Bill Chappell

Bill Chappell is a blogger and producer who currently works on The Two Way, NPR's flagship blog. In the past, he has coordinated digital features for Morning Edition and Fresh Air, and edited the rundown of All Things Considered. He frequently contributes to other NPR blogs, such as All Tech Considered and The Salt.

Chappell's work at NPR has ranged from being the site's first full-time homepage editor to being the lead writer and editor on 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 has trained both digital and radio staff to use digital tools to tell compelling stories, in addition to "evangelizing" — promoting more collaboration between legacy and digital departments.

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 during the Iraq war.

Chappell's work for CNN also included producing Web stories and editing digital video for SI.com, and editing and producing stories for CNN.com's features division.

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

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
6:52 am
Mon August 3, 2015

Bat Boy, 9, Dies After Being Struck In Baseball Game

Kaiser Carlile, 9, the bat boy for a summer-league team in Kansas, died Sunday after being injured in a game Saturday.
Liberal Bee Jays

Originally published on Mon August 3, 2015 7:32 am

In a tragic accident that has left a Kansas community in mourning, a bat boy hit in the head by a player taking practice swings Saturday has died of his injuries. Kaiser Carlile, 9, was a well-loved part of the Liberal Bee Jays, a summer league team for college players.

Photos of Carlile show him as a freckle-faced boy: hustling around the field, sitting in the dugout and talking with the players. But during his team's National Baseball Congress World Series game Saturday in Wichita, he was hit in the head by a bat as he ran past the on-deck circle after an out.

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The Two-Way
5:27 am
Mon August 3, 2015

Greek Stocks Drop Sharply As Market Reopens For First Time Since June

Journalists gather at Greece's Stock Exchange as it reopens on Monday.
MARIOS LOLOS Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Mon August 3, 2015 8:12 am

Five weeks after an economic crisis forced its closure, Greece's stock market reopened Monday to a flurry of selling and falling prices. Banks led the losses on the Athens Stock Exchange, which is also coping with poor manufacturing data.

When it opened, the Athens Stock Exchange General Index plummeted from 797.52 to a new 52-week low of 615 — a drop of nearly 23 percent. But the index then recovered some ground, rising to 660 (a 17 percent drop) some three hours after trading began.

From Athens, NPR's Joanna Kakissis reports:

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The Two-Way
3:14 pm
Sat August 1, 2015

Jericho Isn't Cecil's Brother And Is Probably Still Alive, Lion Researcher Says

Jericho the lion, right, seen here fighting with Cecil last year, was the subject of competing stories Saturday, as groups in Zimbabwe disagreed over whether he had been killed.
KEN WATKINS SN /Landov

Originally published on Mon August 3, 2015 6:53 am

Two nonprofit conservation groups in Zimbabwe are telling distinctly different stories about a lion that's seen as an ally of Cecil, the popular 13-year-old animal whose death at the hands of an American hunter in July sparked international outrage.

"We are absolutely heart broken," the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force said Saturday, announcing via Facebook page that Jericho, which it called Cecil's brother, was shot and killed at 4 p.m. (local time) Saturday afternoon.

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The Two-Way
12:33 pm
Sat August 1, 2015

Wildfires In California Spur Emergency Declaration; 1 Firefighter Dead

Flames from the Rocky Fire approach a house in Lower Lake, Calif., Friday. More than 5,000 firefighters are now battling large blazes in California; hundreds of residents are under evacuation orders in affected areas.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 1, 2015 1:02 pm

With 20 major wildfires burning in California, the state's governor, Jerry Brown, has declared a state of emergency. Nine of those fires cover areas of at least 1,000 acres; a firefighter from Rapid City, S.D., was killed while battling one of them, in Northern California.

From Los Angeles, Danielle Karson reports:

"The U.S. Forest Service is investigating how David Ruhl died. He was killed while fighting a wildfire in Modoc National Forest.

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The Two-Way
9:49 am
Sat August 1, 2015

After Devastating Injury, Austrian Pole Vaulter Is Breathing On Her Own

Kira Grunberg, seen here competing last summer, was severely injured in a training accident this week. Doctors say she is now a paraplegic.
Ian Walton Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 1, 2015 11:33 am

Kira Grunberg, Austria's top women's pole vaulter who suffered a horrible injury during training Thursday, is breathing on her own and could soon leave intensive care. The 21-year-old underwent emergency surgery after fracturing at least one of her cervical vertebrae.

