OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

TRENTON - Senator Chris Christie?  That's one chilling scenario that Politico is musing, based on a number of "ifs." So, on this steamy summer morning, let's play the game. If  Sen. Robert Menendez has to leave the Senate by the end of the year, as he is slated to go on trial in September on corruption charges, it would be up to the lame-duck governor to replace him. Christie could then appoint a pal to the seat, or - if he wants - he could appoint himself, a Trump rubber stamp. For those fretting about such a scenario, a silver lining: Christie's famous line in 2014: "I would rather die than be in the United State Senate."

OLD BRIDGE - Bamboo commonly found in New Jersey backyards is more invasive than Genghis Khan and harder to control than a foul ball at CitiField. Bamboo can climb 40-feet high, its runaway roots infiltrating your neighbors' backyards, choking trees and splitting driveways and sidewalks. Despite rabid complaints, the Township Council seems hesitant to join a number of towns that already restrict homeowners from planting it. Before acting, The Suburban says, council members are pussyfooting around with exhaustive studies, expert advice from horticulturalists, even fields trip to Rutgers Gardens. And the bamboo just keeps gaining more ground. 

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NEW BRUNSWICK - Rutgers University tuition is going up again, of course, a modest 1.8 percent increase. That puts a year of tuition, room, board and fees at slightly over $27,000 a year, TAPInto New Brunswick reports. On one hand, that's a ton of money for the typical New Jersey family trying to foot the bill for college education. On the other, private colleges and universities - like NYU and Columbia - are nearing $70,000 a year for what many argue is a comparable education, just with a fancier piece of paper after four or five years on a campus with a superior food court.

BEDMINSTER - Terrific news for wary taxpayers in Bedminster, who have witnessed this incredible police presence weekend after weekend, when the President comes to play. Who is paying for all these helicopters, motorcades and small armies descending on this town of 9,000 people? Luckily, and mercifully, it looks like the feds will be picking up the tab, NJ 101.5 reports. Bedminster now has a designation from the Secret Service that allows it to be reimbursed for security costs - a big relief for a town with only 16 cops.

PATERSON - Amazing what happens when state monitors and a vigilant news media keep asking questions. Here, apparently, it's caused nearly a 100 percent drop in overall runaway overtime, down $3 million from 2015. The Paterson Press says the police department saw, from that total, a dramatic $1.1 million decrease, while firefighters still overspent by $219,000. Worst was public works; in the red by $605,000. Easily solved: Don't bill taxpayers whenever the mayor's house needs fixing up.

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

SAMSON, Ala. - Now, where the heck are you living if there are 820-pound hogs running wild in your backyard? Of course it has to be backwater southern Alabama, where a local man shot and killed this massive hog after his dog went berserk barking. It took three blam-blams from a .38-caliber handgun to bring this feral monster down. And, like you do, the man then dragged the carcass to a local peanut company, where workers, of course, like you do, were eager to put the thing on one of the scales to see how gigantic it was. Next, of course, like you do, the proud new dead-hog owner is taking it to his taxidermy shop, and stuffing its head and shoulders to be mounted in his house. You know, like you do.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

It was on this day in 1968 that this psychedelic, proto-metallic, 17-minute-long riff/jam known as "In-a-Gadda-da-Vida," by Iron Butterfly, becomes the very first heavy metal song to hit the charts, at No. 117.

WORD OF THE DAY

Edacious - [ih-DAY-shus] - adjective

Definition: Having a huge appetite; ravenous.

Example: It was an edacious line at the corn dog stand.

WEATHER IN A WORD

Brutal