse beers and a customized beer mug at the end. All participants also get a commemorative shirt. If you’re racing, don’t forget the sweat-resistant green paint!

4th Annual 5K and Fun Run When: March 30, 8 a.m. to noon Where: South Lakes Park, 556 Hobson Lane, Denton Contribute to Hallie’s Heroes, a nonprofit established in 2015 to support research for Diamond Blackfan anemia, and run a fun 5K at the same time at this annual race.

GreenFest on the Greenbelt 5K When: April 6, 8 a.m. to noon Where: Greenbelt at 428, Aubrey This 5K promises to be a blast for the whole family. Along with live music and food trucks, you’ll get to enjoy a run along the picturesque Greenbelt Trail and on the historic Elm Fork Bridge. You’ll also be helping to raise money for the Texas State Parks and Wildlife Department, which will ensure that there’ll be many more races on the trails for years to come.

Caveman Triathlon When: April 7 Where: 1200 Gerault Road, Flower Mound Channel your inner caveman by signing up for this race, which includes a 275-yard indoor pool swim, a 10.8-mile flat bike ride and a 5K run. Remember to grunt throughout the race to show your true caveman spirit.

Pedal Against PTSD: Grind 2019 When: April 27, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Where: John Porter Sports Complex, Sanger Pedal Against PTSD, which helps veterans overcome PTSD through cycling, hosts this annual event. The 5K run and 58k gravel course is limited to just 10 particpants, so get in early for your chance to compete.

Rock Dallas Triathlon When: May 18, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Where: Murrell Park, 880 Simmons Road, Flower Mound This off-road triathlon is not for the faint of heart. It features a 13.4-mile mountain bike ride, a 1,200-meter swim and a 5.6-mile run along the scenic North Shore trail on Lake Grapevine.

Rock Dallas Trail Runs When: May 19, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Where: Murrell Park, 880 Simmons Road, Flower Mound Get your running shoes on and head over to run the trails along the North Shore on Lake Grapevine. Choose from a 5K, 15K or a 13.1-mile run if you’re feeling especially fit.

Water Works Sprint Triathlon 2019 When: June 16, 6:30 a.m to 10 a.m. Where: Water Works Park and Denton Natatorium, 2400 Long Road, Denton Want to get your heart pumping while having fun with your family? Sign up for this race, which includes a 250-yard pool swim, a 12-mile bike ride and a 3.1-mile run. Participating athletes can enjoy a private party in the water park, which will feature carnival games, sand volleyball and special deals on food and drinks.

Pioneer Power Sprint When: July 28, 6:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. Where: 1600 N. Bell Ave., Denton Hosted by the Texas Woman’s University soccer team, this event, which is in its 12th year, includes a sprint triathlon with a 3.1-mile run, a 16.1-mile bike ride and a 200-yard swim. During the first 11 years of this sprint, more than 3,600 athletes participated. Profits raised go toward the TWU soccer team.

Old College Tri When: August 18 Where: Denton Natatorium and Water Works Park, 2400 Long Road, Denton Are you in the same shape you were in college? Want to find out? Test your skills and support your Texas alma mater by participating in a 250-yard swim, a 12-mile bike ride and a flat 5K.

Best of the Best Tri When: November 3 Where: Denton Natatorium and Water Works Park, 2400 Long Road, Denton If you are a top 16 finisher in your age group at a 2019 Dallas Athletes Racing Event, you will qualify for this “sweet 16 finish,” featuring the best athletes in town.

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health&wellness Barbara Greene has been helping to keep Denton County seniors active for 25 years.

Keep On Movin’ all ages

How Denton County residents are staying active, involved and fit well into their golden years


early 100 senior citizens exercise alongside renowned fitness coach Barbara Greene while she energetically talks them through her carefully choreographed routines. Cassettes send energetic music through a boombox, bouncing “Pennsylvania 6-5000” and


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“The Purple People Eater” off the walls of the Denton Senior Center. Greene, 88, has been volunteering as an instructor for 25 years at the senior center alone and has no plans of stopping anytime soon. Her class involves low-impact aerobics, all of which can be

done while seated in order to accommodate less stable students. Alicia McDaniel, 43, and Carin Schaab, 40, serve as fitness recreation supervisor and recreation coordinator for Denton Parks and Recreation department, respectively. Both agree that Greene’s work is

supported by leading research into senior fitness. Seniors in Greene’s class work on joint mobility, flexibility, muscular endurance, cardiovascular health and increasing bone density, “and they’re still sitting in the chair,” McDaniel says. When Greene talks about her class, she focuses on a few basic themes: Staying active is for everybody, staying social is good for your health, and fitness is perhaps the most important single aspect to our general health. “I have probably quite a few people that come that wouldn’t get out of their pajamas all day if it wasn’t for this class,” Greene says. According to the National

Institute on Aging, “Several research studies have shown a strong correlation between social interaction and health and well-being among older adults and have suggested that social isolation may have significant adverse effects for older adults.” It might strike some as odd, but seated stretches and toetouches with Greene could be drastically extending the lives of attending seniors, as well as improving the quality of their lives, even if they hadn’t been active before joining her class. According to research published in the journal Health Education Research, “It has been well documented that regular exercise and good nutrition can have a positive

effect on the progression of disease and functional status in older adults, even when these behavioral changes are initiated in old age.” Misty Gold, 65, is a recent addition to Greene’s list of regular students. Following rehab for back and neck surgery, her doctor recommended she start attending around two months ago. “And I’m going to keep coming, even when I don’t need it,” Gold says. Stories like Gold’s are told frequently at the Denton Senior Center. Few exercises demonstrated by Greene need to be done in a group, but the social aspect of the class keeps people coming back day after day.

