Alabama authorities say a home burglary suspect has died after police used a stun gun on the man.  Birmingham police say he resisted officers who found him in a house wrapped in what looked like material from the air conditioner duct work.  The Lewisburg Road homeowner called police Tuesday about glass breaking and someone yelling and growling in his basement.  Police reportedly entered the dwelling and used a stun gun several times on a white suspect before handcuffing him.  Investigators say the man was "extremely irritated" throughout and didn't obey verbal commands.

Montgomery Education Foundation's Brain Forest Summer Learning Academy was spotlighted Wednesday at Carver High School.  The academic-enrichment program is for rising 4th, 5th, and 6th graders in the Montgomery Public School system.  Community Program Director Dillion Nettles, says the program aims to prevent learning loss during summer months.  To find out how your child can participate in next summer's program visit

A police officer is free on bond after being arrested following a rash of road-sign thefts in southeast Alabama.  Brantley Police Chief Titus Averett says officer Jeremy Ray Walker of Glenwood is on paid leave following his arrest in Pike County.  The 30-year-old Walker is charged with receiving stolen property.  Lt. Troy Johnson of the Pike County Sheriff's Office says an investigation began after someone reported that Walker was selling road signs from Crenshaw County.  Investigators contacted the county engineer and learned signs had been reported stolen from several roads.

NPR Politics presents the Lunchbox List: our favorite campaign news and stories curated from NPR and around the Web in digestible bites (100 words or less!). Look for it every weekday afternoon from now until the conventions.

Convention Countdown

The Republican National Convention is in 4 days in Cleveland.

The Democratic National Convention is in 11 days in Philadelphia.

NASA has released the first picture of Jupiter taken since the Juno spacecraft went into orbit around the planet on July 4.

The picture was taken on July 10. Juno was 2.7 million miles from Jupiter at the time. The color image shows some of the atmospheric features of the planet, including the giant red spot. You can also see three of Jupiter's moons in the picture: Io, Europa and Ganymede.

The Senate is set to approve a bill intended to change the way police and health care workers treat people struggling with opioid addictions.

My husband and I once took great pleasure in preparing meals from scratch. We made pizza dough and sauce. We baked bread. We churned ice cream.

Then we became parents.

Now there are some weeks when pre-chopped vegetables and a rotisserie chicken are the only things between us and five nights of Chipotle.

Parents are busy. For some of us, figuring out how to get dinner on the table is a daily struggle. So I reached out to food experts, parents and nutritionists for help. Here is some of their (and my) best advice for making weeknight meals happen.

"O Canada," the national anthem of our neighbors up north, comes in two official versions — English and French. They share a melody, but differ in meaning.

Let the record show: neither version of those lyrics contains the phrase "all lives matter."

But at the 2016 All-Star Game, the song got an unexpected edit.

At Petco Park in San Diego, one member of the Canadian singing group The Tenors — by himself, according to the other members of the group — revised the anthem.

School's out, and a lot of parents are getting through the long summer days with extra helpings of digital devices.

How should we feel about that?

Police in Baton Rouge say they have arrested three people who stole guns with the goal of killing police officers. They are still looking for a fourth suspect in the alleged plot, NPR's Greg Allen reports.

"Police say the thefts were at a Baton Rouge pawn shop early Saturday morning," Greg says. "One person was arrested at the scene. Since then, two others have been arrested and six of the eight stolen handguns have been recovered. Police are still looking for one other man."

A 13-year-old boy is among those arrested, Greg says.


50 Years Later, Ole Miss Crowns Homecoming History

Oct 18, 2012
Originally published on October 18, 2012 1:25 pm



Now we want to tell you about history that was just made on a campus that is full of history, some of it difficult. Just a few days ago, a young woman was crowned homecoming queen at her university. And you might think, well, that's nice, but that happens all the time.

Well, Courtney Roxanne Pearson was just crowned homecoming queen at the University of Mississippi, or Ole Miss. She happens to be the first African-American young woman to win that honor, and she did so 50 years after James Meredith's enrollment as the first African-American student at Ole Miss set off riots.

She is a senior majoring in secondary English education, and she is with us now.

Congratulations, my queen. Welcome. Thank you for joining us.

COURTNEY ROXANNE PEARSON: Thank you so much. Thank you for having me.

MARTIN: So you were just crowned this weekend. Yes?

PEARSON: Yes, yes.

MARTIN: So what was it like when they put that crown on your head?

PEARSON: To walk across the field with the crown on my head was an amazing experience. You know, I was so in awe at the huge crowd that I didn't even hear what the announcer was saying. I was just walking and smiling. That's all I can think of, is walk, smile and don't trip.

MARTIN: And it was a hard-fought campaign. You won by just 90 votes more than the runner-up. What do you think were the key factors in your victory?

PEARSON: Definitely, the key factors were working that last hour. At Ole Miss, we vote between the hours of nine and five o'clock. And at four o'clock, I can not tell you how hard we went. It was send text messages, tweet people, Facebook people, stand outside the union. Have you voted? You know, every couple of minutes, it was like you only have 45 minutes. You only have 30 minutes. You only have 20 minutes. You know, really pushing that last hour to make every single vote count.

MARTIN: And I understand that one of the other significant factors, though, that's significant about this is that you're not Greek. You're not a member of a Greek letter organization. You're not a member of a sorority.

PEARSON: I'm not.

