** It is Conference Season! The Jaffe Briefing is Away Beginning Monday, May 15, Returning Tuesday, May 30**


ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL - It's Debate Night in New Jersey, when New Jersey voters finally get their first look at the gubernatorial candidates going head-to-head at Stockton University in Galloway. The big show won't be on the typical TV channels, but you can still capture the action from your living room, or the local Starbucks, or wherever the heck else you are. The lineup: Republicans take the stage at 6:30 p.m.; Democrats jump on at 8 p.m. It will all be live streamed here

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BAYONNE - It's becoming a real "whodunit" in Bayonne, where millions of dollars are missing from the school budget and no one has a clue why. But as bespectacled auditors pore over the books and try to account for a missing $7 million to $12 million, or even more, there's one clear fact: the school district is looking at massive teacher layoffs, to the tune of 261 jobs. The business administrator has said he is not an accountant, CBS reports, which apparently is his excuse for why a fortune has slipped through his fingers. Meanwhile, parents and the community are seething, as a new superintendent is starting in July, thankfully, to figure this out.  

PENNSAUKEN - We bet your junior prom was less than newsworthy. But you likely didn't show up in a hearse, slide out the back in an open coffin and grab the hand of your date. One Pennsauken High School junior made that memorable entrance on Saturday, with some joking the 17-year-old was drop dead gorgeous. Others - likely named Chet or Muffy - thought the stunt was in poor taste for such an affair. Whatever the case, the girl hopes to one day be a funeral director. She's already making a name for herself among the undead.

PATERSON - Political fundraisers are a great way to show your support for the best leaders. Yet in New Jersey, with our special brand of politics, the fundraisers are often for the legal defense fund. Case in point: Paterson Mayor Joey Torres - facing corruption charges - hosted a lovely cruise around the Hudson River Thursday night, as about 300 supporters plunked down $150 to $250 a person, the Record reports. The money will be funneled to the attorneys, defending the mayor on allegations he paid city workers overtime to do work for his family. Another one of these fundraisers is planned for July, as Torres then needs to gear up for a re-election campaign. Of course, if he stays out of jail. 

ATLANTIC CITY - Welcome to Atlantic City, just don't be an idiot. That was the lesson to a visitor of the Wyndham Skyline Tower on Saturday, when he pulled up his minivan and handed his car keys to some guy he assumed was a valet. The guy certainly wasn't, and promptly took off with the minivan for likely a night of joyriding and carousing. The 35-year-old guy was arrested early the next morning, with a handgun found on the floorboard. Silver lining: the minivan owner didn't have to pay the hotel parking fees.  

TRENTON - Finally, Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi has made a positive impact on New Jersey. Gov. Chris Christie signed legislation inspired by the former "Jersey Shore" star that limits how much state universities can pay speakers. The new law puts a $10,000 cap on the amount of state money that can be spent on speakers, after Snooki was paid $32,000 from student fees to speak at Rutgers in 2011. (That was $2,000 more than Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison received to speak at commencement.) Christie noted the law is essentially symbolic as schools use student activity fees to pay speakers, but hopes the law brings attention to how money is blown at institutions of higher learning.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Let's just assume it was damn good stew. That's really the only logical reason why a city man allegedly broke into his own mother's house to steal her freshly-made, and obviously delicious, stew. Still, a state district judge is dismissing the charges, as the only witness to the stolen pork-and-chicken stew is angry mom. Cops arrested the man when he repeatedly ignored his mother's orders to stay away from the stew. According to the mother's complaint to cops, she later found her gate and garage broken and the pot of stew gone. But the judge couldn't find definitive proof it was the son who took it, and likely has no interest in studying fingerprints and toxicology reports.  


Someone turned on a lava lamp on this day in 1960, when the FDA approved the birth control pill. 


Majordomo - [may-jer-DOH-moh] - noun 

Definition: The head steward of palace  

Example: Our majordomo ran away with the stew.