Doctors say the fall has left Grunberg a paraplegic — a development that shocked the sporting world in Europe and brought offers of emotional and financial support for the young athlete who holds Austria's record for the women's pole vault.

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The Two-Way
8:26 am
Sat August 1, 2015

Sailing Federation Will Test Waters For Viruses In Brazil's Olympics Venues

Concerns about pollution in the waters around Rio have prompted the world sailing federation to take action ahead of next year's Olympic Games. Here, garbage is seen on Bica Beach, on the banks of the Guanabara Bay, with the Sugar Loaf mountain in background, earlier this year.
RICARDO MORAES Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sat August 1, 2015 11:36 am

Saying that recent stories about raw sewage in Brazilian waterways that will serve as Olympics venues in 2016 helped "wake us up again and put this back on the agenda," the head of sailing's world governing body says his group will test for viruses and bacteria in the water.

The International Sailing Federation's chief executive, Peter Sowrey, tells the AP that the move is prompted by concerns over athletes' health and safety.

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The Two-Way
7:26 am
Sat August 1, 2015

MH370 Update: Recovered Jet Section Arrives At French Lab For Testing

Debris from an airplane that was found on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion has been transported to France, where technicians will try to determine whether it is from a missing airliner, Flight MH370.
Raymond Wae Tion Maxppp /Landov

Originally published on Sat August 1, 2015 11:37 am

The piece of a jet that's believed to be from a Boeing 777 — the same model of a Malaysia Airlines plane that went missing last year — is now in France, where it will be examined in a government laboratory near Toulose.

After the large piece of debris was discovered on the French island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean this week, Malaysia Airlines said it "is almost certainly part of a Boeing 777."

The airline also says that MH370 "is believed to be the only 777 to have crashed south of the equator since the jet came into service 20 years ago."

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The Two-Way
12:23 pm
Fri July 31, 2015

Federal Court Places A Stay On Order Compelling NCAA To Pay Athletes

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 1:01 pm

One day before a district court ruling was to go into effect that would force the NCAA to allow colleges to pay student-athletes $5,000 per year, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has placed a stay on that order.

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The Two-Way
9:22 am
Fri July 31, 2015

New Ebola Vaccine Has '100 Percent' Effectiveness In Early Results

The Ebola vaccine from a trial in Guinea needs to be kept at a temperature of minus 60 degrees Celsius, the World Health Organization says. Storage devices use jet fuel to keep the right temperature for up to five days in the field.
Sean Hawkey Sean Hawkey

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 11:09 am

In a development that could change the way the deadly Ebola disease is fought, researchers have announced promising results of a new vaccine's trial in Guinea, one of several countries affected by a historic outbreak in West Africa.

"The estimated vaccine efficacy was 100 percent," a team of researchers say.

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The Two-Way
12:59 pm
Thu July 30, 2015

Md. Governor Orders Closure Of 'Deplorable' Baltimore City Jail

The Baltimore City Detention Center, seen here in 2013, was found to be riddled with corruption, according to a federal probe.
Lloyd Fox MCT /Landov

Originally published on Thu July 30, 2015 2:14 pm

Gov. Larry Hogan says he has ordered the immediate closure of the Baltimore City Detention Center, which a federal probe revealed in 2013 as being riddled with corruption, from smuggling to sex between inmates and guards.

Update at 3:15 p.m. ET: Inmates Were Running Jail, Hogan Says

Saying that the Baltimore facility is the only city prison in the entire country that's run by a state government, Hogan says it is time for a change.

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The Two-Way
10:16 am
Thu July 30, 2015

3 U.Va. Graduates Sue 'Rolling Stone,' Reporter Over Rape Article

Former members of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity at the University of Virginia say they are the victims of defamation and negligence.
Jay Paul Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 30, 2015 11:46 am

Saying that an article on campus rape that was later retracted hurt their reputations and subjected them to needless humiliation, three former members of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity have sued Rolling Stone, its publisher and the reporter who wrote the story.

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The Two-Way
8:02 am
Thu July 30, 2015

'Top Gear' Team Signs Deal With Amazon; New Car Show Set For 2016

James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond have signed a deal for a new show with Amazon.
Amazon Prime Video

Originally published on Thu July 30, 2015 12:50 pm

Months after they left the BBC, car enthusiasts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May are headed to Amazon, hoping to re-create the success of the long-running TV show Top Gear. The trio left the BBC under a cloud after Clarkson's contract was not renewed because of a physical attack on a show producer.

"The show will be produced by the trio's long time executive producer Andy Wilman," Amazon announced Thursday, adding that production on the new show, whose name wasn't revealed, will begin soon.

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The Two-Way
3:50 pm
Wed July 29, 2015

SpaceShipTwo 'Pilot Was Thrown From The Vehicle' High In Atmosphere

A photo released by Virgin Galactic shows a badly injured SpaceShipTwo pilot Peter Siebold drifting under his parachute after last October's accident that destroyed the spacecraft during a test flight.
Mark Greenberg Virgin Galactic

The dramatic failure of a test flight by Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo rocket last October cost the co-pilot his life and left the pilot severely injured. New data from investigators suggest that the pilot survived in part because the craft essentially came apart around him.

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The Two-Way
11:15 am
Wed July 29, 2015

Windows 10 Rolls Out, Along With Concern Over Sharing Wi-Fi Passwords

With Windows 10, Microsoft is more closely uniting its operating systems that run tablets, phones and desktops.
Microsoft

Microsoft rolled out Windows 10 as a free upgrade Wednesday, hoping to become more relevant to mobile users as it updates a key operating system. One feature, which shares your Wi-Fi with your contacts list, is drawing skepticism.

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The Two-Way
9:22 am
Wed July 29, 2015

Migrant Dies In Calais As Thousands Try To Use Channel Tunnel

Migrants cross a road near the Eurotunnel on Wednesday in Coquelles, near Calais, France. A Sudanese man, between 25 and 30 years old, was killed by a truck as up to 1,500 migrants tried to force their way into the tunnel, officials say.
Yoan Valat EPA/LANDOV

France is boosting security around its entry to the tunnel that runs beneath the English Channel, after thousands of migrants tried to make a desperate rush to Britain. One migrant died; at least 3,500 have tried to make the trip this week.

Since the start of 2015, French officials have intercepted more than 37,000 migrants who were hoping to jump on trains or trucks heading to Britain via the tunnel that's called the Eurotunnel in France and the Channel Tunnel, or Chunnel, in Britain.

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The Two-Way
3:32 pm
Tue July 28, 2015

Researchers Warn Against 'Autonomous Weapons' Arms Race

Originally published on Tue July 28, 2015 5:01 pm

"Starting a military AI arms race is a bad idea," says a group of researchers and concerned citizens who are urging a ban on offensive military weapons that don't rely on human control. The group signed an open letter that's being delivered at a conference on artificial intelligence this week.

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The Two-Way
12:44 pm
Tue July 28, 2015

NFL's Goodell Upholds Tom Brady's 4-Game Suspension

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, seen here arriving at NFL headquarters last month, sought to destroy evidence in the "deflategate" incident, says NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Shannon Stapleton Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue July 28, 2015 3:08 pm

Saying that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady "was aware of, and took steps to support, the actions of other team employees to deflate game footballs" below required levels, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has upheld the punishment.

In doing so, Goodell also faulted Brady for not cooperating with the investigation, citing his "destruction of potentially relevant evidence" — a reference to Brady's cellphone and SIM card, which he gave to an assistant to be destroyed, according to Goodell's findings.

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The Two-Way
11:24 am
Tue July 28, 2015

Arizona Cardinals Hire Female Coach For Training Camp And Preseason

Jennifer Welter, who played in a Texas Revolution game as a running back in 2014, will help coach the linebacker corps for the Arizona Cardinals this summer.
MICHAEL PRENGLER CSM /LANDOV

Jen Welter, an athlete and sports psychologist, will become an NFL coach in what is believed to be a first. The Arizona Cardinals have hired Welter to coach the team's inside linebackers during this summer's training camp and preseason.

"I am honored to be a part of this amazing team," Welter said in a tweet Monday night. She thanked the Cardinals and head coach Bruce Arians.

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The Two-Way
9:25 am
Tue July 28, 2015

Former N.Y. Prison Employee Enters Guilty Plea Related To Inmates' Escape

Joyce Mitchell, who has reached a plea deal over charges that she aided a prison escape, is seen here during a June court date, along with her lawyer, Steven Johnston.
POOL Landov

Originally published on Tue July 28, 2015 1:39 pm

Joyce Mitchell, the Clinton Correctional Facility worker who was charged last month with aiding two convicted killers' escape, has pleaded guilty after reaching a deal with prosecutors.

Mitchell, 51, was an instructor in the tailor shop at the prison in northern New York — a position that officials say allowed her to pass tools such as hacksaw blades and a screwdriver to prisoner Richard Matt.

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The Two-Way
9:48 am
Fri July 24, 2015

Two Teachers Hailed As Heroes In Louisiana Shooting

A screenshot of a fundraising page for teachers Jena Meaux and Ali Martin, who are being hailed as heroes for their actions in Thursday's theater attack.
NPR

Originally published on Fri July 24, 2015 12:25 pm

The actions of two teachers who were in a Louisiana movie theater when a gunman opened fire Thursday night are being praised, as officials say the women's bravery and quick thinking saved the lives of unsuspecting patrons.

Two people were killed in the attack in Lafayette, La.; nine more were injured. After being cornered by police, the gunman, identified as John Russel Houser, 59, reportedly killed himself.

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The Two-Way
7:37 am
Fri July 24, 2015

Too Good To Be True: TV Reporter Was In On Magicians' Photobomb

Two magicians prepare to perform a trick behind a Sky News reporter; the network says the seemingly live report was never broadcast.
YouTube

Originally published on Fri July 24, 2015 9:15 am

It had all the elements of an Internet hit: Two magicians hijack a TV news update, performing in the background behind an oblivious reporter. The video quickly went viral in Britain — but then it emerged that the Sky News team was in on the joke.

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The Two-Way
4:17 pm
Thu July 23, 2015

Autopsy Of Sandra Bland Doesn't Suggest Homicide, Texas County Officials Say

A guard motions to a medic (left) who arrived with a stretcher to Waller County Jail in Hempstead, Texas, on July 13, the day Sandra Bland died at the jail. Officials said Thursday that an autopsy did not find signs that Bland's death was a homicide.
Waller County Sheriff's Office Landov

Releasing details — and photographs — from the autopsy of Sandra Bland, officials in Waller County, Texas, say that the cause of death for Bland, a black woman who died in the county's jail, was suicide by hanging. Officials also say she had marijuana in her system.

The case has drawn national scrutiny as Bland, who had driven to Texas from Illinois, died in police custody three days after she was pulled over by a state trooper for allegedly failing to signal a lane change. She was 28.

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The Two-Way
1:07 pm
Thu July 23, 2015

Jury Confirms Aurora Theater Shooter Is Eligible For Death Penalty

Originally published on Thu July 23, 2015 2:14 pm

A Colorado jury cleared the way for the second phase of the sentencing process for James Holmes, who was found guilty of killing 12 people and injuring 70 more in a shooting rampage at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater. One week after convicting Holmes, the jury confirmed in a unanimous finding Thursday that he's eligible for the death penalty.

The jury said that when Holmes opened fire in a crowded theater in 2012, he acted in "extreme indifference to the value of human life generally."

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The Two-Way
9:07 am
Thu July 23, 2015

Japan's Nikkei Will Purchase Financial Times Group For $1.3 Billion

Copies of the Financial Times newspaper are displayed for a photograph in London. British publisher Pearson is selling the paper to Japanese media company Nikkei.
Niklas Halle'n AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 23, 2015 12:07 pm

In a development that comes after a German firm was reportedly close to reaching a deal to buy the Financial Times Group from the Pearson publishing company, the Financial Times will instead be bought by Japanese media company Nikkei, for 844 million pounds ($1.3 billion) in cash.

