Men Who Cook and local restaurants teaming up for Hope House and abused kids | St. Tammany community news

While demand for the services of a local center that combats child sexual abuse increased right along with COVID-19, the prospects for the big fundraiser the nonprofit Hope House depends on for half its budget appeared diminished.

At that point, supporters of the Children’s Advocacy Center-Hope House in Covington got creative.

The group has decided to pivot in order to bring the popular culinary competition (and Hope House fundraiser) “Men Who Cook” to a larger audience than what St. Tammany Parish residents are used to seeing, said Thomas Mitchell, the executive director of Hope House.

Instead of a traditional one-night event, celebrity chefs on the Men Who Cook 2020 Team will partner with more than 10 local restaurants between Oct. 5 and Nov. 8 to present “Hope House Weeks.”

Donations can be made on-site or online through Nov. 8 at

The restaurants will offer special deals for patrons who donate to help their celebrity chef compete for the Most Money Raised for Hope House award. And a panel of judges will sample a highlighted dish from each restaurant to determine the winner of the Judges’ Choice award.

It will be a win-win because it has been so been difficult for both nonprofits and restaurants during the coronavirus pandemic, Mitchell said. And he hopes the public will patronize the restaurants and the teams to help create more public awareness of Hope House.

“While there is a pandemic, there is also an epidemic of child sexual abuse,” Mitchell said. “We’re seeing greater numbers because kids are stuck at home or because parents have to rely on child care they otherwise would not have relied on before the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Children’s Advocacy Center-Hope House is the only agency in St. Tammany and Washington parishes that provides mandated forensic interviews for children when there are allegations of abuse.

The center does not investigate allegations on its own; there must be a law enforcement investigation, Mitchell said.

“There were 336 kids who came into the CAC in 2019 to disclose sexual abuse because of a pending investigation,” Mitchell said. “When the forensic recordings were used, 96.1% of those cases charged, resulted in convictions.”

From January through June, the CAC has already served 189 youth, which puts the group on track to surpass its 2019 sex abuse numbers.

Hope House provides a child-centered environment that houses a staff of eight and a multidisciplinary team with representatives from 12 other agencies who are part of the investigations.

Mitchell moved here from Tennessee to become the executive director three years ago and has since implemented a program of recovery for the young clients. Hope House can provide up to 12 or 16 months of free “trauma-focused counseling,” an evidence-based treatment program for PTSD and recovery from sexual abuse.

“We’re privileged to work with kids and see their recovery,” he said.

Mitchell also initiated a free education program to prevent child sexual abuse. The age-appropriate classes for youth in prekindergarten through high school is called Play it

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‘Please help,’ Spring Garden residents tell city leaders after quintuple shooting that killed 2 men

After Wednesday night’s quintuple shooting at Roberto Clemente Playground in Spring Garden, a woman e-mailed City Council President Darrell Clarke and the mayor. “I am writing yet again, less than a month since my last email, to beg for help,” she wrote. “The situation on and around Wallace St. is escalating. 55 shots fired tonight. In a children’s playground.”

a man standing next to a fence: The basketball courts at Roberto Clemente Playground are chained closed on Thursday morning at 18th and Wallace in Spring Garden section of Philadelphia, September 17, 2020. This was the scene of a Wednesday night quintuple shooting that killed two people.

© ALEJANDRO A. ALVAREZ/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS
The basketball courts at Roberto Clemente Playground are chained closed on Thursday morning at 18th and Wallace in Spring Garden section of Philadelphia, September 17, 2020. This was the scene of a Wednesday night quintuple shooting that killed two people.

It was the eighth shooting in Spring Garden this year. Three weeks ago, the woman had e-mailed Clarke after another Wallace Street incident.

“The expectation is we should be able to walk our streets without being shot,” she said Thursday, on the condition her name not be used for fear of retribution.

Wednesday night’s shooting on the 1800 block of Wallace was “what we were trying to avoid,” she said. “But we’re here now.”

Her concerns have been echoed by other residents in Spring Garden, a neighborhood with both economic and racial diversity, with gentrifying areas and blocks of deep poverty.

Gun violence has been a problem across Philadelphia this year. There have been 323 homicides in the city as of Wednesday night, a 32% increase from the same period last year, and more than the year-end homicide counts for almost every year from 2009 through 2017, according to police statistics.

There have been 1,475 shootings in the city as of Wednesday, a figure that exceeds the total year-end number of shootings from the last five years. From 2015 to 2017, there were about 1,250 shootings each year. In 2018, there were 1,401 shootings and 1,463 last year.

Kenney, in an e-mailed statement Thursday, said the city is “devastated” by a violent year, and “our hearts go out to the families of everyone affected by last night’s shooting.”

“We will continue to do everything we can do,” Clarke said in an interview, but one factor is an ongoing problem — “the availability of illegal weapons.”

In Wednesday’s shooting at the park’s basketball court, police responded about 8:10 p.m. to numerous 911 calls about gunfire. Two men, ages 18 and 21, had been fatally shot.

Surveillance video showed three assailants opening fire on a group of about 15 people, Chief Inspector Scott Small said. Police found 55 spent shell casings from two separate caliber firearms, he said.

Officers found 21-year-old Khalid Henderson, of the 1600 block of Wallace Street, unresponsive on the court and carried him to a 9th District patrol car. Before they left for the hospital, medics arrived and pronounced him dead at 8:25 p.m. in the backseat.

Police said an 18-year-old man, with gunshot wounds to his torso, was pronounced dead about two hours later. He was identified as Jayden Lucas, of Oxford Circle.

Three other men, one 18 and two others

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Police seek two men after “vicious, merciless” stabbing in the garden district

Toronto Police said Friday that they’re looking for the two suspects in an attack that officers called “brazen,” “vicious,” and “merciless.”

The incident happened around 11:30 p.m. on Aug. 28, in Toronto’s garden district, near O’Keefe Lane and Shuter Street.

According to surveillance footage provided, two men were seen attacking a third. One suspect wrestled the 25-year-old victim to the ground while the accomplice rushed in with what appeared to be a blade. The victim was then stabbed many times, as the initial attacker continued punching and kicking the man.

In an interview with the Star, police confirmed the man received “serious injuries,” but will recover.

“The investigators are trying to ascertain the relationship [between the three men], and also what led up to the actual altercation in the stabbing,” said police.

The two suspects were described as Black men, both in their early 20s. One was seen wearing a “red polo shirt, black jeans, beige Gucci shoes, and a black baseball cap.” The other was described wearing a “blue hooded sweat shirt with lightening bolts, torn blue jeans, black shoes, and a black baseball hat.”

They were last seen heading south down “O’Keefe Lane towards Shuter Street.”

Police said they’re looking for several women who were caught on camera as being in the area during the stabbing.

“Because of the severity and the viciousness of the attack, we’re trying to put urgency on this,” they said.

If you have information on the incident, let police know at 416-808-5100. You can also contact Crime Stoppers anonymously by calling 416-222-TIPS (8477).



Kevin Jiang

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Interior Decorating For Men

It is difficult to really pin down what man decor is. Guys are a diverse bunch with a wide range of traits and attributes. Labeling an entire gender with a certain personality is a dangerous habit.

However there are certain things which in our society are stylistically male. Not a firm scientific decoration, these are more a philosophy, a set of intrinsic notions which give us a common artistic playground upon which to work. Some things just seem girly, and some things seem male. It is as obvious as the difference between pink and blue.

Defining male decorating preferences is really a matter of understanding the psychology that we expect from this gender. Male décor is, by its very definition, not female décor, and therefore its essence is going to be comprised of the difference between the minds of the two.

One of the things society thinks of men, is that they are more functional than women. While females appreciate beauty, guys like things that work. In fact common conceptions state that men are actually annoyed by useless decorative touches.

This means that one of the key elements of guy decorating would be to choose function over form. A delicate coffee tables made from flowing strips of stainless steal will lose out to a sturdy work table made of oak.

Another manifestation of this trait is the male trend to decorate using their hobbies and interests. Sports accessories, toys, models, these are the favorite accessories of a manly room. Meanwhile flowers and incense stands, candles and lace, objects which create atmosphere and little else, those are generally considered more feminine in their nature.

Another aspect of male décor is that guys are generally larger than women. This means they need more room to be comfortable. They need to be able to stretch out, and feel like the world around them is proportionate to their size.

One of the most stereotypical pieces of guy décor is the recliner. Often this is the only furnishing which is big enough to fit a man's body comfortably. Able to lean back and stretch out, they can generally support the majority of a tall guy's size, in a comfortable and relaxing way.

Size and function trends collide in other aspects of guy decorating. Men tend to like big dressers, big beds, big shelves, and big drawers. This is both because the imposing size matches them, and because these objects tend to do their jobs better. Bigger containers hold more. Bigger beds comfort more. Bigger dressers are generally stronger and more durable.

Men also tend to like different colors than women. Guys tend to be drawn to darker and more earthen colors. Red, brown, black, and green are traditionally masculine, and in some shades have a distinctly male feel.

While these trends may hold true for some males, every guy is different. What is important when creating a space is that you take the desires and preferences of everyone that inhabits it, male and female, and …

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