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
11:48 am
Mon August 19, 2013

No Ski Lift For You, Swiss Government Tells Kim Jong Un

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 11:49 am

A multimillion-dollar deal to provide ski lifts for a resort in North Korea has been cancelled, after Switzerland's government decided the plan violated U.N. sanctions forbidding the export of luxury items to the country.

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The Two-Way
9:40 am
Mon August 19, 2013

End Of The Rainbow: Swedish Athlete Repaints Nails Red

Sweden's Emma Green Tregaro sports red nails as she waits to compete in the women's high jump final at the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow. Green Tregaro was told her rainbow-colored nail violated track's rules against political statements.
Adrian Dennis AFP/Getty Images

Emma Green Tregaro, the Swedish athlete who painted her fingernails the colors of a rainbow to show support for gay rights, has repainted her nails red, after track and field's governing body warned that her nails flouted its ban on political statements at events.

Green Tregaro, who finished fifth in the high jump Saturday at the world championships in Moscow, had initially painted her fingernails as a subtle way to protest Russia's recent passage of a law banning gay "propaganda."

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The Two-Way
7:31 am
Mon August 19, 2013

University Pages: LinkedIn Launches New College Profiles

The new University Pages on LinkedIn show which businesses employ a college's graduates, and the sectors of the economy in which they work.
LinkedIn

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 7:58 am

The professional connections site LinkedIn is launching a new section of its social network Monday: University Pages targets younger users who want to connect with colleges. More than 200 schools now have profile pages, according to LinkedIn. As part of the new effort, the company also dropped its minimum age to 14 in the U.S.

The new college profiles allow prospective students to see how many of a school's graduates are on LinkedIn, as well as a breakdown of the main fields in which they work. The pages also list the top employers of alumni.

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The Two-Way
2:51 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

Painter Created Million-Dollar Forgeries In Queens Garage, Officials Say

An anonymous painter in New York City created dozens of art forgeries, which sold for more than $80 million, according to prosecutors. The man isn't facing charges — but those who helped sell his Abstract Expressionist canvases as the work of artists such as Jackson Pollock and Robert Motherwell are in trouble.

For NPR's Newscast unit, Joel Rose reports:

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The Two-Way
1:38 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

Hell With The Lid Off: Coffee Drinkers' Plight Exposed In Canada

"Is this coffee, or is this Fight Club?" That's the question Bryan Hansen of Calgary, Canada, says he asked himself after his coffee lid betrayed him — yet again — leading him to fire off a letter of complaint to the Tim Hortons café chain, sending it to the attention of its "Lid Manager."

Hansen's fiercely funny note won fans on Reddit and elsewhere, as fellow customers stood up to say they, too, had been suffering in (scalded) silence because of the coffee and pastry stores' flip-top lids.

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The Two-Way
10:12 am
Fri August 16, 2013

A 'Dilemma Zone' For Red-Light Cameras: Safety Vs. Cash

Traffic engineers face "a new conundrum" in dealing with red-light cameras such as this one in New Mexico, according to a recent study looking at how cameras are operated and the perception that they are used to generate revenue.
Susan Montoya Bryan AP

What's the point of a red-light camera — to make intersections safer or to generate revenue? That's the question prompted by researchers at the University of Tennessee, who say the cameras are sometimes used in ways that are more likely to make money than to improve safety.

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The Two-Way
9:29 am
Fri August 16, 2013

After Fatal Crash With Cyclists, Driver's Tweets Help Spur Murder Charge

A stretch of Foothill Road in Pleasanton, Calif., near where police say Cody Hall, 18, lost control of his car and struck two cyclists. One cyclist died, and Hall was charged with murder this week.
Google Map

Originally published on Sat August 17, 2013 10:16 am

An 18-year-old California man stands accused of murder after law enforcement officials upgraded charges against him based on his tweets and driving history. Cody Hall was initially charged with manslaughter for allegedly losing control of his car, which struck and killed a woman riding her bike in Pleasanton, Calif.

