OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY
MOUNT LAUREL - A drive-thru for Dunkin Donuts? Makes sense. But at a Friendly's? It's hard to imagine pulling up to the menu board and ordering a "Make Your Own Sundae," with all the glorious toppings of your choosing. Then, driving up, paying, and getting handed this tremendous frozen goodness. And then you are expected to get back onto the highway? "Driving While Eating Sundae" could become a new violation in Mount Laurel, as the local Friendly's is the first in the state to feature a drive-thru. Is this pure genius or just begging for whipped cream splatter on the dashboard? Remember, folks, to offer the cop your cherry.
SEASIDE HEIGHTS - There are only two weeks until the rides open on the boardwalk. And there are about 100 great jobs still open, NJ 101.5 reports. That means you can operate a Tilt-a-Whirl for eight hours or so. You could yell at people on the boardwalk, begging them to play your overpriced game with oversized prizes that perhaps have been stored since last summer. Or you can work over a fryer on a 90-degree day, making curly fries. If none of these tremendous opportunities seems the right fit, there's also the need for people to play the role of the park's mascot. You, too, can spend time in that fluffy costume, walking up and down the boardwalk, enjoying that glorious Jersey humidity. Pay rate: a generous $8.38 an hour (and up!) Act now; these jobs won't be around forever.
TOMS RIVER - Plans for a mosque and Muslim school have this town's zoning board kicking the proverbial can down the road. Bracing for typical neighborhood complaints, as well as an Islamaphobe or two, the board has twice rescheduled hearings for the Muslim Society of South Jersey's two-story mosque and school on Lakewood Road. Variances are needed for an undersized lot, Shorebeat says. Similar foot-dragging (and later denials) did not work out so well for Basking Ridge and Bayonne, both rocked by federal civil rights inquiries. Tom River's hearings are rescheduled for April 27. And maybe rescheduled again. And perhaps again.
PATERSON - Plenty of wildlife roams this city's streets, but animal control officers really hit the jackpot on Mill Street - bagging a big, exotic Savannah cat. These hybrid felines - a mix of domestic and African cats - can weigh up to 30 pounds, leap seven feet in a single bound, and cost over $20,000. After tranquilizing the homeless Savannah cat last Thursday, Paterson turned it over to a Wanaque animal sanctuary for care. News12 NJ says several people have tried claiming ownership but, so far, no one has come up with written proof the big, missing kitty - worth a ton of cash - is really theirs.
LAKEWOOD - Every year, about this time, Lakewood school officials attempt to develop a school budget. And, every year, the doom and gloom appears insurmountable. This year is particularly horrible, as school officials are looking at $14.7 million in cuts that call for firing of 119 teachers, eliminating all athletic programs and average class sizes bursting at 50 kids. School officials are now begging the state for more money, the Asbury Park Press reports, noting a local poverty rate of nearly 40 percent. Last year, the state rushed in with $6 million to shore up the district, which had been vowing to can 68 teachers. Will the state be the white knight again?
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
MOSCOW, ID - Saying you were distracted by Bigfoot may not be the right excuse to tell the cop. But that's the reason a 50-year-old Idaho woman gave sheriff's deputies after she hit a deer, saying it was being chased by a 7-or 8-foot-tall, "shaggy Sasquatch." The woman was driving after dark on U.S. Highway 95 last week when she says Bigfoot chased a deer in front of her Subaru Forester, the Moscow-Pullman Daily News reports. Deputies found no evidence of a Sasquatch. But, in all fairness, he's been quite elusive.
LONG BEACH, Calif. - A California podiatrist - who once put his best foot forward to shoot 2,750 consecutive free throws - has died at age 94. Folks still talk about that day in 1993 when Dr. Tom Amberry lobbed shot after shot over 12 consecutive hours, earning a spot in the Guinness World Records. Heck, he was so good that he could have kept going, but the janitor needed to lock up the gym at some rec center in Orange County. Another fun fact: Dr. Amberry made 500 consecutive free throws on 473 separate occasions. Not bad for your typical foot doctor.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 2013 that a 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck near Taipei, Taiwan, killing one and injuring 19. Trump blames Obama.
WORD OF THE DAY
Perpend - [per-PEND] - verb
Definition: To ponder
Example: I'm now perpending my stance that McCarter Highway is the easiest way to get into Newark at rush hour.
WEATHER IN A WORD