OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

WANTAGE - Not only can Assemblyman Parker Space propose state legislation. He's also probably the only lawmaker who can swiftly perform a C-section on a sheep. That was evident yesterday at his business, the Space Farms Zoo and Museum, where he helped "Daisy" deliver her two lambs, NJ.com reports. Space says the C-section was necessary, or the lambs - named Ebony and Ivory - wouldn't have made it. Now...what can he cut from the state budget?  

TRENTON - Sure, we get it. Gov. Chris Christie needs big bucks for his pet projects, like addressing the opiate crisis. But it makes no sense to go after an estimated $300 million in reserve accounts at Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield. It is a not-for-profit entity that covers 3.8 million people in the state. If you raid its reserves - which we assume would then need to be replenished - wouldn't that just make health insurance more expensive in New Jersey?  

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ATLANTIC CITY - Plans remain unclear after gazillionaire Carl Icahn has agreed to sell the shuttered Trump Taj Mahal Casino to Hard Rock International. But the sale could mean something is finally interesting on that end of the Boardwalk, which has been a ghost town since the closure of the Taj, Showboat and the Revel. Slow, steady and coordinated expansion is always good news - especially when it comes in the form of gigantic taxpayers.

NEWARK - For years, we have been writing about how Newark will become the next Brooklyn, a gentrified haven where hipsters take advantage of that gloriously short train ride into the Big City. With the Whole Foods Market opening yesterday in the old Hahne's building, and all this other development in the works, the New York Post is finally taking notice, posting an article with this headline: "Is Newark the new Brooklyn?" Thanks for finally noticing. 

NORTH BRUNSWICK - The New York Times is noticing the glaring omission from the "transit village" that has been in development for years off Route 1 north. You know the place, featuring those big signs that read, "Shop. Dine. Ride. Live." Among the new townhouses, restaurants and big-box stores, sitting near train tracks, there is just one thing missing: a train station. The hope was that a gleaming new commuter rail station would be built, but the newspaper notes that NJ Transit has yet to earmark any funding. Read all about it.

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS 

STATEWIDE - If you can't drag your big lazy self to McDonald's to wait three minutes for your daily Big Breakfast with hotcakes and a large biscuit, there's some great news. McDonald's will be rolling out an app for even easier ordering. And if this instant app is not quick enough for you, why leave home? McDonald's is also offering delivery through the app, so you just need to waddle over to your front door. Next step: a McDonald's staff member will be dispatched to shovel the food down your gullet and manually move your jaws in a common chewing maneuver. Sadly, you will still be required to swallow on your own. But that could change, too.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY 

Many are unaware that today marks the 100th anniversary of the Jones-Shafroth Act. And what, exactly, is that? It gives Puerto Ricans status as American citizens. That law, we learn from an op-ed in today's Star-Ledger, was enacted a month before World War I, when the U.S. was rife with anti-immigration fervor. Sound familiar? Read the piece here

WORD OF THE DAY 

Laconic - [luh-KAH-nik] - adjective 

Definition: Using or involving a minimum number of words  

Example: Some complain our Morning Briefing writers are too laconic, excluding some information. But we're just desperate to keep people's attention in the era of Snapchat. 

WEATHER IN A WORD 

Gusty