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.


Lessons From Katrina Boost FEMA's Sandy Response

Nov 3, 2012
Originally published on November 3, 2012 1:22 pm

Following Superstorm Sandy, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has received good grades from politicians and even some survivors of the storm. In part, that's due to lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina seven years ago.

For Staten Island resident Deb Smith, whose house was flooded by the storm surge from Sandy, FEMA has been a savior.

"What a hell of an organization. I got on the phone with them yesterday, I got my claim number in already, the guy said he's going to call me in a couple of days," she says. "He's going to come out and estimate, and they said, listen, whatever doesn't work, they're going to help us put stuff in storage."

The reviews are almost as glowing from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and other local officials in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. They've praised FEMA for being prepared before the storm and responsive immediately afterward — which did not happen when Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast in 2005.

Agency Gets A Makeover

"FEMA is a very different organization than it was during Katrina," says Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut.

Lieberman chairs the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which helped spur post-Katrina reforms at the agency. Those changes, Lieberman says, have proved themselves during Sandy.

"[FEMA] was proactive, and it didn't used to be. It doesn't wait for the storm to hit; it pre-positions personnel, equipment, food supplies, water, etc.," he says.

FEMA had hundreds of thousands of liters of bottled water, along with millions of meals, cots and blankets stockpiled, which were moved into the region ahead of Sandy.

The agency also had President Obama sign disaster declarations before the details of those disasters were fully known. Lieberman says that was important, too, to start the money flowing immediately to local governments and survivors.

"You used to have to fill out a lot of paperwork to get eligibility for disaster assistance from the president. Today, they're being much more commonsensical about it," he says.

Federal officials say FEMA has some $3.6 billion in its Disaster Relief Fund and billions more available in other accounts, if needed. It has already begun spending that money. Some $19 million has gone out to storm victims to pay for temporary housing.

Cutting Through The Bureaucracy

The good reviews of FEMA extend to the agency's leader, administrator Craig Fugate. Fugate was tapped by Obama to head the agency after leading the Florida Division of Emergency Management. That experience is key, says James Kendra, who heads the Disaster Research Center at the University of Delaware.

"FEMA really benefits from having an administrator who's very well-versed in the science of disaster, who's very familiar with the disaster research," Kendra says, "and because he himself comes from a fire- and first-response background, has a very high regard for first responders and for the value of local-level initiatives."

Fugate has brushed off praise of his agency's performance, saying he won't be satisfied until everybody who needs housing assistance has it and the power's back on. Barry Scanlon, a former FEMA official who is now president of disaster-management consulting firm Witt Associates, says keeping the bureaucracy at bay will be the true test of FEMA's performance.

"The president came out forcefully the other day and said, 'I do not want any red tape, I don't want any bureaucracy,' and hopefully that spirit of partnership and people working together quickly will stay through the recovery phase," he says. "That's not always the case."

Officials know all too well the reviews of FEMA are likely to become less glowing with each day that passes that the lights remain out and people like Smith can't move back into their homes.

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