ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL – Luckily, more than 1 million New Jerseyans have already voted. Because they will learn absolutely nothing new tonight when the presidential candidates have competing town hall forums at the exact same time. What is NBC thinking to host an event with Donald Trump when ABC already scheduled a town hall with Joe Biden? Obviously, New Jersey voters can’t possibly watch two town halls at the same time, making tonight’s forum worthless and uninformative. Both candidates will be unchallenged and just have the opportunity to further spin their own talking points. Of course, the “winner” will be the one who gets more ratings – and that will be Trump, who will say whatever he can to make headlines. It all begins at 8 p.m. on both NBC and ABC; you’ll learn more about the election by watching whatever dumb reality show is on CBS.

TRENTON – These are serious times and it is time for serious debate about serious issues. (Seriously) Yet some in the state Legislature think there’s a pressing need to review the 243-year-old state seal, Politico reports. There’s a bill to establish an 11-member State Seal Task Force to “study and review the design of the state seal for New Jersey’s present and future.” It was prompted by the fact that some high school kids believe the state seal is outdated, which, of course, it is, since it was designed in 1777. Is now the time to scrub out more history, as we further analyze our agricultural roots, or perhaps can the state Legislature be fully focused on ways in which to prepare for the next wave of a global pandemic?

FLEMINGTON – The local mayor may be taking this national election a bit personally, posting on Facebook that “If you voted for the orange monster with COVID, go F*** yourself. If you plan on voting for him again, unfriend me and go f*** yourself again.” Mayor Betsy Driver added: “This is day one of the new SCOTUS term — the religious zealots want to enact the Christian version of Sharia law.” Driver explained she was responding to comments by Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito about overturning same-sex marriages. Top Republicans in the state suggested the good mayor may want to take a breather from politics and perhaps step down. Driver refuses, while Republicans on her council are discussing words like “censure” and “taking action.” Meanwhile, Driver says it is up to voters to boot her out, when she is up for re-election. “That is your recourse,” the mayor said.

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BRIEFING BREATHER

Hewlett-Packard’s (also known as HP) name was decided in a coin toss in 1939.

PISCATAWAY – There’s a cold shudder through the empty stands at Rutgers Stadium, with word that the head coach of the Number Two team in the nation has just caught the virus. With just nine days to go until the Big 10 football kick-off this fall, Nick Saban of Alabama is self-isolating at home, while another SEC school, Florida, is dealing with an outbreak among 19 of its Gators, postponing its upcoming loss to LSU. Both Florida and Alabama were so eager to start the season on time and gobble up all that revenue; perhaps it was rushed. Whatever the case, the Big 10 is warily watching, praying these outbreaks are isolated. To remind everyone yet again, RU players are unpaid students, not millionaire professionals.

MORRIS COUNTY – Sure, pumpkins make great porch décor this time of year. But, as one suburban mom is reminded, they are also food for wildlife. A video shows a bear creeping up on her home and helping himself to dinner. She noted last week that something had been chewing on her pumpkins, but just assumed it was those annoying squirrels. When she realized it was a bear, she was startled. “I guess my screaming scared him off, so I ran to get my phone and then when I came back, he slowly proceeded to come back to capture the pumpkin,” she told CBS. Video shows the bear picking up the pumpkin and taking off, but he quickly drops it. He did get it back and enjoyed it across the street, in peace. Meanwhile, state officials are reporting an 87% uptick this year in bear sightings. Unclear how accurate that could possibly be, but it certainly shows bears are getting a bit more, er, friendly in 2020.

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Um, sorry? That’s the contrite message from the new dean at the University of South Carolina School of Law, who tells The State that he accidentally emailed around the names of all the students who flunked the bar exam, as well as their scores. Apparently, that stuff is supposed to be really hush-hush. Quickly realizing his boo-boo, the dean dashed out a follow-up email, which read, in part: “Please delete the message I just sent about bar passage. Please do not open and, if opened, do not reveal any information in that attachment to anyone.” That, alone, likely ensured a 100% open rate. The State reports the dean did the interview with his shoulders slumped, his head bowed in deep regret. The State also reported he was the former president of the American Bar Association – just to smack him a bit more.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

It was a day no real Mets fan can ever forget: Coming back to beat the Astros in 16 innings on this day in 1986, winning the NL pennant.

WORD OF THE DAY

Kiln – [KILN] – noun

Definition: An oven, furnace, or heated enclosure used for processing a substance by burning, firing, or drying

Example: Does your outdoor eatery offer seating near a kiln?

WIT OF THE DAY

“We stand today at a crossroads: One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other leads to total extinction. Let us hope we have the wisdom to make the right choice.”

 -Woody Allen

TODAY'S TRUMPISM

“VOTE FOR TRUMP, WHAT THE HELL DO YOU HAVE TO LOSE!!!”

-Donald J. Trump

WEATHER IN A WORD

Perfect