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 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.

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.

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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.

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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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There's A Reason They Call It A Battleground State

Oct 23, 2012
Originally published on October 23, 2012 2:55 pm

Ohio has been a key swing state in the last three presidential races. As with many elections, there are reports of stolen yard signs and clashes between supporters of the candidates at rallies.

But there's a tone in Ohio this year that seems to go beyond what we've witnessed before, and not just as it concerns the very tight presidential race.

Civility in politics is "at a pretty low ebb," agrees John Green at the Bliss Institute for Applied Politics at the University of Akron, which has been compiling data on the subject for the Ohio Civility Project.

I've been a reporter in Ohio for 22 years and have specialized in political reporting for the past eight. Ohioans usually are happy to live in a state that plays such a critical role in the selection of a president, and they are no strangers to high-passion, full-throated political campaigns for statewide office.

But I've never seen this state so passionately split, and while it's great to see so many people engaged, it's concerning to see so many who are also very angry. And never have I heard so many people — including political junkies — say they can't wait for the election to be over.

As one of the most crucial presidential swing states, Ohio has played frequent host to President Obama, Vice President Biden, Republican nominee Mitt Romney and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. And we've seen nonstop national political ads.

But the state also has two of the most expensive races in the country.

The contest between Republican Rep. Jim Renacci and Democratic Rep. Betty Sutton in northeast Ohio is one of two in the nation pitting incumbents against one another. The ads in that race have been described as "brutal."

"If you've watched TV much, you probably think Betty Sutton and I both hate puppies and grandmothers too," Renacci said in a recent ad. "It's ridiculous."

In the Senate race — Ohio's other big-money contest — the rancor between Democratic incumbent Sherrod Brown and Republican Treasurer Josh Mandel is apparently trickling down to their supporters. The candidates met last week for the first of three debates before the normally staid City Club of Cleveland.

I moderated that debate, the only face-to-face meeting between the candidates before a live audience, in which Mandel said Brown "lied to the people of Ohio" and Brown said Mandel "couldn't be trusted."

The audience of about 1,300 could be politely described as boisterous. Even after they were reminded to keep their audible support to a minimum, audience members applauded loudly after questions, and their jeers and boos nearly interrupted the candidates' answers in the latter part of the debate.

Karen Kasler is chief of the Statehouse News Bureau for Ohio Public Radio and Television

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