STATEWIDE - Are you happy? Like, really, really happy? Well, you should damn well be, according to one of those clickbait websites that churns out "studies." The site has declared that New Jersey is the 13th happiest state, based on 31 "key indicators." Even though taxes are high, traffic is heavy and the state is drowning in debt, the typical New Jerseyan seems to be doing pretty well - when you consider such factors as health, work environment and emotional state. Hey, did you know New Jersey has the lowest suicide rate in the nation? Or that we are second lowest in adult depression? Or that we have the third lowest share of separation and divorce? It all factors into the recipe of being "happy." And you better be happy, right? Right??

SUMMIT - Now here's a real buzzkill: starting school in August. Parents and teachers are ready to pelt the school superintendent with spitballs for making such a proposal. The 'super' recommends resuming classes before Labor Day to give teachers more time to prepare kids for Advance Placement tests and cushion the district for unforeseen snow days. Parents, TAPinto reports, argue the change would destroy vacations and summer camps, and cause problems for working parents.  An opposition petition already has 425 signatures. The school board votes on the 2019-20 school calendar on Oct. 18. Join the outrage. Fight the power.

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MARLTON - Talk about sitting on a small fortune... A Burlington County man literally sat on a $1 million lottery ticket in his wallet for a week before realizing he was a mega-winner. The 62-year-old bought the Mega Millions ticket on a whim at a Route 72 gas station, forgetting all about it after hearing a California man won the big $543 million jackpot. State officials tell NJ.com it took five days before he showed up at the state Lottery headquarters to collect. Now, he's planning to "spoil his grandchildren" and throw an awesome early-retirement party. So, what's in your wallet?

ATLANTIC CITY - All 1,399 rooms in the newly-opened Ocean Resort Hotel are booked through tomorrow, filled with people fleeing Hurricane Florence and eager to take advantage of the generous offer of free rooms. The owner says he wants to do his part to provide a "safe, warm and dry" place for hurricane victims. And, while they are at the Ocean Resort, wondering what will be of their homes, family and property, displaced people should also feel free to take full advantage of 138,000-square feet of thrilling gaming, from craps to blackjack to very, very loose slots. All the excitement awaits!

HOBOKEN - Don't plan to stop by the Hub Hoboken for a drink anytime soon, as state authorities are investigating what the mayor declares an "affront to human decency." Videos posted all over social media show bar patrons performing sexual acts on a partially-clad woman, as others pour champagne on her, Saturday night. We really can't reveal more for this family-friendly newsletter, but can note the stunt prompted 15 liquor license violations and investigations by local police and the county prosecutor's office "special victims" unit. The Hub will remain closed until at least Oct. 25, when an Alcoholic Beverage Control Boardhearing is set. And when it reopens? Expect it to be more popular than ever. 

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

URANUS, MO - The good news: There's a new weekly newspaper in town to replace the defunct Waynesville Daily Guide. The bad news, says the mayor, is its name: the Uranus Examiner. (Hee-Hee) Mayor Luge Hardman, vowing a boycott, says his town should not be the butt of any more jokes. "The innuendo of that title puts my city up for public ridicule, and I will not be a part of it," he says. No more stupid news coverage of natural gas eruptions, or things to do in or around Uranus. Other critics have been flushed out, including the owner of the rival newspaper in town, questioning if any reader will voluntarily sign up for a Uranus Examiner.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

Ever hear of Bartel J. Jonkman? Probably not, but he was the guy that future President Gerald Ford upset on this day in 1948 to win a congressional primary in Michigan.

WORD OF THE DAY

Enigmatic - [en-ig-MAT-ik] - adjective

Definition: Of, relating to, or resembling an enigma, mysterious

Example: The enigmatic news coverage of the Hub Hoboken lingers on my mind, as I peruse my Uranus Examiner.

WEATHER IN A WORD

Dim

 THE NEW 60
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by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun