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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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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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GOP Has Edge In Colorado's Early Voting

Nov 6, 2012
Originally published on November 6, 2012 12:18 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now, let's talk next about Colorado, where Republicans edged ahead in early voting, the same early voting that was key to Democratic success back in 2008. Kirk Siegler of member station KUNC has our story.

KIRK SIEGLER, BYLINE: Early voting at polling stations like this one in downtown Denver ended this past Friday, but yesterday there was a steady stream of voters dropping off their mail-in ballots.

PAMELA MALONE: Well, I was just turning in my vote before the final last hours...

SIEGLER: Pamela Malone and close to two million other Coloradans are expected to cast their votes prior to Election Day this year. She says she's not paying that much attention to the early trends.

MALONE: Because a lot of people do make last-minute votes like myself.

SIEGLER: But both presidential campaigns are paying close attention to that early tally, which so far shows about 30,000 more Republicans have voted than Democrats. Independent pollster Floyd Ciruli credits this surge to the state GOP's focus on voter registration.

FLOYD CIRULI: Frankly, they lost this state by nine points four years ago. They could not take the Senate two years ago. They lost by about 30,000 votes. So I think to some extent they approached this election realizing that they had to make up a lot of ground. They obviously have.

SIEGLER: But Ciruli notes those early voting tallies also include about a half million of Colorado's famously independent, or unaffiliated, voters. And despite Republicans having an overall edge, a closely watched Denver Post poll this past weekend showed President Obama with a three point lead among those surveyed who say they planned to vote before Election Day. Ciruli says Mr. Obama may have gotten a bump from Hurricane Sandy.

CIRULI: Either we've had a bit of a shift or we're just getting the unbelievable polling noise that you've seen in this election.

SIEGLER: Nevertheless, there's a palpable sense of urgency in this state among Democrats in particular, worried about their base not turning out.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC AND CHEERING)

SIEGLER: When the president staged a Get Out the Vote rally in the liberal college town of Boulder late last week, congressman Jared Polis pushed people to vote early.

REPRESENTATIVE JARED POLIS: I personally voted for Barack Obama earlier this week at the University Club here on campus, some of you joined me in that.

(APPLAUSE)

POLIS: And if you haven't done the same, what are you waiting for?

SIEGLER: Both candidates and their running-mates have been blitzing the state these last few days, trying to court every single last voter. It caps off what's been an unprecedented year of visits by presidential candidates to Colorado, which has just nine electoral votes. But it's also a sign of just how close this race could be.

For NPR News, I'm Kirk Siegler, in Denver.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.