The San Francisco Chronicle describes the June 9 incident:

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The Two-Way
4:00 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Gmail Users Shouldn't Expect Privacy, Google Says In Filing

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 4:13 pm

People who use Gmail and other free email systems have no reasonable expectation of privacy, according to papers filed in a U.S. district court by lawyers for Google. The filing was made in June, when Google moved to dismiss a case accusing it of breaking federal and state laws by scanning users' emails to help target its advertising campaigns.

In making its case, Google compared sending an email to other types of communications where privacy cannot be expected:

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The Two-Way
11:18 am
Tue August 13, 2013

Canada Revokes License Of Company In Quebec Rail Disaster

The railway company whose train derailed and exploded in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, last month can no longer operate in Canada. An image shows the scene one week after the disaster.
Ian Willms Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 11:54 am

The railway whose crude oil-carrying train derailed and exploded in the center of Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, last month can no longer operate in Canada, the country's Transportation Agency says. The disaster resulted in more than 40 deaths and the destruction of many of the town's central buildings.

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The Two-Way
10:16 am
Tue August 13, 2013

Row Over The Rock: Britain And Spain Feud Over Gibraltar

A dispute over fishing rights at Gibraltar has grown into an international spat between Britain and Spain. Here, cars sit in line at the border crossing between Spain and Gibraltar earlier this month.
Marcos Moreno AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 11:21 am

Tensions over fishing rights and border checks are driving officials in Spain and Britain to consider legal options in their newly escalated dispute over the status of Gibraltar.

In recent weeks, Spain has insisted on performing comprehensive border checks that slow traffic to Gibraltar, a rocky outcropping of land at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula, in a move seen as an answer to Gibraltar's creation of a concrete reef in disputed waters.

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The Two-Way
7:53 am
Tue August 13, 2013

Beware The Pacu, Experts Tell Men Who Skinny-Dip In Scandinavia

This pacu, a fish native to Brazil, was caught in the Øresund Sound, a body of water that separates Sweden and Denmark.
Henrik Carl Natural History Musem of Denmark

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 10:09 am

The appearance of a Brazilian fish has sent a chill through summertime swimmers in Sweden and Denmark. The alarming fish isn't the much-feared piranha but its cousin, the pacu, which has large teeth and a reputation for attacking men's testicles.

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The Two-Way
4:01 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Veteran And Service Dog Told To Leave N.J. Boardwalk

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 5:38 pm

A 19-year Army veteran was given a summons and told to leave the oceanside boardwalk in North Wildwood, N.J., Thursday, after a police officer refused to accept the presence of the veteran's service dog. Jared Goering says it was the first vacation for him and his wife, Sally, in years.

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The Two-Way
2:35 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Smartphone Give-Away Goes Wrong; 20 Reported Hurt

A promotional stunt went awry Friday in Seoul, where LG Electronics promised to give away 100 advance models of its upcoming G2 phone to anyone who caught a balloon holding a coupon for the $850 device. Members of the crowd reportedly used BB guns and other means to get an edge; about 20 people were injured.

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The Two-Way
1:34 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

'Ocean's 16' Powerball Winners Claim Share Of Jackpot

The winners of the Aug. 7 Powerball jackpot pose with a check for their share of the $448 million grand prize.
Sam Fromkin New Jersey Lottery

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 2:19 pm

The 16 women and men who won more than $86 million in last week's Powerball drawing validated their ticket and posed with a gigantic check Monday. The group, which calls itself "Ocean's 16," famously worked at the Ocean County Vehicle Maintenance Department the day after they learned they would become millionaires.

"Lottery officials say each will get about $3.8 million after taxes," the AP reports.

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The Two-Way
10:58 am
Mon August 12, 2013

London Puts Stop To Sidewalk Bins That Track Cellphones

A promotional image from Renew shows one of its recycling/advertising kiosks in London. City officials asked the company to stop recording data about the phones of passing pedestrians.
Renew

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 11:37 am

The city of London has ordered a company to cease tracking the cellphones of pedestrians who pass its recycling bins, which also double as kiosks showing video advertisements. The bins logged data about any Wi-Fi-enabled device that passed within range.

The company, called Renew, recently added the tracking technology to about a dozen of the 100 bins it had installed before London hosted the 2012 Summer Olympics.

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The Two-Way
8:58 am
Mon August 12, 2013

Judge Orders Baby's Name Changed From 'Messiah'

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 9:47 am

A Tennessee judge ordered a baby's name changed from Messiah to Martin last week, after the boy's parents went to court to fight over their son's last name. The boy's mother, Jaleesa Martin, says she was shocked by the decision and that she'll appeal the judge's order to rename her baby Martin DeShawn McCullough.

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The Two-Way
7:23 am
Mon August 12, 2013

Resort Villa Collapses Into Sinkhole Near Disney World

An aerial view of the Summer Bay Resort in Clermont, Fla., shows a villa that collapsed into a sinkhole Sunday night.
WFTV AP

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 9:49 am

Vacationers staying in a luxury villa in central Florida awoke to creaking and crashing sounds Sunday night, as the three-story building they were staying in began to collapse. A large portion of the structure was pulled into a sinkhole at the Summer Bay Resort near Disney World. It seems the process was slow enough that it allowed everyone in the building to get out safely.

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The Two-Way
3:16 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

NCAA Will Stop Selling Player Jerseys, Takes Web Shop Down

A screenshot posted on Twitter by ESPN analyst Jay Bilas shows the results for a search for "manziel" — shirts and jerseys matching Texas A&M star Johnny Manziel. The NCAA says it will stop selling such products.
Jay Bilas Twitter

Stung by fresh accusations that the NCAA makes money off college athletes, the organization promised this week to stop selling jerseys and similar products. The move came days after ESPN analyst Jay Bilas tweeted pics of the NCAA Shop selling jerseys corresponding to current players' numbers.

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The Two-Way
11:00 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Glock Vs. Glock: Gun Tycoon Loses Alimony Battle

The family behind the Glock gun company has been locked in court battles stemming from founder Gaston Glock's 2011 divorce from his wife of 49 years, Helga.
Jay Directo AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 11:56 am

Gaston Glock, 84, has been ordered to pay alimony to his ex-wife, Helga, whom he divorced in 2011. The couple had been married for 49 years. The founder of the Austrian gun company "divorced Helga in order to marry a woman about 50 years his junior," Agence France-Presse reports.

Austria's highest court issued its ruling this week, after two lower courts had sided with Gaston Glock in what has been a lengthy court battle.

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The Two-Way
9:55 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Texans Call For Boycott Of Retailers That Fought Wage Bill

In Texas, back-to-school shoppers are being urged to boycott Macy's and Kroger stores for their efforts to quash a wage fairness bill. In this file photo, a man shops at a Sears store in Fort Worth.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 11:56 am

A group is calling on back-to-school shoppers to boycott Macy's and Kroger stores in Texas this weekend, in retaliation for the national retailers' efforts to quash a bill that would have strengthened the state's wage discrimination law.

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The Two-Way
8:16 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Moving On, And Up: Brian Banks, 27, Plays As NFL Rookie

Atlanta Falcons linebacker Brian Banks made his NFL debut in a preseason game Thursday night, more than 10 years after he was sent to prison for a crime of which he was later exonerated.
John Bazemore AP

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 8:23 am

"You're up next."

Those three words are what any athlete longs to hear. For linebacker Brian Banks, it took more than 10 years for that sentence to be addressed to him by an NFL coach. When he heard it in a preseason game Thursday night, Banks got a taste of the life he once dreamed of — before he became a convicted felon and lost his chance to go to college, and was finally exonerated.

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The Two-Way
3:24 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

MLB Warns Of 'Absurd' Results Of San Jose's Antitrust Suit

In its efforts to get the Oakland A's to relocate to their city, San Jose officials filed an antitrust lawsuit against Major League Baseball this year. The Oakland stadium is seen here in a file photo.
Ezra Shaw Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 4:20 pm

Calling a lawsuit's potential results "absurd" for cities around the United States, Major League Baseball asked a federal judge to dismiss a challenge to its antitrust exemption filed by San Jose, Calif. The city filed the suit to press its case for relocating the Oakland A's there.

NPR's Richard Gonzales filed this report for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
12:27 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

U.S. 'Space Fence' Will Cease To Operate, Site Says

A rendering of objects currently in Low Earth Orbit (not illustrated to scale). According to NASA, "approximately 95 percent of the objects in this illustration are orbital debris, i.e., not functional satellites."
NASA

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 2:54 pm

A U.S. radar system that tracks thousands of objects orbiting Earth — from satellites to harmful debris — has been slated for shutdown, according to the Space News site. The ground-based network known as the "Space Fence" may cease to operate in October.

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The Two-Way
9:12 am
Thu August 8, 2013

World-Record Snakehead Fish Caught In U.S.

Caleb Newton, who lives in Spotsylvania County, Va., holds the 17-pound, 6-ounce northern snakehead fish he caught in June. The International Game Fish Association has approved a world record for his catch of the invasive predator.
Griffin Moores The Free Lance-Star

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 9:59 am

A Virginia man has caught the largest northern snakehead on record with a rod and reel, landing a 17-pound, 6-ounce specimen of the fish often called "Frankenfish" for their monster-like appearance and tenacious survival skills.

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The Two-Way
7:48 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Fannie Mae Books $10.1 Billion In Second-Quarter Profits

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 9:05 am

Driven by a recovery in the U.S. housing market, mortgage finance giant Fannie Mae netted profits of $10.1 billion in the second quarter, its sixth-straight quarter with positive results. The company, which has operated under federal conservatorship since 2008, reported its earnings Thursday.

Fannie Mae cited "a significant increase in home prices in the quarter," which nearly doubled that of last year's second quarter.

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The Two-Way
3:02 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

'Monument To Hell' Is No More: Cleveland Rapist's House Is Torn Down

The house of Ariel Castro, which was found to have served as a prison for three women for years, was reduced to rubble Wednesday.
Brian Bull WCPN

The house of kidnapper and rapist Ariel Castro, the man who was sentenced to life in prison plus 1,000 years last week, has been razed. Michelle Knight, one of the three women for whom the house became a prison for nearly a decade, was on hand for the demolition Wednesday.

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The Two-Way
1:58 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Arizona Firefighter's Widow May Fight City Over Benefits

Juliann Ashcraft, wife of late firefighter Andrew Ashcraft, receives a U.S. flag during a memorial service in July. Ashcraft says the city has refused to pay full benefits for her husband's death, calling him a seasonal employee.
David Kadlubowski AP

The widow of a man who died fighting a wildfire this summer as part of a "hotshots" team based in Prescott, Ariz., says her attempts to be paid her late husband's lifetime benefits have been denied. The city's explanation is that Andrew Ashcraft, 29, was a seasonal employee, Juliann Ashcraft said Wednesday.

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The Two-Way
11:38 am
Wed August 7, 2013

The Road That Gives Electric Vehicles A Charge

An electric city bus in Gumi, South Korea, is part of a program using electromagnetic fields to charge batteries of electric vehicles.
KAIST

A city in South Korea flipped the switch on a road this week that will provide an electric charge to commuter buses on an inner-city route, officials say. The wireless power will be used to run two buses on round-trip routes of 24 kilometers (nearly 15 miles).

The charging road would allow electric vehicles to have much smaller batteries, according to researchers, and to be recharged whether they're parked or on the move.

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The Two-Way
9:24 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Freddie Mac Earns $5 Billion In 3 Months; To Pay U.S. $4.4 Billion

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 9:54 am

Freddie Mac racked up a $5 billion profit in the second quarter, the mortgage backer said in its quarterly report Wednesday. The earnings are the second-highest in the history of Freddie Mac, which has now extended its streak of profitable quarters to seven in a row.

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The Two-Way
8:06 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Gay Couple Asked To Sit In Back Of Bus Gets An Apology

Ron McCoy (left) and Chris Bowers were holding hands after arriving at the Albuquerque, N.M., airport when a shuttle driver told them to move to the back of the bus. The bus company has apologized.
KRQE TV

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 3:23 pm

A gay couple who were asked to sit in the back of a bus in New Mexico because they were holding hands have received an apology from the company that operates the shuttles at the Albuquerque International Sunport, where the incident took place earlier this summer.

The couple, Ron McCoy and Chris Bowers, live in the Portland, Ore., area and had begun a vacation days after the U.S. Supreme Court issued historic rulings that strengthened gay rights. The pair's visit to Albuquerque was timed to coincide with the city's Pride Festival.

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