JACKSON TOWNSHIP – Unclear who the lawyer is for a middle school teacher who spent three days in prison after cops mistook him for someone else, but the poor guy is only getting $22,500 in a hush-hush settlement. Imagine this was you: You are nabbed in a traffic stop in Lakewood on Oct. 21 on an arrest warrant for someone else with the same name. You are hauled to jail, strip searched, processed and thrown in a cell. For the next three days, as you eat crappy food with the dregs of society, your name is dragged through social media as giddy kids at your middle school go nuts with word you are in the clink. It took three entire days until a jail guard figured out something was dreadfully wrong, NJ.com reports. And – after all of this – only $22,500 split between you and your lawyer, with authorities admitting no fault and signing confidentiality agreements? No way. No possible way.

STATEWIDE – It’s 10:15 a.m., and we’ve already received 78 reminders this morning to wash our hands. Frankly, our hands can’t get any cleaner; they are quite impressive. But all of these reminders mean one thing: New Jersey is very, very serious about containing the spread of coronavirus. The fact that there has been “only” one fatality and 15 confirmed cases has shown that, at least for the moment, there appears to be little evidence of community spreading of this super-annoying virus. Perhaps we take a small exhale of relief, for the moment, as we run off to wash our hands again and disinfect these computer keys, again. (P.S. Have you washed your hands?)

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TRENTON – Would-be price gougers looking to profit from the coronavirus should think again. That’s the message from New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal. NJ Spotlight reports that state officials have already warned at least 10 retailers, both online and brick-and-mortar, about jacking up prices as hand sanitizers and surgical masks have flown off the shelves. But now – because the governor has declared a state of emergency – the strongest anti-price gouging laws kick in. For the duration of the emergency, there’s an explicit ban on increasing prices by more than 10% compared to the price “immediately prior to the state of emergency.” So, it’s not so much a case of “Buyer, Beware” as “Gouger, Beware.”

BRIEFING BREATHER: Wikipedia has banned the Church of Scientology from editing any articles.

RIVER EDGE – With a growing shortage of hand sanitizer, one entrepreneurial 7-Eleven owner figured: Hey, why not make some of the stuff myself? Now the 47-year-old Wood-Ridge woman is facing four counts of child endangerment, after selling bootleg spray bottles of some concoction that police say burned several boys. Cops seized five bottles of the sanitizer, and perhaps stopped for a Slurpee, on Monday night, after learning on social media about the three 10-year-old and one 11-year-old victims with red rashes. It looks like as many as nine bottles have been sold at the 7-Eleven, NJ 101.5 reports. So, if your hand sanitizer came with a free hot dog, throw it out.



SOUTH BRUNSWICK – New Jersey’s top Girl Scout cookie seller has done it again, magically peddling 3,162 boxes this year. This brings 17-year-old Mahiyah Sampson’s total cookie sales to more than 33,000 boxes since joining a local Daisy troop in kindergarten. Sampson has been the Garden State’s top Girl Scout cookie salesperson a not-to-shabby 10 times. She’s also our state’s only Girl Scout to ever earn a 10,000 cookie-achiever badge. She tells the Home News Tribune that selling cookies helped her conquer shyness, develop public speaking skills and prepare her for a possible career in politics. The college-bound high school senior says this is her final year of scouting. She won’t be selling cookies any-S’more. 

Photo: Tawanna Sampson

NEW BRUNSWICK – If you are a Rutgers basketball fan – and at this point, what right-minded person isn’t? – you must be dreading a recent tweet by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine. He expressed concerns about coronavirus, tweeting: “For indoor events, we are asking for no events with spectators other than the athletes, parents, and others essential to the game.” What?! It just so happens that Rutgers could be playing the first and, hopefully, the second round of the NCAA tournament in Cleveland. So does that mean Rutgers plays in an empty, cavernous arena? It would be just like the RAC, in say, in 2015-16, when the team won just a single Big 10 game.

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

BEENLEIGH, QUEENSLAND – A very, very unhappy puppy, just two days old, somehow fell down a floor drain in a bathroom, prompting a late-night harried call to the plumber on Tuesday. A work crew quickly arrived, ready for this new and exciting challenge. They needed to snake a camera down the drain to find the little guy and then gently cut through the pipe. They couldn’t pull the dog by his feet because, did we mention, he was just 2 days old? So they had to shake the removed pipe a bit, like a bottle of ketchup, and eventually the dog popped out, safe, sound and probably a bit hungry. Sniffle as you watch this video. (And then go wash your hands.)

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

It was this day in 1904, following 30 years of drilling, that the north tunnel under the Hudson River was holed through, to ultimately connect New Jersey to Manhattan.

WORD OF THE DAY

Luftmensch – [LƱFT-mensh] – noun

Definition: An impractical contemplative person having no definite business or income

Example: After the coronavirus ultimately destroys my career and any job prospects, I’ll probably become a luftmensch.

WIT OF THE DAY

“No man ever listened his way out of a job.”

- Calvin Coolidge

TODAY'S TRUMPISM

“Gallup just gave us the highest rating ever for the way we are handling the coronavirus situation.”

-Donald J. Trump

WEATHER IN A WORD: Warm

THE NEW 60
A Jaffe Briefing Exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun