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 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.

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."

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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.

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Buying A New Car: Is Cash, Lease Or Financing Best?

Oct 25, 2012
Originally published on October 25, 2012 9:22 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Here in the U.S., auto sales are up, and fall is traditionally a big time for car buying. Question is, what's the best way these days to pay for that car - financed through the automaker or through your bank or simply leased?

To think through the choices, we called Michele Krebs. She's the senior analyst for the auto information site Edmunds.com, and she joined us from Detroit.

Good morning.

MICHELE KREBS: Good morning.

MONTAGNE: So let's just, as an example, family of four, zeroed in on a minivan or a station wagon, want a decent amount of space, good fuel efficiency - how do they go about figuring out the best way to pay for this?

KREBS: Well, first they do a family assessment. They look at their budget. What can they afford? We suggest spending no more than 20 percent of your take-home pay on a car. And that should include not only the monthly payments but also the insurance, the fuel costs and maintenance. They should ask themselves how long they intend to keep the vehicle. If they're going to keep it a long time, buying it makes sense. If they're not, maybe leasing is an option.

MONTAGNE: Let's get more into talking about how to pay then for the car once the decision is made. Does cash still give consumers the best leverage when negotiating with dealers?

KREBS: Well, absolutely, cash can be king. Cash makes a deal very simple. You negotiate the price of the car and you write a check and it takes away all of the other things that are negotiated at a dealership. But in some instances you have to look at how you're going to use your money. There are a lot of zero percent financing deals. If you're of that mindset of, OK, I can do a monthly payment. I'm not going to pay any interest. I could take that money and either pay off some other bills or invest it somewhere, that may be a better way to go.

MONTAGNE: What about leasing? I mean these days, especially with fuel economy and technology improving each year, does it make more sense to lease so that you can keep up with all of that?

KREBS: Well, certainly it fits some people, but not everybody. Leasing has been making a comeback, and if you read the newspapers and look at the television ads, you'll see all kinds of great leasing deals. There are some that are under $200 a month. But I think you have to be the ideal person for this. So a business person might be a good person for a lease because they can write some of that off. The person who wants the newest, shiniest vehicle on the road is a good candidate. Someone who wants the latest technology - and that may include fuel efficiency because we're going to see massive improvements in fuel economy in the next few years, if you want to wait for that. You know, you need a car now but you want to get even a better fuel economy in the next car you buy - it's worth it to wait.

There are some downsides though. You never own it. You don't own equity in it. It's just like renting an apartment. And what you should do if you're going to lease is only lease as long as the warranty is. So that then you don't accumulate any maintenance costs on a lease that would all be covered under the warranty if you did your lease along the lines of the warranty limits.

MONTAGNE: And Michele, what about the best deals in terms of leasing?

KREBS: Well, we're seeing a couple areas where leasing is really strong. The midsize car segment, like the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord, there's some really aggressive deals there because it's a very competitive market. And also on the technology side, things like the Chevrolet Volt and the electric Nissan Leaf have very good lease deals because the price tags are very hefty and people don't want to buy, especially since that's a new technology, and so the automakers are subsidizing and offering consumers very attractive leases on those high-tech cars.

MONTAGNE: Michele Krebs is a senior analyst for the automotive information site, Edmunds.com. Thanks very much for joining us again.

KREBS: Thank you for having me again. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.