MARTIN: And - which is kind of an automatic network. So some people might think that that's a disadvantage, but perhaps in your case, it was...

PEARSON: I mean, I honestly think it was an advantage. I love Greek life at Ole Miss. I think all the Greek organizations do wonderful things, but it was definitely great for the folks who weren't Greek to be able to look at me and say, oh, my goodness. She's not in a sorority. She's not Greek. She could really represent me. We're actually only 30 - about 30 percent Greek, and so it was really interesting to see that other half come out and say, you know, we like her and we definitely want her to represent us.

MARTIN: You have a strong legacy. Your mother, your father and your stepmother all went to Ole Miss. So what are your duties, and why did you want the job?

PEARSON: I wanted the job because I had seen a very good friend of mine, a mentor of mine run two years ago, and she came up unsuccessful. And I really just couldn't understand how someone so amazing could come up short, and I wanted to go out and I wanted to say, OK. Let's show what Ole Miss is really all about.

And when my friends started approaching me and they started saying, you know, you would be a great homecoming queen, it was one of those things where I was like, you know, if I thought about it this much, then I really should do it. If I can think about it and I want to be this amazing representative of my university, then I should put all of my fears aside and everything aside and go out and show people what Ole Miss is really all about.

MARTIN: If you're just joining us, you're listening to TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. My guest is Courtney Pearson. She is the first black student to be crowned homecoming queen at the University of Mississippi, Ole Miss.

Now, there's another aspect to your victory that I do want to mention, and you've talked about this in interviews, and you are also of larger size. You're not a skinny-minny.


MARTIN: And you mentioned that when you were growing up, that you had a family friend and you were looking at a picture of a young lady who was also larger sized who was named homecoming queen at another university. And this friend said what?

PEARSON: We ended up finding out that she had won homecoming queen based on her grade point average. And he looks at me and he says, well, it looks like your brains actually might take you somewhere someday, just kind of insinuating that I wasn't pretty enough to be a homecoming queen, but if it was based on academics, you know, maybe I could do it one day then.

MARTIN: Did that hurt your feelings?

PEARSON: Absolutely. I mean, I was a very young girl. Any girl at that age who's a little bit larger sometimes feels that insecurity. So it did hurt my feelings. But now I look back on it and I'm, like, you know, who cares what you think?


MARTIN: Do you think that means something, though? I mean, obviously, people are focusing on your - the racial aspect of it, particularly coming in this historic year, right, which is half a century...


MARTIN: ...after James Meredith was enrolled, and there were actually events at the university to acknowledge those days. The racial aspect of it - I'm interested in whether you think it played any aspect in your victory or in your campaign at all. Did it? Did race come up, and did your size come up?

PEARSON: I definitely do not think that race came up. One of my friends actually came up to me a day or so after I won and said to me, he was like, I had no idea that we had never had a black homecoming queen. But he was, like, you know what, Pearson? I think that's great, but I think it's also important for you to know that we didn't vote for you because you were black and because we wanted to have a first black homecoming queen. We voted for you because we thought you were deserving. We liked what you've done for the university. You've been so involved, and you're our friend. And that's why we voted for you.

And, as far as my size, it never even crossed my mind, to be perfectly honest, and I never heard anything, honestly, nothing negative until after the election was won and those comments, of course, made by people who don't go here. And I'm honestly very confident with the way I look. I'm very happy with the way I look and, you know, that's - it's really just mean. So if you want to be mean, you can be mean by yourself.


MARTIN: OK. Well, well said - said with the diplomacy and grace befitting a newly crowned queen.

PEARSON: Thank you.

MARTIN: Of course. I understand that, as I've mentioned, both of your parents went to Ole Miss, including your stepmom. And your dad got to escort you in the...

PEARSON: He did.

MARTIN: ...homecoming ceremony. What was that like for him? And you can tell me now. Did he cry?

PEARSON: I don't - I think he was trying to hold back the tears. I really do think he was trying to be - you know, he's in the military, so he was trying to definitely make sure that he was fitting to wear the uniform. But I think he was very proud, very excited. My father is actually the first African-American judicial chair at the university. So it was definitely just this wonderful thing to walk across the field and for him to be holding me. And it was amazing to know that, you know, not only had I did this wonderful thing, but that my parents were proud of me. Every child just wants to make their parents proud, and I don't think, at that moment, that I could have made him any prouder.

MARTIN: What do you think your win means for the way people think about Ole Miss, particularly outside of Mississippi? Obviously, within Mississippi, you know, Ole Miss is a revered institution. And there is that painful history, which has just been - you know, just been acknowledged, you know, again. In fact, as we said, that there were activities related to the commemoration of James Meredith's arrival, you know, at the university.

Do you think that your election will change the way people think about Ole Miss?

PEARSON: I think the student body is trying to tell the nation something. They're trying to tell you that we are not this superficial group of people, or we do not fit into the stereotype that we're placed in. Let us show you who we really are. And there are some amazing women, some amazing black women that are doing some incredible things at the university where you can't help but to say that the student body is screaming for you to understand who they really are and what they're really about. I definitely think that Ole Miss should start to be looked at in a more positive light.

MARTIN: Courtney Roxanne Pearson is the new homecoming queen at the University of Mississippi, also known as Ole Miss, and she was kind enough to join us from the university.

Congratulations, once again. Thank you so much for joining us.

PEARSON: Thank you so much. Have a great day. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.