TRENTON – If President Trump is not re-elected, what are New Jersey’s lawyers going to do with all their spare time? NJ.com reports an interesting fun fact: New Jersey filed at least 69 lawsuits against the federal government since Trump took office. Dozens of those cases are still banging around the courts, and many can be moot depending on what happens by Nov. 3 (or so). New Jersey is involved in more multi-state lawsuits against the federal government in three years than the previous four decades. From 1980 to 2018, New Jersey joined in just 54 lawsuits, prompting the question as to why the NJ Attorney General Gurbir Grewal has been suing the feds so much these days. His response? Gurbir says he’s “not viscerally anti-Trump.” There’s just a need to fight all the anti-Jersey craziness.

STATEWIDE – New Jersey’s colleges are financially struggling, as we all know, so can these schools get some protection from angry students and parents demanding refunds? The State Senate is now considering a law that would protect colleges if they cancel in-person classes because of COVID-19. They would not have to issue refunds if they can somehow offer remote instruction. This would be a state solution to all the lawsuits flying, with schools like Kean University, Seton Hall University and Fairleigh Dickinson University coping with refund demands, NJ 101.5 reports. Yes, remote instruction is a laughable replacement for the “college experience.” But, at the moment, it’s what we have.

BRIEFING BREATHER

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SCOTCH PLAINS – Unclear what’s really happening at the Snuffy’s catering hall, but one young bride is not pleased. The wedding of her dreams needed to be postponed until the groom returned from deployment in the Marines. The big day was planned for Dec. 6 – even with COVID concerns – but then she received a call from some outside agency that informed her that the venue is closed, as of Oct. 20, and, moreover, the locks have been changed. Now it gets weird, as TAPInto SPF spoke to an owner, Nick Pantagis, who called it all “a lie.” "Someone in my family was fired from the business and began starting rumors that we were closing. Everyone has a big mouth,” he says. Unclear what is true, other than the fact that the property owes $389,000 in back taxes to Scotch Plains, with an auction looming.

IN THE MEDIA

WILLINGBORO – When a newsroom closes, it’s a sad moment. And when that building is ultimately razed, it is certainly newsworthy. That’s because newsrooms, like courthouses, town halls and community centers, represent the heart and soul of the people it serves. The Burlington County Times building, a notoriously ugly landmark on Route 130 that is now being demolished, was a place where reporters and editors argued, laughed and debated the local issues for generations, as they were the first to write history, as copy poured from loud typewriters. The editors chain-smoked, the presses churned out broadsheets and the delivery trucks were dispatched, every day, for 365 days a year, from that building since 1968. How can you not mourn a living, breathing representation of the people of Burlington County? Those who fondly recall the Courier News, The Star-Ledger and the Bergen Record newsrooms would agree; so much camaraderie has vanished.

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

NEW YORK - It’s a beetle that is so strong that it can survive getting run over by a car. So, researchers are saying: “Hmmm.” If this shell can handle all the constant bird pecks and animal stomps, it's just gotta have some sort of use that someone, somewhere, is willing to buy. To put it all in perspective, if a 200-pound man wore the shell of the “Diabolical Ironclad Beetle,” he could survive a 7.8-million-pound squish. So, how serious are people about this beetle shell?  The U.S. Air Force has just kicked in $8 million, asking if researchers can also check out the deal with mantis shrimp and bighorn sheep. Maybe their impact-resistant material could also be worth something.

SALT LAKE CITY – For the moment, why can’t we all be from Utah? That’s where there seems to actually be some degree of civility and sanity in politics, with the gubernatorial candidates appearing together in a last-minute campaign ad to urge people to vote. “I'm not sure this has ever been done before...but as our national political dialogue continues to decline, my opponent and I decided to try something different," said Republican Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, joining law professor Chris Peterson, a Democrat. The prevailing message: We can all disagree without hating each other. These two both have our vote, if possible.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

Happy days are here again, on this day in 1949, when President Harry S. Truman announces the increase of the minimum hourly wage from 40 cents to 75 cents.

WORD OF THE DAY

Repine - [rih-PYNE] - verb

Definition: To feel or express dejection or discontent

Example: Cancelled college classes because of COVID? I'm not one to repine over matters that can't be helped.

WIT OF THE DAY

“The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.”

-Joseph Stalin

TODAY'S TRUMPISM

“The votes are coming in and we're way ahead of where we're supposed to be.”

-Donald J. Trump

WEATHER IN A WORD

Scattered