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.

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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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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.

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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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Two Americans Share Nobel Prize In Chemistry

Oct 10, 2012
Originally published on October 10, 2012 6:57 pm
Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit



Today, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry went to two Americans. They won for their work on sensors, or receptors, that sit on the surface of cells. The receptors make cells respond to chemical signals that your body releases when you react to the outside world. Maybe you were frightened by a sudden noise, or you just smell a tantalizing cup of coffee. NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce explains how these receptors work, and why they're so important to medicine.

NELL GREENFIELDBOYCE, BYLINE: Shortly after they called the winners to tell them the news, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences held a press conference this morning. They had one of the winners on the phone, to talk to reporters. Robert Lefkowitz said when the fateful call came, he didn't even hear the phone ring because he was sound asleep and wearing earplugs.

ROBERT LEFKOWITZ: And so my wife gave me an elbow - call for you. And there it was, a total shock and surprise.

GREENFIELDBOYCE: He said he had been planning an ordinary day at the office.

LEFKOWITZ: I was going to get a haircut but...


LEFKOWITZ: ...which, if you could see me, you would see is quite a necessity. But I'm afraid that'll probably have to be postponed.

GREENFIELDBOYCE: Reached by phone later on, he said he had canceled his haircut. His wife told him, don't worry; slightly disheveled is a good look, for a Nobel Prize winner. His day had been a nonstop frenzy of phone calls - not just reporters, but friends and also, his five adult children, who were duly impressed.

LEFKOWITZ: I was actually taken aback by how excited they were. I mean, not that I wouldn't think they'd be excited that Dad won the Nobel Prize, but they just seemed like, over the moon.

GREENFIELDBOYCE: Lefkowitz is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at Duke University Medical Center. He started his research back in the early 1970s, hunting for receptors on the surface of cells that are sensitive to the fight-or-flight hormone, adrenaline.

LEFKOWITZ: There was tremendous skepticism as to whether they existed at all. And early in my career, that was the biggest obstacle, or hurdle, I faced - was a lot of pushback; that, you know, you can't do this. These receptors aren't really things you can study. They're just kind of some vague something.

GREENFIELDBOYCE: Work in his lab showed how wrong that view was. His group found the gene for a receptor, and revealed that it was part of a large family of receptors called G protein-coupled receptors. Lots of common medications act on these receptors; everything from antihistamines to beta blockers. So understanding how the receptors work at the molecular level, could help scientists design better drugs.

LEFKOWITZ: It is amazing to me, to watch over the 40 or so years of my career how this field has grown and grown - and exploded. And it's now a huge, huge field. I mean, I have to be honest; I can't keep up with all the different ramifications anymore.

GREENFIELDBOYCE: Lefkowitz is sharing the Nobel Prize with a close colleague who once worked in his lab. Brian Kobilka is now at Stanford University School of Medicine. Kobilka spent years trying to get a detailed picture of one of these receptors in action; to show exactly how it passes a signal from the outside of the cell, to a protein inside the cell. This seemed so impossible that at times, his lab struggled to get funding. But just last year, he announced that they had done it. Chuck Sanders is a biochemist at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

CHUCK SANDERS: I was in China about a year and a half ago, where he presented this work for the very first time, at a meeting. And there was just a hush of awe, in the audience, when he flashed the structure up on the screen. It was a really, really major accomplishment.

GREENFIELDBOYCE: Sanders says this kind of scientific feat isn't luck.

SANDERS: He was only able to do that because he had basically devoted his life to studying these receptors. And it was his knowledge of these receptors that led to the technical breakthroughs, that led to that structure.

GREENFIELDBOYCE: Reached by cellphone a few hours after he'd been told he won the Nobel, Kobilka sounded kind of stunned.

BRIAN KOBILKA: I'm still a little in - a little bit in disbelief. But I'm pretty sure this isn't dream anymore.


KOBILKA: I guess I have to - I guess it's real.

GREENFIELDBOYCE: He says when the call from Sweden woke him up, he knew it couldn't be some kind of practical joke. There were just too many people on the line, all congratulating him, with very convincing Swedish accents.

Nell Greenfieldboyce, NPR News.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.