Earlier Thursday, the Financial Times itself had reported that the newspaper's publisher was on the verge of being sold to German media group Alex Springer. Other reports had suggested that Bloomberg or Thomson Reuters were potential buyers.

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The Two-Way
9:44 am
Wed July 22, 2015

Charleston Shooting Suspect Roof Could Face Death Penalty Over Federal Charges

Dylann Roof, seen here at a recent court hearing in Charleston, S.C., will face federal hate crime charges over a mass shooting that police say he carried out at a black church.
Grace Beahm AP

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 2:00 pm

Dylann Roof, who police say carried out a ruthless attack that killed nine black worshippers in a Charleston, S.C., church, is now facing federal hate crime charges along with more than a dozen other serious charges he's already accused of.

"Hate crimes are the original domestic terrorism," Attorney General Loretta Lynch says.

The 33 counts center on both the victims' race and their identity as church-goers who were attempting to follow their religious beliefs when Roof attacked.

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The Two-Way
7:58 am
Wed July 22, 2015

Marijuana Growers Hit A Snag: Toxic Pesticides

Its legal status and wide range of uses make marijuana a tough plant to regulate — or even to advise farmers about. Here, young marijuana plants are seen at a growing facility.
Elaine Thompson AP

Originally published on Wed July 22, 2015 8:27 am

Farmers who grow marijuana for Colorado's legal market are running into problems as they try to control mildew and pests. Because of the plant's illegal status at the federal level, a main source of agricultural guidance isn't available to pot farmers.

Attempts to regulate marijuana production often hit another problem, as the plant's wide range of uses sets it apart from many traditional food crops.

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The Two-Way
2:05 pm
Tue July 21, 2015

Actor Theodore Bikel Dies At Age 91

Theodore Bikel, seen here in 2013, died Monday after a long illness.
Jim Ruymen UPI /Landov

Originally published on Wed July 22, 2015 1:06 pm

Actor and musician Theodore Bikel, whose talents landed him memorable roles on the stage and screen, has died at age 91. His manager Robert Malcolm confirmed the news to NPR's Neda Ulaby, who says Bikel "died last night at a hospital in Los Angeles after a long illness."

Some of Bikel's most notable work took place on stage — starting with an early breakthrough in the London staging of A Streetcar Named Desire, in which he starred opposite Vivien Leigh.

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The Two-Way
11:00 am
Tue July 21, 2015

Winner Of French Scrabble Title Does Not Speak French

Nigel Richards, seen here at a Scrabble tournament last winter, won the French-language Scrabble championships Monday. He began studying the French Scrabble dictionary in May.
Yui Mok PA Photos /Landov

Originally published on Wed July 22, 2015 6:52 am

The Scrabble career of Nigel Richards went from great to astounding this week, after he won the French-language Scrabble World Championships. A New Zealand native, Richards has won several English-language titles; his new victory follows weeks of studying a French dictionary.

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The Two-Way
2:38 pm
Mon July 20, 2015

American Zach Johnson Wins British Open In 3-Way Playoff

Zach Johnson won the 144th Open Championship at The Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland, on Monday. He's seen here teeing off on the 18th hole in the playoff round.
Andrew Redington Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 20, 2015 3:36 pm

American Zach Johnson has added a second major title to his career, winning the British Open on Monday in a dramatic four-hole playoff. Masters and U.S. Open champion Jordan Spieth narrowly missed a chance to join the playoff, quashing dreams of a Grand Slam in 2015.

"It's surreal," an emotional Johnson said after the win, adding: "I'm thankful. I can't play any better than I did. My wife is my rock."

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The Two-Way
12:51 pm
Mon July 20, 2015

Military Finds U.S. Paid $14.7 Million For Overdue Warehouses In Afghanistan

The interior of one of several large warehouses at Kandahar Airfield. Because the U.S. military can't use them, they'll likely pass to the Afghan government.
SIGAR

Early last year, the Pentagon's Defense Logistics Agency accepted a $14.7 million warehouse facility. Newly built in Afghanistan, it had 173,428 square feet of climate-controlled space — but it was finished so late that it never fulfilled its intended use. Now it's likely to be transferred to the Afghan government.

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