ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL - OK, we will take the bait. We, like everyone else, will write about Sen. Cory Booker's efforts to find a lost dog. It has all the elements of a modern-day news story. The story's plot is overly simple:  Two of the senator's staff members lost their dog, named Gumbo. The story is relevant: Booker is a senator and he is running for President. The story has visuals: Booker tweeted a video, with a photo of Gumbo, and a plea to help find the black and white pit bull-boxer mix that got lost in Atlanta. The story has schmaltz: It is about this national figure desperately seeking a dog.  "Let's send Gumbo home!," he tweeted. And the story features an actual dog: What media can refuse to write about a lost pet? And there you have it: Journalism, 2019 style.

ATLANTIC CITY - After a long, very long, losing streak, Atlantic City's casino industry is on a roll. Slammed by the Great Recession, the state's gaming resort famously lost five casinos within a few years and - more devastatingly - thousands of jobs. NJ Spotlight writes that a state Senate committee yesterday was all ears for upbeat news about Atlantic City, and there was plenty of it. This time around, there is also a big push to ensure that the city itself prospers, rather than just those gleaming structures of light and gold. Place your bets with NJ Spotlight.

CAMDEN - Governor: stop investigating me. That's the strong, clear message from South Jersey Democratic power broker George Norcross III, who went to court yesterday seeking a a restraining order against Gov. Phil Murphy and his administration, who have been poking around the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. The agency has been accused of handing out miscalculated, overstated and overpaid tax credits to a number of companies in Camden. Norcross says that he and others have made enormous investment in Camden - which is certainly true - so, in summary, the governor needs to butt out.

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STATEWIDE - Are you married, white, educated and have a lot of money? Well, then, you are pretty darn happy, according to the latest poll of New Jerseyans. A joint poll between Rutgers University and Fairleigh Dickinson University show that we are all pretty content, or, specifically 81% of the 1,203 adults polled. Researchers then dug down a bit, showing men and women are equally content. But those households earning more than $150,000 seems particularly happy, as well as married people and those who graduated college. Meanwhile, 87% of white residents expressed happiness with their life today, compared to 79% of black residents and 71% of Hispanic residents, NJ 101.5 reports. Pollsters say these findings are really nothing special for New Jersey; they mirror national trends.

BLACKWOOD - Hard to really describe what happened, but somehow a local kid got stuck in one of those claw games, with a ball pit. Gloucester Township Fire District 6 proudly posted the big save on Facebook, as firefighters needed to dismantle the machine to rescue the small child on Wednesday. No injuries, thankfully, and firefighters were proud to note they undertake specialized training for this kind of stuff. Good timing for the topic of May's training: "Disentangling simulated patients from unique predicaments."


ALBERTA, CANADA - For 40 years, no one knew what was in the safe that had been taken out of the old Brunswick Hotel, closed in the 1970s. In fact, the 2,000-pound box became something of local lore, sitting inside the Vermilion Heritage Museum, with questions forever swirling about its contents. And then some random museum visitor came in, played with the lock for a couple of seconds, and immediately cracked the code. Stephen Mills, who has absolutely no experience opening safes, used the first number combination that popped into his head: 20-40-60. "I'm pretty sure my jaw dropped to the floor," Mills told The Washington Post. And, what was the contents? Money? Gold? Treasure? Nah, some old worthless papers, old checks, a hotel receipt and a waitress' notepad.


It was this day in 1993 that Prince officially changed his name to an unpronounceable love symbol - making life extremely difficult for his accountant.


Valetudinarian - [val-ə-too-də-NAIR-ee-ən] - noun

Definition: A person of a weak or sickly constitution

Example: I was so excited to practice my valetudinarian speech for graduation... until someone told me what the word meant.


"I fear one day I'll meet God, he'll sneeze and I won't know what to say."


- Ronnie Shakes




A Jaffe Briefing Exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun