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Jodi Hersey

Jodi Hersey

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Wednesday, 09 October 2013 16:04

Survivor' contestant quits the game

This season's 'Survivor: Blood vs. Water' is full of twists. No one, including the contestants, expected the vocal and often crass Colton Cumbie of Alabama to come right out and quit the game. But he did. In a tearful goodbye, he told the show host, Jeff Probst, "I don't want to be here anymore. I can't do this." And with that he exited the game. 

However, that move didn't prevent the contestants on Redemption Island from having to duke it out. Before the challenge, Tyson was given the opportunity to switch places with his loved one, Rachel Foulger, who told him he should stay with his tribe. So Candace, Marissa and Rachel were left to compete in a domino-like challenge. Rachel Foulger's dominos just didn't fall fast enough to win a spot back in the game, and she was sent home. I recently spoke with Cumbie and Foulger, who both said they have no regrets.

Tie-dye wearing Rupert exits 'Survivor: Blood vs. Water'

'Survivor' is back. The CBS reality show, now in its 27th season, drops a group of strangers on a remote island where they must outwit, outlast and outplay one another in numerous challenges to become the one million dollar winner. Each week a player is voted off the island by their own tribe. But this season, the contestants are no strangers. Past players have returned to compete against none other than their loved ones. Once voted out, players have a chance to get back in the game though by winning a duel with a player from the other tribe on 'redemption island.'

In the very first episode of 'Survivor: Blood vs. Water,' the contestants were asked to immediately to send someone from their tribe to redemption island. The 'loved ones' tribe picked Laura Boneham, wife of former player Rupert Boneham while the returning players chose Candace of 'Survivor: Cook Islands' and 'Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains' fame. But before the two could head out, show host Jeff Probst threw them a curve ball - Candace and Laura's loved ones could swap places with them if they wanted to. Rupert Boneham didn't hesitate to save his wife, while Candace's husband John opted to stay put. However, when it came to the duel, Boneham just couldn't keep himself calm enough to defeat Candace at balancing 10 wooden pots and therefore was sent home. I recently spoke with Boneham, who said despite the outcome he is still a fan of the game.

It's one of America's most popular weight loss shows, and next week NBC's 'The Biggest Loser' will give another 15 contestants the chance to regain their health and their lives while dropping dozens and dozens of pounds. One of those contestants is former 'American Idol' winner Ruben Studdard. At 462 pounds, he is this season's heaviest contestant.

"I didn't go into the show thinking about having a target on my back [because I'm a celebrity]," said Studdard in a telephone interview. "Once I found out how much I weighed at the ranch, I wanted to change that. That was my only concern."

WATERVILLE - Being able to indulge in true authentic Italian food without leaving the state used to be unheard of. Now, it's as simple as walking down Main Street in Waterville. Holy Cannoli opened last summer and since then locals and visitors alike can't seem to get enough of the desserts.

"I'm from New Haven, Connecticut where Italian food is quite prevalent. I tried cannolis up here and I didn't like them," explained Candace Savinelli, owner of Holy Cannoli. "I got so tired of bringing up van loads of pastries from home. So we opened in June of 2012 and started making cannolis and other Italian pastries."

Business was so good that Savinelli actually had to move up the street to a bigger place. The newer location has room for people to sit and eat and also allows her the ability to offer customers more than just sweets. 

"We do homemade lasagna and Stromboli and we do it the right way," said Savinelli.

One of her biggest sellers, besides cannolis, is eggplant parmesan. It just earned Holy Cannoli the "Best Entree" award at last month's Taste of Greater Waterville, an annual outdoor event showcasing all the businesses in the area.  

"At one point we had a line out the door and down the street," said Savinelli. 

Fortunately 13-year-old Kayla Washington of Ohio didn't have that long of a wait when she got to try a cannoli for the first time while vacationing here in Maine. 

"I didn't know what to expect, but I loved the combination of the crunchy shell and sweet filling," said Washington. "I'd definitely order one again."

Filling orders for people from away is actually common for Holy Cannoli.