“There are people that have been in my class over the years that tell me, ‘I would have been dead and buried a long time ago if it weren’t for this class,’” Greene says. While Greene is one of a kind, classes like hers aren’t. Fitness courses and games for seniors are available through most senior fitness centers around Denton County, including Flower Mound and Justin. If senior centers aren’t quite your speed, insurance companies are increasingly helping to subsidize individual gym memberships and classes. One such participating program is Silver Sneakers, which has dozens of participating locations across Denton County.

Greene's students see both social and physical benefits.

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Standing WATCH parenting

A Denton County alliance promotes mental health resources for children of all ages.

i Artist Jordyn (age 8) and her award-winning piece “Sad Times” at the 2018 Art Gallery on the Denton County Square


t’s easy for parents and caregivers to feel overwhelmed and uncertain about where and when to seek assistance for children’s mental health issues. For example, is what you’re seeing normal adolescent behavior or the sign of a more serious problem that could interfere with schoolwork or social situations? Is your child

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having trouble coping with bullies or peer pressure at school? It can be difficult to tell. The Wellness Alliance for Total Children’s Health (WATCH) of Denton County is here to help. The group increases awareness of resources that can help young people and their families with mental health issues. To do this, it unites professionals from both the public and private sectors across a range of backgrounds and specialties in the hopes of serving as many families as possible. “What we’ve seen is the community coming together. We know we can’t do it alone. We have to do it together,” says Courtney Barnard, manager of child wellness at the Center for Children’s Health led by Cook Children’s. The group is not a direct-service provider, but it does host wellness workshops on topics such as anxiety and bullying, continuing-education courses, a website and more. The website ( is a great starting point for parents or caregivers who are looking for ways to help a struggling child. It includes advice on how parents and guardians can model good behavior and positive coping strategies. It also includes articles on age-appropriate ways to

discuss common topics such as depression, isolation and thoughts of suicide. Teens and kids themselves can visit the website to find articles on the issues they face. They’ll find information on issues such as dealing with rumors, breakups, drug and alcohol issues, bullies, friends who cut, sexual pressure, anger and many other common concerns. With the wide range of needs in the county, WATCH wants each child to find personalized care that works for them. “Different age kids have different needs for mental health,” Barnard says. She says that educating about what mental health is not — it’s not a weakness of character or a behavioral choice — and reducing the stigma of mental health are some of the organization’s other priorities. One way it does this is by sponsoring a countywide art contest each year. The contest’s theme of “My Feelings Are a Work of Art” encourages kids to express themselves as a way to draw attention to mental health and foster compassion among young people. Barnard hopes that this increase in awareness may mean that one day “mental health challenges will receive the same amount of care as physical issues.”

Taylor (age 14) created this piece called "Behind the Mask of My Skin," which was submitted for the 2017 Youth Art Contest. Taylor says, "This artwork expresses how our skin is our curtain or mask that hides the trapped feeling we hold on the inside."

Artist Jocelyn (age 16) displays her award-winning piece, “Tunnel Vision,” at the 2018 Art Gallery on the Denton County Square.

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Train of Thought

We asked six local trainers what their jobs are really like and heard about broken toes, lying gym equipment and the challenges of the Biggest Loser mentality.

trainer faq


eing a personal trainer may seem glamorous. They’re in good shape. They’re charismatic. They have a career that allows them to work out all day. But it’s not always a walk in the park… or on the treadmill. We spoke to four Denton County trainers to ask them what their jobs are really like. Our esteemed panel:

Karen Fortune personal trainer and instructor of pilates, aerial yoga and total barre classes at Twisted Bodies

Heidi Axelrod owner of Over 40 Personal Training in Flower Mound

Jason Doherty founder of CrossFit Gonzo in Denton

Lindsay Jackson owner of Denton’s OptimaFitness Studio

Scott Wissel Flower Mound-based personal trainer

Bill Sullivan personal trainer and owner of Denton Health & Fitness


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What’s the toughest part of being a trainer? Fortune says it can be hard to find time to keep up with your own health goals as a trainer. “I spend a lot of my time training everyone else. When I'm not, I'm attending continuing education courses. Pairing that with being a mom and wife, time for myself is usually at the bottom of the list.” Sullivan: “The toughest

part of my job is changing behavior from sedentary to a lifestyle of fitness and wellbeing in people. It’s also the most rewarding to see them accomplish the mission.”

Axelrod: “The toughest part

of my job is the Biggest Loser mentality, in which people expect to lose five-plus pounds a week. It rarely works like that. True weight loss, or fat loss, takes time.”

Doherty: “Understanding

what motivates each individual. That, coupled with managing expectations. Sometimes clients want it to all happen now and they don’t really enjoy the process. Small successes must be celebrated.”

So what do you say to those people who are frustrated that they’re not progressing fast enough?

goals along the way so they can see improvements that align with the final goal. A short-term goal might be following a meal plan for one week. If that is completed consistently, you should expect the scale to go down. Focus on the little things, and the big goals will take care of themselves. A pound or two a week is best in my opinion.”

Workout machines are always telling us that we’re burning a ton of calories. Should we trust that? Jackson says you may get a general idea of what you’re burning, but it won’t be 100 percent accurate. That’s because if a beginner and an athlete are on a treadmill, walking or running at the same speed and incline, the beginner will be working harder and burning more calories. The fitter you become, the fewer calories you’ll end up burning. “[The same] goes for age,” she said. “Typically, as you age, you will not burn the same amount of calories for performing the same activity as you did when you were a teen. Machines also do not measure efficiency of movement. The more efficient you become during exercise and the better form you have, [the fewer calories you will] burn.”

What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s happened while you were training? Jackson: “I have embarrassed myself on more than one occasion, and there is almost nothing funnier than watching your trainer mess up or take a spill. During a session, I was watching a client perform walking lunges. As they lunged forward, I was walking backward so that I could see their form from the front. You can see where this is going. Not paying attention to what was behind me, I stepped and tripped on a bosu ball (a half stability ball that sits on the ground), bounced off of it and landed directly on a tractor tire that was behind it. We all had a good laugh.”

Have you ever been actually injured in the line of duty? Axelrod: “I once had a client

on an assisted pull-up. Extra weight plates were held on the side of the apparatus. My client was really pounding out her pull-ups when one of the extra weight plates, which weighed 45 pounds, inched off the bar and fell on the top of my foot. I was in shock at first, but I continued training the client for the next 30 minutes, trying not to think about the pain. Turns out I broke three toes clean off!"

Which matters more: exercise or diet? If you work out with a trainer, can’t you just burn off those extra calories? Jackson says that if you want to lose weight, nutrition is 70 percent of the picture. If you just exercise, you will see results at first. “However, it is likely that you will plateau at a certain point if eating habits remain the same as they were when you were maintaining your weight. Eating real, whole, unprocessed foods will help you have better energy, and therefore [you’ll] be able to perform better during your workout.”

How do you decide what a client should be doing? Doherty: “Every client

comes with their own unique capabilities. My approach is to observe them, understand their goals and then map out a plan of action. I teach movement not movements. Helping them understand their body’s capabilities — as well as its limitations — empowers my clients to own their fitness.”

Wissel: “If you’re trying to lose weight, you would probably have a different type of workout than an athlete trying to gain weight. You have to know what your goals are.”

Axelrod: “It’s important for

clients to establish short-term J A N UA R Y/ F E B R UA R Y 2 0 1 9 D E N T O N CO U N T Y


health&wellness Jackson stresses that whether you’re doing cardio or weightlifting exercises, you need to ensure that you are balanced and have the proper form. “If all muscles aren’t firing properly, you may not be getting the most out of the movement that you could be, as well as causing potential injury from repetitively performing an exercise improperly.”

What happens when they hit a stumbling block? Wissel: “The biggest thing that slows people down a bit is when life stuff is happening. They are not feeling well, they’re on vacation or it’s a holiday. If you can get right back on track once you’re

feeling better, usually there isn’t a lot of lag time with your progress.”

What about people who are out of shape, older or injured? Axelrod: I cater to people

over 40 because I am one. I’m 50 to be exact. I understand what the body is capable of at that age, but at the same time what limitations begin to show up as we age. We can head off these limitations by movement and strength training. My training helps me use a variety of modalities to work around people’s limitations, like certain types of injuries, and get them moving again. Anyone can do anything they want;

they just have to put in the work. It takes making and following, 80 percent of the time, a weekly meal plan and consistently making workout appointments.

How do you keep clients motivated? Wissel says, “The main thing

is to get the most amount of progress possible as quick as possible. That keeps the fire and the motivation going. Clients are believing it and seeing what works for them. The results are what will continue to help them stay motivated.”

Doherty: “[E]veryone has the opportunity, each day, to make decisions that affect their health in a positive

or negative way. [Personal training] doesn’t have to be a drastic lifestyle switch. It can happen over time. But there are no short cuts, just hard work. Improve a little each day and you’ll improve a lot over time. Everyone can do it.”

Can you share a favorite success story? Axelrod: “I have a client

who lost 100 pounds at age 70. Guess what she did for her 70th birthday? Snow tubing in Colorado! And she’s had two knee replacements. She never used them as an excuse. Anyone can improve their lifestyle; they just have to put in the work.


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SPEAKING UP UNT’s Kuehne Speaker Series raises funds for the university and boosts the school’s profile with world-class presenters. BY KYLIE ORA LOBELL


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Left to right: Ryan CEO Brint Ryan, October 2018 speaker Alan Dershowitz (see sidebar), UNT Chancellor Lesa Roe, Kuehne Speaker Series Founder Ernie Kuehne and UNT President Neal Smatresk

Top photo by Gary Donihoo with f8Studio; Bottom photo by Michael Clements


hen Ernie Kuehne started the Kuehne Speaker Series at UNT five years ago, he expected to lose money on it for a while, and that was fine with him. “I was going to support it and let everyone know who we are,” says the UNT alum. “We are not just some little school 25 miles north of Dallas.” Eventually, he hoped that bringing in “speakers that get people thinking” would boost the public image of the university and raise funds for his alma mater. Kuehne, who is president and board chairman of Kuehne Oil Co., fundraised $300,000 in 2013 for the first speaker: Chairman of the U.S. Naval Institute Admiral James Stavridis. While there were fewer than 100 people in attendance at that first event, according David Broughton, executive director of strategic fundraising initiatives for the speaker series, it was the start of something very big.

Free Speech Is Alive and Well

Today, the twice-a-year speaker series has raised millions of dollars for UNT. The events sell out and draw between 600 and 700 people to listen to speakers such as Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump Jr., Fox news personality Andrea Tantaros and Mesa Petroleum founder T. Boone Pickens.

At the most recent event in November, Alan Dershowitz — who has had a legendary career as one of the top criminal lawyers in the world — spoke about today’s political landscape, civil liberties, immigration policy and intolerance on the left and the right. Broughton says Dershowitz was “one of the most intellectual and fairest people I’ve ever heard speak in my life. The takeaway I had was that there is intolerance for others’ viewpoints. If only we had more tolerance and communication, both sides would win out.” Kuehne was also impressed with the latest speaker, calling it a “very balanced lecture.” He says, “I try to bring in speakers to discuss both sides of all issues. I want to be fair. I’m a person who wants to listen to what everybody else has to say.” When selecting speakers for the popular event, Kuehne and UNT search for leaders who are relevant on a national and global level. They also look for those who will be both interesting to the audience and willing to speak about hot topics in the modern age. “We try to find the right people who we think will be interesting to our alum and constituents to the university,” says G. Brint Ryan, founder and CEO of Ryan and presenting sponsor of the series. UNT President Neal Smatresk says,

FOX News analyst Andrea Tantaros spoke at Kuehne Speaker Series on the UNT campus in Dallas in May 2015.

“[We want to] have brilliant speakers who can shine a light on what’s happening in America and around the world today.” Smatresk says the speaker series is especially critical in a time when universities “are continuously criticized for only hearing one side of the story on campus. We are creating opportunities for deep, meaningful engagement and hearing all the sides of the story. That’s what

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A Gamble Pays Off

The series “has been a major draw to the university,” says Smatresk. “It brings the university a tremendous amount of influence because of the high quality of our speakers.” Those speakers draw attendees and donors from across the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, about a third of whom are not UNT graduates. Thanks to consistently

high attendance, national and international media coverage and high profile speakers, the series has been able to raise $2.2 million in an endowment for the university. With that money, it has provided $50,000 in student scholarships. Broughton says that the scholarship fund is one of several great benefits of the series: “It builds the brand and the notoriety of UNT. It [also] gives our Dallas alumni an engagement platform and pride in the university. It’s now a scholarship funding series, which is probably the most important thing.”

University of North Texas Division of Advancement event “Conversation With Kimberly Guilfoyle” was held on Wednesday, May 18, 2016 in Denton.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani spoke on “Principled Leadership: In the Face of Change and Crisis” at the Kuehne Speaker Series in October 2016.


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FREE SPEECH IS ALIVE & WELL AT UNT. Back in December 2013, Ernie Kuehne had no guarantees that the series he was starting would end up being this successful. He put $300,000 forward to start the series and later raised an additional $1.5 million to ensure sustainability. It was a risk, but a risk that was important to him. Getting UNT the recognition he knows it deserves is a personal mission for Kuehne, who received his undergraduate degree in political science from the school in 1966. He has been extremely committed to his alma mater over the years, raising more than $15 million for athletics, the Kristin Farmer Autism Center, logistics and the speaker series. He loves many things about UNT but says that he especially admires that they were among the first universities in Texas to desegregate. “I was a child of segregation but quickly changed my thinking after being a student [at UNT] for 30 days. It was a pretty sobering experience to be taught a lot of things as a young person and then you get out and see things on your own. The university changed my life.” Today, Kuehne is proud of how much the university has grown (there are currently 38,000 students) and how well its programs rank. UNT, he says, is known for its teachers college, but there is so much more to it. “[UNT has] a great story and I wanted to tell it.”

Top photo by Gary Payne/UNT Photo; bottom photo by Michael Clements

universities need to be about.” Kuehne says he was especially proud when Dershowitz, who has faced problems at other universities, said that “free speech is alive and well at UNT.”


Top photo by Gary Donihoo with f8Studio; bottom photo by Ahna Hubnik/UNT

Alan Dershowitz, the latest speaker in the Kuehne Speaker Series, is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus at Harvard Law School. He grew up in Brooklyn, attended Brooklyn College and Yale Law School and started as a faculty member at Harvard when he was just 25 years old. He is considered one of the best criminal lawyers in the world with a client list that includes O.J. Simpson, Patty Hearst, Mike Tyson, Julian Assange and Roman Polanski. His areas of focus are civil liberties law and civil rights. Dershowitz is also a prolific writer who has sold more than 1 million books worldwide and has written more than 1,000 articles for publications like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Harvard Law Review. Dershowitz is known as a staunch defender of Israel and published a 2003 book called The Case for Israel. He received the William O. Douglas First Amendment Award from the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith and honorary doctor of law degrees from Tel Aviv University, Brooklyn College, Yeshiva University and Haifa University. In addition to law, Dershowitz has taught classes on philosophy, literature, sports and psychology. His wife is PhD psychologist Carolyn Cohen, and he has three children and two grandchildren.

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The Future of the Series

Now that the speaker series has proven to be a hit, Kuehne and his team are looking to the future. Within five years, Ryan said he wants to increase the endowment to $5 million. Broughton says they also want to give out $250,000 a year in student scholarships. The next speaker on the roster is Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on March 6. Other speakers on Kuehne’s short list of dream speakers include Bill Clinton, Michelle Obama, Richard Branson, Elon Musk and Anderson Cooper. “I’d like to see us continue to attract

really A-list speakers,” says Ryan. Since the series has done so well, Kuehne wants to ensure it continues to help the university in the future. He says that UNT representatives told him that, “The speaker series is worth millions of dollars in PR to the university. We’ve put ourselves in the position to help students. It was a long shot when we started.” Brint adds, “[The series] has been far more successful than anything we could have imagined. We’ve done a lot to bring awareness in the DFW metroplex to UNT, its mission and what we’re doing.”

