OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY
HOPATCONG - Some giggling doofus in a bunny suit, blowing an air horn, showed up to turn himself in at the Hopatcong Police Department on Nov. 17, with his brother videoing the action to post on social media. But, the real doofus is likely a cop, who decided to yell expletives and slap the oversized bunny as the camera rolled. The doofus apparently had nothing to lose with his prank; the officer is now charged with assault and the video has gone viral. The cop's lawyer tells NJ.com his client "acted appropriately and in accordance with his training." That's funny. Watch the profanity-filled video. You decide.
TRENTON - Gov. Chris Christie is determined to go down in history as the man who made the greatest mark during his time in office. And so, he just needs to drop one more percentage point in the polls to become the most unpopular governor in history. A Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll has Christie's approval rating at 18 percent among New Jersey voters - down three points from October. Such an amazing distinction is just one point higher than the lowest poll rating POLITICO New Jersey could find for any New Jersey governor in history. Former Gov. Brendan Byrne still holds the distinction with a 17 percent approval rating in 1977. But our faith is with Christie. He can accomplish anything. Go Chris!
SECAUCUS - The most unpopular person in New Jersey at this moment is the train passenger who pulled the emergency stop so he could grab the cellphone he dropped on the tracks while riding between two cars. Not only was it stupid, the bonehead move at 8:20 a.m. yesterday prompted a 15-minute delay for a bunch of trains, ensuring thousands of seething people were late for work. NJ Transit called it "reckless," saying the guy risked injuring himself and hundreds of others. It's also remarkably reckless that passengers are still allowed to hang out between the trains for the ride, as well. But no one has been killed yet, we assume, so let's just wait until that happens before we spring to action.
NORTH ARLINGTON - When off-duty cops get into a big bar fight - and one is accused of trying to cover it up - the story is guaranteed to show up here. Four Belleville cops now have to answer to a judge on Dec. 14, after the humorless "Confidential Investigations Unit" of the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office slapped them with charges. Details of the Oct. 21 bar fight are sketchy; we weren't there. But apparently it all started inside the bar - maybe stemming from a bad joke about donuts - then it spilled outside around 1 a.m. No criminal charges were filed at the time, but then investigators discovered one Belleville cop lied to Lyndhurst cops about what happened. The details should all come out in court, if you want to attend the show with a bucket of popcorn.
ATLANTIC CITY - Nucky Johnson would be tickled to know the seaside resort where he amassed a fortune flouting Prohibition is now getting its first, completely-legal distillery. Eric and Mark Ganter are making legal hooch at their new Little Water Distillery, now headed to local liquor stores and bars. The online news site Route 40 says the Lexington Avenue distillery, the state's second largest, will host whiskey tastings and tours, showing off Prohibition-era bottles unearthed during renovations to their building, once a speakeasy. So, bottoms up. And no need for a special knock.
COLTS NECK - This affluent, celebrity-rich town's most troublesome eyesore is a derelict Cedar Drive mansion owned by a mortgage executive jailed in 2011 for a multimillion dollar fraud scheme. The graffiti-marred, trash-strewn mansion is now an internet sensation after a mysterious videographer poked his camera into its every nook and cranny. The "Unknown Cameraman" has racked up more than a million hits for his eerie 29-minute YouTube video, luring more trespassers, more vandalism and driving cops crazy, Deputy Mayor Mike Fitzgerald tells NBC4 News. Once worth $8 million, the mansion is for sale. Expect the price to be "very negotiable," even with the likes of Bruce Springsteen and a few Real Housewives cast members living fabulously nearby.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
WELLINGTON - It's now being called the perfect "space oddity." (Editor's Note: If you don't know the music of David Bowie, kindly move on to the next news item.) Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin is being treated in a New Zealand hospital by a doctor whose name just happens to be David Bowie. In such an odd coincidence, Aldrin's doctor shares the name of the singer who released his smash hit "Space Oddity" about a fictional astronaut who loses communication with ground control in 1969, just days before Neil Armstrong and Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on the moon. The coincidence wasn't lost on Aldrin, happily posing for photos with Dr. Bowie, as this story also goes viral.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 1990 that the autograph of Shoeless Joe Jackson sold for $23,100, or equivalent to an estimated 2,140 pairs of shoes.
WORD OF THE DAY
Mansuetude [man-swi-tood] - noun
Definition: kindness, gentleness
Example: On Jan. 20, America will be warmly embraced by the mansuetude of the Trump Administration.
WEATHER IN A WORD