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.

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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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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.

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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.


Volunteers Labor To Get Early Voters Out In Iowa

Oct 15, 2012
Originally published on October 15, 2012 7:59 am



On a Monday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.


And I'm Renee Montagne.

Never mind Election Day, we're in the middle of election season. That's definitely true in Iowa, one of the states that allows early voting and a state that is being fiercely contested. Supporters of both President Obama and his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, are urging people to beat the last-minute rush.

Here's NPR national political correspondent Don Gonyea.

DON GONYEA, BYLINE: On a weekend where the fall weather alternated between thunder and lightning, blustery winds and occasional sunshine, two suburban Des Moines campaign offices were bustling with activity, one for the Democrats, one for Republicans.

At a GOP campaign headquarters in Urbandale, volunteers worked the phones, sitting around a long table.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: OK. Early voting is available now at your county auditor's office or designated location. Would you be interested in voting earlier?

GONYEA: Four years ago, President Obama carried Iowa with help from a massive and energized ground organization that far outpaced what the GOP was doing. This year Republicans here say that won't be repeated. Tom Szold works for the Republican National Committee's Iowa operation.

TOM SZOLD: We've already made four times more phone calls at this point in the cycle now than we did in the entire cycle in 2008. We've already knocked 14 times more doors now than we had in 2008. So I mean the numbers, this time they're on our side. It's the biggest ground game we've ever had. It's unprecedented in Iowa history. And I mean this is the enthusiasm that's on our side this year as opposed to four years ago.

GONYEA: One Republican volunteer who says she's putting in up to 15 hours a week is Sabrina Fest. She explains the new phone system.

SABRINA FEST: Yup. It's all pre-programmed so the name and numbers are already there. All I have to do is hit dial, it automatically calls them, and then I fill on the phone what they answered from the survey, and then after that it gives me my next person to call. Just a continuous cycle.

GONYEA: Fest says she's an answer to the youth movement that's been such a big part of President Obama's campaign. She won't turn 18 until after the election, meaning she can't vote, but...

FEST: It's important to me especially because I'm not going to be able to vote, so my voice really can't be heard, so I'm trying to get other people involved, especially the older people who can vote and making sure that they will vote the right way for Romney.

GONYEA: In the nearby suburb of West Des Moines, Rita Schneider(ph) and Ann Herteen(sp) are starting a Saturday morning shift knocking on doors. They're both retired, both grandmothers. It's raining very lightly as they head outside.

RITA SCHNEIDER: But you can't complain too much about that. We need the rain so badly. And this soft rain like this (unintelligible)...

GONYEA: Canvassing is tedious. Most doors go unanswered. Schneider is 70. She chuckles when I asked if they're part of the Obama campaign youth movement. Then she adds...

SCHNEIDER: There's work to be done and I don't feel like you should just sit back and gripe about stuff. I feel like you should get out and do something about it, and there's plenty to be done. So I'm doing what I can.

GONYEA: A printout tells them the name of the voter at each house and their party registration. On this day, they especially want to make sure people know about early voting.

ANN HERTEEN: You're all set for Halloween...

GONYEA: The outside of this house is decorated with giant spiders.

HERTEEN: I'm supposed to tell you about early voting.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Yeah, I already, I sent my thing in yesterday.

HERTEEN: OK. I'll make a note of that...

SCHNEIDER: And then we shouldn't be bothering you anymore about this.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: No, because I'm a straight Obama fan all the way, so...

GONYEA: Democrats say they too have stepped up their game from 2008. Brad Anderson is the director of the president's Iowa re-election effort.

BRAD ANDERSON: We have nearly doubled the volunteers that we had in 2008 this go-round. And I would say in addition to that, the volunteers that we do have are better trained.

GONYEA: And, he says, they have many more campaign offices around the state as well. Both campaigns do agree that now is when they need to go beyond the endless TV ads and the robocalls, and using these volunteers - real people - to begin to make a final pitch to real voters one at a time.

Don Gonyea, NPR News, Des Moines. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.