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The Denton Black Film Festival celebrates diversity with stories that are both unique and universal. Thousands will gather in January for films, visual art, spoken word, live music and more. BY LESLIE J. THOMPSON


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ov i e s. Music. Comedy. Poetry. Artists tell their stories in myriad ways, and each person’s narrative is colored by the traditions, ideas and experiences that surround them. As unique as these stories may be, however, common themes inevitably appea r. The longing for acceptance, the desire for security, the expression of joy — these feelings are universal. The Denton Black Film Festival (DBFF) shines a spotlight on our shared humanity as it brings to life black culture. “The common thread is that we’re all different,” says Harry Eaddy, who conceived the event after he and his wife, Linda, attended another film festival in the area. Eaddy presented the idea to Cheylon Brown and Mesha George, two friends with deep ties to Denton, and the trio put the wheels in motion to launch a showcase of black cinema. The first festival featured 13 films selected by invitation and attracted 800 attendees, confirming the need for an event of this kind. True to its mission to entertain, educate and inspire, proceeds from the DBFF went toward scholarships for local students in the black community through the Denton African-American Scholarship Foundation, the festival’s founding sponsor. Five years later, the Denton Black Film Festival has grown in both scope and impact. This year’s event, which takes place from January

23 to 27, encompasses five days of film, music, art, comedy and spoken word from both newcomers and established artists. “While film is our anchor and our core, we wanted to provide some other cultural content for people,” says Linda Eaddy, DBFF Director of Film. “We also realized there’s a lot of social justice issues that we want to be able to discuss,” and the festival provides a safe forum in which to have those conversations, she says.

Art in Its Many Forms More than 60 films will be screened at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema during this year’s festival, kicking off with the 1959 classic Imitation of Life to celebrate the achievements of Academy Award–nominee Juanita Moore. The film, which dealt with issues of race and class, also features legendary actresses Lana Turner, Sandra Dee and Susan Kohner. In addition to dozens of documentaries, short films and narrative features, attendees can enjoy everything from poetry slams and panel discussions to comedy performances, food tastings, art exhibits, workshops and vendor expos at venues throughout Denton. Organizers expect the five-day event to draw between 6,000 to 8,000 visitors, the majority of whom come from the DFW area. “People in general don’t quite get what a film festival is sometimes, but when you add in other things, like music and spoken word and even visual arts, it gets people to come,” says Frederick “Nick” Nichelson, who oversees both the music and spoken word programs for DBFF.

The COMMON thread is that we’re all DIFFERENT.

Grammy-winning jazz saxophonist Kirk Whalum (top), best known for his solo in Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” will close out this year’s festival. Soul/jazz singer Frank McComb (bottom) — who has collaborated wit h artists such as Prince and Chaka Khan — wowed crowds at the 2018 DBFF.

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Everybody has a story, and EVERYBODY DESERVES the opportunity to tell their story.

The spoken word open mic event is open to everyone from microphone virgins to poetry veterans and takes place on Friday, January 25. Immediately afterward, national talents show off their skills at the poetry slam hosted by the multi-talented artist Verb Kulture.


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Events like the popular poetry slam attract a younger demographic, he notes, and also help break down unseen barriers between students at UNT and local residents. “A lot of people in Denton tend to not cross-pollinate between the community and the university,” says Nichelson, who will also be performing with his band Fingerprints at this year’s festival. “We have torn down a lot of walls already in the past four years, but we still have a lot of work to do in terms of people being totally comfortable going between the two worlds.” Fostering these connections is part of DBFF’s overriding mission and is key to the event’s future success. “This festival is extremely necessary

in building community, and vital in how we want to grow not only in the DFW area, but as a country where black stories need to be told and highlighted,” says Eboni Johnson, DBFF Director of Workshops and Panels. The films, music and art showcased at the Denton Black Film Festival represent wide-ranging cultural perspectives. Unlike similar events that appeal to a specific demographic, such as female filmmakers or LGBTQ artists, DBFF aims to reach beyond the boundaries of race, age and gender. “Having the breadth of all those different voices is important in trying to educate one another,” says Johnson. “It’s important that we always recognize the diversity, even within a

community. This festival allows that to happen in a positive manner and a respectful space of collaboration.”

Personal Stories The foundation of DBFF is built on the narratives that explore black culture, addressing issues of tradition, identity and equality. For Reginald Titus, Jr., director of Natural Hair: The Movie (, inspiration came from his wife’s decision to undergo what he calls “the big chop.” Tired of spending time and money to straighten her hair with chemical relaxers, one day, Ashanti Titus picked up a pair of scissors and cut it all off. In the process of growing out her natural curls, she discovered how hair can reflect a person’s individuality and how society views black hair. She pitched the idea of a documentary to her husband, and they started production the following year. “I wasn’t sure how to approach it, how we were going to tell the story,” says Reginald, who owns the Dallas-based marketing company Grind Over Matter TV. After watching Indy Game: The Movie, he had his answer, and the couple began reaching out to the community to find individuals who could speak to the subject of black hair. The finished film includes interviews with people like Mahisha Dellinger, Frisco-based CEO and founder of the natural hair brand Curls; Isis Brantley, a master natural hair stylist who once was arrested for braiding hair without a cosmetology license; and Dr. Tina Opie, associate professor at Babson

College, who discusses the risks that corporations face when developing policies that constrain employees’ choice of hairstyle. “We’re talking about hair, but we’re talking about psychology,” says Titus, adding that his team recently partnered with a company to get the documentary into educational institutions. “The biggest takeaway is that we want women to feel empowered. We want young girls and women to feel confident and have a positive self-image, regardless of how they wear their hair."

