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 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


New Regulations Aimed At Black Lung Disease Appear To Be Stalled

Oct 12, 2012
Originally published on October 13, 2012 12:37 pm

Reporting by the Charleston Gazette this week suggests that the Obama administration's efforts to impose tough new limits on miners' exposure to coal dust have stalled.

The United Mine Workers Union suggests election year politics may be the reason.

NPR, the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) and the Gazette collaborated on a series of reports in July that showed a 40-year effort to control coal dust and stem the miners' disease known as black lung was plagued by weak enforcement by government regulators and inaccurate and falsified coal dust measurements by industry.

More than 70,000 coal miners have died from black lung since a law combating the disease was passed in 1969. About 10,000 have died in the last 20 years and data gathered by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) indicate the disease is on the rise and is striking younger miners.

Gazette reporter Ken Ward, who has focused on coal industry issues for two decades, reports that "government records indicate that the black lung rule has not yet reached the White House Office of Management and Budget, which must review it before a final version can be issued."

The Mine Safety and Health Administration has proposed cutting in half miners' exposure to coal dust underground and spent two years developing a rule to impose those limits. Congressional Republicans stalled the measure in a budget bill and required a Government Accountability Office (GAO) review of NIOSH studies showing a rise in black lung.

The GAO report came out two months ago and it backed the NIOSH data. That cleared the way for action on the MSHA rule.

As the Gazette reports, federal mine safety chief Joe Main told the United Mine Workers Journal this week that, "We have finalized our work here. ... It's moving through the next level, but that does take some time."

Ward asked Main to be specific about the proposal during a visit to Charleston this week. "It's going through the process," Main told Ward. "It's still in the process." He declined to provide details.

Ward asked United Mine Workers (UMWA) spokesman Phil Smith for comment and Smith raised the possibility of election year sensitivity given Republican attacks in the battleground states of Ohio and Virginia accusing President Obama of waging a "war on coal."

"If they're worried about Republicans calling this another job-killing regulation," Smith told the Gazette, "let's remember that coal miners are still dying from black lung."

The UMWA, with Main as its safety chief, actually opposed new coal dust regulations in the past, saying they didn't go far enough. The union also objected to elements of MSHA's current proposal. But Smith said "We would hope that the rule would be put in place and enforced as soon as possible."

Industry groups have also opposed elements of the proposed regulations, arguing that the MSHA approach is too broad and fails to specifically target the coal mines and coal seams in portions of Appalachia where the black lung increase is most pronounced.

Clarification, Oct. 13, 2012, 12:34 E.T.:

Phil Smith of the United Mine Workers union did not make an election year connection to the black lung issue in his comment to the Charleston Gazette. And he did not intend for his comment to be interpreted as making an election year connection to the issue. Smith tells NPR in response to this post that he and UMWA president Cecil Roberts have spoken about "the GOP's continual opposition to new regulations on coal dust" for more than a year.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit