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Real Housewives blonde bombshell Kimberleigh Zolciak Monday on Bravo,

Zolciak Monday

Zolciak Monday

‘Atlanta’ Housewife From Connecticut, Where She Shook Things Up, Too. If one of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” doesn’t have much of a Southern accent, it’s because she’s from Connecticut. Kimberleigh Zolciak, a blonde bombshell and standout on the show that started its third season Monday on Bravo, grew up in Windsor Locks, though she was born in Pensacola, Fla., into a military family. “I have a ton of friends up there,” Zolciak said in a conference call last week. “I haven’t been up there for a long time, though my ex-husband went back up there after we got divorced. I loved the casino and the beach. I had a great childhood up there.” A 1996 graduate of East Catholic High School in Manchester, she attended nursing school at the University of Connecticut before moving down to Atlanta when she was 21. ”My parents moved down here,” she said to our source, so she headed down to Atlanta as well, where she eventually settled in one of the most exclusive areas in Georgia, Johns Creek. Although the “Real Housewives of Atlanta” originally was intended to concentrate on a handful of affluent African-American women, Zolciak was spotted by producers, who put her in the show. “What I really miss [about Connecticut] is doing all those different things you can do by driving a little way: You can go to Boston, go to Newport, go to the casinos, go to the beaches or go ski in Vermont or Maine.” On “Real Housewives,” she has distinguished herself with her wigs, her occasional catfights with other women, releasing a couple of odd dance singles, and her longtime patronage by Big Daddy, a shadowy and very rich married man, who was never seen or named on the show. She did all of this while raising two daughters, Brielle and Ariana. By now, she’s dropped Big Daddy for a brief affair with a young woman, before starting to go out with a young defensive end on the Atlanta Falcons, Kroy Biermann, things you’d know if you were a faithful reader of the tabloid magazines. Lately, she’s had a lot to say about a recent boob job. Also, today she is to release a new single online, “Google Me,” to follow last year’s “Tardy for the Party,” which reached No. 3 on the iTunes dance-music chart. “I didn’t want to do ‘Tardy for the Party,’” Zolciak says. It was a song that was prepared for her when she went to the house of another “Housewife” on the show, Kandi Burrell. But after the success and touring she did with that single, she says, “I’m a lot more confident, more secure with what I was doing. And I know what I’m doing.” “Music is my passion,” Zolciak says. “And I don’t know if I’d have the chance to do it if I weren’t on the show. There are good and bad things about being on show like this, but that is one of the good ones.” One of the downsides is all the interest in her personal life. Yes, she dated a woman. “I have no regrets at the end of the day,” Zolciak says. “We connected on a personal level. So there it is.” And yes, she is dating a 25-year-young football player. “He just turned 25,” she says. “People keep calling me a cougar, but I’m 32 and he’s 25. I’ve never ever, ever dated somebody younger than me. I mean, my ex-husband’s five years older, so I really didn’t know his age, nor did I care. But we just have a great connection.” Biermann doesn’t like being a character on “Real Housewives,” Zolciak says. “Honey, he hates it. He hates the publicity. He’s from Montana, and he doesn’t do press.” And his team isn’t that crazy about it either: “The Falcons want it to be about the Falcons, not about Kim attending practice, or Kim attending a game.” Zolciak is used to being in the headlines, even when she was a teenager.  At 17, she had a high-profile affair with a 49-year-old police sergeant in Windsor Locks, who had interviewed her when she was a material witness in a criminal investigation. According to reports in The Courant at the time, it led to a 45-day suspension of the sergeant, who retired two years later. But the news of the affair kicked off a scandal involving sexual misbehavior, cover-ups and internal tape recordings at the Windsor Locks Police Department. “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” runs Mondays at 10 p.m. on Bravo

Walt Disney World monorail crash kills employee

nm_monorailTwo monorail trains crashed early Sunday morning in the Magic Kingdom section of Walt Disney World, killing one train’s operator, emergency officials said. The transit system, which shuttles thousands of visitors around the sprawling resort each day, was shut down while authorities investigated the holiday weekend wreck.  The monorail operator died at the scene of the crash, which happened around 2 a.m., said Bo Jones, deputy chief for Reedy Creek Fire Department. The other train operator was not injured, but was taken to a hospital because he was emotionally shaken. Jones said five park guests were treated at the scene, though the Orange County Sheriff’s office said six were treated.  Disney Vice President of Communications Michael Griffin identified the driver as 21-year-old Austin Wuennenberg. Griffin would not discuss how long Wuennenberg had been with Disney or the circumstances surrounding the crash. Disney officials also refused to talk about how the monorail system operates.  “They are extremely rare,” Griffin said of accidents at the park. “The safety of our guests and cast are a top priority above all else.”  It is unclear what caused the crash, Jones said. Orange County Sheriff’s officials are investigating the cause.  Jones said the crash happened at the park’s ticket and transportation center. About a dozen guards wearing blue Disney security uniforms guarded the monorail station Sunday morning and prevented visitors from approaching the area.  Griffin would not comment on a video posted on the Web site of Orlando TV station WKMG. The clip, apparently shot by a guest at the theme park, shows several people trying to get the driver’s attention as they examine the wreckage.  “This is such a close-knit community, ” Griffin said. “Our hearts go out to Austin’s family. It’s a sad day here.”  Ethan Meus, who was visiting the theme park from Dubuque, Iowa, said he and his family took the monorail to dinner at a resort hotel Saturday night. Meus, 17, watched the Magic Kingdom fireworks from the monorail on the way back to his hotel, he said, and didn’t notice any problems with the train.  “It’s pretty shocking to hear that a driver was killed in that accident,” Meus said.  The family was planning to take the train again Sunday to visit Disney’s Epcot Center, but now planned to take a bus, Meus added.  “You would think it would be so safe,” said 20-year-old Lauren Shoebottom, who was visiting the park from London. “You don’t expect it on holiday, do you?”  Walt Disney World vice president of public affairs Mike Griffin issued a statement offering condolences to the employee’s family and saying the monorail was closed.  “It’s a bit shocking,” said 22-year-old Danielle Williams, of London. “Disney seems so perfect.”

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