Exploring Bias Although the black experience is at the heart of the event, the movies showcased at the DBFF are not limited to black filmmakers. In the documentary feature Bias (biasfilm. com), producer/director Robin Hauser — a self-described “privileged white woman” — explores her own and other people’s tacit preconceptions about race and how to elicit change. “It’s a film about how unconscious bias affects us socially and in the workplace,” explains Hauser, a full-time filmmaker based in northern California. Much of the documentary centers around the Harvard-based Implicit Association Test, an assessment designed to measure the automatic, unconscious associations that we make concerning things like age, race and gender roles. At one point in the film, Hauser herself takes the test, which reveals that she has a strong association for women and family, rather than women and career.

Natural Hair: The Movie showcases women of color as they face and overcome societal judgment about their natural hair. Among those interviewed are Curls CEO/Founder Mahisha Dellinger (middle) and master stylist Isis Brantley, who once was arrested for braiding.

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“That was really embarrassing and shocking to me, because I’m a feminist,” she says. The assessment also revealed that she unconsciously associates black Americans and harmful objects, which likewise came as an unwelcome surprise. “I’m not consciously racist and I don’t believe I’m racist, but my results are aligned with the majority [of people] in the United States,” Hauser notes. Social media and societal messaging are primarily to blame, she says, but identifying the root of our preconceptions is only half the battle. The key is how we can use this information for positive change. In support of this effort, the Denton Black Film Festival is hosting a special Implicit Bias workshop for community leaders following the film’s screening. The invitation-only event will be facilitated by Phil Claybrooke, co-founder and CEO of Metrics2Results, Inc. (M2R), a Dallas-based business consulting firm. In the same vein, Hauser leveraged the film’s timely subject matter to fund production of the documentary. “It’s so difficult for filmmakers to raise money, and I was turned down for every public grant that I applied for,” she says. Drawing on her past experience in the financial services industry, she approached corporate sponsors, with the caveat that they would not have creative control. “It seemed to me that the tech world should care that a lack

of diversity and unconscious bias could be harmful for their own work environment, and maybe they would be interested in funding a film like this,” she says. The response was overwhelming, with corporations like Dell, IBM, Erickson and Adobe jumping on board. Since its debut in 2018, Bias already has been screened at a dozen film festivals nationwide, helping to raise awareness and foster change.

Rising Stars and New Talent On the other end of the spectrum, DBFF provides a vital forum for newcomers to present their work and share ideas with people in the industry. One such rising star is Ciara Boniface, a senior in the Media Arts program at UNT, who recently won the Next Visionary Filmmaker contest sponsored by Disney and Nissan with her short film, Skintight. “Film festivals are a good way to network and meet different filmmakers, and also connect with an audience that you may not have had before,” says Boniface, who received a $100,000 prize and invitation to the Hollywood premiere of A Wrinkle in Time after winning the nationwide contest. The talented writer/director got her start in film at age 11 by making home movies of herself skateboarding and editing footage on her grandmother’s computer. She plans to use her recent winnings

Bias challenges viewers to confront their hidden biases. At DBFF, a workshop will use Harvard’s Implicit Association Test to reveal community leaders’ unconscious preferences. At bottom, Director Robin Hauser undergoes deadly force decision training in WSU Spokane’s Counter-Bias Training Simulator.


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HIGHLIGHTS & TICKETS In addition to more than 60 film screenings, highlights at this year’s Denton Black Film Festival include: Grammy winning music headliner Kirk Whalum performing in concert with the University of North Texas One O’Clock Lab Band at the Murchison Performing Arts Center on January 27, 2019. Doors open at 5 p.m. The art exhibit Life Stories Told Through Quilts: The Quilts of Barbara McCraw at the Patterson-Appleton Arts Center’s Gough Gallery. This exhibit runs through February 15 and is free. My Genesis fiber art exhibit by UNT graduate student Taylor Barnes at UNT on the Square through February 14, 2019. This is a free exhibit. Individual tickets and VIP Experience passes for the festival are on sale now at “It’s worth the experience to not only appreciate art and film in an independent form, but to appreciate the community,” says Eboni Johnson, DBFF Director of Workshops and Panels. “Come out, and you’re going to find something that you enjoy.”

Morgan Calhoun (top) stars in Ciara Boniface’s Skintight. Boniface won the Next Visionary Filmmaker contest sponsored by Nissan and Disney with this short horror-thriller about a young black woman who is stalked by a cult in a small Texas town.

to make a full-length version of Skintight, a horror-thriller about a young black woman who discovers she is being followed by a cult after arriving in a small Texas town. “It’s about using genre to create a message on society, specifically on how black women are treated by white women,” says Boniface. “It touches on issues going on today, and the differences between the races and genders.” To further support the artistic endeavors of up-and-comers like Boniface, DBFF organizers plan to launch the Institute for Creatives later this year. Dedicated to finding and developing emerging talent, the institute will host panels and workshops year-round, along with networking events that connect storytellers to one another and help them find an

audience for their work. “Everybody has a story, and everybody deserves the opportunity to tell their story,” says Johnson, noting that while there are abundant resources for filmmakers on both coasts, fewer opportunities exist in the center of the country. Considering that Dallas is the fifth largest media market in the U.S., Denton Black Film Festival and the forthcoming institute are well situated to foster mentorship and development opportunities. The hope is to provide a platform for new voices, and continue to foster dialog both within the local community and around the world. Johnson says, “The festival, and especially the institute, is playing off that need in developing individuals into great storytellers.” J A N UA R Y/ F E B R UA R Y 2 0 1 9 D E N T O N CO U N T Y



Open for Business


Common Wealth by Oddbird Co.

xciting businesses are always opening in our growing county. Welcome these new businesses to our community by paying them a visit.

