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
2:55 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

NFL Hires Investigators, Says Patriots Used Underinflated Balls

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 5:53 pm

In an update to a story that's become a central topic of the lead-up to the Super Bowl, the NFL says it has found evidence of footballs being underinflated at last Sunday's AFC Championship Game, hosted by the New England Patriots. The Patriots won, 45-7.

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The Two-Way
5:38 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah Dies; Witnessed A New Era

Saudi state TV reported Friday Saudi King Abdullah died at the age of 90.
Brendan Smialowski AP

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 10:03 pm

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has died. The health of Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud had previously been the subject of rumors; word emerged earlier this month that he was indeed ill with a lung infection.

Abdullah was 90 years old. He ruled Saudi Arabia for nearly 10 years, having assumed the throne after his brother King Fahd died in 2005.

The kingdom's new ruler is King Salman, Abdullah's half-brother, according to state TV. Salman is reportedly 79.

The news has just emerged. We'll update this post as we learn new details.

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The Two-Way
3:56 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

'I Have No Idea' Of Footballs' Condition, The Patriots' Brady Says

Tom Brady of the New England Patriots hands the ball off to LeGarrette Blount during the AFC Championship Game. The Patriots are being investigated because of game balls that were improperly inflated.
Elsa Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 7:36 pm

Acknowledging that he would rather be discussing the upcoming Super Bowl, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said he didn't give the game balls a thought during his team's win over the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship Game.

"I didn't alter the ball in any way," Brady told a roomful of reporters at a Thursday news conference. He described the routine he goes through before every game to select footballs that have been conditioned by the Patriots' equipment staff.

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The Two-Way
1:05 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

House Approves Bill That Would Bar Federal Funding For Abortions

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 2:11 pm

A bill that would prohibit using federal money to pay for "any abortion" or for "health benefits coverage that includes coverage of abortion" has been approved by the House.

The bill passed by a vote of 242-179. Titled the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2015, it was introduced by Rep. Christopher Smith, R-N.J., and others, including Speaker John Boehner.

Its stipulations include:

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The Two-Way
4:17 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Justice Dept. Will Reportedly Clear Ferguson Police Officer In Brown Case

Demonstrators remember Michael Brown on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, marching from the apartment complex where Brown was killed to the Ferguson police station. A federal inquiry has found no evidence that officer Darren Wilson violated Brown's civil rights, sources tell NPR.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 4:56 pm

The Justice Department is poised to declare that former police officer Darren Wilson should not face civil rights charges over the death of Michael Brown, law enforcement sources tell NPR. Wilson, who is white, shot and killed Brown, who was black, in August. Brown was not armed.

"Two law enforcement sources tell NPR they see no way forward to file criminal civil rights charges" against Wilson, NPR's Carrie Johnson reports. She adds, "Those charges would require authorities to prove the officer used excessive force and violated Brown's constitutional rights."

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The Two-Way
4:04 pm
Mon January 19, 2015

Paddle Boarder Who Wanted To See Orcas Gets An Up-Close Look

An orca swam directly at — and then under — Rich German's paddle board off the California coast recently.
Rich German YouTube

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 8:38 am

Rich German says he had been dreaming of getting a close look at orcas. That dream came true recently, as a pod of five orcas swam around — and even under — German while he stood on his paddle board off of Laguna Beach, Calif.

The intimate sighting came after years in which German says he has seen graceful sea animals, from dolphins to blue whales.

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The Two-Way
1:37 pm
Mon January 19, 2015

Origin Unknown: Study Says Blast Of Radio Waves Came From Outside Our Galaxy

Australia's giant Parkes radio telescope detected a "fast radio burst," or FRB, last May. Researchers call FRBs, whose origins haven't been explained, "tantalizing mysteries of the radio sky."
CSIRO EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 8:52 am

On a graph, they look like detonations. Scientists call them "fast radio bursts," or FRBs: mysterious and strong pulses of radio waves that seemingly emanate far from the Milky Way.

The bursts are rare; they normally last for only about 1 millisecond. In a first, researchers in Australia say they've observed one in real time.

NPR's Joe Palca reports:

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The Two-Way
12:16 pm
Mon January 19, 2015

Prosecutor Who Accused Argentine President Of Cover-Up Is Found Dead

A woman leaves a rose in front of the AMIA Jewish community center facilities in Buenos Aires Monday, after Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman was found dead. Nisman had been investigating a 1994 bombing at the center.
Martin Di Maggio EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 4:25 pm

One day before he was to testify about an alleged cover-up after a deadly terrorist bombing at a Jewish center in Argentina, a federal prosecutor was found dead of a gunshot wound in his Buenos Aires apartment.

Alberto Nisman's body was found Sunday. Officials say they also found a gun, but no note that might indicate his death was a suicide, according to local daily Clarin. An autopsy is being performed today, the newspaper adds.

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The Two-Way
10:05 am
Mon January 19, 2015

NFL Investigates Reports Of Deflated Balls After Patriots Rout Colts

Questions over out-of-regulation footballs have come up after the New England Patriots won the AFC Championship Game Sunday. Running back LeGarrette Blount ran for 148 yards and three touchdowns in the Patriots' 45-7 win over the Indianapolis Colts.
Elsa Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 10:38 am

Did the New England Patriots tamper with the footballs used in the AFC Championship Game? The NFL is asking that question, after the host Patriots beat the Indianapolis Colts, 45-7, in rainy conditions Sunday.

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The Two-Way
5:24 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

Hero Of Kosher Grocery Siege Will Become A French Citizen

Lassana Bathily, a Muslim born in Mali, will become a citizen of France. Bathily saved Jewish shoppers at the Parisian kosher market where he works from an Islamist gunman by hiding them in a basement walk-in refrigerator.
Francois Guillot AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 7:10 pm

Less than a week after his actions were credited with saving the lives of customers at the grocery store where he works, Lassana Bathily has learned that France wants to give him citizenship.

Citing Bathily's "act of bravery," Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve says France will expedite a citizenship application that Bathily filed last July. The minister will also head Bathily's naturalization ceremony next Tuesday.

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The Two-Way
3:28 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

Obama Shifts Federal Sick-Leave Rules, Urges Congress To Follow

President Obama discussed the need for paid sick leave with women at Charmington's Cafe in Baltimore Thursday. With him are Vika Jordan (from left), Amanda Rothschild and Mary Stein.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 3:57 pm

Federal workers with a pressing need can take an advance of up to six weeks of sick leave under a new policy unveiled by President Obama on Thursday. The White House is urging Congress to make paid sick leave mandatory in the U.S.

The president signed a memorandum today instructing federal agencies to advance up to six weeks of paid sick leave to workers who need the time to care for a new child, a family member or for similar uses.

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The Two-Way
5:05 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Ohio Man Is Arrested For Allegedly Plotting Attack On U.S. Capitol

The FBI arrested Christopher Lee Cornell of Cincinnati, charging him with buying weapons to carry out a terrorist attack on Washington, D.C. Cornell, 20, was monitored by federal agents who say he used Twitter to express support for the extremist group Islamic State as well as "violent jihad."

The arrest warrant for Cornell, who authorities say was known online as Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah, says that he "purchased and possessed firearms in furtherance of a plan to shoot and kill United States Government officers and employees."

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The Two-Way
4:27 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

French Ambassador To U.S. Outlines 'Predicament' Of Immigration

French Ambassador to the U.S. Gerard Araud addresses a solidarity gathering at the Adas Israel Congregation in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. Araud said last week's attack was "in a sense maybe worse than what we were expecting, because it was done in a very professional way."
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 5:33 pm

As it mourns the tragedy of last week's attack in Paris, France's government is also concerned about more attacks and how to adapt to prevent them. The concerns range from coping with 5,000 radical youth to becoming a society of immigration, France's ambassador to the United States, Gerard Araud, says.

While France's leaders had feared a terrorist attack within its borders, Araud says that "what happened was in a sense maybe worse than what we were expecting, because it was done in a very professional way."

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The Two-Way
3:45 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

How Urbane: Dog Rides Seattle Bus To Get To The Park

A black Labrador named Eclipse rides between two fellow passengers on her way to a dog park in Seattle. Her owner says he catches up with Eclipse at the park if she goes on without him.
Jensen, Eric AP

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 6:01 pm

"Did that just happen?"

That's the reaction one bus rider had in Seattle, after realizing a dog had just joined him for a ride through the city, traveling several stops to her destination: a dog park.

The story comes to us from Seattle's KOMO 4 TV, which reports that Eclipse, the black Labrador who is winning fans for riding a city bus by herself, lives very close to a bus stop.

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The Two-Way
4:21 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Ohio State Stops Oregon To Win NCAA Title

Ohio State's Cardale Jones (12) runs for a touchdown Monday night during the NCAA college football playoff championship game in Arlington, Texas.
Tony Gutierrez AP

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 9:03 am

A game between two of the most high-powered offenses in college football, came down, time and again, to which team could grind out one or two yards.

