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.


Eliminate Government? Not Mine, Thanks

Nov 5, 2012
Originally published on November 5, 2012 5:50 pm

If you asked most people whether there's too much government in their lives, they'd probably say yes. But when given the chance to eliminate a layer of government, voters often refuse.

That's why a vote to merge the city of Evansville, Ind., with Vanderburgh County may go down to defeat Tuesday. Many residents are concerned that their access to services would be limited under a unified government, while taxes would increase.

None of that is true, says Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke. A consolidated government would save $780,000 the first year, he says, with much greater savings available down the road — potentially bringing tax rates down, not raising them.

"The concept is you pay for the services you receive, period," Winnecke says. But, he concedes, "It's just human nature to be nervous or scared about change."

City-county mergers are always a tough sell. The last major one took place a decade ago, when Louisville, Ky., joined forces with Jefferson County.

Since then, merger talks have failed or stalled out in numerous places, including Buffalo, N.Y.; Topeka, Kan.; Memphis, Tenn.; and Pittsburgh. A merger between Macon, Ga., and Bibb County was approved by voters in July — after the city had set the record for most failed merger votes nationwide, dating back to World War I.

Governors who have tried to prod local governments to combine have mostly come to grief. Indiana Republican Mitch Daniels sought to make local government consolidation a priority but achieved limited success.

One of his goals was eventually to eliminate the state's 1,008 townships. He has managed to bring the number down to 1,006.

That's why all eyes are waiting to see what happens in Evansville and Vanderburgh County, which sit in the southwestern part of the state, directly across the Ohio River from Kentucky.

As in other places, consolidation boosters say a merger would save money and make economic development easier, with one government negotiating with businesses, rather than the welter of city and county officials who now take on that role.

But the potential savings from a merger have been overstated, says Bruce Ungethiem, co-chairman of Citizens Opposed to Reorganization in Evansville. "A lot of the things that made sense to put together in city and county government have already been done," including schools, he says.

For average citizens, the question seems to come down to keeping control over their own lives. Some residents of the city worry about having their concerns ignored within what would be a larger government entity, while those in the county say Evansville doesn't understand their needs.

"German Township has its own water system," says resident Carol Wilmes. "Are they going to take over our water system?"

Evansville recently hosted its annual fall festival. Several blocks of Franklin Street were closed off to accommodate food trucks run by local churches competing to see who could provide the most cholesterol to local citizens.

There was a long line for pork brain sandwiches, a local favorite, but less of a wait at booths selling chocolate-covered corn dogs and pig in the mud (peanut butter and bacon with powdered sugar and maple syrup).

The event attracts thousands of people — and, in an election year, lots of candidates for state and local offices looking to shake hands and win votes. Many people wore big white buttons calling for a "no" vote on the merger, expressing concern that combining governments would result in their taxes going up.

The political culture of the city may just be too unfamiliar for county residents used to a different way of life.

"We have farm animals we want to keep on the farm," says Terri Freiberger, a retired packing company worker who lives out in the county. "You can't keep a horse in the city."

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