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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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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.

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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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'Gang Of Eight' Trying To Steer Clear Of Fiscal Cliff

Nov 7, 2012
Originally published on November 7, 2012 5:50 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Even during the heat of the campaign, a bipartisan group of eight senators was meeting to try to hash out a framework for deficit reduction to steer clear of that fiscal cliff. The so-called Gang of Eight - four Democrats and four Republicans - includes Senator Mark Warner, Democrat of Virginia, who joins me now. Welcome to the program.

SENATOR MARK WARNER: Thanks for having me, Melissa.

BLOCK: Senator Warner, we have seen deficit reduction recommendations for the Simpson-Bowles commission that went nowhere, gangs of senators have worked on this before and have come and gone. Why should we think that your Gang of Eight should have any more success than they did?

WARNER: Well, the election's over and the American people have spoken. I think they've said they want us to continue generally in the same direction, but they want us to work more closely together. I think there are large numbers of senators and I think there are even large numbers of House members who are willing to now - to kind of chuck their Democrat and Republican hats, put the country first.

And any reasonable person who's looked at this issue - business leaders, others - have said you've got to generate some additional revenues, you've got to make our entitlement programs sustainable for the long haul, and you're going to have to cut back on some additional government spending. Those three component parts there is broad-based agreement on.

Working through what that looks like has been where the rubber hits the road and I hope that our group and others can help contribute to the solution set.

BLOCK: Senator Warner, you mentioned generating additional revenues in the message that you took from the election. Let me ask you about what House Speaker John Boehner said. He said the message from that election is the American people have made clear there is no mandate for raising taxes. He's taking away a very different lesson from the electorate than you are.

WARNER: Well, there are raising revenues and raising revenues. There's raising revenues from tax reform. There's raising - continuing to simply allow the law to move forward, which would have expiration of some or all of the Bush tax cuts. There are, I think, a lot of ways we can get to the question of how we generate the kind of revenues which, you know, historically have been (unintelligible) percent of our GDP that we need - not to grow government but just to basically pay our bills and to start paying down this $16 trillion debt.

As a business guy, I know as well, you cannot cut or tax your way alone out of this problem. You're going to have to have a growth component to the economy, making sure, as any good business person would, you invest in your workforce, you invest in you infrastructure, you invest in R&D to stay ahead of the competition around the world. You know, a growing economy is also a very powerful tool on bringing down our debt.

BLOCK: I'm still not clear how you would convince Republicans, many of whom have signed the Grover Norquist pledge not to raise taxes, to join you in that.

WARNER: Well, Melissa, I would again point to the fact that in the Senate we have, at this point, 23 Republicans who have agreed to work around the principles of the Gang of Six. I know there are others who said, you know, Mark, and others, well, sign me up. Once we get through the election, they're going to have their chance to participate. And I know the president will lead on this.

And the business community, which for the most part to date on this issue has kind of sat on the sidelines, is now organized underneath the rubric of the campaign to fix the debt and that kind of broad-based institutional support, that's a new factor to the equation as well.

BLOCK: You said you expect the president to be taking the lead on this. Do you think President Obama should have been doing more on this? Complaints have been lodged that he was on the sidelines, that he was not an active participant in these talks that led to this fiscal cliff.

WARNER: I absolutely reject that. I mean, the president laid out a plan, fought for that plan. He was supportive, actually, of our bipartisan plan when we came out, the Gang of Six, during the debt ceiling debate. But kind of going back and rehashing how we got there doesn't really solve the problem. The problem is, where do we go from here? You know, every day that we don't act, this problem gets tougher and harder to get out of. And again, it's going to require both parties finding that common ground.

BLOCK: That's Senator Mark Warner, Democrat of Virginia. He's a member of a bipartisan group of senators searching for a way to avoid the fiscal cliff. We also invited Republican members of the group to talk with us today, but none were available. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.