Bill Chappell

Bill Chappell is a blogger and producer who works with NPR's Morning Edition and Digital Media group. In addition to coordinating Web features, he frequently contributes to NPR's blogs, from The Two Way and All Tech Considered to The Salt.

Chappell's work at NPR has ranged from being the site's first full-time homepage editor to leading the London 2012 Olympics blog, The Torch. His assignments have included being the lead web producer for NPR's trip to Asia's Grand Trunk Road, as well as establishing the Peabody Award-winning StoryCorps on NPR.org.

In 2009, Chappell was a key editorial member of the small team that redesigned NPR's web site. One year later, the site won its first Peabody Award, along with the National Press Foundation's Excellence in Online Journalism award.

At NPR, Chappell trains both digital and radio staff to use digital tools to tell compelling stories, in addition to "evangelizing" — promoting more collaboration between departments. Other shows he has worked with include All Things Considered, Fresh Air, and Talk of the Nation.

Prior to joining NPR in late 2003, Chappell worked on the Assignment Desk at CNN International, handling coverage in areas from the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America, and coordinating CNN's pool coverage out of Qatar.

Chappell's work for CNN also included producing Web stories and editing digital video for SI.com, as well as editing and producing stories for CNN.com's features division. He also worked at the network's video and research library.

Before joining CNN, Chappell wrote about movies, restaurants and music for alternative weeklies, in addition to his first job: editing the police blotter.

From 2002-2003, Chappell served as editor-in-chief of The Trans-Atlantic Journal, a business and lifestyle monthly geared for expatriate Europeans working and living in the United States.

A holder of bachelor's degrees in English and History from the University of Georgia, he attended graduate school for English Literature at the University of South Carolina.

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The Two-Way
2:01 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles: No Decision Yet On Wilson's Job

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 9:31 am

Police officer Darren Wilson's "current employment status has not changed," Ferguson Mayor James Knowles says, speaking one day after a grand jury declined to indict Wilson in the death of Michael Brown.

Saying that an internal affairs investigation into the August incident in which Wilson shot Brown to death is continuing, Knowles added that he couldn't go into more specifics than to say Wilson remains on administrative leave.

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The Two-Way
3:19 pm
Sat November 22, 2014

Ferguson Grand Jury Will Reportedly Meet Again Monday

Michael Brown Sr., the father of 18-year-old Michael Brown who was shot dead by a police officer, distributes Thanksgiving turkeys Saturday to neighbors where his son was killed in Ferguson, Mo., this past August.
JEWEL SAMAD AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 22, 2014 4:03 pm

As a grand jury considers whether Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson should face criminal charges over the shooting death of Michael Brown, 18, many in the St. Louis suburb are calling for calm, even as they prepare for what could be a sharp public reaction to the jury's decision.

Saying "the grand jury is still gathering information," the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the jury will meet next week.

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The Two-Way
2:01 pm
Sat November 22, 2014

UVA Bans Fraternities Until January In Wake Of Campus Rape Article

Saying she is acting out of ""great sorrow, great rage," University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan, seen here in April, is suspending all the school's fraternities until January.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Sat November 22, 2014 4:00 pm

Citing "great sorrow, great rage" and "great determination," University of Virginia President Teresa A. Sullivan says she's suspending all the school's fraternities until Jan. 9. The move comes days after a Rolling Stone article in which a woman described being gang-raped when she was a freshman in 2012.

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The Two-Way
9:48 am
Sat November 22, 2014

Tiny Texas Town Sees School's Record-Setting Football Season End

The Booker High Kiowas entered the state playoffs undefeated, and with two record-setting players on its 29-man team.
Google Maps

Originally published on Sat November 22, 2014 11:57 am

A football dream ended in Texas last night, as the little town of Booker saw its high school team lose for the first time this year, eliminating them from the state playoffs. But Booker High School has plenty to celebrate — the 29 players on its team include the state's all-time leading passer and leading receiver.

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The Two-Way
8:08 am
Sat November 22, 2014

Highway Bandits Steal Blood Believed To Contain Ebola Virus

Originally published on Sat November 22, 2014 11:51 am

A roadway robbery in Guinea resulted in an alarming haul this week, as thieves made off with cash, personal items — and a batch of Red Cross blood samples from patients believed to be infected with the deadly Ebola virus.

The incident happened in southern Guinea, an area close to two other West African nations hit hard by the outbreak: Liberia and Sierra Leone.

NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports:

"Robbers riding on a motorbike waylaid a taxi and made off with cellphones, jewelry and cash near the town of Kissidougou.

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The Two-Way
7:22 am
Sat November 22, 2014

Diplomats Look To Solve Iran's Nuclear Issue As Deadline Nears

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, left, and Secretary of State John Kerry meet during closed-door nuclear talks with Iran in Vienna Saturday.
Ronald Zak AP

Originally published on Sat November 22, 2014 11:50 am

Hoping to broker a deal to ease years of disputes over Iran's nuclear program, Secretary of State John Kerry and other diplomats are locked in negotiations in Vienna. They have until Monday to reach a permanent deal.

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The Two-Way
2:46 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Poo Power: New British Bus Runs On Human Waste

In Britain, a new bus running between Bath and the Bristol airport uses biomethane for power. The gas is derived from human sewage and food waste.
Wessex Water/GENeco

Originally published on Sat November 22, 2014 11:43 am

A bus in Britain is making headlines for running on gas — and we're not talking about petroleum or natural gas. The Bio-Bus runs on biomethane gas that's produced by human sewage and food waste.

The Bio-Bus has 40 seats and a range of around 186 miles on a full tank. When it officially goes into service next week, it'll run as a shuttle between the city of Bath and the Bristol airport, along with other routes.

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The Two-Way
4:14 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Motown's Jimmy Ruffin Dies; Sang 'What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted'

Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 6:13 pm

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The Two-Way
2:21 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

America's 'Best Restroom 2014' Is Verdant And Curvy

America's best place to go, 2014: Philadelphia's Longwood Gardens wins an award for its restrooms.
Longwood Gardens

Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 3:26 pm

Public bathrooms don't have to be boring. Just look at this year's contenders for the title of America's Best Restroom, which range from sculpture and doll themes to wash-tub basins. This year's winner is tucked along a "green wall" of plants.

The top bathroom in America is currently at Longwood Gardens, west of Philadelphia, according to Cintas, the business uniform and supply company that runs the Best Restroom competition.

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The Two-Way
1:24 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

NBC And Netflix Shelve Bill Cosby Projects As New Rape Claim Emerges

Comedian and actor Bill Cosby, seen here performing in September, is facing several new allegations of sexual assault.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 6:33 pm

A TV comedy Bill Cosby had been developing for NBC has been canceled, after new allegations of rape have been made against the comedian. Netflix made a similar move late Tuesday, shelving a comedy special that had been slated to premiere the week of Thanksgiving.

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The Two-Way
3:22 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

FAA Can Regulate Small Drones: NTSB Reverses Judge's Ruling

A small drone hovers during a meet-up of the D.C. Area Drone User Group on Feb. 1.
Robert MacPherson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 4:09 pm

Overturning a federal judge's ruling that the Federal Aviation Administration had overstepped in fining a man $10,000 for flying a small drone, the National Transportation Safety Board says the agency has the authority to regulate such drones.

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The Two-Way
1:02 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

U.K.'s Anglican Church Will Enable Women To Become Bishops

Members of the Church of England's Synod react after a vote to formalize the approval of consecrating women as bishops in central London Monday. The Church of England's governing body on Monday adopted a historic measure allowing women to become bishops.
Leon Neal AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 5:20 pm

The Church of England moved toward ordaining its first female bishops Monday, as its governing body voted to enable women to become bishops. The move comes two decades after the church first ordained women as priests, in 1994.

"Today we can begin to embrace a new way of being the church and moving forward together," Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said after the vote. "We will also continue to seek the flourishing in the church of those who disagree."

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The Two-Way
10:49 am
Fri November 14, 2014

'Shirtstorm' Leads To Apology From European Space Scientist

Scientist Matt Taylor, left, said "I made a big mistake" by wearing a shirt featuring scantily clad women. Taylor spoke at Friday's update by the European Space Agency on the Philae lander.
ESA

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 11:38 am

The European Space Agency's Rosetta mission made history this week by putting a lander on a comet. But at the same time, one of its leading scientists drew wide criticism for wearing a shirt featuring lingerie-clad women – a decision for which he apologized Friday.

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The Two-Way
7:59 am
Fri November 14, 2014

Comet Lander Deploys Drill, But Could Lose Power Tonight

Engineers at the European Space Agency fear that they won't be able to communicate with the Philae lander after Friday. Here, lander manager Stefan Ulamec (left, in foreground) watches as data confirming the comet landing arrived Wednesday.
European Space Agency

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 10:38 am

Philae, the lander currently on comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, may not be able to perform its extended mission — scientists at the European Space Agency worry that the probe may have landed in a spot too shadowy for solar panels to recharge its batteries. The ESA says it may not be able to contact the craft after Friday night.

Worries over the robotic lander's power supply prompted engineers to take the risky step of activating its drill, an operation that had been shelved out of fears that it would sap the remaining charge.

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The Two-Way
6:11 am
Fri November 14, 2014

Judge Denies BP's Attempt To Avoid Up To $18 Billion In Fines

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 10:20 am

After a federal judge ruled that BP's "gross negligence" and "willful misconduct" were to blame for 2010's huge Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the company was exposed to billions in federal fines. The company asked the judge last month to reconsider. And on Thursday, he said no.

The ruling against BP could trigger up to $18 billion in fines under the Clean Water Act — far more than the $3.5 billion the oil company has reportedly set aside for that purpose.

NPR's Jeff Brady reports:

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The Two-Way
5:16 am
Fri November 14, 2014

Obama Critiques Myanmar's Reforms Alongside Opposition Leader

President Obama shared a rather awkward embrace with Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi during a joint press conference Friday in Yangon, Myanmar.
Nyein Chan Naing EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 10:14 am

Reflecting political reforms in Myanmar that he says are "still incomplete," President Obama split time between two of the country's leaders Friday, meeting separately with President Thein Sein, a former general, and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, a former political prisoner.

After meeting with Sein, Obama noted the recent progress toward peace and stability in the country also known as Burma.

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The Two-Way
12:16 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Reports: Obama Will Approve Immigrant Work Permits For Millions

Originally published on Thu November 13, 2014 2:13 pm

Following on a pledge to use his office's discretionary powers to adjust the U.S. approach to immigration, President Obama reportedly plans to remove the threat of deportation for up to 5 million people who entered the U.S. illegally.

The administration's shift in approach was reported by The New York Times, which cited "administration officials who have direct knowledge of the plan."

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The Two-Way
6:45 am
Thu November 13, 2014

3 Potential Ebola Therapies To Be Tested; Liberia Lifts Emergency

Medical workers will test the effectiveness of three new potential Ebola therapies at clinics run by the nongovernmental organization Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders).
Zoom Dosso AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 13, 2014 10:55 am

Medical teams plan to start three clinical trials in the fight against the Ebola virus next month, administering the drugs at treatment centers run by Doctors Without Borders in West Africa. Two of the therapies involve antiviral drugs.

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The Two-Way
5:37 am
Thu November 13, 2014

Congress Will Vote On Keystone XL Pipeline, With An Eye On Louisiana

Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., chair of the Senate energy committee, spoke Wednesday about getting congressional approval for the Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL pipeline. With her is Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., a member of the committee.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu November 13, 2014 9:19 am

Two bills that would authorize building the controversial Keystone XL pipeline will soon come to a vote in Congress, as their sponsors — Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La. — head toward a runoff election next month to decide who will win the Senate race.

NPR's Debbie Elliott reports:

"On the Senate floor, Landrieu called for action on the Canada-to-Texas pipeline project, saying, 'I believe with a push we could actually get the votes that we need to pass the Keystone pipeline.'

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The Two-Way
4:57 am
Thu November 13, 2014

Photo Shows Lander Sitting On Comet After Bounce-Landing

The Philae lander beamed back images showing one of its three feet on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko . This photo is compiled from two images; a wider version will be released later Thursday.
ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA

Originally published on Thu November 13, 2014 10:11 am

The European Space Agency released a new photo Thursday of the Philae lander safely resting in its new home on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, as it hurtles through space. The agency's data also show the lander bounced twice before coming to rest.

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The Two-Way
12:25 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Big Banks Will Pay $4.25 Billion In Fines Over Currency Manipulation Charges

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 1:19 pm

Accused of working together to manipulate the foreign exchange market, six huge banks have been ordered to pay fines to agencies in the U.S., Britain and Switzerland totaling around $4.25 billion. U.S. firms Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase will pay the largest fines, about $1 billion each.

The fines are part of an agreement to settle civil charges, and the banks could still face criminal charges. Other banks that agreed to settle the accusations include Bank of America, UBS, the Royal Bank of Scotland, and HSBC.

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The Two-Way
11:23 am
Wed November 12, 2014

South Carolina Same-Sex Marriage Ban Is Overturned

Colleen Condon, left, and her partner Nichols Bleckley appear at a news conference in Charleston, S.C., in October, shortly after filing a federal lawsuit seeking the right to marry in South Carolina. A federal judge has ruled in their favor.
Bruce Smith AP

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 12:16 pm

Rejecting the state's argument that it, not the U.S. government, has the authority to define marriage, a federal judge overturned South Carolina's ban on same-sex marriage Wednesday.

NPR's Debbie Elliott reports:

"Charleston federal judge Richard Gergel ruled same-sex couples have a right to marry under the U.S. Constitution.

"The ruling comes in a lawsuit filed by a lesbian couple denied a marriage license by the Charleston County probate court last month.

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The Two-Way
7:13 am
Wed November 12, 2014

In Alaska's Senate Race, Republican Sullivan Upsets Incumbent

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 4:56 pm

Dan Sullivan, a Republican whose campaign was supported by both Mitt Romney and Sen. Ted Cruz, has beaten Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Begich to win the race for U.S. Senate in Alaska, according to The Associated Press.

That expands the GOP's Senate majority to 53 seats.

The late call in Alaska's race is due to a close margin on Election Day and the time required to collect all the ballots from the state's far-flung polling places. The tally saw Sullivan's initial lead of more than 8,000 votes shrink some — but not enough to give Begich the win.

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The Two-Way
6:27 am
Wed November 12, 2014

Comet Landing A Success: European Craft Makes 'Fairly Gentle Touchdown'

The Philae lander took this photo of its descent onto comet 67P Wednesday, when it was about 3 kilometers from the surface. The landing site is seen with a resolution of about 3 meters per pixel.
ESA/Rosetta/Philae/ROLIS

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 5:07 pm

Hundreds of millions of miles from Earth, a man-made object was flung at a comet Wednesday — and now it's sticking to the rock as it hurtles through space.

"We are on the comet," Stephan Ulamec, Philae Lander Manager, announced Wednesday, marking a historic achievement.

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The Two-Way
5:08 am
Wed November 12, 2014

China And U.S., Titans Of Carbon Pollution, Move To Cut Gases

Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Obama, seen here during a ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, announced pledges to reduce greenhouse gases.
HUANG JINGWEN Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Thu November 13, 2014 10:30 am

President Obama says the U.S. will sharply cut its emissions of greenhouse gases, announcing a new approach to climate change alongside Chinese President Xi Jinping. The plan also includes China's agreement to cap its emissions.

The two leaders' pledges are being called dramatic and ambitious — for the U.S., because Obama's earlier plans had called for a smaller cut in emissions, and for China, because the country had previously resisted calls for it to consider capping its emissions as it grows and modernizes.

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The Two-Way
12:11 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Asked To Stop Praying, Alaska School Won't Host State Tournament

Originally published on Tue November 11, 2014 1:28 pm

Alaska's wrestling tournament for small schools will be held next month — but it won't be at the private Anchorage Christian Schools, the host for the past seven years. A complaint about the tournament's introductory prayer led to a request to stop the practice, and the school refused.

The anonymous complaint came after last year's event. It prompted the national group Americans United for Separation of Church and State to complain to the Alaska School Activities Association that it was giving the state's sanction to the prayer.

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The Two-Way
10:16 am
Tue November 11, 2014

For Dyslexics, A Font And A Dictionary That Are Meant To Help

Graphic designer Christian Boer's Dyslexie font is being featured at the Istanbul Design Biennial.
Dyslexie

Originally published on Tue November 11, 2014 12:30 pm

A designer who has dyslexia has created a font to help dyslexic readers navigate text, designing letters in a way that avoids confusion and adds clarity. And in England, two researchers are compiling a dictionary that favors meaning over alphabetical order.

Roughly 10 percent of the world's population is dyslexic. And as NPR's Nancy Shute reported in 2012, "People with dyslexia are often bright and verbal, but have trouble with the written word."

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The Two-Way
9:08 am
Tue November 11, 2014

Putin Puts Shawl On China's First Lady, And Censors Leap

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (right) helps put a shawl or coat on Peng Liyuan, wife of China's President Xi Jinping, as Xi talks to President Obama during a fireworks show celebrating the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation session in Beijing.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue November 11, 2014 10:12 am

What seemed to be an innocent moment during the APEC summit in Beijing has grown into a topic of debate, after China's censors moved to erase Russian President Vladimir Putin's act of placing a shawl over the shoulders of Peng Liyuan, the wife of China's President Xi Jinping.

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The Two-Way
7:56 am
Tue November 11, 2014

Sterilization Operations In India Reportedly Kill 9 Women

Originally published on Tue November 11, 2014 9:41 am

At least nine women have reportedly died, and dozens more are in the hospital, after undergoing laparoscopic tubectomy procedures at a government-run health camp in Chhattisgarh, a state in central India. The surgeries were performed Saturday; the first death was reported Monday morning.

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The Two-Way
6:10 am
Tue November 11, 2014

U.S. And China Move Toward Ending Tariffs On High-Tech Gear

An international tariff on high-tech goods could be rewritten, thanks to negotiations in China. Here, men use smartphones in Beijing last month, days after Apple released its iPhone 6 in the Chinese market.
GREG BAKER AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 11, 2014 11:29 am

A tariff system that adds as much as 25 percent to the cost of American high-tech products could be on the way out, thanks to negotiations at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in China. President Obama announced the new progress Tuesday.

The development could speed the adoption of a new agreement by the World Trade Organization. The current tariff system has been in place for nearly 18 years and now applies to more than $4 trillion in annual global trade, U.S. officials say.

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