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" โ€” 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
9:11 am
Mon June 29, 2015

Supreme Court Backs Arizona's Redistricting Commission Targeting Gridlock

Originally published on Mon June 29, 2015 6:12 pm

U.S. states' efforts to counter extreme gerrymandering won a victory Monday, as the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a bipartisan Arizona panel that draws the state's districts. The court's vote was 5-4; Chief Justice John Roberts dissented, as did Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the opinion for the majority, in which her citations included James Madison writing in The Federalist Papers.

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The Two-Way
12:19 pm
Fri June 26, 2015

From Ice Cream To Ian McKellen: Reactions To Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

People celebrate inside the Stonewall Inn, an iconic gay bar recently granted historic landmark status, after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled same-sex couples have the right to marry in all 50 states.
Yana Paskova Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 26, 2015 2:53 pm

There was jubilation among supporters of same-sex marriage Friday, after the Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage is legal in all 50 states. We've rounded up some of the best reactions, below.

Ice cream makers Ben & Jerry's seemed to be poised for this moment, unveiling a new package for its popular Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough flavor โ€” which was renamed "I Dough, I Dough."

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The Two-Way
8:11 am
Fri June 26, 2015

Supreme Court Declares Same-Sex Marriage Legal In All 50 States

Same-sex marriage supporters rejoice outside the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Friday after the U.S Supreme Court handed down a ruling regarding same-sex marriage. The high court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry in all 50 states.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 26, 2015 2:49 pm

States cannot keep same-sex couples from marrying and must recognize their unions, the Supreme Court says in a ruling that for months has been the focus of speculation. The decision was 5-4.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, seen as a pivotal swing vote in the case, wrote the majority opinion. All four justices who voted against the ruling wrote their own dissenting opinions: Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.

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The Two-Way
5:02 am
Fri June 26, 2015

Man Beheaded In Terrorist Attack On French Factory

French police secure the entrance of the Air Products factory in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, near Lyon. A decapitated body was found outside the factory.
Philippe Desmazes AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 26, 2015 7:40 am

One person has been killed and at least 12 others injured in an attack on a gas factory in a small town in southeastern France. Officials say it was a terrorist attack: A flag of the self-declared Islamic State was reportedly found at the factory southeast of Lyon.

One suspect has been arrested over the attack, which also included an explosion at the facility operated by Air Products, an American company whose headquarters are in Pennsylvania. It's not yet certain whether he was acting alone.

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The Two-Way
12:27 pm
Thu June 25, 2015

Amy Poehler Asks A Critic Of Women's Sports, 'Really!?!'

Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers took turns responding to a tweet that dismissed women's sports as "not worth watching."
YouTube

Originally published on Thu June 25, 2015 1:15 pm

Many people took notice when a Sports Illustrated analyst dismissed women's sports as "not worth watching" earlier this week. Unfortunately for SI's Andy Benoit, two of those who noticed were Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers.

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The Two-Way
10:26 am
Thu June 25, 2015

In Fair Housing Act Case, Supreme Court Backs 'Disparate Impact' Claims

The Supreme Court handed a victory to the Obama administration and civil rights groups on Thursday when, by a 5-4 decision, it upheld a key tool used for more than four decades to fight housing discrimination.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Fri June 26, 2015 10:06 am

Civil rights groups won a victory Thursday, as the Supreme Court ruled that claims of racial discrimination in housing cases shouldn't be limited by questions of intent.

The court affirmed a Court of Appeals decision in a case in which a nonprofit group, the Inclusive Communities Project, said that the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs had contributed to "segregated housing patterns by allocating too many tax credits to housing in predominantly black inner-city areas and too few in predominantly white suburban neighborhoods."

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The Two-Way
6:51 am
Thu June 25, 2015

Funerals Begin For Those Slain At Emanuel AME Church

The casket holding Ethel Lance, who was killed during the shooting at Emanuel AME Church, is on view before her funeral at the Royal Missionary Baptist Church in North Charleston, S.C., on Thursday.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 26, 2015 9:44 am

Mourners will gather in South Carolina on Thursday for the funerals of the Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton and Ethel Lance, two of the nine people who were killed during a Bible study meeting in Charleston last week.

Both Coleman-Singleton, 45, and Lance, 70, were integral members of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, where police say a white gunman attacked last week with the stated intention of killing black people. The case is being investigated as a hate crime.

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The Two-Way
5:03 am
Thu June 25, 2015

Thousands Of Cabdrivers Clog France's Roads To Protest Uber

An UberPop vehicle was overturned by French taxi drivers, who also clashed with riot police, during Thursday's protest of the app-based ride-hailing company.
Ian Langsdon EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu June 25, 2015 2:29 pm

Taxi drivers in France formed virtual blockades around airports and key train stations Thursday, causing chaos in Paris and other French cities as part of a wide protest against the Uber ride-booking service, known in France as UberPOP.

Government and transportation officials urged travelers to take trains to many airports, as the roads around them were completely blocked.

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The Two-Way
12:37 pm
Wed June 24, 2015

U.S. Slips In World Well-Being Rankings; Panama Is No. 1

Panama was found to have the most people with high well-being, and Afghanistan the least, in a new Gallup world index.
Gallup-Healthways Global Well-Being Index, 2014

Originally published on Wed June 24, 2015 1:17 pm

As a region, the Americas fare quite well in Gallup's new global index of personal well-being, but the U.S. fell from No. 12 to No. 23 worldwide. The top 10 includes Costa Rica, Belize, and Mexico.

Panama took the top spot for the second straight year in the Gallup-Healthways Country Well-Being report, with Costa Rica second. Switzerland was the top European country, in fourth. At No. 23, the U.S. is one spot behind Israel and one ahead of Canada.

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The Two-Way
10:45 am
Wed June 24, 2015

U.S. Clarifies Hostage Policy, Saying It Won't Prosecute Families Over Ransom

Originally published on Wed June 24, 2015 12:54 pm

Better communication with the families of kidnapped Americans โ€” and a pledge that those relatives won't face criminal charges if they pay ransoms โ€” are at the heart of an update to the U.S. federal hostage policy, released Wednesday.

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The Two-Way
9:40 am
Wed June 24, 2015

Yoink! Dad Nabs Foul Ball While Holding Baby At Cubs Game

A father who snagged a foul ball at a Chicago Cubs game Tuesday is getting praise โ€” even though the play was overturned.
MLB

Originally published on Wed June 24, 2015 12:49 pm

It could have been a routine out in foul territory. Instead, a pop-up at a Chicago Cubs game was caught by a dad who was also holding a baby โ€” and the crowd went wild. It didn't hurt that the fan momentarily robbed the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers of an out.

The play was eventually ruled to be fan interference, as Cubs fan Keith Hartley was found to have reached over into the field to nab the ball before it could land in the glove of the Dodgers' first baseman, Adrian Gonzalez.

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Wed June 24, 2015

Autopsy Attributes Freddie Gray's Death To 'High-Energy Injury,' Report Says

A mural memorializing Baltimore resident Freddie Gray adorns a wall near the place where he was tackled and arrested by police. The Baltimore Sun says it has acquired a copy of the unreleased government autopsy report in the case.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 24, 2015 12:46 pm

Updated at 12:45 p.m. ET

The death of Baltimore man Freddie Gray was the result of a "high-energy injury" to his spine and was ruled a homicide due to "acts of omission" by police, according to The Baltimore Sun. The newspaper cites a copy of the unreleased autopsy report from the state medical examiner's office.

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The Two-Way
6:53 am
Wed June 24, 2015

Over-Aged: Chinese Authorities Seize Decades-Old Meat

Originally published on Wed June 24, 2015 10:36 am

China's customs agents have seized thousands of tons of frozen chicken wings, beef and pork that were smuggled by gangs. Weighing more than 100,000 tons, the meat has an estimated value of more than $480 million โ€” but it also poses serious health risks, officials said.

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The Two-Way
5:43 am
Wed June 24, 2015

French Are Fuming Over Report That NSA Spied On 3 Presidents

French President Francois Hollande leads a meeting about new WikiLeaks allegations of U.S. spying on French presidents.
Charles Platiau/Pool EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed June 24, 2015 11:01 am

The U.S. ambassador to France has been summoned to the French Foreign Ministry to answer new claims that the NSA monitored the communications of three sitting French presidents and their top staff.

Those said to be targeted include President Francois Hollande, who is holding an emergency meeting today with top French lawmakers.

From Paris, NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports:

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The Two-Way
3:04 pm
Tue June 23, 2015

Female Shortstop, 16, Could Be Signed By MLB Teams In July

In what Major League Baseball says is a first, French baseball player Melissa Mayeux has had her name added to the list of international prospects who could be signed by clubs on July 2.

At age 16, Mayeux plays shortstop for two of France's national teams: the U-18 junior squad and the senior softball team. She's known as a smooth fielder who can also handle a bat.

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The Two-Way
12:20 pm
Tue June 23, 2015

Solar-Powered Plane's Japan-Hawaii Flight Is Postponed

Pilot Andre Borschberg of Switzerland sits aboard the Solar Impulse as a ground crew pushes the plane at the airport in Nagoya, Japan, prior to taking off for Hawaii.
Toshifumi Kitamura AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 23, 2015 1:07 pm

The Solar Impulse, an aircraft that generates power solely from the sun's energy, is set to embark on the longest leg of its planned round-the-world journey: a trip of some 115 hours between Nagoya, Japan, and Hawaii. But weather concerns have forced another delay.

The Solar Impulse 2 had initially been slated to take off from Japan around 1:30 p.m. ET.

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The Two-Way
11:01 am
Tue June 23, 2015

NASA Flummoxed By Dwarf Planet's Bright Spots, 'Pyramid-Shaped Peak'

A "cluster of mysterious bright spots" can be seen on the dwarf planet Ceres, NASA says. The image was taken by the Dawn spacecraft, in orbit of Ceres.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

New images of Ceres are the clearest ever taken, but NASA's scientists still haven't figured out the enigmatic dwarf planet. The agency's latest photos of Ceres show multiple bright spots โ€” and a "pyramid-shaped peak towering over a relatively flat landscape."

That's according to an update posted by the space agency, saying that Ceres and its bright spots "continue to mystify."

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The Two-Way
9:16 am
Tue June 23, 2015

James Horner, A Giant Among Movie Music Composers, Is Dead, Agents Say

Composer James Horner, seen here at a movie premiere in 2012, is believed to have died in a plane crash.
Gareth Cattermole Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 23, 2015 9:38 pm

Update: 11:30 p.m. ET

In a statement Tuesday night, the talent agency that represented Horner mourned "the tragic passing of our dear colleague."

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The Two-Way
2:33 pm
Mon June 22, 2015

Gov. Haley Announces New Push To Remove Confederate Flag In S.C.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley along with Sens. Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham (right, far right) and other lawmakers and activists call for the Confederate flag to be moved from state Capitol grounds.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 23, 2015 10:31 am

South Carolina's most prominent political leaders say it's time for their state to stop flying the Confederate battle flag on the grounds of its Statehouse. Gov. Nikki Haley made their position clear Monday afternoon, speaking alongside Sen. Lindsey Graham, Sen. Tim Scott and others.

Calls for moving the Confederate battle flag have grown since the shooting of nine black church members in Charleston last week. After speaking about the efforts to cope with that tragedy, Haley said that she has seen "the heart and soul" of South Carolina.

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The Two-Way
12:14 pm
Mon June 22, 2015

'We Are Not Cured': Obama Discusses Racism In America With Marc Maron

President Barack Obama participates in a podcast with Marc Maron in Los Angeles, on Friday.
Pete Souza The White House

Originally published on Mon June 22, 2015 1:24 pm

President Obama talks about his own life, America's race relations and the trouble with politics during the much-anticipated new episode of the WTF with Marc Maron podcast, in an interview that is making headlines for its candid discussion of race.

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The Two-Way
3:47 pm
Fri June 19, 2015

Confederate Flag 'Has To Come Down' In S.C., NAACP Leader Says

A Confederate flag that's part of a Civil War memorial on the grounds of the South Carolina State House flies during a Martin Luther King Day rally in 2008. The state is under fire for continuing to fly the flag.
Chris Hondros Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 20, 2015 6:43 pm

Calling Wednesday's killing of nine black church members in Charleston, S.C., a hate crime, the head of the NAACP says it's not appropriate for South Carolina to keep flying the Confederate flag at its state house.

"The flag has to come down," NAACP President Cornell Brooks told a crowd gathered for a midday news conference Friday.

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The Two-Way
10:59 am
Fri June 19, 2015

Doctors, Nurses Among 243 Charged In Million-Dollar Medicare Schemes

Attorney General Loretta Lynch speaks about a federal crackdown on Medicare fraud. With her are HHS Inspector General Daniel R. Levinson (from left), HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell, FBI Director James B. Comey and Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division Leslie R. Caldwell.
T.J. Kirkpatrick Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 19, 2015 12:59 pm

Federal agents have arrested 243 people โ€” including 46 doctors, nurses and other medical professionals โ€” who are accused of running up more than $700 million in false Medicare billings. Charges range from fraud and money-laundering to aggravated identity theft and kickbacks.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch calls it "the largest criminal health care fraud takedown in the history of the Department of Justice."

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The Two-Way
9:02 am
Fri June 19, 2015

'They Will Strafe You,' Bird Expert Says Of Seattle's Dive-Bombing Crows

A crow dives on a researcher during a trial. Crows recognize people who have scared them or wronged them for years afterward.
Courtesy of Keith Brust

It has become an annual process: Crows swoop down on unsuspecting Seattleites, who then call wildlife professor John Marzluff, who explains that it's simply the season for crows to dive-bomb people โ€” and that they're mostly harmless.

The behavior, Marzluff tells member station KUOW, is tied to something many parents can understand: the empty nest.

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The Two-Way
1:34 pm
Thu June 18, 2015

Kids' Art Show Takes Over 2 Billboards In Times Square

Who? by Sharon Yang, 10, a fifth-grader in Brooklyn. Of this work, she says: "I put a lot of effort in my artwork to make the texture on the tree and the feathers on the owl."
Isaak Liptzin WNYC

Originally published on Fri June 19, 2015 4:49 am

For the next few days, two large billboards in New York's Times Square are being given over to art created by the city's public school students. The project highlights students' work that's part of a new exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

"Art is my favorite subject. It lets me see new things," artist and fifth-grader Sharon Yang told a crowd Wednesday, according to member station WNYC.

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The Two-Way
10:21 am
Thu June 18, 2015

'Mother Emanuel' Church Suffers A New Loss In Charleston

The Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., has overcome fire, earthquakes and hurricanes in its nearly 200-year history.
Randall Hill Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sat June 20, 2015 6:47 pm

In the Holy City, it's called "Mother Emanuel." Charleston's Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church has a long history in which its existence was threatened โ€” or even banned outright. Every time, the church that was the scene of Wednesday's mass shooting has survived and rebuilt.

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The Two-Way
4:03 pm
Wed June 17, 2015

Worms Know What's Up โ€” And Now Scientists Know Why

Researchers say that inside the head of the worm C. elegans, an antenna-like structure at the tip of the AFD neuron (highlighted in green) is the first identified sensor for Earth's magnetic field.
Andrรฉs Vidal-Gadea

In what researchers say is a first, they've discovered the neuron in worms that detects Earth's magnetic field. Animals have been known to sense the magnetic field; a new study identifies the microscopic, antenna-shaped sensor that helps worms orient themselves underground.

The sensory neuron that the worm C. elegans uses to migrate up or down through the soil could be similar to what many other animals use, according to the team of scientists and engineers at The University of Texas at Austin.

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The Two-Way
9:34 am
Wed June 17, 2015

Boy Who Lost Stuffed Tiger At Airport Finds Tiger Stayed Very Busy

Hobbes the tiger surveys the scene at Tampa International Airport, where he was briefly stranded.
Tampa International Airport

Originally published on Wed June 17, 2015 11:57 am

If a boy named Owen suspects his stuffed tiger named Hobbes has a secret life, the staff of Tampa International Airport won't disagree. Owen recently lost Hobbes at the airport โ€” and when he reclaimed the tiger, he also received photos of Hobbes touring the facility.

Owen, 6, had flown from Florida to Texas. His mother, Amanda Lake, says that for much of the trip, Owen was preoccupied with whether his tiger was OK.

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The Two-Way
7:05 am
Wed June 17, 2015

Honor System Exploited On Scottish Island That Had Been Crime-Free

Originally published on Wed June 17, 2015 1:10 pm

The crime rate on the small Hebridean island of Canna, Scotland, skyrocketed overnight this week, when thieves looted a shop that had used the honor system. Locals say it's the first theft on the island in decades.

"The crimes โ€” which included the theft of six woolly hats โ€” are believed to be the first on Canna since a wooden plate was stolen in the 1960s," reports Scotland's STV.

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The Two-Way
6:21 am
Wed June 17, 2015

Neil Young Is Displeased That Donald Trump Was 'Rockin' In The Free World'

Neil Young says he supports Bernie Sanders โ€” and that Donald Trump shouldn't have used his song "Rockin' in the Free World." He's seen here performing in Los Angeles earlier this year.
Larry Busacca Getty Images for NARAS

Originally published on Wed June 17, 2015 3:27 pm

When Donald Trump announced Tuesday that he's running for president, the soundtrack at the Trump Tower event was Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World," which was played loudly and repeatedly. But afterward, Young said Trump had used the song without permission โ€” and that he's a Bernie Sanders guy, anyway.

Young's manager released a statement saying:

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The Two-Way
5:07 am
Wed June 17, 2015

Storm Pours More Rain On Drenched Texas

A weather radar map shows the position of Tropical Depression Bill in Texas, as of Wednesday morning.
National Weather Service

Originally published on Wed June 17, 2015 6:46 am

Flood watches have been issued for areas of central and northern Texas, since Tropical Storm Bill came ashore and makes its way up the state. Rainfall of 4-8 inches is forecast in a band stretching from Texas up to Missouri, with some areas receiving up to 12 inches, according to the National Weather Service.

"These rains may produce life-threatening flash floods," the service's forecasters say.

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