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.


Rejecting Barbie Pink For Sass Of Another Color

Oct 25, 2012

Early in writer-director Coley Sohn's debut feature, Sassy Pants, Bethany Pruitt (Ashley Rickards) goes into her closet for something to wear and pointedly reaches past a sea of pink items for a plain gray sweatshirt. It's a simple and evocative image that not only demonstrates her mood in that moment, but also says something about her life: This isn't a modern teen girl's closet, but that of a doll, forced into a confectioner's nightmare of girlish pink every day to satisfy some higher power's notions of sweet femininity.

Sohn quickly makes it clear who's keeping that closet looking like a Barbie Playhouse: Bethany's domineering mother June (Breaking Bad's Anna Gunn), a prudish obsessive whose reaction to her husband running off with another man has been to shield her children from the world, home school them and essentially keep them under house arrest.

That pink closet as a symbol of oppression, and the minor act of rebellion in choosing the dull gray sweatshirt, are both underlined when June takes Bethany for a high school graduation dress. She dismisses the fetching little red number Bethany chooses as "something your dad might wear" before pushing a pink dress with a suffocating neckline at her, insisting to the shopkeeper that pink is her daughter's favorite color. The moment hammers home a point that was made more elegantly in the earlier scene. And that's an effective summary of both the strengths and weaknesses of Sassy Pants, which often undermines its stronger sequences with on-the-nose overemphasis.

The home school graduation is a pathetic affair, attended only by Bethany's younger brother, Shayne (Martin Spanjers), and their sardonic grandma (Jenny O'Hara). Grandma is the only resident of the house willing to call June on her obsessive need for control. It's a voice the movie needs, though the bluntly profane elderly character who dispenses occasional wisdom is a little too stock and self-consciously quirky.

The movie finds its best moments when Bethany runs away to her dad (Diedrich Bader), a used-car salesman shacking up with a perpetually shirtless and very young boyfriend named Chip. Chip's played by Haley Joel Osment, best known as the haunted boy in The Sixth Sense, who's obviously having more fun onscreen in short shorts, cowboy boots and thick black eyeliner than he has in years. Osment's character is the younger, gayer equivalent to Grandma: largely a ditz, but capable of dispensing surprisingly sage advice when necessary.

In a different, trashier version of the film, Chip and Bethany might have ditched her sad-sack dad — who is, in many ways, just as damaged and needy as her mother — and gone on the crazy road trip that Chip at one point suggests to her. But ultimately his presence is just a shade too outre for where Sohn's film is going, as it can't quite resist the pull toward TV-movie sentimentality.

The central conflict becomes Bethany's drive to go to fashion school, which runs counter to Mom's plans to have her "go off" to college by staying at home and completing her degree online. When that fight leads to a big moral decision for June, the ease with which she learns her Very Important Lesson doesn't quite seem plausible, and the scene skews a little too far to the sappy side.

Sweet and well-intentioned, Sassy Pants is difficult to dislike, despite its missteps. If its look at lower-middle-class suburban life stuck to material with a little more bite — such as one excellent sequence when the smart but easily influenced Bethany models a coworker's behavior on a double date, quickly learning to play down her talents so as not to intimidate the idiot boy she's trying to attract — then the sweetness of the conclusion might have seemed more earned. Sometimes you need a spoonful of medicine to help the sugar go down.

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