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.

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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Kelp For Farmers: Seaweed Becomes A New Crop In America

Oct 12, 2012
Originally published on October 12, 2012 11:02 am

A new kind of crop is being planted in the United States, and it doesn't require any land or fertilizer. Farming it improves the environment, and it can be used in a number of ways. So what is this miracle cash crop of the future?

It's seaweed.

Charlie Yarish, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Connecticut, loves seaweed. In nature, he says, when seaweed turns a rich chocolate color, that means the plant is picking up nitrogen, a process called nutrient bioextraction.

And for Yarish, this nitrogen extraction is the most exciting aspect of seaweed farming. Many plants and animals cannot survive when there is too much nitrogen in the water, but seaweed is able to "capture" the nitrogen, as well as contaminants in the water.

A United Nations report says that nearly 16 million tons of seaweed were farmed in 2008 — most of it in Asia. Yarish helped a company called Ocean Approved start the United States' first open-water kelp farm in the Gulf of Maine in 2006, and the business is growing. Now, he's helping to create a seaweed farm off the coast of Connecticut.

Bren Smith owns and runs the Thimble Island Oyster Company, off the coast of Branford, Conn. After his business was hit hard by Tropical Storm Irene last year, ruining about 80 percent of the shellfish crop, Smith started looking around for something more resilient to farm. That's when he found Yarish, who agreed to help set him up in the seaweed farming business.

This fall, in the water above his shellfishing lines, he'll stretch a 150-foot line about a meter below the surface of the water. They'll be seeded with kelp spores grown in Yarish's lab.

"There's no barns, there's no tractors. This is what's so special about ocean farming. It's that it's got a small footprint and it's under the water. I mean, we're so lucky; I feel like I stumbled on this just great secret that we then can model and spread out to other places," Smith says.

Kelp grows in the winter time, and by spring, Smith should have 9 to 12 feet of growth. He and Yarish are hoping to try another species in the summer. Because shellfishing is so heavily regulated, the waters near the Thimble Islands are clean, and the seaweed is safe to eat. And it will also help remove nitrogen from the water.

"The plan is to actually split it into a couple different experimental markets — one for food, one for fertilizer, one for fish food. I'm [also] working with a skin care company in Connecticut, and then one for biofuel," Smith says. He's even hoping he can someday fuel his own boat with biofuel from the seaweed.

Smith is most hopeful that seaweed will take off as a food, but here's the big question: Will Americans eat seaweed? "If I can't figure out how [to] make this taste good, I'm going to lose a lot of money out here," he says.

That's where chefs like David Santos come in. Santos has worked at some top restaurants in New Jersey and New York. He now runs a private supper club in the New York area, and is planning to open his own restaurant soon.

Santos says the food world works in kind of a trickle-down way, starting with the fancy restaurants. "If the big chefs don't use it, it will never catch. Like, it just won't," he says.

But seaweed is a great ingredient, Santos says, and if chefs start having access to a fresh locally farmed product, they'll start using it. "So if you're the cool guy using the fresh seaweed first, like, that's a big deal," he says.

Santos says he's hoping to go to Bren Smith's Connecticut farm this spring with some of his chef friends to check it out for themselves. But he's also looking forward to creating some new seaweed dishes.

Copyright 2012 WSHU Public Radio Group. To see more, visit http://www.wshu.org/.