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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.

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Pixar Artist Picks Up His 'Heroic' New Year's Resolution

Jan 4, 2013
Originally published on January 4, 2013 7:02 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Now to a heroic kind of New Year's resolution.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

EVERETT DOWNING: My goal was to create 365, draw a super every day.

CORNISH: That's Everett Downing, a story artist at Pixar Animation Studios. He's worked on some of their best-known films, including "Wall-E," "Up," and "Toy Story 3." Three years ago, as a side project, Downing challenged himself to draw a superhero of his own making for every day of the year.

DOWNING: And I figured, eh, it'd be easy to belt out 365 supers, I think I have that many in my brain.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Well, like many New Year's resolutions, the effort started out well enough...

DOWNING: And then it was really, really hard.

(LAUGHTER)

SIEGEL: Downing stopped that first super-resolution around his 210th superhero. That's not bad. But as we recently read on the website of Wired, this year he's made a vow to finish what he started. Among Downing's creations so far...

CORNISH: Silent Knight. That's Knight with a K.

SIEGEL: Cable Guy.

CORNISH: X-O Skeleton.

SIEGEL: Shoulder Blades.

DOWNING: Death Ray, Cataclysm, Whipper Snapper - that's a duo, by the way - Fancy Pants, Super Freak, the Silencer, Kung Fu Hustler. You've got Quick Show Gun, Ball and Chain - that's another duo.

SIEGEL: A married duo: Ball is a cannonball who propels himself at his enemies. His wife, Chain, frequently lashes out against her foes with mystical chains.

CORNISH: There's also Emoticon.

DOWNING: I think I wrote that he's, like, a disgruntled public worker.

CORNISH: A man more villain than superhero who leaves a trail of destruction and a winking smiley face.

SIEGEL: And another team of two: Dober-Man and the Pincer.

DOWNING: So the idea behind this guy is that he's actually, like, this exotic veterinarian who got bitten by a genetically altered Doberman, so he has Doberman-like powers. So he can run about as fast as a Doberman pincher and...

(LAUGHTER)

DOWNING: He can bite really hard.

SIEGEL: We presume the dog, on the other hand, inherited a mild disposition and lots of student loans.

CORNISH: As for the origin story behind Downing's love of superheroes...

DOWNING: You know, whenever we're faced with something that's kind of overwhelming, all of us wishes that we could have something that could make us larger than life that could make a lot of the problems go away.

CORNISH: Even after three years and hundreds of sketches, for artist Everett Downing superheroes will always have a special kind of draw. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.