STATEWIDE - To mark President's Day, New Jersey sued the President of the United States. While New Jerseyans were out buying discounted televisions and dishwashers to mark yesterday's big holiday, the state joined 15 other states to sue the President over his Trumped-up national "emergency" to fund his wall.  It's all about such phrases as "flagrant disregard for the separation of powers" and "treating the rule of law with utter contempt," as 16 Democrat-controlled states are demanding an injunction in the courts to halt this fake emergency.

WINSLOW - Squirrels got the last laugh, cleverly avoiding New Jersey's first-ever squirrel hunting tourney in this rural Camden County town on Saturday. Plenty of would-be hunters - but almost no squirrels - showed up at the Inskip Antlers Hunting Club's event, billed as a fun family "celebration" of this "centuries-old tradition." A club spokesman tells the New York Post it "wasn't an overly great time if you wanted to kill an abundance of squirrels," noting only three furry critters got bagged. But, there were guest speakers, squirrel-skinning workshops, trays of braised squirrel meat for lunch and, oh yeah, a gaggle of animal rights protesters, some waving signs that read: "You Must Be Inbred," and "Good Job Raising Future Serial Killers." The whole thing sounds a bit nuts ... just ask any squirrel. 

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STATEWIDE - When it comes to New Jersey's recycling sector, there's dirt and then there's dirty - criminals and mobsters like the ones who infiltrated our garbage industry for decades, NJ Spotlight says.  The state's been pushing to keep the bad actors out of the recycling industry, under an eight-year effort to institute licensing and background checks. Now, there is proposed legislation that appears to be a savoir, as it's released to a Senate committee. Here's hoping the bill will tackle the all-too-common practice of illegal dumping of contaminants under the façade of nice, friendly, recycled materials.  Read more here.

NEWARK - A bad trip through Newark Liberty International Airport has prompted Assembly Republican leader Jon Bramnick to demand action. Apparently, he paid $4 or $5 for bottled water which the TSA took away. And then, it appears, he had to pay another $4 or $5 for another bottle. That prompted the ticked-off lawmaker to look at other vendor prices, and he quickly noticed that all these self-checkout and self-serve kiosks are creating a "consumer nightmare" in apparent price fixing, NJ 101.5 reports. His cost for a bottle of water and cough drops? $9.42. Sheesh, and now he wants the Port Authority - which oversees the airport - to investigate this classic, ongoing Jersey shakedown. Now if Bramnick really wants to be whipped into a furor, he should pay to park at the Meadowlands.

STATEWIDE - Light up, New Jersey!  That's the message from 62 percent of New Jerseyans polled in the most recent Monmouth University poll, showing a growing number of residents are cool about recreational weed. Just 32 percent voiced opposition, as pollsters see New Jerseyans steadily mellowing out to the proposal. Gov. Phil Murphy and other state leaders are reportedly close to reaching an agreement on a topic smoldering since the governor took office. It seems the people - including many, many pizza store owners - are in support.



ROCHELLE PARK - A bunch of blunders landed a bungling burglar behind bars. That includes mistaking an unmarked police cruiser for the Lyft ride he called to make his getaway. Police say a 28-year-old homeless man made such a loud racket breaking into a Catherine Street home that he awakened its occupants last Thursday night. The intruder jumped from a second floor window to escape and hid in bushes at a nearby house, waiting for a Lyft driver to pick him up. Police tell the Daily Voice that the burglar came out when he saw an unmarked patrol car pull up on Oldis Street, knocked on its window and asked: "Are you my Lyft driver?" Seconds later he was hauled to the police station. No tip for this driver.

 ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL - It's comedian Joe Piscopo to our rescue! No joke. The "Saturday Night Live" alum says "somebody's gotta save" New Jersey from getting "over-taxed and over regulated." The Passaic native tells Fox News host Andrew Napolitano that he just might be our state's knight in shining armor, running for governor next time around. Piscopo, 67, toyed with the same idea in 2017. But, appearing Monday on Fox Nation, Piscopo says he's now more concerned: "What about property taxes? What about the inner cities? What about helping the citizens?" All this, no laughing matter.

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

HARTFORD, CT. - Just in time for spring training, one must ask: Are food allergies destroying baseball?  The question is being raised in Connecticut, where the "Hartford Yard Goats" have officially banned shelled peanuts and Cracker Jack from the ballfield. Huh? Yep, apparently because of potential peanut allergies, there's no place in the stands for the iconic foods that for generations have been part of the baseball anthem "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." Owners of the ball club are getting a bit testy in defending their decision, arguing that fans still can choose from 200 different foods and beverages, adding "They can still eat peanuts at home." Important to note that the Yard Goats play in Dunkin Donuts Field. Apparently, it is still fine for the kiddies to ingest tons of sugar, refined flour and fat. Just as long as there are no allergic reactions on the premises.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

Kansas became a national downer on this day in 1881, the first state to ban all alcoholic beverages. But with less than 1 million people living on 82,200 square miles, interesting to know how that law was enforced.

WORD OF THE DAY

Sternutative - [stər-NYOO-tə-tiv] - adjective

Definition: Causing or inducing a sneeze

Example: If the germs of thousands of strangers at Newark Liberty don't have a sternutative effect, the price of a can of Coke certainly will.

WIT OF THE DAY

"Be the chess player - not the chess piece."

 

Ralph Charell

WEATHER IN A WORD

Chill

THE NEW 60
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by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun