THE STICKS - You often hear those unfair jokes about those who reside in the farthest reaches of Sussex County – a terrain that could be the ugly stepchild of the backwaters of Mississippi and the foothills of West Virginia. Now the people there can’t be backward, right? Nah. Except for a 31-year-old Vernon man, accused of sending letters to local farmers, seeking permission to have sex with their farm animals, preferably horses and cows. Let’s attribute this to the New Jersey Herald, which reports the man became so upset with all the rejections that he would leave spikes in the farmers’ driveways and bad online reviews of their products. He was arrested Oct. 3, charged with an ongoing string of infractions in Lafayette, Vernon, Wantage, Frankford, Andover Township, Franklin and Hardyston. In one case, he is charged with threatening to beat a farmer’s wife with a wooden stick, other charges involve his makeshift gun and other weapons found in his house. So now he sits in the Morris County jail and waits for his next court hearing on Nov. 4. Expect to hear a moooving defense.

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL – Sen. Cory Booker – a former college football player at Stanford – is running toward a new controversial California law that allows student athletes to hire agents and enter into endorsement deals beginning in 2023. He figures: Why not take this high-profile issue nationally? So now, as part of his Presidential campaign, Booker is proposing that student athletes at all public and private colleges profit off their own names and images, NJ Spotlight reports. The rationale: Some colleges are making millions off their student athletes, so Booker wants to end the exploitation. It all makes sense, but what protects the typical college student (and his or her parents) from bearing the brunt?

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ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL – An important lesson to all you political candidates out there: Read through all your websites very, very carefully. NJ Globe was poking around the deepest reaches of Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick’s law website, which pledges to help people accused of sexual assault by vilifying the victim. The site reads: “We will investigate your case and seek to discredit your accuser,” adding the lawyers will work “to get the charges (of sexual assault) dismissed or at least downgraded.” Bramnick explained to Politico that he doesn’t engage in the criminal law side of his practice, but that the language in question is referring to someone who they believe is lying. Whatever the case, it’s probably something he doesn’t want to be explaining a few short weeks before Election Day.

VOORHEES – It certainly gutsy to max out your credit and mortgage your home to open a bakery and commit to endless hours of work. It’s even bolder to do it at 93-years-old. But, Ray Boutwell is banking on a bakery that sells only alcohol-infused cupcakes like Pina Colada, Tequila Sunrise, Brandy Alexander and Blueberry Vodka. Over his daughter’s strong objections about money and about cashing in his life insurance, Boutwell recently opened Ray’s Boozy Cupcakes in Southgate Plaza and says he’s seeing a steady stream of customers. He tells NJ.com: “I promised my daughter I’ll live long enough to pay it all off.”

HOBOKEN – They may look like toys, but if you drive drunk on the city’s Lime rental E-scooters, you’ll be nabbed and charged. A 26-year-old city man learned the hard way after cops saw him wobbling away on an electric scooter Sunday afternoon at Newark Street and Park Avenue. He was rightfully charged with DWI, reckless driving and refusing a breathalyzer test. City cops charged another inebriated scooter-user with DWI in August after that 45-year-old man crashed into another rental scooter. The police chief tells WPIX News that state DWI laws apply to “anything that’s not muscle-powered, whether it’s a large or small vehicle or an electric bicycle or a golf cart and now e-scooters.” So, in Hoboken, it looks like you can still WWI (Walk While Intoxicated), RWI (Run While Intoxicated) and HWI (Hop While Intoxicated.)

TRENTON – Time for a new state bird. Because of climate change, it looks like our beloved goldfinch may be going elsewhere, with us losing sights of its eponymous plumage in summer, when its brightest. Because of projected global temperature increases of 3 degrees Celsius, the goldfinch could lose up to 100 percent of its summer range, causing the lemon-feathered bird to migrate out of New Jersey to escape the heat, reports New Jersey Audubon. May we suggest a pigeon for the new bird? They always seem to be milling around.

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

LONDON – If we can believe a new Nobel Prize winner, we are going to finally find proof of alien life in the next 30 years. Swiss astronomer Didier Queloz, awarded a Nobel Prize in physics this week, tells The Telegraph he’s “convinced” we are not alone in the universe: “There are way too many planets, way too many stars, and … chemistry that led to life (on Earth) had to happen elsewhere.” The University of Cambridge professor says he’s sure somebody is going to invent a new gizmo that can finally detect life on distant planets and prove all the naysayers wrong. So, head down into your basement and start tinkering.

PITTSBURGH – It’s a little early in the season for chestnuts to be roasting on an open fire, so let’s write about the walnuts roasting on the engine block of a Kia SUV. A local woman noticed an odd, burning odor and strange noises coming from her engine as she tooled around town. Finally, she popped the hood, discovering that a squirrel stashed grass and more than 200 walnuts on top of the engine. It looks like the squirrel had been busy for up to a month, which was the last time she peeked under the hood during a car inspection.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

It was this day in 1995 that O.J. Simpson cancelled a television appearance on “Dateline.” Damn. Now, we’ll never know what really happened.

WORD OF THE DAY

Tendentious – [ten-DEN-shəs] - adjective

Definition: Marked by a tendency in favor of a particular point of view; biased

Example: Giddy newscasters offered a tendentious view of impeachment.

TODAY'S TRUMPISM

“Ariana Huffington is unattractive both inside and out. I fully understand why her former husband left her for a man – he made a good decision.”

- Donald J. Trump

WIT OF THE DAY

“Instead of getting married again, I am going to find a woman I don’t like and give her a house.”

― Lewis Grizzard

WEATHER IN A WORD

Fair

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