MILFORD – Crazy New Jerseyans are always in the news. Like in Westerly, RI., where a 26-year-old guy from Milford broke into Taylor Swift’s waterfront home to kick off the Labor Day weekend. He made sure to take his shoes off, as he told police he wanted “to be polite” as he ruffled around the megastar’s private enclave, The Westerly Sun reports. The New Jerseyan hopped the fence and somehow got past a half-asleep security guard who said he didn’t hear the ringing alarm. Cops quickly found the Jersey guy in the foyer; he then tried to flee the house. Police nabbed the apparent music fan, who said he just wanted to stop by and “find Taylor.” He did reiterate about how he took off his shoes, adding “I was always taught that when you go into someone's home, you have to take your shoes off.” No one was home, the intruder had no weapon, and Westerly police are now working with the guy’s family to determine if a full mental health evaluation might determine if he’s crazy. Ya think?
STATEWIDE – And speaking of psychopaths, a new study is out that shows New Jersey is the third highest state in the nation when it comes to crazy people. This latest stat is courtesy of Reader’s Digest, which we didn’t know still exists. (Call us crazy.) Researchers looked at previous surveys that studied levels of five key personality traits, established which of those were most common in psychopaths, and – Bada-Bing! – Jersey came in third. But if you want to see the real raging lunatics, you need to go to Connecticut or California, ranked 1 and 2, respectively. Be careful.
CRANFORD – Flying high on your skateboard? Not so fast in Cranford, where cops busted another potential crazy person, a 42-year-old township man who was riding his skateboard in the wee hours of the morning with a bunch of crack cocaine. A passing cop at Chester Lang Place and Aberdeen Court noticed on Sept. 1 what he described as a “suspicious man” on a skateboard – a good assumption. Really, how many men in their 40s are zipping around on a kid’s toy at 1:26 a.m.? It didn’t take long to find the drugs, make an arrest and send the guy to Superior Court, via skateboard, car or foot.
BACK TO SCHOOL – As your kids trudge to the bus stop this morning – and you guzzle your first mimosa in celebration – feel really good about yourself. That’s because your family is lucky enough to live in New Jersey, where the public school system has just been ranked tops in the nation. Sure our taxes are high and we are working harder than ever, but now Education Week says all the money we are pumping into the schools is making a real difference. Researchers looked at 39 categories, like academic achievement and socioeconomics, before giving New Jersey the gold star. Other states – like Massachusetts, Connecticut and Maryland – followed, with their pitiful, dribbling crazies consuming school space.
TRENTON – Those fighting childhood hunger in New Jersey are eager to expand after-school supper programs. These efforts supplement existing endeavors, like school breakfast and reduced-price or free lunches. A grim realization: Lunch for kids from poor families is often the last meal they have until they show up at school the next morning. The first stats for after-school supper sound good: some half-million meals served to more than 23,000 students in New Jersey. That’s crazy, accounting for only 6% of eligible students. The state and federal governments have the money to vastly expand the program, NJ Spotlight reports, so what’s the problem? Some say the government needs to ease the required paperwork, or create central sites that can handle most of the administrative heavy lifting. Whatever it takes.
STATEWIDE – It’s crazy that distracted parents need an alarm to remind them to never, never ever leave a child in a car’s backseat on a sweltering day. Yet, here's Rep. Frank Pallone pushing a new law requiring automakers to put devices in new vehicles so kids aren’t accidentally left behind. Pallone has 33 tragic reasons for this measure: That’s how many children died of heat stroke this year in the U.S., including two in New Jersey. Since 1998, 14 children in our state died in the same tragic fashion. So, if an ear-splitting alarm can save just one little life, then it sounds like Pallone is heading in the right direction.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
ORANGE, VT – Pigs are running amuck in this tiny town. And, after almost a month, local folks are fed up. More than 50 boars and sows, as well as 200 piglets, escaped pens at Sugar Mountain Farm on Aug. 11. Some wandered into the woods or wallowed in some nice, cool ditches; others raised havoc on roads, blocking traffic or darting in front of vehicles. It took weeks for volunteers to round up most of these animals, but the Town Clerk tells VTDigger this pig plague “is still a public hazard” with many still on the loose. Town workers now do a daily stray pig count, snapping photos, and tallying up a porky penalty of $81,955 for the farm owner, who likely thinks local officials are acting like pigs. Crazy.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 2010 that China figured, hey, maybe they should do some background checks on commercial pilots, after it was learned that 200 or so lied about their experience on their resumes. That’s crazy, too.
WORD OF THE DAY
Quotlibet – [KWAHD-ləh-bet] – noun
Definition: A whimsical combination of familiar melodies or texts
Example: Hey, should I name my dog “Quotlibet?” Or is that crazy?
WIT OF THE DAY
“I prefer to be crazy and happy rather than normal and bitter.”
- Paulo Coelho
WEATHER IN A WORD
THE NEW 60
A Jaffe Briefing Exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun