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
5:45 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

At Beer Mile Championships, Scientist Sets New Women's Record

In an image from video of the men's event at the Beer Mile World Championships, competitors are seen poised to open their beers, which they'll guzzle before taking off on their first of four laps.
Flocast

In a dizzying finish, American scientist Elizabeth Herndon set a new women's world record in the Beer Mile World Championships in Austin, Texas, last night, breaking through a tight field to obliterate the previous mark by 11 seconds.

In the men's race, Canadian mailman Corey Gallagher relied on fast drinking to separate himself from the field, turning in a time a hair over 5 minutes, just three seconds off the men's world record.

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New York
3:29 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

NYC Police Will Be Retrained, De Blasio Says At News Conference

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 6:08 pm

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Police Department Commissioner Bill Bratton have announced plans to give training to police officers to help them treat all citizens with equal respect and with equal regard for their safety.

"These changes are happening because the people demanded it," de Blasio said.

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Civil Rights
8:49 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Attorney General Holder Announces U.S. Inquiry Into Garner Case

Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 10:30 pm

Saying that several arms of the U.S. Department of Justice have been monitoring the inquiry into the death of Staten Island resident Eric Garner, Attorney General Eric Holder said, "the Justice Department will proceed with a federal civil rights investigation of Mr. Garner's death."

Holder promised an "independent, thorough, fair and expeditious investigation."

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New York
8:47 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Protests Spread In New York And Beyond Over Eric Garner Case

Protesters shout slogans in New York City's Times Square on Wednesday. A New York City grand jury has decided not to charge a police officer who killed Eric Garner with a chokehold while trying to arrest him for illegally selling cigarettes.
Adrees Latif Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 10:42 pm

As word spread of a grand jury's decision not to indict a police officer in the chokehold death of Staten Island man Eric Garner, so did word of planned protests in New York and other cities. And while a main target was Wednesday night's lighting of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, it seems that many protesters were kept away.

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New York
8:40 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

'Black Lives Matter,' NYC Mayor Says After Grand Jury Doesn't Indict Officer

Eric Garner (right) poses with his children. A grand jury has decided not to indict a New York police officer over Garner's death in July.
Family photo via National Action Network AP

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 1:34 pm

A grand jury has decided not to indict a New York police officer in the death of Eric Garner on a Staten Island sidewalk this past July.

"It's a very painful day for so many New Yorkers," Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday.

The encounter between Garner and officer Daniel Pantaleo caused an uproar after video footage of the incident was released. It showed Garner repeatedly gasping, "I can't breathe," as Pantaleo and other officers took him to the ground.

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Technology
6:40 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Twitter Targets Trolls With New Rules On Abuse

An image from a Twitter video shows how a user would report harassment under a new process announced Tuesday.
Twitter

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 8:48 pm

Saying it wants to build "a safer Twitter," the company is announcing changes to two areas: how it handles harassment and the tools that let users block people who've sent abusive messages. One woman who has experienced such abuse calls the change "a big step up."

Twitter announced the changes in a blog post Tuesday, which reads in part:

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The Two-Way
4:23 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

A #SadTree Lot: Your Photos Of The Charlie Browniest Trees

So festive: Latte the Pomeranian poses in a reader-submitted photo, part of a look at the humblest Christmas trees.
Lindsey Gelormini/Twitter

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 5:20 pm

To mark 50 years of A Charlie Brown Christmas airing on American televisions, our readers are sharing photos and memories of Christmas trees that reflect the spirit of that TV classic: a bit forlorn, perhaps, but full of heart.

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The Two-Way
2:30 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Chicago Council Strongly Approves $13 Minimum Wage

A new minimum wage was approved Tuesday in Chicago, where fast food workers and activists demonstrated outside McDonald's downtown restaurant this summer.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 3:13 pm

By a 44-5 vote, Chicago's City Council set a minimum-wage target of $13 an hour, to be reached by the middle of 2019. The move comes after Illinois passed a nonbinding advisory last month that calls for the state to raise its minimum pay level to $10 by the start of next year.

The current minimum wage in Chicago and the rest of Illinois is $8.25. Under the ordinance, the city's minimum wage will rise to $10 by next July and go up in increments each summer thereafter.

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The Two-Way
6:24 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

50 Years Of 'A Charlie Brown Christmas': Share Your Sad Tree Photos

Charlie Brown and Linus pick out a scrawny tree in A Charlie Brown Christmas, a TV special based on the "Peanuts" comic strip by Charles M. Schulz. The beloved show is airing for the 50th year Tuesday.
United Feature Syndicate Inc. AP

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 9:31 am

"This little green one here seems to need a home."

And with that, Charlie Brown picks out a scrawny tree that even his friend Linus doesn't see fitting "the modern spirit" of Christmas. Lucy, he says, will not be happy.

As you likely know, the tree embodies the spirit of A Charlie Brown Christmas, a TV special that has proven to be timeless and is now airing in its 50th year.

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The Two-Way
4:59 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Bill Cosby Resigns From Temple University's Board

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 5:53 pm

In the latest development after a series of rape allegations were made against him, comedian Bill Cosby has resigned from the board of trustees at Temple University. The move was announced in a short news release in which Cosby cited "the best interests of the university and its students."

Cosby has had a lasting relationship with Temple, dating back to his first years at the school in the 1960s (he dropped out to pursue his comedy career but returned to graduate in 1971).

On Monday, the school issued a short news release, consisting of two statements:

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Civil Rights
6:54 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Protests Of Grand Jury Decision Fan Out Across The Country

People gather outside the Los Angeles Police Department headquarters on Tuesday.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 9:04 am

Updated at 6:54 a.m.

Public reaction to a Missouri grand jury's decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson has ranged from fire and looting close to where Wilson shot Michael Brown to peaceful protests nearby.

Other protests were held in large and small cities and college towns across America on Tuesday; photos from those scenes show a variety of demonstrators, tactics and responses.

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The Two-Way
5:19 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Missouri Governor Adds 'Significantly' To National Guard In Ferguson

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said that parts of Ferguson were "a heartbreaking sight" Tuesday, with residents afraid to go outside.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 25, 2014 5:43 pm

"The violence we saw in areas of Ferguson last night cannot be repeated," Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said Tuesday, announcing that he is sending hundreds more members of the National Guard to the city that saw intense looting on Monday night.

"Last night, criminals intent on lawlessness and destruction terrorized this community," Nixon said, "burning buildings, firing gunshots, vandalizing storefronts, and looting family businesses — many for the second time."

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The Two-Way
4:01 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

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

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 11:31 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
9:57 am
Tue November 25, 2014

Obama Discusses Ferguson Jury Decision In Michael Brown Case

President Obama speaks Monday night following the announcement that there will be no indictment of Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of Michael Brown.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 24, 2014 11:07 pm

President Obama spoke about the Michael Brown case and race issues in America less than an hour after St. Louis County prosecuting attorney Robert McCulloch announced that a grand jury had found "no probable cause exists" to file any indictments against police officer Darren Wilson in Brown's death.

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The Two-Way
5:19 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 6:03 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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University of Virginia
4:01 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 6:00 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
11:34 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 1:57 pm

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
10:08 am
Sat November 22, 2014

Highway Bandits Steal Blood Believed To Contain Ebola Virus

Originally published on Sat November 22, 2014 1:51 pm

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
9:22 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 1:50 pm

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
6:52 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

House Panel Finds 'No Intelligence Failure' Before Benghazi Attack

The 2012 attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, happened without an intelligence failure, a House panel concludes. A photo from 2013 shows wreckage outside the main gate of the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 8:32 pm

After a nearly two-year investigation, the final report by the House Intelligence Committee concludes that the CIA "ensured sufficient security for CIA facilities in Benghazi and ... bravely assisted the State Department" on Sept. 11, 2012, during a deadly attack on U.S. facilities in Libya.

That's the first conclusion of the report, the result of thousands of hours of investigation into the events that led to the deaths of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

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The Two-Way
4:46 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 1:43 pm

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
6:14 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

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

Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 8:13 pm

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The Two-Way
4:42 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 5:26 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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Media
3:26 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 8:33 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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Pipeline
6:22 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Senate Rejects Keystone XL Pipeline Bill, In A Close Vote

Pipes for Transcanada Corp.'s planned Keystone XL oil pipeline are stacked at a depot in Gascoyne, N.D. The House of Representatives approved the Keystone XL pipeline Friday; the Senate voted against it on Tuesday.
Andrew Cullen Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 6:52 pm

The controversial Keystone XL pipeline project to expand an oil pipeline running from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico has failed the approval of Congress, after the Senate voted against the project Tuesday. The House passed its version of the bill Friday.

An early tally showed 35 for and 30 against the bill; subsequent calls for senators' votes failed to net the 60 votes needed for passage. The decisive 41st "No" vote came with 55 votes in favor, and the final tally was 59-41.

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The Two-Way
5:22 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 6:09 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
3:02 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 7:20 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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Science Fashion
1:32 pm
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 1:38 pm

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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Philae
9:59 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 12:38 pm

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
8:11 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 12:20 pm

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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