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 veggies 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.

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Debate Decision: A Family Still Divided In Swing State Ohio

Oct 12, 2012
Originally published on October 12, 2012 12:51 pm

Tom Barnes is a 70-year-old retired grain farmer born in Ohio. He's the son of a school teacher turned farmer, and now himself the father of four, grandpa of eight.

It's clear that he adores his daughter, Becky Barnes, 30, and takes pride in describing how she's taken a piece of the big family farm south of Columbus and turned it into an organic vegetable operation by dint of hard work and sheer determination.

"It's an amazing project out there," he says. What he says distresses him, however, are her political leanings.

He's a Fox News conservative; she's an Obama Democrat. He worries that it's people like his own daughter (and maybe his wife, Karla, too, who plans to vote again for President Obama) who are "taking the country down."

Says Becky: "We try not to talk about it."

But the family, including Becky's older brother, Justin, 35, who also farms a piece of the family land, and his wife, Adrienne, 31, (both Mitt Romney supporters) agreed to let me join them to watch Vice President Joe Biden and GOP Rep. Paul Ryan spar in their only vice presidential debate.

We gathered in Williamsport, where the entrepreneurial Barnes clan — including cousins and uncles and aunts — raise corn, soybeans, wheat, organic vegetables and honeybees, and even operate a golf course (which they built).

Dinner was straight from Becky's farm. The discussion — and reaction to the debate — was equally as fresh and interesting, and as divided as the state of Ohio.

Here's what they took away from Thursday night's debate — first, general consensus, then individual reactions:

All of the Barnes' who gathered at Justin and Adrienne's home found the debate more confrontational than the presidential debate last week, and there was a mixed reaction to Biden's demeanor — his sardonic smile, head shaking, and conspiratorial looks at moderator Martha Radditz.

And no consensus winner.

"I felt everyone felt that President Obama lost his debate because he wasn't at all confrontational, and that's why Biden needed to be more aggressive — it was planned," Becky said.

Said Justin: "I think Biden came across better than Obama. And his demeanor may have been effective — the fact that the audience gets to see how he's reacting, and they might think Ryan might not be telling the truth."

Adrienne, however, thought it was off-putting: "Immature."

On the issues, no one mentioned the lengthy questions devoted to foreign policy, but the Barnes men said they would like to have heard more budget and job detail from Biden. They liked that Ryan ticked off five things the GOP ticket would do for the economy if elected.

What struck Justin, however, and others, was how the debate seemed an extension of the dysfunction in Washington.

"The bickering bothers me — and the moderator gave them a chance to answer that question," Justin said, when she asked the candidates whether they were embarrassed by the tone of the campaign. "Both of them should have apologized for it," he said. "There was no winner here. There was so much defensiveness."

About Biden, Becky said this: "I really like Biden. I don't know why I get a kick out of him. I like his grin. He looked casual and mature."

Her dad? "The Republicans will say Ryan won, and the Democrats will say Biden won. I say Ryan won, and Romney-Ryan will win in November with 328 electoral votes."

Here's more:

Becky Barnes: An English and sociology graduate from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, she started her Dangling Carrot Farm six years ago. Health care is her big issue: "I don't know all the specifics of Obama's plan, but I agree that the government should step in and regulate it a bit," she said, adding that she thought the president did a "fine job" in last week's presidential debate.

"When they hit on the tax issue — there's a clear difference. When Biden said he wanted to tax the rich more. I think Ryan and Romney's definition of what a small business is is different. I think Obama will raise taxes on people who maybe need their taxes raised. I know all of us in the middle class are supposed to be against raising taxes, but for some social programs I'd pay more. And that's why I vote for my side — Obama would have the social programs I agree with more than Romney. It's tough when they sign Grover Norquist's no-tax pledge."

Justin Barnes: A graduate of Ohio State University with an agriculture degree, he's the father of four. His issues are "getting the economy rolling, spending and balancing the budget."

"All this discussion is about things that are kind of small, relative to the big issue of the debt. If there's a message for someone like me, and I consider myself a Republican, it's not a race issue, or a religious issue, or an abortion issue. I think both Ryan and Romney are most effective when they hammer the issue of debt. This didn't do much for me. I didn't take anything away from it. I didn't learn much either way."

Tom Barnes: Barnes taught school after graduating from Otterbein University and before going into farming. He says he's voting for Romney because "I believe in conservatism and not socialism." In his view, Romney knows how to do a budget and has a better shot at getting things done in the gridlocked nation's capital. "I'm disgusted with what's happened in Washington," he said.

"I would like to have more idea of what Biden's idea is to solve the debt crisis. I didn't hear it. I heard how Ryan/Romney will work on getting more jobs, all those five things he mentioned. I didn't hear any plan from Biden. Every time he smiled crazy, I thought, 'People aren't going to like the looks of that.' Edge to Ryan — he had a plan. I have to have people with a plan."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit