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.

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Remember The 14-Year-Old Who Bought A House? She Just Bought Another One

Oct 12, 2012
Originally published on October 18, 2012 12:20 pm

Willow Tufano became a homeowner earlier this year. This was newsworthy because Willow was 14 years old. She raised money to buy the house by selling stuff on Craigslist.

I spoke to Willow again last week and got an update. She's 15 now, and her life over the past few months was sort of surreal. She got caught up in two dramas: America's housing market and America's media circus.

The housing market drama is in some ways more straightforward. The people renting her house recently left in the middle of the night and skipped out on the rent. She's trying to find new tenants.

And, more significantly, she just bought another house near her home in Port Charlotte, Fla. This one — two bedrooms, one bath — cost $17,500. (The first one, which she split with her mom, cost $12,000, down from a value of roughly $100,000 at the peak of the boom.)

I wasn't surprised that she bought a second house. She was clearly a savvy, ambitious kid. What struck me was how much Willow herself had changed.

When I talked to her this spring, she didn't think about herself as remarkable in any way. But after our story aired, she became a minor celebrity. She went on Ellen. And Ellen DeGeneres kept telling Willow what an amazing kid she is.

"Everyone started calling," Willow says. Good Morning America, Anderson Cooper, some show from Korea. "I thought, 'Oh my goodness.' "

Willow was invited to give a talk at a college in Alabama. She was nervous; hundreds of people would be staring at her.

So when she flew to Alabama with her mom, Willow wore her bright yellow Pikachu costume. It's basically like Big Bird marching through a bunch of Southern airports. Everyone was staring — which was the whole point.

"Walking through three big airports and having so many people stare, I felt pretty confident I could speak in front of 200 people and be OK," she says.

Willow's mom says it was that weird stunt and then going on to nail the Alabama lecture that cemented a change in Willow. She was no longer an unassuming kid with a weird hobby. Everything around her was telling her she was interesting. And she was starting to believe it. She was star material.

The inevitable next step: Willow decided she should have her own reality TV show.

"We are in the process of pitching a sizzle reel," she says. "Clips of me. Little highlights."

Willow says her producers (she has producers now) think her story has tremendous commercial appeal — the life of a teenage real estate mogul. Willow has fully cast herself into that role.

When Willow's mom unilaterally lowered the rent on her first house to try to attract new tenants, Willow got annoyed. "I said, 'Did you even ask me if I like those people? Or if I wanted to lower the rent to $650? I don't think so.' "

When I met Willow in March, she had no friends. But a reality TV star has friends. Now Willow has successfully collected a bunch.

"You have to scout and see who really is there for you," she says. "Some people ... try and mooch money off of me. ... I would totally teach them how to make money. They don't even wanna make an effort.

"I don't want to be fake," she says. "I'm going to be one of those people that loves their fans. If I have any."

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