Stacks Biscuit House, 310 S. Oak St., Roanoke, stacksbiscuits. com. This new destination for “comfort food with a twist” opened in November to rave reviews from diners. Make your own creation by stacking any number of veggies, meats, cheeses and sauces on top of a buttermilk or jalapeño cheddar biscuit, or try one of the salads, benedicts or sandwiches straight off the menu. In a hurry? Call ahead and pick up curbside. Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton’s fifth floor is open with 33 adult beds for post-operative surgical patients, including five bariatric rooms, and a 16-bed neonatal intensive care unit with private rooms that allow parents to spend more time with their babies. The 30,000-square-foot project cost $23

million and took a little less than a year. The floor also includes a private milk-pumping room, lighting to maintain circadian rhythms for infants and central monitoring of vital signs. Common Wealth by Oddbird Co., 118 Cedar St., Denton. This new addition to downtown Denton offers towels, robes, pajamas, pillows and more from Oddbird — a luxurious brand established by Common Wealth owner Ceren Lee in 2015. You can also stop in for bath, body and skincare products as well as locally made ceramics and chocolates. The products are ethically sourced, small-batch and sustainable. Mud Pie, 4081 Waller Creek, Highland Village, This popular Frisco boutique has opened a second location in Highland Village. Stop in for ladies fashions, baby and toddler clothing, home décor and more.

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The DIME Store, 118 E. McKinney St., Denton, dimehandmade. com. This favorite stop for hand-made goods created by local makers has moved to a new location a block off of the square. Sweetwater Grill & Tavern, 115 S. Elm St., Denton, If you miss the original Sweetwater — which opened in 1996 and was sold by owners Karen and Jimmy Meredith in 2014 — you’ll be thrilled to hear that it’s back. The menu isn’t exactly the same, but many of the classics remain. Go on the right night, and you’ll also hear the original Sweetwater Jazz Quartet.

Hillside Fine Grill

The Dive, 3350 Unicorn Lake Blvd., Denton, Lloyd Banks, owner of Rockin’ Rodeo, has opened this new bar and restaurant. Rockin’ Rodeo closed last year, but The Dive’s Rockin’ Rodeo Saturday nights will help regulars relive the great times they had at their old favorite haunt. The Dive is also a family-friendly restaurant with a diverse menu and a dogfriendly patio overlooking the lake.

Hillside Fine Grill, 3140 FM 407, Highland Village, This new Highland Village restaurant strives to provide a memorable dining experience with a menu of made-fromscratch options from Executive Chef Abraham Maldonado. The menu includes steaks, seafood, ribs, pastas and more, and an extensive wine list is available.

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Life Stories Told Through Quilts

When: Ongoing through February 15 Where: Gough Gallery, PattersonAppleton Arts Center, 400 E. Hickory St., Denton Barbara McCraw has made magnificent quilts of African-American leaders including the Obamas, Bishop Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela, and now this world-renowned master quilter has brought her work to Denton. You may have seen her quilts previously at the Smithsonian, the Denton County Courthouse-on-the Square Museum or the Denton County African American Museum. Her exhibition is a partnership between the Greater Denton Arts Council

and the Denton Black Film Festival. Catch the show in January or take your family there to celebrate Black History Month. The Patterson-Appleton Arts Center is open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tickets are free.

Healing the Old Way!

FaceDown at Firehouse 52

When: January 5, 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. Where: Firehouse 52 Bar And Grill, 26781 US-380, Aubrey Grab some famous Firehouse 52 hot wings and a glass of cold beer and rock out to FaceDown, a Dallas-based rock cover band. They play a mix of the greatest music of the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, including songs from Pink Floyd and Sister Hazel. Get nostalgic, support local music and fill your stomach with delicious grub. What could be better?

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26th Annual Celebration Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

When: January 14, 6:30 p.m. Where: Marcus High School Auditorium, 5707 Morriss Road, Flower Mound Take the whole family to the 26th Annual Celebration Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, which celebrates the life of the monumental civil rights fighter. Educate your kids while learning new information about Dr. King yourself. This event is free and features a keynote speaker and live entertainment.

Hungrytown at Krum Public Library

When: January 17 at 6:30 p.m. Where: Krum Public Library, 815 E McCart St, Krum Vermont-based musicians Hungrytown will be gracing the Krum Public Library to play their signature folk sound. The duo, Rebecca Hall and Ken Anderson, have been together since 2003, and their music has appeared on Portlandia, The Daily Show and Lady Dynamite. Admission is free.

Knitting & Crochet (UFOs - UnFinished Objects)

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When: January 19 and February 16, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Where: Sanger Public Library, 501 Bolivar St, Sanger Whether you’re a beginning knitter or you’ve been stitchin’ for years, join the UFOs — UnFinished Objects group — at

the Sanger Public Library on the third Saturday of every month for knitting club. Spend your relaxing weekend afternoon knitting a scarf for a loved one for Valentine’s Day or a comfy shrug for early spring.

