Missed any of our articles from this week? Take a look at what you might have missed from Community Impact’s coverage areas in Houston from March 6-10.

Chef showcases seasonal creations at museum eatery Café Leonelli

Family inspiration is a driving force when it comes to the culinary influence behind Alexandra Garcia, Café Leonelli’s chef de cuisine and general manager. When she recalled the moments she spent at the table with her family growing up, she held back tears.

“I always like to say that my culinary career started with learning cooking with my family—my mom, my grandma, my aunts, my dad,” Garcia said. “It has always been there since I was a young child, just learning different recipes with them as we cook for the holidays and spend quality time together on Sundays.”

Following her dreams meant leaving her hometown of Harlingen and studying at the Art Institute of Houston. That led to working at different kitchens in the city, including 11 years at Italian American restaurant Maggiano’s Little Italy.

Read the full story by Reporter Melissa Enaje.

Officials break ground on new Covenant House campus for homeless youth in Montrose

Leaders with the city of Houston, Harris County and the Montrose nonprofit Covenant House gathered March 9 to celebrate the groundbreaking on a new Covenant House campus that will allow for a 50% increase in the number of homeless youth who can be sheltered.

Covenant House's former campus, located at the intersection of Lovett and Yoakum boulevards, was demolished in October, and the new campus will be located at the same site.

Kurt Nondorf, Covenant House's board development chair, said the new campus represents “the most significant transformation” in the nonprofit's 40-year history. An ongoing capital campaign has raised more than $41 million so far with a goal of raising $51 million.

Read the full story by Editor Shawn Arrajj.

Dirty Dough Cookies to debut layered treats at 12 Greater Houston-area stores

Utah-based company Dirty Dough Cookies is making its Greater Houston-area debut with four franchise locations slated to open this summer and eight additional stores coming soon after, Franchisee John Gilleland said March 9.

Three of the stores will open in June and be located at 5921 FM 2920, Ste. F, Spring; 4001 Bellaire Blvd., Ste. G, Houston; and 6920 S. Fry Road, Ste. J, Katy. A fourth store—to be located at 12020 FM 1960, Houston—will likely open later this year.

Read more by Reporter Emily Lincke.

Sugar Land Animal Advisory Board approves new policies on euthanization, sterilization

Six months after Sugar Land officials announced an investigation into the unauthorized euthanization of 38 dogs and cats at the city’s animal shelter, the Sugar Land Animal Advisory Board approved a set of policies on euthanization and sterilization.

The policies offer a step toward clarifying the shelter’s stance on euthanization and sterilization but are not a foolproof solution, city staff said.

Read more by Reporter Jack Dowling.

171-acre residential development planned for Waller

Oakwood Estates, a 171-acre master-planned community, is in the works at 21258 Field Store Road, Waller, said Nisha Ghosh, the director of investments for Ashton Gray Development, via email.

“We chose Waller because it is an emerging market along the Hwy. 290 corridor with great accessibility for commuters that want to live in a country atmosphere,” Ghosh said. “We believe this is one of the next areas beyond Cypress to be developed in the Greater Houston area. The proximity to Houston is attractive to those who work in the city, but it is secluded enough to still feel private. The site itself is also well-situated with easy highway access and proximity to schools.”

Read the full story by Reporter Lizzy Spangler.