"We have all kinds of people that come. We have people that come in from Canada and we have a woman who lives in Massachusetts who sends either her mother or mother-in-law in for our soup," said Savinelli. "We also get a lot of people from Bangor and people from Aroostook County that come in on Sunday, load up and go back."

And that kind of loyalty hasn't just boosted business. It's also generated some instant friendships between Savinelli and her customers.  

"It feels so good to see them excited and happy about the food," said Savinelli. "I truly enjoy the people. I've made a lot of friends through the business." 

Holy Cannoli is open Monday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, including menu items, log on to www.holycannolimaine.com. 

 

ORONO - The Alpha Omicron Pi sorority won't be hitting the books much next weekend but they'll still be hard at work as the group hosts its fourth annual Alpha Omicron Pi car show on the University of Maine Orono campus. 

"We wanted to involve the whole community. There are so many events we could do that would attract college students but we wanted more of a community event that involved people from the Orono and Bangor areas," said Lindsey Burton, car show organizer and Alpha Omicron Pi sorority sister. 

Wednesday, 04 September 2013 10:05

Wheels on the Waterfront returns to Bangor

BANGOR- The Bangor waterfront will be lined with classics this weekend for the Wheels on the Waterfront car show. It's an event that was started by the Greater Bangor Convention and Visitors Bureau six years ago and it continues to draw quite a crowd.

"It's quite a show," said Kerrie Tripp, executive director for the Greater Bangor CVB. "We had 300 participants last year, and this year we already have 150 vehicles that are pre-registered for the event, including a large contingency from Canada. Those folks will spend the night in hotels and eat at our restaurants, which has a trickledown effect for tourism in our area."

Wednesday, 04 September 2013 09:59

Sarah's House of Maine one step closer to opening

HOLDEN - Patients who use the Lafayette Family Cancer Center in Brewer will soon have a nearby place to rest following their cancer treatments, at little to no cost. Sarah's House of Maine, a nine-bed hospitality house, plans to close on the former Fox Run Furniture Gallery property in Holden this month. And none of it would be possible if it wasn't for a young Old Town Rotarian named Sarah Robinson. 

"Before Sarah passed, she worked tirelessly on the project getting everything lined up and doing research on other hospitality houses," said Lindsay Turner, Sarah's identical twin sister. "She took her [hospitality house] idea to her local rotary club and to people she knew would be interested in helping with the project."

Tuesday, 27 August 2013 21:36

Belfast bench bidding currently underway

'Please, Be Seated' benches up for auction

BELFAST - Finding a seat in downtown Belfast to enjoy an ice cream cone or take a break from shopping just got a whole lot easier thanks to some colorful and unique benches that have popped up in the area. Local artists have created the one-of-a-kind benches to be auctioned off for the Please, Be Seated bench program, an event that helps the Our Town Belfast organization promote economic development within the city's commercial district.

"Visitors are constantly asking if the seats are for sale because they have such appeal," said Elaine Bielenberg, project curator. 

ORRINGTON - An Orrington native is preparing for the race of his life. Christopher Blanchard is one of many athletes around the globe who recently qualified for the 2013 London International Triathlon Union (ITU) Aquathlon World Championships taking place in September at the same venue as the 2012 Olympics. He did so by being one of the top 10 finishers in his age group at the Lake Logan Aquathlon race in North Carolina earlier this month.   

"I was psyched," Blanchard said. "I was super excited because I had tried to qualify for nationals in triathlon at a competition in Massachusetts and didn't. Then we started looking at qualifying for Team USA Aquathlon."

Tuesday, 20 August 2013 22:35

EMCC offers degree in & on paper

Pulp & Paper Production Associates Degree program now available to students

BANGOR - Think papermaking is a thing of the past? Think again. Verso Paper in Bucksport is busy as can be producing magazine paper that's used both domestically and internationally. And with an aging workforce, the facility is anticipating numerous openings in the very near future. That's why the mill, the town of Bucksport, RSU 25 and Eastern Maine Community College in Bangor are teaming up to offer a Pulp & Paper Production Associates Degree this fall to incoming students.

"This isn't your parents' or grandparents' positions in the mill anymore. These are high tech jobs," said EMCC President Lawrence Barrett. 

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