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
7:59 am
Fri April 17, 2015

ESPN Suspends Reporter Over Rant Recorded By Towing Company

An image from a video in which ESPN reporter Britt McHenry berates a tow company employee. ESPN says McHenry has been suspended for one week.
LiveLeak

A string of insults aimed at a woman who works at a towing company were recorded by a surveillance camera. Now they've come back to sting sports reporter Britt McHenry. After the video emerged of McHenry, 28, dishing out profane verbal abuse, ESPN announced she'll be punished.

"Britt McHenry has been suspended for one week effectively immediately," the company said.

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The Two-Way
6:13 am
Fri April 17, 2015

Espresso In Orbit: SpaceX Craft Brings Coffee Machine To Space Station

The SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule nears the International Space Station, as astronauts prepare to snag it with a robotic arm Friday.
NASA TV

The coffee on the International Space Station is about to get much better. The SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule linked up with the station today, bringing groceries, supplies — and a long-awaited espresso machine, called the ISSpresso.

In a rendezvous that was streamed live on the web, astronauts inside the ISS extended a robotic arm and captured the SpaceX Dragon Friday morning. NASA says the pair made contact 257 miles over the Pacific Ocean.

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The Two-Way
5:19 am
Fri April 17, 2015

Former IMF Head Rato Is Arrested For Tax Fraud In Spain

Rodrigo Rato, who led the International Monetary Fund from 2004-2007, was arrested in Spain last night over charges of tax evasion and money-laundering.

An influential figure in Spanish banking and politics, at the IMF Rato was the predecessor of Dominique Strauss-Khan, who left office under a cloud of legal troubles and allegations of sexual assault.

From Madrid, NPR's Lauren Frayer reports:

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The Two-Way
1:05 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Yoda? Is It Thou? Figure In 14th-Century Manuscript Looks Familiar

A religious volume from the early 1300s includes this image of a monk who resembles the Jedi Master Yoda of the Star Wars films.
The Britsh Library

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 1:34 pm

A long time ago, in a place far away, a manuscript was created with an enigmatic figure who looks a great deal like a certain little — and yet powerful — green guy from the Star Wars films. It's an unlikely connection between a religious tome and science fiction.

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The Two-Way
10:43 am
Thu April 16, 2015

Homeless Shelter Opts To Close Instead Of Accepting People On Drugs, Alcohol

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 1:07 pm

Faced with a state rule that links funding to the admission of people who are actively using drugs or alcohol, a group that runs a homeless shelter in Manchester, Conn., is choosing to close the 40-bed facility. More than half of the shelter's budget reportedly comes from the state.

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The Two-Way
8:39 am
Thu April 16, 2015

With Quad Cork 1800, Snowboarding Twists To New Heights

The British snowboarder Billy Morgan on his way to landing a Backside 1800 Quadruple Cork. Before this week, the trick was a subject of debate — including the question of whether it could be performed.
Red Bull

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 12:47 pm

If you're new to this area of winter sports, we'll reassure you: The Quad Cork 1800 is not a drink. Instead, it's a big deal in the sport of snowboarding, where Billy Morgan is being hailed as a hero for pulling off a trick that some had thought impossible.

The British snowboarder accomplished the feat on a slope at the Mottolino Resort in Livigno, Italy, where a special wedge of snow was built to provide enough speed and lift for Morgan to perform four off-axis flips and five full rotations while in the air.

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The Two-Way
5:44 am
Thu April 16, 2015

South Korean President Promises To Raise Sewol Ferry, One Year After Tragedy

People pay tribute at a group memorial altar for victims of the sunken South Korean ferry Sewol at a remembrance hall in Ansan on Thursday.
Jung Yeon-Je AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 8:21 am

Speaking on the first anniversary of a catastrophe that killed 304 people, President Park Geun-hye pledged Thursday to salvage the Sewol ferry, which capsized and sank during a trip to a resort island. Nine bodies are believed to remain inside the ship.

"Most of the victims were actually students from a single high school," NPR's Elise Hu reports, "so this obviously sent the country into deep grief — but also outrage, since the rescue effort was widely viewed as bungled."

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The Two-Way
4:51 am
Thu April 16, 2015

Ocean Search Area For Lost Malaysian Airliner Is Set To Double

Australia's Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss (left), Malaysia's Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai (center) and Chinese Transport Minister Yang Chuantan shake hands after a news conference about Flight MH 370 on Thursday. The search zone for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight will be doubled if nothing is found in the huge undersea area now being scanned for wreckage.
Mohd Rasfan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 7:49 am

It has been more than a year since Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 370 was lost with 239 people on board. Officials now say they'll double the already huge search area in the southern Indian Ocean to 46,000 square miles if the plane isn't found by next month.

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The Two-Way
11:28 am
Wed April 15, 2015

U.S. Predicted To Be Net Energy Exporter In Next Decade; First Time Since 1950s

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 4:13 pm

The U.S. will reach a new balance in energy trade "sometime between 2020 and 2030," says the Energy Information Administration, which predicts the U.S. could become a net energy exporter in the near future.

The federal agency's prediction cites a rise in domestic natural gas production and changes in energy demands. If it happens, the shift would end a streak of more than 50 years in which the U.S. has been a net importer of energy.

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The Two-Way
8:30 am
Wed April 15, 2015

Former NFL Star Aaron Hernandez Gets Life Sentence For Murder

A court officer places handcuffs on the wrists of former NFL player Aaron Hernandez after he was found guilty of first-degree murder Wednesday at the Bristol County Superior Court in Fall River, Mass.
Dominick Reuter Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 12:36 pm

Aaron Hernandez, whose rise to elite status in the NFL was ended by charges that he shot and killed a man, has been found guilty of first-degree murder. In 2013, Hernandez was accused of killing the boyfriend of his fiancee's sister.

The verdict comes on the seventh day of a jury's deliberations on counts that ranged from murder to gun and ammunition charges. As the findings were read in a Fall River, Mass., courtroom, Hernandez sat between his lawyers and occasionally shook his head.

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The Two-Way
7:16 am
Wed April 15, 2015

EU Charges Google With Antitrust Violations, Will Also Look At Android

European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager announces formal charges against Google, accusing the company of abusing its dominant position as Europe's top search engine.
John Thys AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 8:08 am

Saying that Google has abused its dominant position in the search market "by systematically favoring its own comparison shopping product," the European Commission has sent a list of antitrust charges to the search giant. The European Union has also opened a new inquiry into the Android mobile system.

"I am concerned that the company has given an unfair advantage to its own comparison shopping service" and broken European law, says the EU commissioner in charge of competition policy, Margrethe Vestager.

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The Two-Way
5:38 am
Wed April 15, 2015

On 'One Boston Day,' City Marks Marathon Bombings' Anniversary

Flowers were placed at the site of the Boston Marathon finish line on Boylston Street last week. The city will mark the second anniversary of the deadly bombing Wednesday.
Scott Eisen Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 8:31 am

A moment of silence, a call for kindness and the pealing of the city's church bells will be the hallmarks of Boston's events noting the second anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing on Wednesday.

The moment of silence will be observed at 2:49 p.m. ET, the time when the first of two devastating bombs went off in the crowds gathered to watch the marathon in 2013.

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The Two-Way
4:58 am
Wed April 15, 2015

Judge Orders V. Stiviano To Return Millions In Assets To Shelly Sterling

V. Stiviano, whose recording of former Los Angeles Clippers basketball team owner Donald Sterling led to his having to sell the team, arrives at Los Angeles Superior Court in March.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 4:24 pm

V. Stiviano, the former companion of onetime Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, must return millions of dollars in gifts, a judge has ruled in a lawsuit that was filed by Sterling's wife, Shelly.

A Ferrari, a Bentley and a million-dollar home are among the things that must be turned over to the Sterling family trust, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge said. The tentative ruling could become final within 15 days barring objections.

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The Two-Way
10:18 am
Fri April 10, 2015

President Obama, Raul Castro Shake Hands, Chat At Summit Of The Americas

President Obama talks with Cuban counterpart Raul Castro before Friday's inauguration of the VII Summit of the Americas in Panama City.
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri April 10, 2015 8:34 pm

Update, 10:30 p.m. ET: President Obama and his Cuban counterpart, Raul Castro, exchanged greetings and a friendly handshake Friday night at the Summit of the Americas, the Associated Press reports — the first such moment in decades.

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The Two-Way
8:32 am
Fri April 10, 2015

Dog Didn't Bite Man, Blind Pot Customer Tells French Court

Originally published on Fri April 10, 2015 5:49 pm

A blind man who was sold actual grass instead of the grass he was looking for has told a French court that it was he, and not his guide dog, who bit a deceitful dealer who had tried to make hay off a marijuana deal.

The two ended up in a brawl, leaving the blind man in need of stitches on his ear and the accused drug dealer with a bite wound.

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The Two-Way
7:19 am
Fri April 10, 2015

80 Municipal Courts In St. Louis County Change Fees After Criticism

Originally published on Fri April 10, 2015 1:47 pm

Changing a process that was blamed for fueling anger and frustration with the legal system in Ferguson, Mo., 80 municipal courts in St. Louis County have agreed to set uniform fees and fines to be more fair to people charged with offenses such as speeding.

Critics call the move one step on what they see as a long path of reform. They note that the agreement is voluntary and lacks a formal system of tracking or enforcement.

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The Two-Way
5:05 am
Fri April 10, 2015

Huge Tornadoes Tear Through Illinois And The Midwest

A tornado is viewed near Pearl Street from a home in Kirkland, Ill., Thursday. One person was killed in the tiny community of Fairdale, officials said.
Emily Mains AP

Originally published on Tue April 14, 2015 10:56 am

A tornado that hit Illinois on Thursday was so massive and the damage so extensive that in some areas, plows had to push debris off the streets so emergency crews could reach survivors.

At least one person died as a result of twisters that raked the state and other areas Thursday. Numerous injuries were also reported.

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The Two-Way
12:08 pm
Thu April 9, 2015

'I'm With Stupid' T-Shirt Trips Up Ecuador's President

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 1:48 pm

Politicians have basic rules about photo ops: Smile when you pose with kids, point at random things, and don't stand next to people taller than you. This week, Ecuador's President Rafael Correa learned one more: Don't get on the wrong side of an "I'm With Stupid" T-shirt.

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The Two-Way
8:09 am
Thu April 9, 2015

Sabra Hummus Announces A Recall Over Listeria Fears

Sabra has announced a voluntary recall of some products, including Classic Hummus, after a sample tested positive for Listeria.
Sabra via Facebook

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 12:35 pm

A nationwide recall has been announced for some 30,000 cases of hummus made by the Sabra company, due to possible contamination. The FDA says the recall is voluntary and no illnesses have been reported.

The recall covers several products with a "best by" date of May 11 or May 15 (see details below). The products are predominantly the "Classic" variety of the hummus, in a range of sizes.

The FDA says anyone who has bought the packages should either dispose of them or take them back to retailers for a refund.

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The Two-Way
6:55 am
Thu April 9, 2015

Tentative Nuclear Deal In Hand, Iran Says All Sanctions Must Be Lifted

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, seen here in a photo released by his official website Thursday, stopped short of giving his endorsement to the framework nuclear deal struck last week.
AP

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 9:02 am

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says his country will only sign an agreement restricting his country's nuclear program if economic sanctions are lifted. The remarks on state TV came as Iran's supreme leader said he's neither for nor against the deal.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also said that any arrangements must respect Iran's interests and dignity. He questioned the need for talks if they don't trigger the removal of sanctions, and he reiterated his distrust of the United States.

From Istanbul, NPR's Peter Kenyon reports:

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The Two-Way
5:53 am
Thu April 9, 2015

French TV Network Hacked By 'Cyber Caliphate' Group

A screen grab of the newly restored TV5Monde website shows its coverage of the hacking attack.
NPR

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 1:10 pm

The large and influential French TV network TV5Monde was taken off the air and its online presence was hijacked by a group calling itself the Cyber Caliphate. Hours after the attack began, the network was still unable to produce live programming.

The attack by what are being called cyber jihadists began at 10 p.m. in Paris on Wednesday, when screens that would normally show TV5Monde went blank, with normal programming replaced by a message: "Je suIS IS."

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The Two-Way
4:52 am
Thu April 9, 2015

Secret Service Supervisor Put On Leave After Assault Accusation

Originally published on Fri April 10, 2015 5:51 pm

A senior manager is on leave from the Secret Service, after an employee he supervised reportedly told investigators that he assaulted her by making forceful and unwelcome sexual advances.

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The Two-Way
12:14 pm
Wed April 8, 2015

'I Was Sickened By What I Saw,' Police Chief Says Of S.C. Shooting

North Charleston Mayor R. Keith Summey (left) and police Chief Eddie Driggers spoke Wednesday about a video that shows a white police officer fatally shooting a fleeing black man after a traffic stop.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 11:32 am

Discussing the case of a North Charleston, S.C., police officer shooting an unarmed man in the back, police chief Eddie Driggers said Wednesday, "I have been praying for peace."

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The Two-Way
11:05 am
Wed April 8, 2015

NFL Makes It Official: Sarah Thomas Is First Woman To Be A Full-Time Ref

Sarah Johnson makes a call during the first half of an April 2014 preseason NFL football game between the Seattle Seahawks and the San Diego Chargers.
Stephen Brashear AP

Originally published on Wed April 8, 2015 3:30 pm

Confirming a long-anticipated move, the NFL has hired its first female official on a full-time basis. Sarah Thomas, 41, has spent nearly a decade working her way through the ranks in the NCAA.

The league announced the move Wednesday, days after the news of Thomas' impending hire came out. For several years now, her name has been mentioned as a candidate for a spot at football's elite level.

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The Two-Way
9:44 am
Wed April 8, 2015

'My Heart Was Broken,' Says Father Of S.C. Man Slain By Police

In an image taken from video provided by an attorney representing the family of Walter Lamer Scott, Scott appears to be running away from City Patrolman Michael Thomas Slager, right, an instant before Slager opened fire. Scott was killed in the encounter.
AP

Originally published on Wed April 8, 2015 6:29 pm

The police officer who fatally shot his son "looked like he was trying to kill a deer running through the woods," says Walter Scott Sr. That officer, Michael Slager, now faces a murder charge in the death of Walter Scott, who was unarmed and running away from Slager when he was shot multiple times.

The deadly encounter in North Charleston, S.C., between Slager, who is white, and Scott, who was black, has reignited discussions over police use of force, particularly in minority communities.

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The Two-Way
6:29 am
Wed April 8, 2015

London Thieves Take Up To $300 Million In Gems In Easter Heist

In an elaborate crime that went undetected until Tuesday morning, thieves broke into a safe deposit center used by many jewelers. Here, a woman believed to be a police forensics officer emerges from the building.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 8, 2015 8:12 am

In a complex crime that relied on a descent down an elevator shaft and on heavy cutting equipment, thieves made away with up to $300 million in gems and other valuables stolen from a secure facility where jewelry stores often stow their holdings. It could go down as the richest heist in Britain's history.

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The Two-Way
5:03 am
Wed April 8, 2015

Ferguson Voters Elect 2 Black Members To City Council

Rich Baranowski (left) and Tracy Hardy vote Tuesday in the Ferguson, Mo., municipal election. Three of the city's six seats will now be filled by black council members.
Jeff Roberson AP

Originally published on Wed April 8, 2015 8:13 am

In a first, the City Council in Ferguson, Mo., is now half white and half black, after voters added two more African-Americans to the six-member group. Voter turnout was reported at 30 percent in the majority-black community.

The voter turnout "surpasses recent municipal elections in Ferguson — and nearly doubles the roughly 16 percent turnout in the rest of St. Louis County," St. Louis Public Radio reports.

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The Two-Way
12:09 pm
Tue April 7, 2015

Three-Peat Or Upset? UConn And Notre Dame Play For Women's NCAA Title

Jewell Loyd and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish will again face Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and the Connecticut Huskies in the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament Championship. They're seen here in last year's title game.
Frederick Breedon Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 7, 2015 2:24 pm

In a rematch of the 2014 final, the University of Connecticut will face off against Notre Dame in the NCAA women's basketball final Tuesday night. UConn's Huskies will be trying for their third consecutive title.

The championship game will start at 8:30 p.m. ET; it'll air on ESPN.

For Notre Dame, tonight brings a chance to overcome years of frustration. In three of the past four years, the team has lost in the championship game. The Irish last won it all in 2001.

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The Two-Way
10:07 am
Tue April 7, 2015

Lucille Ball Sculptor Apologizes For 'By Far My Most Unsettling' Work

A bronze sculpture of Lucille Ball is displayed in Lucille Ball Memorial Park in her hometown of Celoron, N.Y. Since the sculpture was unveiled in 2009, it has been blasted by critics who say it bears little or no likeness to the popular 1950s sitcom actress and comedian.
The Post-Journal AP

Originally published on Tue April 7, 2015 11:34 am

Responding to complaints about a sculpture meant to honor comedian Lucille Ball in her hometown, artist Dave Poulin says he'll fix it for free. "I take full responsibility for 'Scary Lucy,' " he says, adding that he didn't mean "to disparage in any way the memories of the iconic Lucy image."

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The Two-Way
6:11 am
Tue April 7, 2015

In Movie Piracy Case, Australian ISPs Are Ordered To Share Customers' Info

The producers of Dallas Buyers Club want to contact people who have viewed pirated copies of the film. Here, actor Jared Leto accepts an award for his work in the film at the 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 7, 2015 9:17 am

Australia's Federal Court has ordered six Internet service providers to hand over information about people accused of illegally downloading and sharing the film Dallas Buyers Club online. The companies had initially refused a request to provide their customers' data.

It's being called a landmark ruling in Australia, where delayed film release dates are blamed for helping create one of the highest rates of Web piracy in the world.

From Sydney, Stuart Cohen reports for NPR's Newscast unit:

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