OCEANPORT - With the U.S. Supreme Court permitting sports betting, Monmouth Park is now eager for its next win. Track owners are now going after the NFL and other sports leagues, trying to wrangle $150 million in lost gambling revenue for four years. The New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association Inc. says the leagues need to pay dearly for "wrongfully blocking" them from turning Monmouth Park into a sports betting venue, according to papers filed in federal court. Of course, league lawyers scoff at this long-shot money grab, using the words "meritless" and "frivolous." Odds of Monmouth Park winning this case? Let's start at 7:1. Any takers?
PATERSON - In today's news from the Silk City, take your pick. We can all talk about the former municipal utilities authority chair taking kickbacks from two vendors who received nearly $300,000 in fake or inflated payments. Or, we can talk about the FBI arrest of a city cop for beating up a suicidal hospital patient, in a wheelchair and in a hospital bed. The patient was beaten so badly that he needed eye surgery, the Paterson Press reports. The cop has been suspended without pay. Or, maybe we just write about the upcoming "Movie Night" on June 2, with "Happy Feet 2" playing in Westside Park. Bring a blanket!
AVALON - Finally, something to save your skin. This seashore borough just installed a pair of free SPF-30 sunscreen dispensers at its beach badge sales booth and its beach-side kiddie playground. NJ Advance Media says Avalon's dispensers - for fun-loving, but absent-minded beach-goers - are a New Jersey first. They come courtesy of the RDK Melanoma Foundation, whose goal is to warn people about the sun's damaging effects and the prevalence of skin cancer. So, forgo the Crisco and slather up with the right stuff.
FAIRVIEW - Plenty of Catholic school survivors still get shivers recalling Sister Mary Steel-Ruler's daily penmanship drills. Most schools don't focus on handwriting anymore, so it's impressive that 9-year-old Edbert Aquino took home to Our Lady of Grace Academy the title of "grand national champion" for his cursive writing skills. The North Bergen third-grader bested 250,000 kids nationwide to win the Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest. His teacher, Lori Sloan, (not a nun ... stop trembling) tells CBS News: "sometimes I feel he writes neater than I do." For winning, Edbert gets $500 and his school get $1,000 to stock up on more of those Ticonderoga No. 2 pencils.
LONG BRANCH - A charter boat captain has got a whale of a tale to tell and a video to prove his story isn't fishy. Capt. Mike Formichella was two miles off Long Branch, fishing for striped bass, when he and his passengers caught sight of a humpback whale leaping from the ocean in a 360-degree spin. The Neptune-based seafarer told NJ101.5 that amateur fishermen aboard his vessel weren't too lucky at catching bass last week, and were ready to pack it in, when the whale suddenly decided to do its dance. See? Luck really can turn on a dime.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
SYDNEY - One hotel valet should expect a very, very small tip, after he somehow drove a soft-top Porsche Carrera under a Porsche SUV yesterday at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. The valet had to be cut out of the Carrera, as a crowd watched, and the hotel's marketing director handled all the embarrassing inquiries. As the drama unfolded, Australian emergency workers had to prop up the larger Porsche and anchor its wheels, as they tried to remove the Carerra from down under. One witness said the incident was so bizarre that he assumed it was part of a television show. Hotel officials are "shocked" and "investigating."
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 1991 that the oldest bride ever, 102-year-old Minne Munro, walks, or maybe rolls, down the aisle, marrying her ecstatic and virile 83-year-old groom. But some quietly wonder if this marriage will last.
WORD OF THE DAY
Chastise - [chass-TYZE] - verb
Definition: To censure severely; to castigate
Example: The nun chastised little Johnny, who was sloppy in his effort to write the word "chastise."
WEATHER IN A WORD