PRINCETON - Perhaps the First Family has forgotten the fuss over Gov. Phil Murphy spending $27,000 to convert a Statehouse conference room into his wife's new office. Well, now Tammy Murphy is planning a makeover of the governor's 183-year-old mansion in Princeton. She tells The Record that the governor hopes to host more dinners and special events at Drumthwacket, and maybe move the family in. Its first floor is a well-tended museum, but the upstairs is a ghastly fixer-upper: Torn up carpets, furniture in piles, outlets hanging from walls and perhaps Chris Christie hiding in a corner, holding tight to a finger bowl. Drumthwacket is financed with donations from a private foundation, not tax dollars. So, this time, and only this time, maybe we don't have to worry about runaway spending.

DEPTFORD - A South Jersey man is eager to mooooove away from Chick-Fil-A, after he claims there was cow manure discovered in his salad. The startling discovery appeared last January; the customer originally thought it was dirt, the Courier Post reports. But then he gave the clumps a whiff and, boy, was he surprised!  The man has filed suit in Gloucester County Superior Court; unclear what he is seeking. But assume he is angry.

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KENILWORTH - Another load of poop has plopped down, this time on taxpayers who must apparently pay the school district's notorious 'pooperintendent' nearly $110,000 to get him to go. Almost three months after his arrest for public defecation, lewdness and littering, the Asbury Park Press says school officials agreed to keep paying Thomas Tramaglini's salary until Sept. 30, plus severance pay and reimburse his unused vacation days. The district (which he plans to sue for $1 million) also agreed not to make disparaging remarks about him. Wiping up after this mess seems pretty costly.

ON THE ROADS - Of no surprise to anyone, old people don't want you to know they are having a hard time driving. After all, they haven't taken a driving test in New Jersey since they borrowed Pa's 1952 Studebaker and learned to navigate on roads carrying 80 percent, or so, fewer motorists. Their roads had no SUVs, no texting and no frantic, overscheduled parents trying to get the little cherubs to Tai-Chi class. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that nearly 83 percent of drivers aged 65 and older say they don't talk to family members or their doctors if they are having problems driving New Jersey's manic roads, where only the strong survive. Forty-eight of the 176 drivers killed so far in 2018 on New Jersey's roads were over the age of 64, according to State Police figures. Maybe it is time for some candid conversation.

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL - Yes, it is too damn early to talk about the November elections. We know as soon as Labor Day hits, our airwaves will be taken over by politicians throwing wheelbarrows of cash to "earn" your vote. But this early Monmouth University poll can't be ignored. It shows that Trump's pal in New Jersey - Rep. Tom MacArthur - is in the fight of his life to get re-elected. Usually, in all these gerrymandered Congressional districts, incumbents can sleepwalk through re-election. But the polling says MacArthur is in a dead heat with a Democrat known as Andy Kim, who has been raising money right and left to win the 3rd Congressional seat. This one is worth watching.

BRICK - Hmm? That is the question as to why a neighborhood in Brick flooded like crazy on Monday, prompting the evacuation of a retirement community right in the middle of Bingo. Local state legislators are now wondering if all the flooding - with eight inches or so of rain - was prompted by all the work at Exit 91 on the Garden State Parkway, NJ 101.5 reports. Lawmakers note the Greenbriar development has been around for five decades or so and even withstood Superstorm Sandy. Yet it wasn't underwater until this highway improvement project. Once again, lets throw out another "Hmm?"

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

LOS ANGELES - Hey, we all have our fetishes, right? Right?! But this might go a little too far, as the LAPD is investigating a man spanking a hippopotamus at the Los Angeles Zoo. There's actual video of of this guy crossing a railing, sneaking up on two hippos, Rosie and Mara, and giving Rosie a good smack on her rump. He then runs off, his arms raised in victory. The Los Angeles Times reports the suspect is facing trespassing charges, but not hippo assault, because Rosie was uninjured.  But certainly annoyed.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

One of the many benefits of being a British royal is that the entire world knows of your recurring bladder infection, as the world reports on this day in 2012 that Prince Philip had to be taken to the hospital to check out his down under.

WORD OF THE DAY

Gaffer - [GAF-ər] - noun

Definition: An old man

Example: We hope you have been enjoying the follies of all the gaffers in the comic strip below.

WEATHER IN A WORD

Dry!

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by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun