Taunton chef hosts reality show; retired teacher celebrates 100th birthday: Top 5 stories

·4 min read

Before we begin the new week in earnest, we're taking a look back at the week that was, and the stories that led the news with Taunton Daily Gazette readers.

Our top story of the past week was about Taunton chef Bime Cruz, whose new competitive cooking show is challenging chefs and shining a spotlight on some local businesses.

Other top stories included: a Lakeville couple who welcomed twins on Twosday (that is, Tuesday, 2/22/22); an East Taunton native and her husband who could potentially lose their Wareham home because of a heating oil leak; and a beloved retired Taunton Latin teacher who recently celebrated her 100th birthday.

Rounding out our Top 5 stories was a look at the state's Transformative Development Initiative, and how it could help Whittenton Village with some major revitalization.

These were the Top 5 stories of the past week, according to Gazette readers:

Taunton chef cooks up fun on kitchen reality show

Taunton chef Bime Cruz is no stranger to reality TV kitchens, having once been part of the "MasterChef" competition himself.

Now, he's got a show of his own, as the host of "Blind Kitchen Boston." The competitive cooking program has chefs blind taste test an opponent’s signature dish, and then they are tasked with recreating that dish.

Chef Bime Cruz is a Taunton resident and host of Blind Kitchen Boston, an original program available on the Very Local channel and verylocal.com.
Chef Bime Cruz is a Taunton resident and host of Blind Kitchen Boston, an original program available on the Very Local channel and verylocal.com.

The show also doubles as a spotlight for Boston-area chefs, and chefs from the suburbs; a couple of them are from right here in Taunton.

'We highlight the chefs': Taunton chef with 140K TikTok followers cooks up kitchen fun on reality TV show

Lakeville couple welcomes twins on Twosday

This past Tuesday, or Twosday, was a special day, as the date was a palindrome: 2/22/22.

For one Lakeville couple, Heather and Pedro Xavier, the day was made all the more special when they welcomed twin sons Kaiden and Karter into the world at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

Heather and Pedro Xavier, of Lakeville, welcomed sons Kaiden and Karter at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston on Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022 (2-22-22), which is being referred to as "Twosday."
Heather and Pedro Xavier, of Lakeville, welcomed sons Kaiden and Karter at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston on Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022 (2-22-22), which is being referred to as "Twosday."

As the boys were born at 31 weeks, they were placed under the watchful eyes of the staff in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Twosday special: Lakeville couple welcomes twins on 2-22-22

Couple could lose their house because of heating oil leak

East Taunton native Emmaline Proctor and her husband Brian could potentially lose their Wareham home, after a heating oil leak in the basement.

The couple bought the home — their first — in Aug. 2020, but now, after a heating oil leak flooded their basement, they have 120 days to clean up, or they will face fines.

Their homeowner's insurance doesn't cover the damage though, and with the fix estimated to cost up to $200,000, the couple has resorted to setting up a GoFundMe to help with the costs, because the alternative could mean that they lose their home.

'We're going to try': Couple could lose their home because of a 25-gallon heating oil leak

Retired Taunton Latin teacher turns 100, shares life lessons

Former Taunton High School Latin teacher Mary Bliss recently celebrated her 100th birthday, with family at the Colonel Blackington Inn in Attleboro. Bliss, known affectionately as "Ma," received over 200 cards from family, old friends, former students and coworkers in the days leading up to her birthday.

Taunton Mayor Shaunna O'Connell visits Mary 'Ma" Bliss, a Latin teacher at Taunton High School for 40 years, on her 100th birthday on Monday, Feb. 21, 2022. A family birthday celebration was held at the Colonel Blackinton Inn in Attleboro.
Taunton Mayor Shaunna O'Connell visits Mary 'Ma" Bliss, a Latin teacher at Taunton High School for 40 years, on her 100th birthday on Monday, Feb. 21, 2022. A family birthday celebration was held at the Colonel Blackinton Inn in Attleboro.

Bliss was honored at the Feb. 16 Taunton School Committee meeting, received a visit from Taunton Mayor Shaunna O'Connell during her birthday celebration, and even got a happy birthday from Al Roker and "The Today Show."

With more than five decades as a teacher, she is still included in class reunions to this day.

This photo of Mary "Ma" Bliss in the classroom at Taunton High School was taken some time in the mid-1960s, according to her son, Paul Bliss.
This photo of Mary "Ma" Bliss in the classroom at Taunton High School was taken some time in the mid-1960s, according to her son, Paul Bliss.

She spoke with the Gazette right after her big day, reflecting on her life and her time in the classroom.

Photos: Beloved Taunton High Latin teacher turns 100 in style

Whittenton Village could be bustling with major revitalization

Whittenton Village could soon be in for some major revitalization.

That part of the city has won the ability to improve its economic development through the state's Transformative Development Initiative (TDI), a MassDevelopment program for gateway cities designed to boost economic growth.

Massachusetts Lt. Governor Karyn Polito joined state and local officials to announce the latest round of Community Development Block Grant Awards at a ceremony held at the Hatch Street Studios in the north end of New Bedford.
Massachusetts Lt. Governor Karyn Polito joined state and local officials to announce the latest round of Community Development Block Grant Awards at a ceremony held at the Hatch Street Studios in the north end of New Bedford.

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito made the announcement at the Bay Street fire station on Feb. 15. See what changes could be in store, and how the initiative would work.

Big changes proposed: Whittenton Village could soon be bustling again with major revitalization

Taunton Daily Gazette/Herald News copy editor and digital producer Kristina Fontes can be reached at kfontes@heraldnews.com. Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Herald News and Taunton Daily Gazette today.

This article originally appeared on The Taunton Daily Gazette: Taunton top stories: Bime Cruz, Twosday twins ,100th birthday