NEWARK - Need a last-minute Valentine's Day getaway? Want it absolutely free? All you have to do is show up at Terminal B of Newark Liberty International Airport at 2 p.m. today with your beloved, dressed in a tuxedo and/or a wedding dress, and you could be whisked off to Lisbon, Portugal for three glorious nights. TAP Air Portugal announced this week that it is celebrating Valentine’s Day by flying three lucky couples to Portugal for an all-expenses-paid trip, featuring inflight champagne, Portuguese wine tastings and accommodations at the luxurious Tivoli Avenida Liberdade in Lisbon. But if more than three couples show up, which is certainly likely, the winners will be determined by a panel of judges - so make sure that dress still fits.

STATEWIDE – Open your medicine cabinet and swear there’s no out-of-date prescription pills or potions stashed among the out-of-date makeup, hardened nail polish and that hairy shaving brush the kids got dad for Christmas. You can’t, right? And that’s serious. In the United States every year, 60,000 children under five years old are taken to emergency rooms because they have taken unsecured medications. NJ Spotlight has an update on something called “Charlie’s Law.” Ready to take effect in May, it requires pharmacists and doctors in New Jersey to educate patients about the dangers of holding on to medicines after treatment ends. It also requires them to provide patients with safe ways to dispose of the medications. No more tossing in the trash or flushing down the toilet. And, no, don’t keep them in case of emergency, Gramps. It says on the bottle they went out of date in 1972; that’s the same year Nixon went to China. 

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TOMS RIVER – Making an ugly chapter in American history come alive got a bit too real for some middle school students. Now, their social studies teacher’s lessons about slavery are being investigated by school district officials. An eighth-grader at Toms River Intermediate East complained on social media that teacher Lawrence Cuneo had students pretend to pick cotton, lay on their classroom floor, made whip-cracking sounds and kicked their feet. Cuneo, also a three-term mayor of Pine Beach, has taught in Toms River for 18 years. A school spokesman tells the Asbury Park Press the matter is under review, but officials are “keeping in mind our curriculum (includes) more hands-on, authentic activities. It seems initially clear there was no ill intent, but that better judgment should have been used.”

BRIEFING BREATHER: The thumbnail grows the slowest; the middle nail the fastest.

EDISON – Convenience store owners who sold the winning $202 million Mega Millions ticket are almost as lucky as Tuesday’s big mystery winner. Kauschik and Apexa Patel, owners of the Inman Avenue Quick Stop, are getting a $30,000 state lottery bonus for the big sale. NJ.com says it’s the third time they’ve struck gold. The Patels also received as $30,000 lottery bonus in 2015 when their Krauszer’s store in Linden sold a $5 million state scratch-off ticket and got a $750 bonus in 2017 for selling a $250,000 ticket. So far, the sole Mega Millions winner has not come forward. And, we may never find out who it is thanks to a new state law that allows anonymity. (Psst… It’s not us.)



IN THE MEDIA

CHATHAM – Ever hear of Chatham Asset Management? Us neither, but apparently they own a newspaper near you. The Washington Post reports this hedge fund manager, which owns the National Enquirer and some other rags, may soon be owning some big-time newspapers across the country, like the Miami Herald and the Sacramento Bee, as the present owner, McClatchy, files for bankruptcy protection. McClatchy is drowning under the weight of pension and debt after its 2006, $4.5 billion takeover of Knight Ridder. As McClatchy’s largest creditor, Chatham looks like it will be the new, proud owner of 30 publications. Surely, these asset managers know nothing about journalism. But they sure know when to buy low.

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

PHILADELPHIA – It’s odd enough that someone would steal a wedding photo album off the front porch of a house. It’s even more odd that is was found months later, abandoned on a commuter train. The couple ordered the customized album to mark the big day on July 28, 2018, but porch pirates made off with it, WPVI-TV reports. Apparently, the thieves eventually got tired of perusing the treasured photos of people they have never met. Perhaps they no longer gushing over the wedding dress, the flowers and that oh-so-cute best man. The album was dumped on a train and ended up the property of the Southern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA). A customer service agent noted one of the photos of a party favor included the groom’s name, so she reached out on Twitter. At first, the hubby through it was a phishing scam, but was sure relieved to inquire. A side note: the wedding theme was SEPTA (for some reason), with the seating cards looking like metro cards, adding to all the irony of this.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

It was this day in 1849 that James Polk became the first U.S. President ever photographed, in New York City. No one tweeted it.

WORD OF THE DAY

Cupid – [KYOO-pid] – noun

Definition: The Roman god of romantic love

Example: I made sure to glue plenty of cupids on my Valentine’s Day card.

WIT OF THE DAY

“@Donald Trump: we know many of the same people in NY. Behind your back they laugh at you & call you a carnival barking clown. They know you inherited a fortune & squandered it with stupid deals and incompetence.”

― Michael Bloomberg

TODAY'S TRUMPISM

“Mini Mike Bloomberg is a LOSER who has money but can’t debate and has zero presence, you will see. He reminds me of a tiny version of Jeb “Low Energy” Bush, but Jeb has more political skill and has treated the Black community much better than Mini!”

- Donald J. Trump

WEATHER IN A WORD: Sun!

THE NEW 60
A Jaffe Briefing Exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun