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Q: Where are the auditions for “American Idol” going to be?


Answer: The “Triad Idol Competition” will be held Saturday from noon to 8 p.m. at Hanes Mall. The event is sponsored by ABC 45, the local affiliate for ABC, the network that airs “American Idol.” It will be held in the center court outside the Belk department store by the carousel. The mall opens at 9 a.m., and people can start lining up when the mall opens.

All contestants must register and sign a release form before they can perform.

The Triad Idol competition will select 10 people to receive “Front of the line” passes to compete at next month’s American Idol bus tour stop in Raleigh. Six judges, including local TV talent and radio DJs, will judge in groups of three, one group from noon to 4 p.m. and the other from 4 to 8.

Contestants must be 15 to 28 years old. Those under 18 must be accompanied by a legal guardian. Eligible contestants must be from Alamance, Guilford, Forsyth, Davie, Rockingham, Davidson, Stokes, Surry Wilkes, Yadkin, Randolph, Montgomery, Alleghany, Caswell or Patrick (Va.) counties.

Contestants must also meet the eligibility requirements for “American Idol,” including being a legal U.S. resident and not being a candidate for public office. A longer list of eligibility requirements can be found at

The “American Idol” nationwide audition tour is underway and will stop in Raleigh on Sept. 1, but a specific location has not yet been announced. More details, registration forms, and other information can be found at The site also has an option to submit an online audition for the show.

Q: What has happened to the Century Lake Park Fountain in Kernersville? I drive by the park daily and the fountain has not been operating for a long time unless I have missed something.


Answer: The fountain has not been operational for about 18 months, according to Ernie Pages, the parks and recreation director for Kernersville. The fountain has had to be replaced since it was first installed in 2008, and various technical issues have arisen with it over the years, the most recent being an electrical short that happened after some other work was done. “We can’t luck out with repairing this one,” he said. The city of Kernersville hopes to get that repaired in the next couple of months, but there is no specific timeframe yet.

Q: I ordered cigars from Thompson Cigar Company back in May. A check was cleared by the bank within five days, but my order has never been delivered and they have not responded to calls to their customer service number or email. Please help.


Answer: SAM was also unable to get a response from the company by email or phone. The company has an F rating with the Better Business Bureau, which lists 70 complaints closed in the last 12 months and 275 in the last three years. You can read the report, see other comments and file a complaint with the BBB at

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Write: Ask SAM, 418 N. Marshall St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101 

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