OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY
FREEHOLD - "I do," and please pass a square. A Jersey Shore couple was married in the bathroom of the Monmouth County Courthouse, after the mother of the groom began having trouble breathing in the ladies' room. NJ 101.5 reports the EMTs rushed in with oxygen, and then did not want to move mom back into the courtroom. The Ocean Township couple couldn't wait another 45 days to get hitched, so it was decided the ceremony would be in the bathroom. With the oxygen hissing in the background, and the couple standing next to the paper towel dispenser, they pledged their lifetime love for one another before Judge Katie Gummer. It was all caught on video. Fortunately, no one flushed.
TRENTON - Give the newbie a break. That's the message from the state Legislature, working on a bill that would allow Gov. Phil Murphy a little more time to assemble his first proposed budget. Governors are supposed to get their budget to lawmakers by the fourth Tuesday in February. But as Murphy keeps finding the former governor's Ritz crackers in the couch cushions at Drumthwacket, and has yet to locate a second-floor bathroom, he is hoping to have a wee bit more time to get acclimated. The bill would give him some breathing room, to March 13, to pull together his first spending plan.
STATEWIDE - You may notice something is different about your television. After months of seeing Gov. Chris Christie on your screen, in his "Reach NJ" campaign to fight opioid abuse, his mug is finally off the air. The Asbury Park Press reports his last ad appeared on January 16, running a few hours after he officially ceded control of the state to Gov. Phil Murphy. It was a $42 million, taxpayer-funded campaign with an important message, yet it will always remain a bit sketchy as to why the most unpopular governor in recent history served as pitchman.
PRINCETON - See all those sleep-deprived kids staggering around town? Well, that should hopefully change in the fall, as the school board mercifully voted to begin the school day 30 minutes later, with the bell ringing at 8:20 a.m. School officials agree teens can perform better at Princeton High School when they are actually awake. It is all part of a statewide discussion, fueled in part by Sen. Richard Codey, to start school later, in the hopes of giving teens some decent shuteye. But the challenge is still with parents, who must pry teens away from their smartphones before midnight.
FORT LEE - We've all heard about the horrid traffic at the George Washington Bridge. But, as of late, it really has had nothing to do with a former governor. The trucking industry is out with a report showing the GWB, just west of the bridge toll plaza in Fort Lee, features the second-worst bottleneck in the nation. This traffic nightmare ranks only behind Interstate 85 North and I-285 in Atlanta, where motorists have likely been sitting in traffic since last October. You can peruse the Top 100 list from the American Transportation Research Institute here, as you sit in traffic and stew.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
NOT IN DAVOS - What did you get for your wedding anniversary? A nice dinner? A card? First Lady Melania Trump used her 13th wedding anniversary to quietly decided not to join her husband in Davos, Switzerland at the World Economic Forum, Yahoo reports. The chilly reason is "scheduling and logistical reasons," and not the wildly-embarrassing disclosure of $130,000 in hush money to a porn star, reportedly to keep quiet Trump's alleged affair during the third year of his marriage to Melania. Why is this amazing, salacious news generating nothing near the feeding frenzy of other well-publicized infidelities?
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 1989 when the bosses got together, as Pope John Paul II is allowed an audience with Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. It was quickly discovered the Pope can't hit a curve, prematurely ending the meeting.
WORD OF THE DAY
Mansuetude - [MAN-swih-tood] - noun
Definition: Meekness, tameness
Example: Just a few months until May, when we can once again gaze out at the ocean and enjoy the warm breezes and mansuetude.
WEATHER IN A WORD