OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY
TRENTON - A federal judge has thrown out a now infamous lawsuit from a former employee of the Case Pork Roll Co., which she claims forced her out the door, after firing her 400-pound husband for chronically passing gas at work. She explained her husband has health issues, prompting all that workplace gas and extreme diarrhea, NJ 101.5 reports. She says employers had enough, quoting them saying, "We have to do something about Rich," and "We cannot run an office and have visitors with this odor in the office." The judge said the comments didn't rise to the level of an "abusive work environment." Rich is probably a great guy; it's a shame that co-workers won't miss him.
STATEWIDE - With the snowstorm now behind us, time to obsess over something else. And, luckily, the NCAA tournament starts tomorrow, with 32 basketball games tipping off through Friday. Others are obsessing, as well, including a global outplacement firm that reports the tourney costs U.S. employers $2.1 billion in lost productivity. This year, according to the firm's annual press release, there are 23.7 million workers filling out brackets at work and many are then consumed by the games, watching all the action on smartphones and tablets, as the office phone rings... and rings... and rings.
KINNELON - If you were going to cut a hole in a wall to steal the safe from an adjoining business, we bet it would be a bank, or a jewelry store or maybe an art gallery. But a burglar in Kinnelon envisioned a big cash payout by cutting into the Dunkin' Donuts on Route 23 south and stealing the safe on Monday, the Record reports. Perhaps this is a very, very lucrative coffee shop, justifying all the effort to break into a vacant store-front, breaking through drywall, squeezing between two studs and dragging out a safe weighing up to 200 pounds, as a video camera chronicled all the action. Then, the guy steals a 1994 Dodge truck to make the glorious get-away, on this less-than-gigantic heist of the century.
ATLANTIC CITY - For years, down-on-their-luck gamblers have taken a bath at the Atlantic Club, a shuttered, second-rate boardwalk casino. Now, they can return and get wet all over again, as the building is being converted into a massive indoor-outdoor water park. We are talking a 100,000-square-foot entertainment center with a go-cart track and a glitzy arcade, the Press of AC reports, giving the kiddies something fun to do as their dear-old-dads blows their college savings at craps tables in other casinos.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
NAPA, Calif. - The Napa Fire Department now has a story that will be retold for years. KRON-TV reports emergency workers needed to remove part of a wall to extract a naked man stuck in a narrow passage in a sandwich shop, where he spent the night. No one exactly knows why the guy was naked when construction crews arrived Tuesday morning, hearing some faint, embarrassed cries for help coming from the closed shop. Some figure the man must have somehow fallen into a shaft from the roof of the building, as he was apparently looking for a wishing well - (if this story can't get any weirder.) The naked man was cut out of the wall, given some clothes and - to his relief - was not identified to the media.
IN THE MEDIA
WASHINGTON - Unclear why Rachel Maddow of MSNBC considers it a huge scoop to publicize the President's tax returns from 12 years ago. Donald Trump's return seems a little ho-hum for an alleged billionaire, showing he earned a not-too-shabby $253 million that year and wrote off $103 million as losses. The White House is allegedly upset over all this, slamming Maddow as desperate for ratings. But the tax returns follow the Trump story line of success, and indicates he may have actually paid $38 million in income taxes, CBS reports. So, what is the smoking gun? In this case, there isn't one. Conspiracy theorists, and most everyone else, wonders: Could the White House have leaked what is actually a positive story for Trump?
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
What the heck are you complaining about? It was this day in 2015 that Boston reached a new seasonal snowfall record of 108.6 inches.
WORD OF THE DAY
Luciferous - [loo-sif-er-uh s] - adjective
Definition: Bringing enlightenment
Example: Will the President's 12-year-old tax document manifest its luciferous properties on large volumes of Americans?
WEATHER IN A WORD