OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY 

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL - Of absolutely no surprise to anyone in New Jersey, the governor's race has come down to Phil Murphy v. Kim Guadagno. And, of what will be no further surprise, Murphy is the frontrunner to win in November, as the Democrat has more registered voters, more money and zero affiliation with one of the most unpopular governors in history. Guadagno, recognizing she is the underdog, is already swinging for the fences, making the unrealistic pledge that if she does not lower property taxes as governor, she would not seek a second term. Additional "pledges," as the campaign churns, should be fascinating.

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL - And, of absolutely no shock, the political parties are sticking with their incumbents in November's race for the 120 seats in the state Legislature, showing, once again, the power of county organizations. There were nearly 280 candidates. But Politico notes that three districts were actually competitive, but Assemblywomen BettyLou DeCroce (District 26) and Angela McKnight (District 31) fended off challengers. And, in District 40, Passaic County Clerk Kristin Corrado secured the GOP nomination for state Senate, defeating Bergen County GOP Chair Paul DiGaetano. The seat opened when Sen. Kevin O'Toole decided to call it quits.

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ON THE RAILS - It seems that anything can cause a five-mile traffic back-up in New Jersey, as our rubberneckers are known, for, well, rubber necking. And while the state vows there will be absolutely no road closures tomorrow, as road crews practice organizing evacuation routes on several highways, we are a wee bit skeptical. There will be cops and crews setting up cones, barrels and electronic message boards on sections of the AC Expressway, the lower end of the Parkway, I-195 and Routes 72, 47 and 347. A drill. Only a drill. But, in a state where a light breeze grinds traffic to a halt, good luck.

CAMDEN - College fairs aren't exactly news. But Rutgers-Camden is sure to stir some debate over its event on Saturday geared to recruit unauthorized immigrants. These students are being invited to take advantage of a state law that allows students living here illegally to attend public colleges and pay in-state tuition rates. Prospective students will also be invited to a "Know Your Rights" seminar presented by Rutgers Law School, and even get free legal screenings and referrals. As we are all immigrant families, at some point in our history, we're sure this event will be universally accepted. Uh, right?

ASBURY PARK - So, what's a cooler town than Bisbee, Ariz., Nevada City, Calif. or Chatham, Mass? Well, if you read the dateline, you may have discovered it is Asbury Park. A magazine called Budget Travel has decreed Asbury Park as the Coolest Town in the U.S., exemplifying "cultural and ethnic diversity, creative energy, and unparalleled natural beauty." And, of course, there's the annual Zombie Walk.

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

ARCADIA, CALIF. - What is the favorite wine of the female peacock? One may never know, as the peacock who visited a Los Angeles-area liquor store ran from bottle to bottle on Monday, as animal control tried to snag it with a fishing net. "He tried to get it again with the net ... It just went straight diving into all the bottles," the store owner said. "The more he kept on trying to use the net, the more it kept on flapping his wings and knocking everything over." The bird landed into a shelf; wine bottles crashing everywhere. Finally, with the help of the store owner, animal control was able to drag the peacock outside, setting it free.

 THIS DAY IN HISTORY

It was this day in 1962 that Switzerland finally got its first drive-thru bank - a well-received "innovation" that had been in operation in the U.S. since 1938. All was well when the Schweizerische Kreditanstalt bank opened in downtown Zurich. But that was before all the traffic hit this global epicenter for banking, ultimately wiping out the drive-thru by 1983.

WORD OF THE DAY 

Plagiary - [PLAY-jee-air-ee] - noun

Definition: One who plagiarizes

Example: If you liberally cite your sources, you'll never be blamed for being a plagiary.

WEATHER IN A WORD

Spotty