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 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.


'Treme,' Ep. 25: Sugar Boy's Salute

Oct 15, 2012
Originally published on October 15, 2012 2:41 pm

If you're one of the few viewers still confused about what Treme is saying about art, do note this episode's "play-within-a-play" staging of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot. The existentialist play revolves around two characters, Vladimir (nicknamed Didi) and Estragon (called Gogo), who wait interminably for a mysterious "Godot" by a desolate country road. It's clearly meant to parallel New Orleans residents' wait for essential social services, complete with the barren backdrop of the city post-Katrina. And it's only the latest example of how artists are faster to respond to tragedy than a corrupt bureaucracy could ever be.

True to Treme form, a company actually staged the play in flood-damaged parts of New Orleans in 2007. Wendell Pierce, who plays Antoine Batiste on Treme, played Vladimir; he was quoted in the New Orleans Times-Picayune as saying: "But I'm trying to find hope, the way Gogo and Didi do in the play. They say they'll go, but they stay. I find that hope where [producer] Paul [Chan] has found it, in the courageous people of New Orleans."

Speaking of art, WBGO's Josh Jackson and I wrote about this episode's musical performances.

Patrick Jarenwattananon: Other than the middle-school band that Antoine is working with, our first live music scene features someone I recognize: the singing drummer Shannon Powell. A recent NPR story called him "one of the greatest drummers this musical city has ever produced."

Josh Jackson: That's a tall order, since the city has produced a plethora of great drummers. But in a lot of ways, Shannon Powell is the embodiment of the tradition. He played in Danny Barker's Fairview Baptist Church band, an ensemble that trained scores of young musicians in the art of swing. He carries the moniker "King of Treme" with aplomb. We hear him at the now-defunct Donna's Bar and Grill on North Rampart singing "You Are My Sunshine," a song that country music singer (and former Louisiana governor) Jimmie Davis popularized.

PJ: I don't, however, recognize the Latin dance band to which the seedy developer Nelson takes his date. Nelson seems to know enough to call him "Freddie," though.

JJ: That's Fredy Omar, a Honduran-born singer who has carved his own space within the New Orleans music scene, largely by playing a variety of music from the Latin diaspora. He knows his way around Afro-Cuban music, salsa, merengue, cumbia, bolero ballads, cha-cha-chas, tango... basically, music for dancing. At Ray's Boom Boom Room, Fredy Omar con Su Banda play "La Vampirita," a merengue, and "Mas Sexy Cada Segundo."

PJ: So that gospel-tinged band in the studio was almost gratuitous with the cameos. You had Davell Crawford at the keys, who — though you don't really see it here — belongs to a long line of New Orleans piano showmen. You had his grandfather Sugar Boy Crawford, author of the song "Iko Iko," a.k.a. "Jock-a-Mo." And in the control room, the saxophonist Kidd Jordan, the best-known free-jazz musician in New Orleans, is there — and Kidd and Sugar Boy are old friends.

JJ: I'm happy this scene happened. James "Sugar Boy" Crawford rarely performed outside of the church after 1963, the year he was severely beaten by police while on his way to a performance. But his famous song "Jock-a-Mo" scores the closing credits. (It was recorded in 1953 at Cosimo Matassa's J&M Studios, which is where we see Davis washing clothes with Annie.) Crawford the elder is at Piety Street Studios singing "In My Home Over There" with his grandson Davell Crawford and a supporting cast of gospel singers. The song they're singing is all the more poignant in that the elder Crawford died a month ago. This was essentially his final public performance.

Engineer Mark Bingham is at the recording desk at Piety Street, and saxophonist Edward "Kidd" Jordan is listening in the control room. Jordan's history runs concurrent with Sugar Boy's, and while some know him for avant-garde improvisation, he played a lot of rhythm-and-blues dates in his time.

PJ: Annie's musical adventure takes her to Austin, Texas, where she sits in with the blues singer and pianist Marcia Ball. A quick Google search reveals she actually grew up in western Louisiana and went to LSU.

JJ: She grew up in a small town near the Texas border, hence the accent. She's a sweetheart of a lady, and a qualified piano plunker, too. Marcia plays the boogie-woogie style, and she can really roll the keys. We hear her play "Where Do You Go?" with Annie, a song Marcia wrote with her longtime songwriting partner, Tracy Nelson. The second tune she does, "That's Enough of That Stuff," really shows off her allegiance to the piano style of Professor Longhair.

PJ: The Indian scenes continue to give us a peek at some things most of us could never see. We've already heard the chant "Two-Way-Pock-A-Way," but we actually see an impromptu meeting between two big chiefs. I gather that's the Creole Wild West tribe coming by. (And also, that scene between LaDonna and Chief Lambreaux was just unstoppable force and immovable object.)

JJ: Big Chief Howard Miller of the Creole Wild West comes to LaDonna's bar, announced by his spy boy. There's a friendly encounter — intensely choreographed — that ends in an embrace between the chiefs. LaDonna's remark to Albert, "Oh, so you also mask businessman?" was one of the quality moments. She gets all the good lines.

PJ: I think there are some music-related things to clear up this episode. First, Antoine goes somewhere for help with his and his student's Entergy (energy company) bill, and Chief Lambreaux gets medical assistance from a group which works with musicians. What are these places?

JJ: Antoine goes to Sweet Home New Orleans, an organization that helps the "culture bearers" of the city with basic needs, as well as legal assistance, business education and general advocacy. Big Chief Lambreaux gets help from the New Orleans Musicians' Clinic, a medical group that provides comprehensive health care, mental health and social services to musicians. Regrettably, they are facing severe cutbacks due to the politicization of the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. "Obamacare") at the state level, as the current Louisiana governor, Bobby Jindal, refuses all federal monies related to Medicaid. I'm not trying to wade into the argument necessarily, but I feel bad that people have to suffer the consequences of being collateral damage. I'd hardly characterize New Orleans musicians as takers.

PJ: And what is this world-renowned jazz center that the developer wants Delmond to be a part of, and (other than the fact that we haven't seen it yet in real life) why does he pooh-pooh it by referring to "Tivoli Gardens"?

JJ: Once there was discussion about turning Louis Armstrong Park (home of Congo Square) into an amusement park a la Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, Denmark. Didn't happen. After Katrina, developers wanted to create a "Jazz District" that would include a performance space. The resident ensemble, the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra led by Irvin Mayfield, materialized, but the space never did. Still waiting.

PJ: Finally, let's do a background music roundup. Anything you thought worked particularly well? I'll start that this being ostensibly a jazz blog, I heard Miles Davis' "Walkin'" — as Delmond says, featuring Percy Heath on bass.

JJ: Yeah, great record. We also hear a couple of songs during those scenes that were recorded in the aforementioned J&M Studios: Lloyd Price's "I Wish Your Picture Was You" and Fats Domino's "The Fat Man." Lee Dorsey's "The Greatest Love" lends its name to this episode, and we hear it playing while Janette and Jacques are building their menu for the new restaurant. Everett, the reporter, talks about Goatwhore and Eyehategod, some bands from the metal scene, though it looks like we'll have to wait until the next episode to see them. Enough sludge for this hour, it seems.

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