OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

SOMEWHERE ELSE - Maybe it's just lunch. Or, maybe, just maybe, it could be something so much more, as Gov. Chris Christie goes to Washington D.C. to meet up with President Trump for their 12:30 p.m. date. Maybe, just maybe, the conversation will circle around to how Christie can join the team in the White House and smack all those clueless staffers into shape. Maybe there will be talk of a fancy new title that feeds the governor's ego and make his decision to flee New Jersey a no-brainer. Or maybe it is just turkey and cheese, hold the spicy mustard.  

MATAWAN - Shoplifting a pack of smokes may get you probation. Ripping off 8,000 cartons, worth about $500,000, can land you in jail for up to 10 years. That's what Andrew Oreckinto is looking at, after the Matawan man broke into a Connecticut warehouse in March 2011, making off with the bounty. He is already in the slammer for five years, grabbing $100,000 in copper cable to sell as scrap. Hopefully the prison toilets are firmly bolted.  

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STATEWIDE - Who would turn away free money? Apparently, officials in 22 New Jersey municipalities. They refused tens of thousands of dollars in state grants to buy body cameras for their cops. They're worried about the extra costs in the fine print. Paterson's top cop Jerry Speziale tells the Paterson Press: "People think you get these free cameras and that covers everything. The real issue is data retention. That cost (can be) exorbitant." So Paterson, along with towns like East Rutherford, Englewood Cliffs, Teaneck, Belleville, Nutley, Irvington and South Orange, have all said "Thanks, but no."

Photo Courtesy of John O'BoyleCLARK - Who's smarter (or apparently kinder) than fifth-graders? Nine youngsters from St. John the Apostle's coed CYO basketball team just proved it, defying a Newark Archdiocese order to kick two girls off their roster. Instead, the kids chose to forfeit the rest of their season and made national news for rejecting the woefully outdated rule. The team's nine boys and two girls have played together for four years. Time to welcome the Archdiocese to the 21st century. 

UP IN THE SKY - Is it a bird? A plane? Nope, just another UFO. It seems New Jersey has a growing number of annual sightings of spinning discs, glowing orbs and pulsing chevron-shaped crafts. The National UFO Reporting Center says 120 alleged UFOs were reported over the Garden State last year, 14 new ones since Jan. 1, and more than 2,050 sightings of strange visitors from another planet since the 1970s. Ex-Air Force pilot George Filer, now director of the N.J. Mutual UFO Network, tells NJ101.5: "A lot of us in the military or intelligence agencies chased or saw UFOs and believe in their existence." Instead of a wall, perhaps we should build a dome. 

PATERSON - Well, it was a good try. Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. swerved in an attempt to score Trump's tax returns, citing some obscure power that Congress gave itself after the Teapot Dome scandal in 1924. Yet the Republican chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee shot him down. "If Congress begins to use its powers to rummage around in the tax returns of the president, what prevents Congress from doing the same to average Americans?' said Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas. Pascrell was quick to note Brady once voted to release confidential tax information of 51 taxpayers, as part of some investigation into how the IRS handles applications by corporations for non-profit status. Oh, well.

AT THE STORE - Very soon, it will be a real trick to find the Ivanka Trump clothing line. After it was dumped from Nordstrom, it looks as if the discount racks aren't that interested either. The latest to fall was Burlington Coat Factory, NJ.com reports, noting all the Trump fine merchandise has appeared to disappear. Sears and Kmart has also remove the spectacular products from its websites, while Marshalls and TJ Maxx reportedly cut the Ivanka Trump displays and just jam her extraordinary items with all the other stuff on those overcrowded racks. 

THIS DAY IN HISTORY 

Today, in 1989, was tremendous for Robin Givens, granted a divorce from Mike Tyson in the Dominican Republic. 

WORD OF THE DAY 

Transpontine [trans-PAHN-tyne] - adjective 

Definition: Situated on the farther side of a bridge

Example: Love's Leap is over by the transpontine. 

WEATHER IN A WORD 

40s