OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY
ON THE ROAD - In what could be the biggest non-news to ever hit the news wire, a report shows that most people drive over the speed limit on the New Jersey Turnpike. As you drop your coffee in your lap, stunned by the sheer shock of this revelation, a company called Busbud outlined how it came to such a conclusion. "Researchers" took a trip along the entire Turnpike, NJ 101.5 notes, tracking how many motorists were speeding, cutting each other off, flipping birds, tailgating, screaming and driving wildly into ditches. Of the 1,345 vehicles observed, these researchers discovered 1,193 violations. Or about nine out of 10 drivers. Again, zero surprise here.
STATEWIDE - No question that New Jersey has some of the most outdated liquor laws in the nation; Assemblyman John Burzichelli is attempting to drag the state out of its Prohibition-era thinking, to a modern-day economy. That's why he is calling for a new type of liquor license, designed for more restaurants to sell only wine and beer. Expect plenty of howling from businesses that have plunked down up to $1 million for the privilege of offering a full bar, including all those glorious spirits. These proposed licenses could cost as little as $1,500 a year, NJ 101.5 reports. Could this be the end of BYOB?
SALEM - An update for our three or four readers in Salem County: Nice to know the former freeholder director has landed on her feet after abruptly resigning in December. It seems Julie Acton just landed a $50,000 job as part-time executive director of the Salem County Improvement Authority, overseeing the county dump and helping to finance capital projects. Acton's departure as a freeholder was surprising because she just won re-election last fall. The Republican graciously offered to fall on her sword and leave after voters approved cutting the freeholder board from seven to five members. Glad to see she had a soft landing.
VERONA - There's one way to pay for luxury seats at CitiField. But, writing a check seems so, well, boring. So, a Verona man concocted a scheme of forging the signature of Mets chief operating officer, Jeff Wilpon, on phone lease agreements. Michael Conway, 41, was sentenced for bilking more than $4.5 million from an investor and a financial company, using part of the proceeds to party in the CitiField suites. Conway says drug and alcohol abuse are the reasons for his behavior. Or, perhaps just the curse of being a Mets fan desperate for a decent seat and a cold beer.
STATEWIDE - In what could be the best news to hit teens since the invention of X Box One, Taco Bell is primed to go nationwide with its latest Tex-Mex distortion: a taco with a shell carved out of glorious fried chicken. It's called the "Naked Crispy Chicken Chalupa," fried on the outside and filled with taco stuff, including an avocado ranch sauce. It's out Jan. 26, rolling in at a respectable 370 calories and 21 grams of fat. Take that, Col. Sanders.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
GETTYSBURG, Pa. - Ever want Harry S. Truman over for dinner? Or see how "Jackie O" looks in your wife's yoga pants? Or use "Dubya" as a hat rack in your foyer? Well, it may be possible, for the right price. This Saturday, life-size wax figures of all 44 former U.S. presidents and their First Ladies are on the auction block after the Hall of Presidents and First Ladies Wax Museum here abruptly closed last month, ending its 59-year run. Its collection of wax presidents and their waxy wives will be auctioned at the 1863 Inn of Gettysburg. Sorry, there's no wax Donald Trump dummy yet. We'll just have to settle for the one that... you know... actually talks and tweets.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
There were a bunch of high-fiving bishops on this day in 2014, when Pope Francis elevated 19 of them to Cardinal.
WORD OF THE DAY
Gambol [GAM-bul] - verb
Definition: To skip about, frolic
Example: From my view on the National Mall, I will watch the President-elect gambol around the stage.
WEATHER IN A WORD