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.

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

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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.

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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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Colorado, A Big Win For Obama In 2008, Now A Harder Sell

Oct 19, 2012
Originally published on October 19, 2012 7:12 pm

In Colorado, the presidential race is a statistical dead heat. The state went heavily for candidate Barack Obama in 2008 — but the president is now facing fierce headwinds.

Obama won last time by 9 points, an astounding margin in a state that hadn't gone Democratic since 1992. One Democratic strategist calls 2008 a one-time case of "irrational exuberance," especially among Colorado's large contingent of swing voters.

Not that all of those voters have abandoned Obama. Waiting in line for a rally with Vice President Joe Biden in the town of Greeley, registered Republican Amanda Lesinski says she doesn't understand why so many of her neighbors have soured on the administration.

"I'm kind of at wits' end with it because, right now, especially in Weld County, there's an oil boom kind of going on here in the Front Range of Colorado," she says, "and there are so many people working and [who] have better jobs than they had back in 2008."

But statewide, unemployment is a touch above the national rate, and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has earned new support from educated swing voters with his repeated references to his five-point economic plan and his promise of even more oil drilling.

The Democrats, meanwhile, are trying to solidify their base. In Greeley, Biden focused his charm on Hispanics.

"Over 25 percent of all public schoolchildren in K-12 are Hispanic, and the American people see what Barack and I see and what you see — they see nothing but promise in that," Biden said. "Nothing but promise."

"Nothing but promise" is exactly how Pauline Olvera would phrase it.

"He put all of our issues on the back burner," she says.

She says the Hispanic community is still waiting for the president to keep his promise to overhaul immigration laws. At a Romney campaign office in Aurora, she's addressing postcards to Hispanic voters, and the candidate's son Craig Romney has stopped by to help.

He writes the postcards in Spanish — he learned the language during his Mormon mission in Chile. How does he know the recipients read Spanish?

"I think they've done their research here," he says. "They've identified undecided Hispanic voters, and so that's how we're doing this."

This is just one form of the "microtargeting" in this campaign. Both sides are using increasingly sophisticated databases that contain a lot more detail than just party affiliation — and it's especially true online.

"When I'm on Facebook, my ads on the right-hand side are always like, 'Vote for Obama,' like 'Need to register to vote' — all that stuff," says J.J. Greenwood as she browses on her laptop at a Denver coffee shop.

Greenwood says it's pretty clear to her that both campaigns have already pegged her as an Obama supporter.

"I'm a young woman, I'm a lesbian, I like coffee shops," she says with a laugh.

So all she sees online is pro-Obama messages. In fact, because she doesn't watch much TV, she's hardly seen any Romney ads. And she says that's too bad.

"Because, personally, I think I should be able to see both sides. Like, I want to know what people think about Romney, and I want to know, like, what he's saying to people he thinks will vote for him," she says. "I think that's really interesting, and that's something I should know."

But because of microtargeting, a lot of Coloradans are hearing from just one side or the other. And despite the state's reputation for elections decided by independent swing voters, the race is starting to look more like what's happening nationwide — a struggle to bring out the party base.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

In Colorado, the presidential race is a statistical dead heat. The state went heavily for candidate Barack Obama in 2008, but as NPR's Martin Kaste reports from Denver, the president now faces fierce headwinds.

MARTIN KASTE, BYLINE: Mr. Obama won last time by nine points, an astounding margin in a state that hadn't gone Democratic since 1992. One Democratic strategist calls 2008 a onetime case of irrational exuberance, especially among Colorado's large contingent of swing voters. Not that all of those voters have abandoned Mr. Obama. Waiting in line for a Joe Biden rally in the town of Greeley, registered Republican Amanda Lesinski says she doesn't understand why so many of her neighbors have now soured on the administration.

AMANDA LESINSKI: I'm kind of at wit's end with it because right now, especially in Weld County, there's an oil boom kind of going on here in the front range of Colorado, and there are so many people working and have better jobs than they had back in 2008.

KASTE: But statewide, unemployment is a touch above the national rate, and Romney has earned new support from educated swing voters with his repeated references to his five-point economic plan and his promise of even more oil drilling. The Democrats, meanwhile, are trying to solidify their base. In Greeley, Vice President Biden focused his charm on Hispanics.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Over 20 - over 25 percent of all public school children in K through 12 are Hispanic...

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

BIDEN: ...and the American people see what Barack and I see, which you see, they see nothing but promise in that, nothing but promise.

KASTE: Nothing but promise is exactly how Pauline Olvera would phrase it.

PAULINE OLVERA: He put all of our issues on the back burner.

KASTE: She says the Hispanic community is still waiting for the president to keep his promise to overhaul immigration laws. At a Romney campaign office in Aurora, she's addressing postcards to Hispanic voters, and the candidate's son, Craig Romney, has stopped by to help.

CRAIG ROMNEY: (Foreign language spoken)

(LAUGHTER)

KASTE: He writes the postcards in Spanish. He learned the language during his Mormon mission in Chile. How does he know the recipients read Spanish?

ROMNEY: I think they've done their research here. They know - they've identified undecided Hispanic voters and so that's how we're doing this here.

KASTE: This is just one form of the micro-targeting in this campaign. Both sides are using increasingly sophisticated databases that contain a lot more detail than just party affiliation and is especially true online.

J.J. GREENWOOD: When I'm on Facebook, my ads on the right-hand side are always like vote for Obama, like you need to register to vote, all that stuff.

KASTE: Browsing on her laptop at a Denver coffee shop, J.J. Greenwood says it's pretty clear to her that both campaigns have already pegged her as an Obama supporter.

GREENWOOD: I'm a young woman. I am lesbian. I like coffee shops, like...

(LAUGHTER)

KASTE: So all she sees online is pro-Obama messages. In fact, because she doesn't watch much TV, she's hardly seen any Romney ads, and she says that's too bad.

GREENWOOD: Because, personally, I think I should be able to see both sides, like I want to know what people think about Romney and I want to know like what he's saying to people he thinks will vote for him. I think that's really interesting and that's something that I should know.

KASTE: But because of microtargeting, a lot of Coloradans are hearing from just one side or the other. And despite the state's reputation for elections decided by independent swing voters, the race here is starting to look more like what's happening nationwide: a struggle to bring out the party base. Martin Kaste, NPR News, Denver. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.