STATEWIDE - There's a new school aid formula in New Jersey, and everyone is a winner! Um, probably not. But, Gov. Phil Murphy still vows every school district will get their full amount of state aid by 2025. School aid has been a mess for years, as any school official will tell you, with wealthy suburbs pitted against poor cities for a limited pot of gold. Murphy promises to miraculously end these disparities with a seven-year roll-out and $2 billion more aid flooding in. Yes, it's an incredible balancing act. Yes, over-funded districts will finally get less, underfunded districts will finally get more. If this somehow works, it is a tremendous victory for our rookie governor. And, yes, most people won't understand how this might happen. But, yes, everyone eagerly awaits the cash to support their schools and give taxpayers a break. So, we say, YES.
KENILWORTH - Congrats on the pregnancy! Now you're fired. That's the apparent message from St. Theresa School in Kenilworth, who a former teacher is suing. She became pregnant, while unmarried, and told the principal the good news in 2014. That didn't sit well, as premarital sex is a no-no. Even though the teacher was engaged to be married, rules, apparently, are rules. The school says she signed a document upon hire in 2011 agreeing to no "participation in abortion, committing homicide or euthanasia, possession or distribution of pornographic material, adultery, flagrant promiscuity or illicit co-habitation, abuse of alcohol, drugs, or gambling," etc. But nowhere did it say "pregnancy out of wedlock," the teacher argues. An appeals court has ruled this lawsuit shall continue.
EAST ORANGE - Scamming Hawaii out of tax refunds is not as easy as an East Orange income tax preparer apparently thought. Now, she and 23 co-conspirators - most of them her relatives and friends from Jersey City and East Orange - could end up behind bars for up to two decades, watching Magnum, P.I. reruns. The woman, 44, allegedly filed 65 bogus returns with Hawaii for the 2013 tax year, trying to scam more than $400,000 from the good people of the Aloha State. Some of her phony filings were bounced, but the Asbury Park Press says the scheme netted almost $250,000 before authorities got wise. No leis for you, lady.
MILLBURN - Expect some residents to have their feathers ruffled when the Township Committee votes on Aug. 14 to allow residents to raise chickens. Will some in this highly-affluent town fly the coop, once residents are allowed to house up to four chickens per family? Will they cry fowl with chicken coops up to 10 feet tall? Will they squawk and cluck at the bird brains on the Township Committee who will be charging $100 permit fees and $65 inspection fees? All egg-cellent questions.
FORT LEE - A local mom is suing the school district, after her daughter told her chemistry teacher her facts were all wrong about sickle cell anemia, the Record reports. The teacher allegedly told the class that women who are pregnant with children who have sickle cell anemia either have abortions or miscarry. The student, who happened to be diagnosed with sickle cell anemia at birth and had a bone marrow transplant, said the teacher was dead wrong. That apparently prompted the teacher to lash out and the student was humiliated. Then, things went really south between this teacher and student, mom alleges, with the girl ultimately fleeing her junior year for Paramus Catholic. School officials are moving to dismiss the case in federal court, saying "the complaint still fails to state a claim that's recognized under current laws."
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
NILES, Ohio - Next time, these guys should put more thought behind the get-away. Local cops responding to a theft at a local pet store on Monday drove past two guys on a motorcycle, with the passenger trying to hold a large fish tank. Hmm. Cops quickly swarmed, with the passenger jumping off the bike, shattering the aquarium and quickly getting cuffed. Meanwhile, the other took off on the bike. Cops later found it behind a Chinese restaurant, with a "nervous-looking" man nearby, furiously pruning a small tree with his bare hands. Hmm. This alleged amateur landscaper told cops he thought he saw the suspects run the other way. Hmm, again. He was quickly cuffed, as well.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 1983 that a baboon was conceived in a lab dish in San Antonio for the first time. Two other lab dishes - let's call them Mom and Dad - couldn't be more excited!
WORD OF THE DAY
Acolyte - [AK-ə-lyte] - noun
Definition: One who assists a member of the clergy in a liturgical service by performing minor duties
Example: Mel keeps making me look bad. Did you hear he's now an acolyte? How do I keep up?
WEATHER IN A WORD
THE NEW 60
a Jaffe Briefing exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun