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
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
6:42 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Buffalo Blizzard Brings Odd NFL Game: Free, And Far From Home

Buffalo Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore prepares to take the bus, leaving Ralph Wilson Stadium to play a "home" game in Detroit. Tickets to the game, postponed to Monday, are free.
Gary Wiepert AP

Many things will make Monday night's NFL game between the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets an odd duck. Among them: It's being played in Michigan, and tickets to the game are being given away at no charge.

"Free tickets will be available for Monday's matchup between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets at Ford Field," the Detroit Lions announced today, adding that emails are being sent out to Bills and Lions season-ticket holders that will let them snag seats.

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The Two-Way
5:18 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 6:32 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
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
6:51 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Bill Limiting NSA Surveillance Practices Fails In Senate

The USA Freedom Act had the support of not only the White House and Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy but also that of Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, but the bid to reform the NSA failed late Tuesday after it didn't receive enough votes to cut off debate.

After a 58-42 vote, the measure had the support of the majority – but it didn't get the 60 votes necessary to break a Republican filibuster. It was something of an odd end for a bill that had been approved by the Republican-controlled House back in May.

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The Two-Way
4:52 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

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
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
7:12 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Man Gets 8 Months In Jail After Driving VW Hatchback Onto Race Track

Jack Cottle, 22, arrives at court in Kent, where he pleaded guilty to driving a Volkswagen Polo onto the Brands Hatch circuit during a race. Cottle was sentenced to eight months in jail.
Gareth Fuller PA Photos /Landov

Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 7:35 pm

Video of a man driving his girlfriend's Volkswagen onto a British race track during a competition became an Internet hit this summer. But footage of the stunt didn't impress a judge, who sentenced Jack Cottle, 22, to eight months in jail Monday.

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The Two-Way
5:15 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Ahead Of Ferguson Decision, Governor Declares Emergency

Protesters march in Clayton, Mo., Monday. Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard ahead of a grand jury decision in the case of Michael Brown, a black teenager shot and killed by a white police officer in August.
Michael B. Thomas AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 6:14 pm

With the community of Ferguson, Mo., poised to receive a grand jury decision regarding possible charges in the death of Michael Brown, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency Monday.

Nixon's decision clears the way for the National Guard and state agencies to work together to help quell any potential unrest.

Ferguson, on the outskirts of St. Louis, has been the scene of emotional protests and clashes with police in the weeks and months since Brown, unarmed at the time, was shot to death by police officer Darren Wilson.

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The Two-Way
5:14 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Take It In: 'Vape' Is The Oxford Dictionaries Word Of The Year

Vape was chosen as the word of the year for 2014 in part because it provides a window "onto how we define ourselves," says Casper Grathwohl of the Oxford University Press. Here, women exhale vapor clouds during a competition at the Henley Vaporium in Manhattan.
Elizabeth Shafiroff Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 8:28 am

The growing popularity of electronic cigarettes has now sparked the notice of the estimable Oxford Dictionaries, which has chosen "vape" as the word of the year for 2014. The word can be a noun or a verb; it beat out contenders such as "bae" and "normcore."

Noting that e-cigarettes have come a long way since the early 1980s, when the "vape" was first breathed into life, the folks at Oxford Dictionaries say it took awhile for the new market, and the new word, to mature.

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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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