OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

ATLANTIC CITY - A huge potential win for New Jersey in its ongoing quest for legalized sports betting occurred yesterday, as the U.S. Supreme Court said it would listen to an hour of arguments this fall. Politico reports New Jersey has been challenging the federal law that bans states from allowing organized sports betting. It makes no sense that places like Las Vegas should be bestowed with legal sports betting, but not Atlantic City. How is that fair?

MONTVILLE - Binge-eating hot dogs in frenzied competition is another activity that local Schools Superintendent Rene Rovtar hopes to scratch off her bucket list. On Tuesday, she's representing New Jersey in the 100th-annual Nathan's 4th of July Hot Dog-Eating Contest. The Basking Ridge resident tells The Daily Record that she's usually "not much of a meat-eater ... my appetite is on the light side. That's part of the fun of doing this." Rovtar also says she's fairly athletic, having run in 24 marathons, including the Boston Marathon 11 times, so she is primed for competition. And it's usually the kids with the big mouths.

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TRENTON - Well, "Dog the Bounty Hunter" was barking up the wrong governor if he hoped for a cozy chat with Chris Christie to growl about our state's new bail reforms. But, Duane "Dog" Chapman's visit here wasn't a complete bust. He accomplished two things: Dog persuaded NJ Weedman Ed Forchion to end a 14-day hunger strike to protest being jailed without bail on witness tampering charges. Dog's other feat: Getting Christie to admit he'd prefer a tête-à-tête with an inquisitive news reporter than to go toe-to-toe with a raucous reality TV star.

TRENTON - There's at least one cost-saving measure with the $300 million (or so) renovation of the Statehouse: Cheap labor. The state is now using felons to haul away furniture from the building. While work is done on the historic building, minimum security inmates in the state's DEPTCOR program will be fixing up the old furniture and then putting it all back when the project is done at some point in the next few years.

LAKEWOOD - The second wave of arrests could have taken place as early as dawn today, as cops plan to cuff more families that have abused welfare for years, NJ.com reports. People are scampering for cover, desperate for amnesty, eager to "update" their income information, after cheating taxpayers out of Medicaid, food stamps, Social Security benefits and other goodies meant only to help the poorest of the poor. Authorities have been warning for years of a crackdown; this should be of no surprise in this bizarre town suffering from rampant overdevelopment, financially struggling schools and (alleged) money launderers.

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

OVIEDO, Fla. - Lawsuits should be flying like crazy as salivating lawyers go after authorities for jailing a Florida handyman for 90 days on a cocaine charge. A lab determined that all the white powder found in his car was drywall dust, WFTV reports. The man repeatedly told cops it wasn't drugs, but he was out on probation, so he was arrested. And, because of the probation, bail was denied. And, it took three months for the lab to get around to testing the powder and make the obvious conclusion. So, whoops. Sorry.

IN THE MEDIA

ON THE NEWSTANDS - An odd, blunt plea by Philly.com on its website, begging for subscribers: "We recently asked you to support our journalism. The response, in a word, is heartening. You have encouraged us in our mission - to provide quality news and watchdog journalism. Some of you have even followed through with subscriptions, which is especially gratifying. Our role as an independent, fact-based news organization has never been clearer. And our promise to you is that we will always strive to provide indispensable journalism to our community. Subscriptions are available for home delivery of the print edition and for a digital replica viewable on your mobile device or computer. Subscriptions start as low as 25¢ per day. We're thankful for your support in every way."

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

It was on this day in 1972 that President Nixon picked up some fans, announcing new draftees would not be shipped off to Vietnam, unless they "volunteer."

  

WORD OF THE DAY

Tristful - [TRIST-full] - adjective

Definition: Sad, melancholy

Example: Wearing a necktie on a glorious summer day is a tristful experience.

WEATHER IN A WORD

Glorious