Eller’s Restaurant to close until Thursday after kitchen worker tests positive for COVID-19

Eller’s Restaurant in Leicester, Massachusetts, has announced it will close until Thursday after a kitchen worker tested positive for COVID-19.

The restaurant — located in the Cherry Valley neighborhood of the town just west of Worcester — announced the news Monday in a social media post.

“We have one kitchen employee that has tested positive for Covid” the restaurant wrote in a Facebook post. “He is asymptomatic and is still feeling well. No other staff are currently symptomatic.”

The restaurant says it reached the decision to close until Thursday after working with a Board of Health agent.

“This is not been asked of us, as all safety measures have been and are are being taken,” the restaurant says. “However, we would like to wait till all employees that worked with said employee, have been tested and are negative before returning to work for the safety of our team and our guests.”

According to Eller’s, the entire restaurant will be disinfected while closed. Upon reopening, employees will be temperature-checked before their shifts.

The Board of Health will be conducting a full inspection before reopening on Thursday at 4 p.m., the restaurant says.

On Sunday, Massachusetts reported 626 new COVID cases and three more coronavirus deaths. The total number of statewide cases now stands at 132,440.

The number of Massachusetts communities considered at “high risk” for coronavirus spread, according to the state’s latest COVID risk assessment map as of Sunday, has expanded to 23. Those towns and cities are Attleboro, Avon, Boston, Chelsea, Dracut, Everett, Framingham, Haverhill, Holliston, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, Lynnfield, Marlborough, Methuen, Middleton, Nantucket, New Bedford, North Andover, Revere, Springfield, Winthrop and Worcester.

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Former kitchen worker at Poole’s Diner alleges sexual assault at the restaurant in 2017

A former kitchen employee at award-winning chef Ashley Christensen’s Poole’s Diner alleges she was sexually assaulted three times in seven months while working at the restaurant.

Kaylin Fulp, who granted The News & Observer permission to publish her name, started working at Poole’s Diner in 2017 when she was 19 years old. She spoke Sunday at a meeting held by the Raleigh chapter of the North Carolina Safety Alliance, a group that shares stories from victims of sexual assault and harassment.

“I was sexually assaulted three times within my seven months of employment at Poole’s Diner,” Fulp said at Sunday’s meeting, according to videos of the meeting live-streamed on the group’s Instagram page.

Fulp attended a year of culinary school, but dropped out due to finances, she said during Sunday’s meeting. In Poole’s she hoped the acclaimed kitchen would be a replacement for a classical training.

At that time, Christensen had won the James Beard award for Best Chef: Southeast in 2014. More recently, she won the 2019 James Beard for Outstanding Chef in the country. In 2017, she was also Eater’s Chef of the Year and the News & Observer’s co-Tar Heel of the Year, shared with chef Vivian Howard.

While sharing her story Sunday, Fulp said she had been proud to be hired at Poole’s, calling it Raleigh’s pedestal, and said that it felt great to be picked from among other applicants at the James Beard-winning restaurant. She said that she worked hard to prove herself in the kitchen.

Sexual assault, bullying allegations

In that kitchen, she alleges she experienced three instances of sexual assault by two different employees, as well as bullying and verbal abuse. She said that she took the allegations to the restaurant’s human resources department.

“I tried to do the right thing, I tried to go through HR,” Fulp said Sunday. “When they found out I told on their buddy, (other kitchen employees) bullied me out of my job.”

Fulp referred to the kitchen as a “boys club” and said she left the job despite not wanting to.

On Tuesday, Christensen and Kait Goalen, her wife and AC Restaurants executive director, posted an open letter on the company’s website responding to the allegations. That letter acknowledges complaints in 2017, but said that details shared by Fulp on Sunday were new information to them.

“We respect and appreciate Kaylin so much for what she did when she came forward, and how she helped us and our company grow to be better,” Christensen and Goalen said in the letter. “We are devastated that it came at such great personal cost to her — it shouldn’t have had to. The trauma she experienced while working at Poole’s is not her fault. We are deeply regretful that we failed Kaylin during her employment with our company. We are so sorry.”

Christensen and Goalen declined an interview request, but did submit an additional emailed statement. In that statement, Christensen said Poole’s was unaware of a sexual assault complaint.

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HVAC worker arrested after mirrors found in Gloucester Township school bathroom: Police

An HVAC employee is facing charges after authorities made a strange discovery inside the girl’s bathroom of a Camden County, New Jersey school this week.

HVAC employee arrested after mirrors found in Gloucester Township school bathroom: Police

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Officials at Glen Landing Middle School say on September 9 they found mirrors installed on the interior doors of the stalls of one of their bathrooms.

Police say school officials became suspicious and suspected someone could be using the mirrors to peer into the stalls from an air conditioning vent above.

According to the Gloucester Township Police Department, Gregory Mahley, 51, of West Deptford, is being charged with endangering the welfare of a child, invasion of privacy, and possession of child pornography.

Mahley was an eight-year employee of Multi-Temp Mechanical, Inc., located in Westville. The company was contracted by the Gloucester Township Board of Education to perform Heating-Ventilation-Air Conditioning services at the school.

It’s still unclear how long the mirrors were installed before they were discovered.

During a press conference on Thursday afternoon, police say that electronic devices were recovered and some students may have been recorded.

“I am very disturbed to learn of criminal charges filed today against an employee of an outside contractor who was performing HVAC work at Glen Landing Middle School. Upon notification of suspicious behavior, the school’s administration immediately contacted local law enforcement authorities,” said Superintendent John Bilodeau in a statement.

Police are urging anyone who thinks they may be a victim to contact the Gloucester Township Police Department at 856-228-4500.

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