Ohio State converted all through fourth down attempts and eight of 14 third down tries, while the Buckeyes defense stopped one University of Oregon drive just inches from the goal line. College football's first playoffs is sending a trophy home to Columbus following the Buckeyes' 42-20 win.

It's the Buckeyes' eighth national title, and their first since the 2002 season.

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The Two-Way
1:24 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Albuquerque Police Officers Face Murder Charges Over 2014 Shooting

An image taken from a camera worn by an Albuquerque Police Department officer shows a standoff with James Boyd in the Albuquerque foothills, in March of 2014. Two officers will face murder charges over Boyd's death.
AP

Originally published on Mon January 12, 2015 2:58 pm

Months after a deadly encounter that touched off contentious protests, two police officers who were captured on video shooting and killing a man in the foothills of Albuquerque, N.M., will face murder charges. James Boyd, 38, was killed after illegally camping in the city.

Bernalillo County District Attorney Kari Brandenburg announced Monday that "a single count of open murder" has been filed against each of two officers: Keith Sandy and Dominique Perez of the Albuquerque Police Department. Sandy retired late in 2014 at the rank of detective.

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The Two-Way
3:22 pm
Thu January 8, 2015

Boston 2024? City Is Chosen To Bid For Summer Olympics

The U.S. Olympic Committee has chosen Boston to bid on hosting the 2024 Summer Olympics. Committee Chairman Larry Probst is seen speaking last February.
Joe Scarnici Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 8, 2015 5:55 pm

Boston won a tight contest to become the next American city to bid for hosting an Olympics, beating out Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., for the right to vie for the 2024 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.

"This selection is in recognition of our city's talent, diversity and global leadership," Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said. "Our goal is to host Olympic and Paralympic Games that are innovative, walkable and hospitable to all. Boston hopes to welcome the world's greatest athletes to one of the world's great cities."

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The Two-Way
3:50 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

Sorry, No Space Heaters: Hawaii Copes With Record Cold

Originally published on Wed January 7, 2015 5:58 pm

Blankets, layers of heavy clothes and thermal socks are some of the ways Hawaii residents are trying to stay warm in a cold snap that has brought record lows. As temperatures hit the 50s, some stores sold out of space heaters.

The cold has been brought on by winds from the north and dry air. And we're not talking about snow and ice on the peaks of Hawaii's volcanic mountains. The cooler air is hitting people where they live, accompanied by strong winds.

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The Two-Way
2:16 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

Former Korean Air Executive Faces Prison Over 'Nut Rage'

Cho Hyun-ah, center, a former vice president of Korean Air, faces charges of impeding the inquiry into a possible breach of aviation safety laws. She was arrested last Tuesday.
Ahn Young-joon AP

A week after she was arrested over a tantrum on a tarmac in New York, former Korean Air executive Cho Hyun-ah faces charges of breaking aviation safety laws and then interfering with the inquiry into the incident.

Cho was indicted on those charges today, placing her under the threat of possibly spending years in prison. She was arrested on Dec. 30 along with two others — an airline executive and an official at the Transport Ministry — who are accused of working to undermine the investigation.

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The Two-Way
1:52 pm
Tue January 6, 2015

In Reversal, Belgium Denies Inmate's Request To Die

Frank Van Den Bleeken, seen here at a court hearing last fall, will be sent to a psychiatric center instead of being allowed to die from euthanasia. He had been scheduled to die on Sunday.
VIRGINIE LEFOUR AFP/Getty Images

Days before he was scheduled to die, inmate Frank Van Den Bleeken has been told he won't be allowed to die from an assisted suicide, despite his request. Last fall, a court approved a deal that would have allowed him to end his life.

The planned euthanasia was called off this week, after the doctor who was to oversee the procedure backed out. Belgian justice officials said Tuesday that they will work out a better solution for Van Den Bleeken.

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The Two-Way
3:13 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

Crude Oil Dips Under $50 A Barrel, A Price Last Seen In 2009

U.S. gasoline prices have fallen sharply since last summer, driven by surging oil production and other factors. The price for a barrel of U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude fell below $50 Monday.
David N. Goodman AP

Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 5:45 pm

The price for a barrel of U.S. oil benchmark West Texas Intermediate fell below $50 Monday, matching levels seen in the spring of 2009. The drop is linked to both OPEC's boosted production and a stronger dollar.

Oil's latest fall came along with a dip on Wall Street, as the Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 330 points to finish at 17,501 — a drop of 1.86 percent that's also seen as a reaction to new instability in Europe.

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The Two-Way
3:13 pm
Wed December 24, 2014

Japanese Artist Indicted For 'Vagina Kayak'

Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi, seen here in July, has been indicted on obscenity charges stemming from her genital-inspired artworks.
KAZUHIRO NOGI AFP/Getty Images

Provocative Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi, who has been arrested twice this year on charges related to her design for a kayak that incorporates a 3-D model of her genitals, has been indicted on charges that she distributed "obscene" data.

The case has attracted wide attention, both for its unique circumstances and for its depiction of how Japan's pornography laws interact with cutting-edge technology and images of the female body.

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The Two-Way
11:08 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Son's Death 'Doesn't Make Any Sense,' Say Parents Of Berkeley Teen

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 1:16 pm

The parents of Antonio Martin say their son was killed by police in Berkeley, Mo., last night. And while he had had problems, it "doesn't make any sense for them to kill my son like this," Toni Martin-Green tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She added, "I am trying to remain calm."

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The Two-Way
8:54 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Teacher Wins $150,000 Prize — And Donates It All To Her School

Third-grade teacher Nikki Bollerman, 26, won a contest that gave her students books for the holidays. When she also won $150,000, she decided it should go to her school.
YouTube

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 2:43 pm

One thing's for sure: Nikki Bollerman believes in her school and the kids who go there. How else to explain Bollerman, 26, giving a $150,000 windfall to the Boston area public charter school where she teaches third grade?

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The Two-Way
7:05 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Former President George H.W. Bush To Remain In Hospital

Originally published on Thu December 25, 2014 2:30 am

In what his staff is calling a precautionary measure, former President George H.W. Bush was taken to a hospital in Houston by ambulance Tuesday night after experiencing shortness of breath.

Bush, 90, is being kept at Houston Methodist Hospital for observation, his staff says.

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The Two-Way
6:40 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Police Kill Young Man In Missouri; 'It's Not What People Portray,' Mayor Says

Surveillance video shows a scene leading up to a police officer shooting and killing an armed man at a gas station in Berkeley, Mo. The St. Louis County Police Department is investigating the case, in which an 18-year-old man died.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 11:36 am

Updated at 12 p.m. ET

Protests over a police killing have returned to the St. Louis area, after a Berkeley, Mo., police officer shot and killed an 18-year-old black man Tuesday night. The authorities say he was armed; the shooting took place shortly after 11 p.m. outside a gas station in the St. Louis suburb that's just 2 miles west of Ferguson.

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The Two-Way
4:19 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Number Of Cars Earning Top Safety Awards Nearly Doubles

The 2015 Subaru Outback was one of the carmaker's seven models that won the highest safety ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Eric Thayer Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 7:32 am

If you're looking for a new car or SUV, it should be easier to find a safe one from the current models: The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says the number of vehicles winning its two safety awards jumped from 39 to 71 for the 2015 model year.

The rise came despite tougher standards for current models to earn the IIHS's best ratings.

The winners range from the Chevrolet Spark and Volvo S60 to the Honda Odyssey. You can see a full list, broken down by market segment, at the IIHS website.

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The Two-Way
2:30 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Woman Who Challenged Facebook's Age Limit Dies At 114

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 5:03 pm

Anna Stoehr became an Internet celebrity at age 113, when she owned up to fibbing on her Facebook account so she could join the social network. It was an unpredictable turn of events for Stoehr, who was born before the Wright brothers took their historic first flight. She died Sunday at age 114.

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The Two-Way
10:41 am
Tue December 23, 2014

New York's Rep. Michael Grimm Pleads Guilty To Tax Charge

Rep. Michael Grimm, seen here after voting in the Staten Island borough of New York City, was indicted on 20 criminal counts earlier this year.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 1:49 pm

Rep. Michael Grimm, the New York Republican who won re-election despite being indicted on 20 criminal counts related to a restaurant he owns, pleaded guilty to one charge of felony tax evasion Tuesday. He'll be sentenced in June; calls for him to leave Congress began Tuesday morning.

Grimm, a former FBI agent who represents Staten Island and south Brooklyn, had previously pleaded not guilty to charges that included mail fraud and perjury.

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The Two-Way
8:53 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Algerian Army Kills Leader Of Group That Beheaded Frenchman

A picture of French tourist and mountain guide Herve Gourdel, 55, who was killed after being kidnapped on Sept. 21 while hiking in Algeria's Djurdjura National Park. The leader of the group that killed Gourdel has been killed in a military attack.
Farouk Batiche AFP/Getty Images

A man who led a group that beheaded a French journalist has been killed in an attack by Algeria's military. Abdelmalek Gouri had been a wanted criminal in Algeria for nearly 20 years. His Islamic State splinter group claimed responsibility for killing hiker Herve Gourdel in September.

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