OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

TRENTON - Gun-rights advocates have new targets in their crosshairs: Two "suicide prevention" bills they claim would drive New Jersey shooting ranges out of business. The NRA has called upon on gun lovers to storm today's Assembly Law & Public Safety Committee hearing on the measures, Guns.com reports. Assemblyman Ralph Caputo drafted the bills in the wake of seven gun suicides since 2014 at shooting ranges in Woodland Park, Randolph and Lakewood. If enacted, the NRA says, the crackdown would hurt every shooting range, gun owner, sportsman, competition shooter and weapons instructor, plus make it tougher for cops and military personnel to train with weapons. Let's see if this triggers an uproar at the 2 p.m. hearing.  

NEWTON - Hunters are now putting on their heaviest thermal underwear and heading out into the backwoods of New Jersey, sitting for hours, shivering, drinking canned beer and hoping that a bear walks by. That way, they can shoot it, and drag its bleeding carcass somewhere, so that other hunters, in their heaviest thermal underwear, shivering, and drinking canned beer, can admire it. This morning begins the second half of this year's bear hunt, which lasts through Saturday. Hunters have high hopes of beating the numbers from the October hunt, when they took down 549 bears over six days. Victims apparently included "Pedals," the bipedal bear and internet celebrity. 

Sign Up for E-News

CAMDEN - A hoax has prompted about 1,800 former inmates from the overcrowded Camden County jail to file suit, as word somehow spread that they could get cold, hard cash in exchange for cold, hard time they spent jammed in the prison. U.S. District Judge Jerome Simandle told the Philadelphia Inquirer that he's proud everyone has access to the federal court system, but that they are being lied to. He says: "There are no checks. There is no fund. And anyone who says they are getting checks or, worse, who is somehow profiting from this, that is just cruel." One guy, for example, was caught selling paperwork to file the lawsuits. (That paperwork is free at the courthouse.) Others come to the courthouse, telling clerks with full conviction: "I'm here to get my check."

YOUR PORCH - Following Cyber Monday, you now see plenty of packages sitting on front porches and stoops. And, just like holiday traditions of spiked egg nog and unruly uncles who appear at your door for the festive meal, there's the tradition of someone stealing your packages. So, NJ101.5 reports, there are plenty of things you can do to avoid getting ripped off, like scheduling your deliveries at a time when you'll be home, or picking them up yourself at a delivery center. There's also these mobile apps that let customers sign remotely for packages, or request a signature before the delivery guy drops the box. Couriers also take special requests, like tucking the package behind that plastic, life-sized Santa, or delivering around to the back door, where grandma is always home and can still miraculously hear the doorbell over the din of "Wheel of Fortune."  

EDISON - Five dusty light bulbs and six rusty keys fetched $64,375 at a Dallas, Tx. auction Saturday. And winning bidders, we presume, thought themselves rather lucky because their antique acquisitions all once belonged to Thomas Edison. CBS News says five incandescent bulbs, which sold for $30,000, were used as evidence when Edison sued three companies for patent infringements. Another bidder paid $10,625 for the keys to the doors of the "invention factory" that Edison operated in Menlo Park from 1876-82, and to a motor shed and workshop there. A bulb made by a German inventor who claimed he invented the incandescent light before Edison sold for $23,750. In other news, Home Depot says to stop complaining about $9 light bulbs. 

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS 

JACKSON, Wyo. - We're all used to cops pulling us over for this or that, and handing us lovely tickets costing a couple of hundred bucks or so. But some cops in Wyoming truly want us to "have a nice day," handing out $50 or $100 to drivers doing the right thing. The Jackson Hole News and Guide reports that anonymous donors in this wealthy enclave have given cash to the cops, who are now giving it out to good drivers, people down on their luck or for pretty much anything else. Amazing how you can do stuff like this anywhere other than New Jersey.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY 

It was this day in 1908 that the University of Pittsburgh added player numbers on jerseys - the first time this was ever done - giving fans some clue about what's happening on the field. 

WORD OF THE DAY 

Ziggurat [ZIG-uh-rat] - noun 

Definition: an ancient Mesopotamian temple tower consisting of a lofty pyramidal structure built in successive stages with outside staircases and a shrine at the top.  

Example: Will Trump live in the White House or one of his ziggurats? 

WEATHER IN A WORD 

Mixed