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Adoptions/Low-Cost Vaccine Clinic

When: January 20, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Where: Apollo Support & Rescue for Abandoned Dogs, 1170 Dove Hill Rd, Justin If one of your goals in the New Year is to rescue a loving pup, head down to Apollo Support & Rescue to welcome a new best friend to your family. A number of low-cost services will be available for your dog, including $10 vaccinations, $20 microchipping and $15 to $20 flea and tick treatment.

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Some goodbyes are more TAMS Fair

When: January 26, 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Where: UNT University Union, 1155 Union Cir, Denton You may love The Big Bang Theory, but are you really into science and math? If so, go and support the students of Texas Academy of Math and Science at their first-ever interdisciplinary student showcase, TAMS Fair. Learn about molecular biology, economics, cybersecurity and music composition, and see how students are tackling real-world problems with their projects. The family-friendly event is free.

Difficult than others.

J A N UA R Y/ F E B R UA R Y 2 0 1 9 D E N T O N CO U N T Y




Pagan Pop-Up

When: January 27, 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Where: Armadillo Ale Works, 221 S Bell Ave, Denton Are you a pagan? Do you want to meet your fellow pagans around Denton? Then attend volume one of Pagan Pop-Up, an event that’s set to be both mystical and spiritual. At this family-friendly gathering, you can have your tarot cards read, listen to live music, chow down on tasty smoked BBQ, partake in live screen-printing and explore the more than 20 vendors that will be in attendance.

Corinth Daddy Daughter Dance When: February 2, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Where: Global Spheres Center, 7801 S. Stemmons Fwy., Corinth Fathers and daughters can spend some quality time together, dancing the day away at the annual Corinth Daddy

Daughter Dance. This year’s theme is Candy Land, which means that the Global Spheres Center will be decked out in amazing candy castles, gingerbread houses and more saccharine décor. There are two separate events to choose from: The informal dance is $18 per person, starts at 4 p.m. and includes light refreshments. The formal dance is $25 per person, begins at 7:30 p.m. and comes with dinner. You can also get professional photos taken, so you can remember this sweet event all year round.

basketball game. Admission is free for TWU students, faculty and staff. Otherwise, tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for teens (13 to 17) and seniors (55+) and free for kids 12 and under.

Texas Woman’s University vs. Texas A&M Commerce

When: February 14, 7 p .m. Where: Texas Woman's University, 1600 N. Bell Ave., Denton Are you a big sports fanatic and a supporter of your local teams? If you want to celebrate a sporty Valentine’s Day, attend the Texas Woman’s University vs. Texas A&M Commerce women’s




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Denton State of the City

When: January 17, 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Where: Embassy Suites by Hilton Denton Convention Center, 3100 Town Center Trail, Denton Join the Denton City Council, city staff members and community members to discuss Denton’s 2018 achievements and 2019 priorities. Mayor Chris Watts will give a presentation on growth and development, capital improvements and city goals.

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Beginning Hand Lettering

When: January 26, 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Where: Wildflower Art Studio, 715 N. Locust St., Denton Have you ever wanted to try your hand at lettering? Here’s your chance! At Wildflower’s most popular workshop, you’ll learn techniques ranging from vintage type to modern “faux” calligraphy. Beginners are welcome, and students will receive take-home info to keep learning after class is over. Wildflower is also hosting an Introduction to Drawing class on January 12, and hosts workshops and learning opportunities throughout the year. Visit for the latest events.

Sarah Jaffe

When: January 19, 7 p.m. Where: Dan’s Silver Leaf, 103 Industrial St., Denton Denton’s own Sarah Jaffe is a celebrated singer-songwriter who has won accolades such as Best Solo Act, Best Folk/Acoustic Act and Best Female Vocalist from the Dallas Observer. Her music touches genres ranging from pop and hip hop to acoustic folk and indie. Tickets are $18 in advance or $22 the day of the show.

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United Tribute

When: January 19, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Where: United Way of Denton County, 1314 Teasley Lane, Denton United Way of Denton County’s annual signature gala is not only an opportunity for this important organization to honor those who have helped them make such an impact in our community, it is also a wonderful night out. Entertainment includes the Dancing With Our Stars dance competition featuring performers nominated by the public.

Archery Adventure

When: January 12, 10:30 a.m. to noon Where: Roanoke Public Library, 308 S. Walnut St., Roanoke When it comes to fun, this event will hit the bull’s eye for the whole family. Join instructors from Cinnamon Creek Archery as they help attendees master the basics of archery. All equipment is

provided, and the class is free for ages 6 and up.

The Essential Bat

When: January 10, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Where: Flower Mound Public Library, 3030 Broadmoor Lane, Flower Mound As part of the ongoing “Wild About Flower Mound” series, sponsored by the Flower Mound Foundation, wildlife rehabilitator and Bat World Sanctuary’s Vice President of Operations Kate Rugroden will explore the mysteries and myths around these misunderstood animals. This fascinating and educational event is open to ages 10 and up.

Homesteading Series

When: January 8, February 5, March 5, April 2 Where: Sanger Public Library, 501 Bolivar St., Sanger Lean the basic skills of homesteading plus more at this monthly series. You’ll learn how to grow your own food, make mayonnaise and artisan bread, “start your own flock/herd,” preserve food and make hand-made products, no matter where you live.



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