SALEM – The next time you try to steal some beef jerky from a gas station in this town, think again. A Sunoco clerk has been busted after he decided to take the law into his own hands. He pulled a pellet gun on a suspected chronic shoplifter and then forced the suspect to strip naked. It all went down on Monday night, in front of another curious shopper standing in line, and there is in-store video to prove it, WPVI reports. While the alleged shoplifter got off free, the clerk is facing a bunch of charges, like terroristic threats.

STATEWIDE – Wrong, wrong, wrong. CandyStore.com, whatever the heck that is, claims that the most popular candy in New Jersey is the Tootsie Pop. They refer to all this “data,” and whatever, that shows 140,763 pounds of the lollipop sold last year in the state, followed by Skittles and then, M&Ms. How Snickers, Twix, and Milky Way didn’t make the list is downright criminal and puts into question the whole validity of this study. Any real New Jerseyan knows those delicious products are produced by Mars, Inc. which operates in Hackettstown. Gotta stay local, folks.

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MIDDLE TOWNSHIP – Everyone gets teed off at politicians. Now, a golf course is letting patrons take their best whack at some of our least (or most) favorite political figures. The Cape May Par 3 Golf & Driving Range put big photos on its yard markers so golfers can smack their balls at the likes of President Trump, Joe Biden, or send one flying into Sean Hannity’s big, gaping mouth. There’s also Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (a.ka. AOC), even South Jersey’s own Kellyanne Conway. Democrats are on the range’s left side, Republicans (where else?) on the right. Range boss Rick Jones tells CBS News he’s apolitical; he just wants politicians to assist his small business.

BAYONNE – Man, what’s that smell? That’s the question up and down Bayonne, where a mystery odor that smells like rotten fish is wafting over the city. Hudson County health officials have been travelling around to figure it out, even sniffing around Raymound Boulevard and Doremus Avenue in Newark, following the winds, WABC reports. State environmental officials have been on the case since the beginning of summer, but there just seems to be a lot of shrugging shoulders. Anyone with a bright idea is urged to contact the Hudson Regional Health Commission, as the complaints mount.

TRENTON - Applications for the state’s “Homestead” property-tax relief program are going out this month. To prepare, NJ Spotlight deconstructs the “befuddling quirks” of the program — like, for example, the fact that the applications from the state Department of Treasury are technically for relief on property taxes homeowners paid in 2017. Under the current schedule, the filing deadline is Dec. 2, 2019, and the credits will be paid out in 2020. What’s with the fuzzy math? Apparently, it’s to do with the state’s budget troubles and the fact that in recent years, projected revenues haven’t always lined up with spending. As a result, funding for Homestead and other programs has gone instead to other line items. Click here for a guide through the maze.

PATERSON – Four City Council members will get part-time aides, the other five won’t. That’s the quirky decision after 2½–hours of public bickering on Wednesday night that the Paterson Press calls “chaotic” and “confrontational.” In the end, only enough money to hire four confidential aides will stay in Mayor Andre Sayegh’s new $253 million budget; five council members say they get all the help they need with five secretaries already on the city’s payroll. After listening to fellow Democrats trade a series of insults and accusations, the council’s longest-serving member William McKoy said: “I’m not feeling too proud of our conduct and behavior tonight.” Perhaps local voters agree.

NEPTUNE – Give someone a fish, they’ll eat for a day. Give boatloads of fish to soup kitchens, food pantries and shelters; and more people can eat better for longer. That’s the idea behind a new program that has commercial fishermen donating any fish they cannot sell to Fulfill – formerly the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties. Fulfill CEO Kim Guadagno (remember her?) tells NJ101.5 that there’s plenty of perfectly fine fresh fish caught daily, but whatever is unsalable usually is tossed overboard. So, this summer, Fulfill began salvaging unwanted fish from fishermen to be served in seafood stews or soups for some of the Jersey Shore’s neediest people. Nothing fishy there.

IN THE MEDIA

YOUR DRIVEWAY – Newspaper publishers always loved the Thanksgiving edition of the paper, bursting with advertising and circulars, and generating wheelbarrows of cash and lining many suit pockets. The Star-Ledger is now eagerly planning that big edition, promising to once again print the largest paper of the year, stuffed with “sales circulars and flyers offering amazing values and savings.” Wow. Except the faithful subscription base will now have to pay $4 more to receive the paper that all those advertisers are expecting will be plopped on your driveway. Subscribers can opt-out of the Thanksgiving edition by emailing custserv@starledger.com by November 8. Perhaps this will be the first year we “forgo the best deals on the hottest items,” and save the four bucks. 

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

Maybe Florida was not yet ready for ice hockey on this day in 1991, when an exhibition game between the Islanders and Bruins in St. Petersburg was cancelled due to melting ice.

WORD OF THE DAY

Aggiornamento [ə-jawr-nə-MEN-toh] - noun

Definition: The act of bringing something up to date to meet current needs.

Example: I spent Saturday night giving my bank account some aggiornamento.

WIT OF THE DAY

“My formula for success is rise early, work late, and strike oil.”

― J.P. Getty

WEATHER IN A WORD

Clear

THE NEW 60
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by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun