OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY
SEASIDE HEIGHTS - Just when you thought it was safe to go in the water, another TV reality show will soon smash into this summer resort, still bruised from years of MTV's "Jersey Shore." This new one is about a bunch of roommates with boardwalk day-jobs who work together at a Boulevard nightclub after dark. Producers held a casting call for loud, fun, and footloose singles at The Bamboo Bar on Saturday. Owner John Saddy tells the Asbury Park Press this is unlikely to be another wild, crazy or tawdry Snooki-fest because it revolves around young working stiffs. Not for long. If viewers wanted to see boring people, they would just tune in to a mirror.
HOPEWELL - Red-faced township school officials are offering apologies over the bonehead move to serve fried chicken to celebrate Black History Month. Apparently, students were able to appreciate the African-American struggle on February 16, as they hunkered down to a soul food meal, including corn bread, sweet potato casserole and all the fixings at Hopewell Valley Central High School, NJ.com reports. Next up, with St. Patrick's Day arriving and more stereotypes to propagate, perhaps students will be able to enjoy a six-course meal of five potatoes and a Guinness.
TRENTON - The Guadagnos will soon be a one-income household. Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno's husband thinks it's damn time she got a promotion after dealing with this so-and-so boss for seven years. In an official retirement letter to the Secretary of State, who also happens to be his wife, Appellate Court Judge Michael Guadagno writes, "With your term ending ... and my income substantially reduced, this may be an excellent opportunity for you to consider a career change to a more lucrative position." Hmmm.
ENGLEWOOD - Perhaps she thought it was her inheritance? Whatever her reasons, a 59-year-old city woman will spend six months in the Bergen County jail for collecting her dead mother's Social Security payments, totaling $128,000, for nearly eight years. The money kept getting direct-deposited into mom's bank account, which she happily siphoned until the feds caught on in 2014. She also pleaded guilty to fraudulently collecting her mother's New York State pension benefits. Once released, she must repay every cent and be on probation for five years. And, ultimately, she also has to answer to the ghost of mom.
WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP - These things happen. After all, an 88-year-old driver shouldn't be required to keep the car on the road at all times, right? So, what is the big deal if she plowed through the front of her neighbor's house yesterday, trapping the pet dog that had been enjoying a relaxing afternoon in the living room. No big injuries, NBC News reports, although the house is trashed and could be condemned. Again, no big deal. Nothing some home-baked cookies and a freshly knit afghan can't fix.
IN THE MEDIA
FAIRLAWN - While the President despises 99 percent of the working media, decreed as corrupt, dumb losers, there is one station he can stand, for the moment: UNF News. It is owned by a 19-year-old Fair Lawn teen, who started the organization when he was 8. It has no subscribers or advertisers. But it somehow had credentials and access to the White House press conference last week. And that allowed its founder, publisher, editor and reporter, Kyle Mazza, to pose this question to the leader of the free world: "Melania Trump announced the reopening of the White House Visitors Office. And she does a lot of great work for the country as well. Can you tell us a little bit about what first lady Melania Trump does for the country?"
"Now, that's what I call a nice question," he said. "That is very - who are you with?"
The answer - UNF News.
"Good," the president said. "I'm going to start watching, all right?"
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
NORWALK, Ohio - Fantastic news for Elizabeth "Liz" Smith: She is dead. That's right, Liz is happy to no longer be among us, reports the Sandusky Register. Sure, the 87-year-old retired switchboard operator, who volunteered 45 years with the Girl Scouts, loved life. But, it was time to go, reported her obituary. "Liz is smiling now, not to be living during the Trump Presidency," it stated. Smith's daughter offered clarity at this somber moment: "She doesn't like the man, she never has, thought he was a pompous ass."
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 2011 that an NYU professor had an experimental life-blogging camera removed from his head after his immune system rejected the implant. Next time: Duct tape.
WORD OF THE DAY
Protean [PROH-tee-un] - adjective
Definition: Displaying great diversity or variety
Example: I take a protean approach to my breakfast, often mixing my Cap'n Crunch and Lucky Charms.
WEATHER IN A WORD