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
11:14 am
Sun May 12, 2013

Free On Mother's Day, Former Captives Ask For Time, Privacy

Workers board up the house where three women were held in Cleveland Saturday. Suspect Ariel Castro, who allegedly held three women captive for nearly a decade, is charged with rape and kidnapping. Sunday, the women asked for privacy and time to connect with their families.
Tony Dejak AP

Originally published on Sun May 12, 2013 11:45 am

The three women who were rescued from years of captivity in a house in Cleveland released a statement on this Mother's Day to let their supporters know that they're glad to be home. They also asked for privacy and time to reconnect with their families.

Attorney Jim Wooley read short statements from Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight, in which they expressed their gratitude "for the generous assistance and loving support of their families, friends, and the community."

They also thanked law enforcement agencies.

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The Two-Way
10:51 am
Sun May 12, 2013

Turkey Arrests Nine In Investigation Of Deadly Bombings

A street is littered with debris on Sunday from one of the Saturday explosions that killed 46 people and injured about 50 others, in Reyhanli, near Turkey's border with Syria.
AP

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 5:01 am

In Turkey, officials have arrested nine people in connection with what authorities say were two car bombs that killed 46 people near the Syrian border Saturday. Turkish officials say the suspects are Turkish civilians who are loyal to the Syrian regime.

"The bombs exploded in the border town of Reyhanli, which has been a gathering point for refugees, aid workers and smugglers bringing supplies into Syria to aid the effort to oust President Bashar al-Assad's regime," NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Istanbul for our Newscast Desk.

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The Two-Way
9:39 am
Sun May 12, 2013

Pakistan Elections: Sharif Victory Seen, Completing Comeback

Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, second from right, declares victory in Pakistan's general elections, as his brother Shahbaz Sharif, right, and others listen at the party's headquarters in Lahore.
Anjum Naveed AP

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 5:19 am

Nearly 14 years after being ousted from power by a military coup, Pakistan's former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is poised to lead the country once again. Unofficial results from Saturday's general elections predict a return to power for Sharif, 63.

Several media reports indicate the two-time former prime minister's Pakistan Muslim League will capture more than 100 of the 272 National Assembly seats directly elected in the vote. The final tally is still being conducted.

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The Two-Way
8:43 am
Sun May 12, 2013

U.S. Gas Prices Expected To Remain Low For Summer

Gas prices are displayed on a board at a Hess station in Hoboken, N.J., Sunday. Lower oil and gasoline prices are giving relief to consumers who recently seemed about to face the highest prices ever.
CX Matiash AP

Originally published on Sun May 12, 2013 12:07 pm

Drivers will find this summer's gas prices are lower than last year's, the result of a spike in crude oil production. Government forecasters say a gallon of regular gasoline will cost about $3.50 this summer — a slide of more than 10 cents from last year.

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The Two-Way
7:08 am
Sun May 12, 2013

Syrian Rebels Release U.N. Peacekeepers Near Golan Heights

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 9:31 am

Four Filipino peacekeepers are now free, days after being abducted by Syrian rebels. They had been patrolling near the area that divides Syria and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The rebels said Wednesday that the four had been held for their own protection. But Filipino officials say they were used as human shields.

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The Two-Way
3:37 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Celebrity Panda To Return To Thailand, For $1 Million A Year

The giant panda Lin Ping, a star in Thailand whose mandatory trip to China was due at the end of May, can spend up to 15 years in Thailand, under a deal announced this week. The 43-day-old Lin Ping was held by her mother, Lin Hui, in this 2009 photo.
Wichai Taprieu AP

The citizens of Thailand are breathing a sigh of relief, after a breakthrough moment in panda relations was reached with China Friday. After much negotiation, Lin Ping, a female giant panda who became a reality TV star after being born in Thailand's Chiang Mai Zoo, will be allowed to stay in Thailand for 15 years.

The pact comes just weeks before Lin Ping was to travel to China; under the terms of the deal that brought her parents to Thailand, zoo officials were obligated to send Lin Ping to China by her fourth birthday, on May 27.

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The Two-Way
12:09 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Malcolm X's Grandson Reportedly Killed In Mexico

Malcolm Shabazz, pictured in this 2006 photo posted on his blog, is said to have died Thursday at age 28.
Malcolm Shabazz

Malcolm Shabazz, the grandson of slain civil rights leader Malcolm X, has reportedly died at age 28. A family friend says Shabazz was killed Thursday in Mexico.

The news first appeared in New York's The Amsterdam News, after family friend Terrie Williams tweeted, "I'm confirming, per the U.S. Embassy, on behalf of the family, the tragic death of Malcolm Shabazz, grandson of Malcolm X."

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The Two-Way
8:28 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Spire Intact, World Trade Center Stretches To 1,776 Feet

One World Trade Center stands at its full height of 1,776 feet Friday, after a crane lifted its spire into place. The New York City skyline is seen here from the Heights neighborhood of Jersey City, N.J.
Julio Cortez AP

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 10:32 am

With its glittering spire firmly attached, the new World Trade Center became the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere on Friday morning. The building at One World Trade Center now stands at 1,776 feet.

"It will give a tremendous indication to people around the entire region, and the world, that we're back and better than ever," Steven Plate, the head of construction at the World Trade Center, said last week when the spire was hauled to the top of the building.

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The Two-Way
4:13 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Feds Reach Agreement With Montana School On Sexual Assaults

University of Montana President Royce Engstrom, right, discusses the school's effort to reform the way it handles sexual assault cases, as Deputy Assistant Attorney General Roy Austin, left, and U.S. Attorney for Montana Michael Cotter listen.
Matt Gouras AP

The Department of Justice has reached an agreement with the University of Montana to resolve an investigation into the school's response to accusations of sexual harassment since 2009. The federal inquiry will continue to examine how Missoula city officials have handled such cases.

"The Justice Department started its investigation a year ago, following a string of reports of sexual assaults," reports NPR's Martin Kaste, for our Newscast Desk. "Female students said their complaints weren't taken seriously or followed up on properly."

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The Two-Way
12:09 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Colorado Lawmakers Set Taxes And Rules For Marijuana Sales

Colorado lawmakers approved two taxes on marijuana — a 15 percent excise tax, and a 10 percent sales tax. A photo depicts a quarter of an ounce, left, and one ounce of marijuana, along with a handful of rolled joints at a Denver dispensary.
Ed Andrieski AP

Colorado is set to become the first U.S. state to regulate and tax sales of recreational marijuana, after lawmakers approved several bills that set business standards and rules. Legislators expect enforcement of the rules to be paid for by two taxes on marijuana — a 15 percent excise tax, and a 10 percent sales tax.

Other measures included in the package set limits on how much marijuana visitors to Colorado can buy (a quarter of an ounce), as well as a limit on how many cannabis plants a private citizen can grow (six).

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The Two-Way
9:31 am
Thu May 9, 2013

California's Bay Bridge Hits Trouble Ahead Of Opening Day

It's uncertain whether the Bay Bridge connecting San Francisco and Oakland will be ready for its planned grand opening on Labor Day, as engineers work to solve a problem stemming from broken steel rods.
San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Project

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 1:48 pm

Faced with lingering safety concerns over the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge's new eastern span, California transportation officials say it will take more work — and up to $10 million — to get the bridge ready for its planned grand opening on Labor Day.

They discovered the problem after massive steel bolts were tightened to anchor part of the bridge's seismic safety system. Of the 96 that were tightened, 32 broke.

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The Two-Way
4:23 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Homebrewing: Soon To Be Legal In All 50 States

Home brewing will become legal in all 50 U.S. states, if Alabama's governor signs a recently passed bill. In March, Mississippi approved a bill that will take effect this summer.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 7:13 pm

The Alabama Legislature has approved a bill making it legal to brew beer at home, a practice that had been forbidden in the state. If Gov. Robert Bentley signs the bill, as is expected, home brewing will soon be legal in all 50 states.

Alabama lawmakers voted on the bill to legalize home brewing months after it was first introduced. And while it met with earlier debate and resistance, the arrival of the legislation — House Bill 9 — for a vote Tuesday night seems to have come to its supporters as a pleasant surprise.

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The Two-Way
2:45 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Carnival Triumph Heads Back To Gulf Of Mexico, Under Power

The cruise ship Carnival Triumph, seen here as it arrived in Mobile, Ala., in February, has now disembarked for the Bahamas. The powerless ship was towed to port with 3,143 passengers aboard in February.
Dave Martin AP

The Carnival Cruise ship Triumph is traveling again, having left the terminal in Mobile, Ala., where it was forced to dock in February after severe problems with its engines led to its being towed across the Gulf of Mexico.

The odyssey of the ship, whose 3,143 passengers endured days without consistent running water and electrical services, attracted national attention as it drifted at sea before heading to the Alabama coast.

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The Two-Way
4:06 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Rate Of U.S. Gun Violence Has Fallen Since 1993, Study Says

The U.S. rate of gun homicides and other crimes fell after 1993, according to two studies released Tuesday. But a survey showed that only 12 percent of Americans said they felt gun homicides had fallen.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 5:58 pm

Since 1993, the United States has seen a drop in the rate of homicides and other violence involving guns, according to two new studies released Tuesday. Using government data, analysts saw a steep drop for violence in the 1990s, they saw more modest drops in crime rates since 2000.

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The Two-Way
12:53 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Gas Tanker Explosion Kills At Least 20 Near Mexico City

Burned cars sit on a highway in Ecatepec near Mexico City, where a gas tanker truck exploded Tuesday. The explosion caused at least 20 deaths and widespread damage in the area.
Victor Rojas AFP/Getty Images

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The Two-Way
11:50 am
Tue May 7, 2013

Limo Fire: Driver, Passenger Tell Their Stories

Investigators are trying to determine why the a limousine burst into flames on a San Francisco Bay bridge, trapping and killing five of the nine passengers late Saturday night. Foster City Fire Department Chief Michael Keefe, right, speaks as Redwood City California Highway Patrol Commander Mike Maskarich stands by Monday.
Jeff Chiu AP

The four women who survived a fire that erupted in a moving limousine Saturday did so by squeezing through a narrow partition window between the passenger cabin and the driver's area. As we reported Monday, the tragedy claimed the lives of five other women on a bridge over San Francisco Bay.

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The Two-Way
4:04 pm
Sun May 5, 2013

Solar-Powered Airplane Completes First Leg Of U.S. Flight

The Solar Impulse takes off from Moffett Field NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif., Friday, as a team member rides an electric bike alongside the plane.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

The Solar Impulse, an airplane traveling across the United States using only solar power, is in Phoenix today, after reaching Arizona from California Saturday. It took the plane about 20 hours to travel from Mountain View, Calif., near San Francisco.

The aircraft is capable of flying at night as well as in daytime; the plane had about 75 percent of its battery power remaining when it landed in Arizona.

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The Two-Way
2:37 pm
Sun May 5, 2013

Malaysia: Entrenched Coalition Wins 13th Straight Election

Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak (second from left) celebrates his victory with a prayer on election day in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. His National Front coalition won a simple majority in the general election.
Nicky Loh Getty Images

The National Front coalition that has governed Malaysia for 56 consecutive years won a majority of parliamentary seats in a general election Sunday, extending its streak of victories that began in 1957.

Malaysian election officials reported a record voter turnout in Sunday's national election, as more than 10 million voters — or 80 percent of the electorate — cast ballots.

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The Two-Way
11:59 am
Sun May 5, 2013

Springs Fire May Be Fully Contained Monday, Officials Say

Elite U.S. Forest Service Hotshot firefighters walk the blackened edge of the Springs Fire near Camarillo, California. Citing favorable weather, officials say the fire could be contained Monday.
David McNew Getty Images

Firefighting officials in California are optimistic that they can get more of the Springs Fire under control Sunday, as for the second day cooler temperatures and higher humidity are expected to help their cause. The fire could be entirely contained by Monday, they say.

"Firefighters made progress overnight," member station KPCC reported this morning. "The Springs Fire is holding fast at 28,000 acres."

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The Two-Way
10:57 am
Sun May 5, 2013

British Member Of Parliament Says Rape Claim Is False

One day after being arrested over allegations that he raped one man and sexually assaulted another, a senior British legislator says the accusations are without merit. Britain's House of Commons Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans says the claims were made by people "who until yesterday I regarded as friends."

The complaints made against Evans accuse him of abuse in a period from July 2009 to March of this year. The men who filed the complaints are believed to have been in their 20s in that time span. Evans says that the two men who made the accusations know one another.

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The Two-Way
7:49 am
Sun May 5, 2013

Soccer Referee Dies, One Week After Being Felled By Punch

Soccer referee Ricardo Portillo died Saturday, after being struck by a player. Here, Portfillo, is seen holding a soccer ball, in a photo held by his brother-in-law, Jose Lopez, Thursday.
Rick Bowmer AP

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 9:11 am

A soccer referee who was punched by a player after calling a foul on him during a recreational soccer game in Utah died Saturday night, a week after he was hit once in the face. The suspect, who received a yellow card penalty from referee Ricardo Portillo, was arrested Monday and remains incarcerated, officials say.

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The Two-Way
3:54 pm
Sat May 4, 2013

Star Wars Fans 'Use The Fourth' To Celebrate

Fans are celebrating Star Wars Day today, May 4. Here, actor David Prowse (center), who played Darth Vader in the first Star Wars trilogy, poses with costumed fans in France last week.
Thierry Zoccolan AFP/Getty Images

Today is May 4, unofficially known as Star Wars Day — seemingly for the lone reason that it presents an opportunity for people to tell one another, "May the Fourth be with you." But fans of the George Lucas films are also using the day as an excuse to break out costumes and photos, and generally let their Jedi flag fly.

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The Two-Way
2:34 pm
Sat May 4, 2013

Kentucky Derby: Rain-Soaked Track Awaits A New Champion

Joel Rosario rides Orb during the 139th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on Saturday in Louisville, Ky. The odds-on favorite won the race.
Morry Gash AP

Originally published on Sat May 4, 2013 6:01 pm

Update at 6:45 p.m. Orb Takes Derby Title:

Favored heavily 5-1 prior to the race, Orb has taken the title of the 139th Kentucky Derby Saturday at Churchill Downs.

The win gives Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey his first victory in the race for 3-year-old Thoroughbreds.

"It's like living a dream," Orb's jockey, Joel Rosario, told NBC after the race, calling it "a perfect trip."

The other top finishers were Golden Soul in second, Revolutionary in third and Normandy Invasion in fourth place.

Orb ran the 1 1/4 mile race in 2:02.89.

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The Two-Way
11:09 am
Sat May 4, 2013

Seven U.S. Troops Die In Attacks In Afghanistan

Originally published on Sun May 5, 2013 8:30 am

A roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan killed five members of the U.S. Army Saturday, according to military officials. The International Security Assistance Force says an improvised explosive device was used in the attack.

Update at 5:15 p.m. EDT. Another Deadly Attack:

An Afghan National Army soldier "turned his weapon on coalition troops in the west, killing two in the most recent of so-called insider attacks, the AP reports. NPR has confirmed that both victims of that attack are American.

Our original post continues:

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The Two-Way
10:38 am
Sat May 4, 2013

World War II Code Is Broken, Decades After POW Used It

As a prisoner of war, Sub Lieut. John Pryor encrypted information and requests for supplies in letters sent from a German camp to his family in Cornwall.
Plymouth University

Originally published on Sun May 5, 2013 5:04 am

It's been 70 years since the letters of John Pryor were understood in their full meaning. That's because as a British prisoner of war in Nazi Germany, Pryor's letters home to his family also included intricate codes that were recently deciphered for the first time since the 1940s.

Pryor's letters served their purpose in World War II, as Britain's MI9 agents decoded the messages hidden within them — requests for supplies, notes about German activities — before sending them along to Pryor's family in Cornwall.

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The Two-Way
7:44 am
Sat May 4, 2013

Shifts In Weather And Strategy Help Slow Springs Wildfire

Standing on a rooftop, a man looks at the Springs fire's approaching flames in California Friday. The wildfire, reportedly, 20 percent contained, might be weakened by high humidity and cooler temperatures Saturday.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 4, 2013 11:11 am

Firefighters in Southern California are welcoming the latest weather forecast, as lower temperatures and higher humidity could help them control the Camarillo Springs Fire. But the wildfire along the coast remains formidable: It has reportedly burned at least 43 square miles of land and property, nearly doubling in size Friday.

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The Two-Way
4:40 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Video May Show 747 Jet's Last Seconds Before Bagram Crash

A dashcam video purports to show the crash of a civilian cargo 747 in Afghanistan Monday.
LiveLeak

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 12:06 pm

Update at 1 p.m. ET, May 1: Victims Identified:

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The Two-Way
12:22 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Teen's Punch Reportedly Lands Soccer Referee In Critical Condition

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 1:11 pm

A soccer referee who was reportedly punched in the face by a teenager during a game is in critical condition in a Utah hospital, four days after the incident.

After sustaining what seemed to be minor injuries, the 46-year-old official later lost consciousness — leading doctors to find "far more serious head injuries than thought," The Salt Lake City Tribune reports.

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The Two-Way
10:54 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Ontario's First Nation Struggles With Spike In Suicides

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 12:50 pm

The Neskantaga First Nation is grappling with mental health and other issues in northern Ontario, Canada, where a high suicide rate prompted officials to declare a state of emergency earlier this month. With a population of about 400, the community has seen an average of about 10 suicide attempts a month in 2013, according to local officials.

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The Two-Way
6:17 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Saturn Shows Off A Massive Spinning Vortex: 'The Rose'

A mammoth spinning vortex is seen on Saturn, in this "false-color" photograph released by NASA Monday. The image was captured by the Cassini spacecraft. A related image, presenting what a human eye would see, is farther down this page.
NASA

NASA is calling it "The Rose." By any other name, it's a mammoth storm on Saturn's north pole. Its eye spans an estimated 1,250 miles — 20 times the size of an average hurricane's eye on Earth. Winds in the Saturn storm's eye wall are believed to be four times as fast.

The stunning image of the spinning vortex was given "false colors" to emphasize low clouds (in red) versus high clouds (in green). NASA estimates that the clouds at the outer edge are moving at up to 330 miles per hour.

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