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.


Bank Of America Improves Foreclosure Image

Oct 16, 2012
Originally published on October 16, 2012 10:45 am



Bank of America will release quarterly earnings tomorrow and once again, foreclosures will be part of the equation. The Charlotte-based bank's role in the 2008 housing crash has landed it on a fair number of lists of most hated institutions in America.

But, as Julie Rose of member station WFAE in Charlotte discovered, some of those most involved in cleaning up the aftermath of the foreclosure crisis are beginning to soften toward the bank.

JULIE ROSE, BYLINE: Non-profit housing counselors are down in the trenches of the battle to keep people in their homes. They hold the hands of desperate homeowners navigating bank bureaucracy and the stories they tell of lost documents and ignored phone calls seem endless.


ROSE: So when housing counselors gathered at a conference a few weeks back in Charlotte, I frankly expected to hear a lot of criticism aimed at Bank of America.

SHERYL MERRITT: I think they're trying to be proactive. Trying to, you know, make it easier for counselors and agencies to just...

ROSE: Wait a second. Proactive? Making it easier for counselors? That's Sheryl Merritt with Consumer Education Services in Raleigh. And she wasn't the only housing counselor talking like that. I spoke with at least half a dozen at that conference - from around the country - and all gave props to Bank of America.

Still skeptical, I cold-called some more housing counselors around North Carolina to ask which mortgage servicer they think is doing the best job.

STEVE OBENDORF: OK, I think Bank of America probably is. Probably the one that's stepped forward the most.

ROSE: That's Steve Obendorf with Consumer Credit Counseling Services. Same goes for Bruce Hamlett at Community Link in Charlotte. In fact, you know what goes through his mind when a client comes to him for help with a Bank of America mortgage? Relief.

BRUCE HAMLETT: OK. Woo. This one, as long as the client works with us and gives us everything we need from them to put together a full package, I know we can get it submitted and pushed through the pipeline fairly quickly.

ROSE: Hamlett suspects all the bad publicity Bank of America's had these last few years has inspired it to clean up its image faster than the other big servicers. But it's also worth noting that many of the improvements housing counselors praise are actually mandated by a settlement Bank of America and four other big mortgage servicers made with states over botched foreclosure practices. They're required to have a website for submitting documents and guarantee a single point-of-contact for each loan modification.

Housing counselors give Bank of America extra credit for offering them a dedicated hotline and for opening centers where homeowners can go to meet with someone face-to-face about a pending foreclosure.

AUDIE CASHION: The people can come back in anytime they'd like, set up another follow-up appointment.

ROSE: Audie Cashion runs the Bank of America Customer Assistance Center in Charlotte.

CASHION: So back here is where all of our specialists are.

ROSE: It opened last year in a nondescript, two-story office building - one of 50 across the nation. Other big mortgage servicers including Wells Fargo and J.P. Morgan Chase have similar centers.

Mortgage specialist Saleena Whitley started off two years ago helping Bank of America customers over the phone before switching to the Customer Assistance Center.

Tell me why you decided to make that switch.

SALEENA WHITLEY: Actually, because I like being able to speak with a person face-to-face. They can look at you and tell in your reactions and how you're empathizing with their situation and not just have an understanding, oh, I'm just a number over the phone.

ROSE: Housing counselors say that kind of human touch is precisely the thing big banks have lacked during this foreclosure crisis. They also say nightmare experiences still happen. And Bank of America's no angel. It prompts the vast majority of complaints that have come in to the office overseeing the national mortgage settlement.

Community Link's Bruce Hamlett says it's a numbers thing: Bank of America has by far the most troubled mortgages on its books thanks to its 2008 acquisition of Countrywide.

HAMLETT: Bank of America is, you know, is Snow White and the rest of them are the Seven Dwarves when it comes to volume. They probably had the biggest mess to clean up.

ROSE: And the most at stake if they don't.

For NPR News, I'm Julie Rose in Charlotte. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.