11 stories from the region you might have missed this week

Longhorns will open in Sunderland soon.
Longhorns will open in Sunderland soon.
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Thankfully the weekend has arrived - and it’s time to catch up on what you’ve missed.

For many, the week’s much-needed days of rest have finally arrived.

But if work got the best of you from Monday to Friday (and you’re feeling a little bit out of the loop) we are here to look after you.

It’s been a busy week in the North East Press newsroom – and there’s been a lot going on – so take a look at our guide to what you might have missed this week.

We’ve picked 11 stories from our region to share with you and help you catch up before Monday rolls around again. Click on the headlines to read more.

Opening date announced for Sunderland's Longhorns BBQ

Sunderland’s newest restaurant will open its doors in less than a fortnight.

Last week, it was revealed that Longhorns BBQ Smokehouse, which already operates successful branches in Newcastle, will be taking over the first floor of the historic Dun Cow pub.

Serial sex fiend is behind bars after clocking up his 301st conviction

A serial sex fiend has been put behind bars after clocking up his 301st criminal conviction.

Gordon Catchpole, who started his criminal career in the 1950s, groped a woman in Sunderland after offering to pay her for sex.

Green Party leader Natalie Bennett to visit Sunderland

Green Party leader Natalie Bennett is to visit Sunderland next week.

Ms Bennett, who headed the party during the 2015 General Election, is coming to Wearside to give a talk on the climate crisis.

People urged to have their say over closure-threatened community centres

Angry residents are being invited to “have their say” about a review by council chiefs into the viability of the borough’s community centres.

Council leader Iain Malcolm has authorised a review into the borough’s community centres as part of a cash-saving exercise.

WATCH: JCB used in raid on Tesco store in Hartlepool leaves behind trail of destruction

This was the scene after a gang tried to snatch a cash machine from the front of a shop.

Police were called to to the Tesco Express store in Throston, Hartlepool, after raiders struck at around 2.25am Wednesday.

Sunderland football stars take kick at domestic violence

Premier League players are showing their solidarity against domestic violence by supporting a campaign raising awareness of the issue across Sunderland.and South Tyneside.

Hartlepool woman helps Afghanistan aid effort

An aid worker from Hartlepool is helping to make a big difference to the lives of some of the poorest people in the world.

Malinee Wanduragala is helping to deliver the UK aid programme in Afghanistan with the Government’s Department for International Development.

REVIEWS: Efes, Derwent Street, Sunderland

It’s refreshing to see a new restaurant open in the city centre that looks beyond Italy for its food inspiration. But would this eatery prove a Turkish delight or a Turkish disaster?

Increase in safety measures at Stadium of Light following terror attacks

Football fans are being reassured that additional checks will be in place when Sunderland play Stoke City on Saturday.

Those visiting the Stadium of Light will be subject to the extra checks at the turnstiles and inside the stadium itself.

When Shields had 800 butchers

The recent series of articles by Olive Pinkney about corner shops in Tyne Dock, South Shields, prompted former butcher Kenneth Bullock to get in touch.

He comes from a family of “shipping butchers” who traded in that area (name-checked in one of the articles), and remembers many of the businesses mentioned by Olive in Time Of Our Lives (including his dad’s butcher’s shop and Walker’s the chemist).

Jailed: The drunk thug who kicked a police officer in Hartlepool

A drunken thug who punched and kicked a police officer who was trying to arrest him has been jailed for 16 months.

Lewis Macalister attacked PC Adrian Dack following a domestic dispute with his mother, Teesside Crown Court heard.