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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 Montgomery-ed.org

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.

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

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Amid VP Run, Ryan Working To Keep House Seat

Oct 25, 2012

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Paul Ryan is not just Mitt Romney's vice presidential running mate. He is also a member of the House of Representatives from Wisconsin, of course, and a candidate for another term. And while he's spending a lot of time on the presidential campaign trial, the seven-term congressman is also spending lots of money to hold onto his district in southern Wisconsin.

Ryan is still considered the favorite to win that race, but as Chuck Quirmbach of Wisconsin Public Radio reports, his Democratic challenger is trying to make it a competitive race.

CHUCK QUIRMBACH, BYLINE: When Paul Ryan has been in Wisconsin the last couple months, it's mainly to stump for a bigger office. At a rally last week in Waukesha, he said he looks forward to deer hunting here next month.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

PAUL RYAN: I'm going to get to sit in a tree stand with my 10-year-old daughter for her first deer hunt after we have just elected Mitt Romney the next president of the United States.

QUIRMBACH: But Ryan is also running for re-election to represent Wisconsin's first congressional district. Under Wisconsin law, Ryan could not take his name off the House ballot after being chosen as Mitt Romney's running mate. So Ryan joins Joe Biden and Joe Lieberman as politicians who've run for both vice president and Congress in the same year.

But to the frustration of some Democrats here, most of Paul Ryan's campaigning for Congress is being done through TV ads funded by his big campaign war chest. In this commercial, he asks a small group about Medicare.

(SOUNDBITE OF POLITICAL ADVERTISEMENT)

RYAN: How many of you are 55 or over? Our solution to save Medicare makes no changes for people 55 or older.

QUIRMBACH: Ryan's ads mostly address issues he's raised on the Romney-Ryan ticket, and except for a brief logo, never mention Ryan's House contest. The Democrat in this race is Rob Zerban, a former county supervisor and business owner. Zerban recently invited reporters to watch him knock on the door of Ryan's House campaign office in Janesville, something Republicans called a political stunt.

(SOUNDBITE OF KNOCKING)

JEANETTE: Hi.

ROB ZERBAN: Hi. You must be Jeanette(ph).

JEANETTE: You must be Rob. Nice to meet you. Great.

ZERBAN: I wanted to come over. We've got...

QUIRMBACH: Zerban gave the staffer thousands of signatures calling on Paul Ryan to debate him.

The district's blue collar cities of Kenosha, Racine and Janesville were represented by Democrat Les Aspin for about 20 years in the 1970s and '80s. A few years later, Ryan was elected to represent the district. Now Zerban wants the seat, and he's frustrated that Ryan won't debate him.

ZERBAN: He has a duty and an obligation to fulfill the responsibilities of running for both offices, and I think one of those is debating me here in the first.

QUIRMBACH: At a nursing home rummage sale near Ryan's upscale Janesville neighborhood, supporter Gerri Schuler says the congressman doesn't need to debate Rob Zerban.

GERRI SCHULER: I'm more concerned with the loyalty, the trustworthiness. As a human being, he's a very upstanding young man, or younger man.

QUIRMBACH: But in downtown Janesville, Kristine Moser says her support for Paul Ryan is starting to wane. While she's voted for him in the past, she's now undecided about doing it again.

KRISTINE MOSER: I actually am kind of worried now about his viewpoints, and I don't know if it's because it was a broader audience or if he's morphed into his Mitt Romney. I'm not sure what's going on there, because he sounds different than how I've known him in the past.

QUIRMBACH: That difference is what Rob Zerban is trying to exploit as he seeks to redefine Paul Ryan in his own TV ads. A Ryan poll last month showed him well ahead, but a poll by the Zerban campaign shows the contest still competitive. Challenger Rob Zerban says it's his goal to see Paul Ryan lose two elections in Wisconsin next month.

For NPR News, I'm Chuck Quirmbach, in Milwaukee. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.