LAKEWOOD - It's now national news, and of course it's from New Jersey. People across the country are seeing the photo of a 10-month-old baby crawling across a busy street. A passing motorist snapped a photo of the baby while he was driving to work at 5 p.m. Saturday on Joe Parker Road. A reporter for the Asbury Park Press later visited the house where this baby lives to ask: "WTF?"  The response from the woman answering the door? "It was an accident." Apparently, an older sibling left the door open. A scary story for anyone with a crawling toddler who loves the great outdoors.

PALISADES PARK - It should be an enlightening school board meeting tonight, following a report that revealed nine retired cops had been serving as armed guards in the schools without submitting resumes, undergoing background checks or taking psych exams. It was later learned that some of these cops had faced accusations in their former lives, like police brutality, threatening public officials and aggravated assault. Luckily, none of these guys was ever charged with a crime, but the whole story raises a nagging question for the school board: What the heck happened? Tonight, an attorney hired to investigate this fiasco is expected to shed some light.

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 JERSEY CITY - If you live somewhere in Hudson County, maybe it is time to burn your credit cards. NJ 101.5 reports that residents of this county have the highest per capita credit card debt in the state, when you factor in residents' income. That number is $3,336, equal to 9.7 percent of income and 40.5 percent of wealth. Essex and Passaic counties fare a little bit better, but using credit cards is still an absolutely ridiculous, and very expensive, way to borrow money. (Might be better to seek a bank loan, if possible.) It seems the good people of Hunterdon County have been able to strike a balance, maintaining an average balance of $5,002, but having considerably more wealth to offset these criminal interest rates that often soar beyond an unconscionable 20 percent.

PASSAIC - It's okay to shave and shower in a basement, but don't dare pee in a cellar. Wait, aren't basements and cellars the same thing? Apparently not. But it looks like the City Council is finally ready to fix this curious inequity, allowing property owners to put full bathrooms in cellars. State construction codes says basements are at least 50 percent above ground, can have exterior doors and is considered living space. Cellars can't, because they are mostly underground. Realizing some owners don't play by those rules and many have illegal cellar apartments, city officials are voting Oct. 4 to elevate the status of a cellar to a basement. Of course, change comes with inspections, permits and all those new city fees.

BRICK - Hospitalized, feeling sick or sore, and suddenly you hear a pesky buzz. If you're a patient at Ocean Medical Center, it'sprobably not your meds. It could be those 100,000 honey bees that the hospital is keeping in a rooftop apiary, part of a sustainability project that includes recycling and composting. Hospital officials tell the Asbury Park Press that patients and visitors enjoy watching the bees, safely from behind windows. The bee's wax is to become lip balm and lotions. And, the 30 pounds of fresh honey these hard-working bees have produced since April is going to be served up on patient trays - a welcoming alternative to green Jell-O.


PHILADELPHIA - If something isn't done quickly, generations of Philadelphia children may be permanently scarred after attending a professional hockey game. Because it is there that they will be forced to see the Flyers' new team mascot - this freakish, seven-foot fuzzy thing called "Gritty." It has these wild eyes - as if it has been popping No-Doz for three months - with this big, scraggly orange beard. It's as if a Muppet had a one-night stand with ZZ Top. Social media has been brutal, with such comments as, "Good luck sleeping tonight, Flyers fans."


It was this day in 2011 that Saudi Arabia crawled into the 20th century, announcing plans to finally allow women to vote and run for political office.


Viva voce - [vye-və-VOH-see] - adjective

Definition: By word of mouth; orally

Example: I spoke up - viva voce - rather than penning a letter about the crazy new Flyers mascot. 



A Jaffe Briefing exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun