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
7:40 am
Tue September 10, 2013

World's Largest Ferris Wheel Takes Shape In Las Vegas

The 55-story High Roller, which will be the world's largest Ferris wheel, is scheduled to open in early 2014.
Isaac Brekken AP

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 3:41 pm

Las Vegas is adding an eye-catching tourist attraction, in the form of a huge wheel that can take more than 1,000 people on a ride 550 feet into the sky over the city's famed Strip. The main construction of the wheel, called the High Roller, is nearly finished; it is expected to open in early 2014.

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The Two-Way
11:53 am
Mon September 9, 2013

Craft Beer's Success Makes Sam Adams Founder A Billionaire

Founder and Chairman of the Boston Beer Co. Jim Koch has seen shares of his company rise from $20 in 2009 to a record $227 Monday.
Isaac Brekken Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 1:38 pm

These are good times for craft beers — and not just for people who like to drink them, but for those who make them. As an example, look to the brewer of Sam Adams. Boston Beer Co.'s soaring stock price has made its founder, Jim Koch, into a billionaire, Bloomberg News reports.

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The Two-Way
9:53 am
Mon September 9, 2013

Luxury Retailer Neiman Marcus Sells For $6 Billion

The Chicago skyline is reflected in the exterior of Neiman Marcus on Michigan Avenue in Chicago in a file photo from 2009. The luxury retailer sold for six billion dollars on Monday.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 1:32 pm

Two large investors — Ares Management LLC and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board — have reached a deal to purchase Neiman Marcus for $6 billion, the companies said Monday. The two buyers will hold equal shares of Neiman, which is based in Dallas.

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The Two-Way
9:26 am
Mon September 9, 2013

Found At Sea: 30 Tons Of Hashish, On Fire

An aerial image shows the Gold Star cargo ship ablaze. Officials say the ship's crew set fire to 30 tons of hashish after authorities approached the vessel for inspection.
Guardia di Finanza

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 10:21 am

A fire aboard a cargo ship in the Mediterranean Sea was set in order to get rid of 30 tons of hashish, according to officials in Italy and Malta. Authorities had approached the Gold Star, a Tanzania-registered ship, for an inspection Friday afternoon. But members of the crew reportedly set fire to their cargo, which Italian authorities identified as hashish resin.

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The Two-Way
7:44 am
Mon September 9, 2013

How Does A 107-Year-Old Die In A Police Shootout? Details Emerge

This house in Pine Bluff, Ark., was the scene of a shootout Saturday evening, as Monroe Isadore, 107, held off police for hours before being killed. He had been approached about moving out, a roommate says.
Danny Johnston AP

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 1:20 pm

Monroe Isadore, the 107-year-old man who died in a shootout with a SWAT team Saturday in Arkansas, had been asked to move out of the house he was living in and into an apartment. That detail comes from Isadore's roommate, who says the centenarian was very angry.

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The Two-Way
1:38 pm
Sun September 8, 2013

Police Challenge Prince Andrew During Walk At Palace

Prince Andrew, Duke of York, seen here at Ascot Racecourse in June, was confronted by police in a garden at Buckingham Palace, who ordered him to identify himself.
Chris Jackson Getty Images

For Prince Andrew, a stroll in the garden of Buckingham Palace turned into a confrontation with police, after officers ordered the prince to show ID. Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, is the son of Queen Elizabeth II; Buckingham is her most famous residence.

"We are grateful to the duke for his understanding and have apologized for any inconvenience caused," Scotland Yard says.

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The Two-Way
11:28 am
Sun September 8, 2013

Michigan Beats Notre Dame, Plays 'Chicken Dance' Song

The Michigan Wolverines defeated the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Saturday night, 41-30 — and then celebrated by playing some polka. Here, the Irish's Chris Brown is tackled by Michigan's Delonte Hollowell after making a catch.
Gregory Shamus Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 1:51 pm

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The Two-Way
10:16 am
Sun September 8, 2013

Wrestling Gets A New Hold On Olympics, Avoids Being Cut

The delegation of the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles celebrates as its sport is voted to be included in the 2020 and 2024 Summer Olympic Games.
Scott Halleran Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 11:16 am

Wrestling, which was bounced from the Olympics' permanent roster of sports earlier this year, has been given a reprieve: It will be part of the 2020 and 2024 Olympics. In a vote held Sunday, the International Olympic Committee chose it over squash and a combined bid from baseball and softball.

Wrestling was cut from the list of 25 core Summer Olympic sports in February. As NPR's Mike Pesca reported, the cut came as a shock.

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The Two-Way
9:13 am
Sun September 8, 2013

Syria Developments: Debate In Washington; Assad Speaks To Rose

The Greek Orthodox monastery of Mar Takla in the Syrian Christian town of Maaloula is seen on Sept. 7. The town is now controlled by a rebel group with al-Qaida ties.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 3:05 pm

We're following several stories regarding Syria Sunday, including new comments from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. There are also reports that an Islamist group with ties to al-Qaida has seized a town with a large Christian population. Elsewhere, officials in the U.S. and its allies are debating how to respond to the conflict that began in 2011, as President Obama's administration tries to shore up support for military action.

We'll update this post with news as it emerges today.

Update at 5 p.m. ET: Sampling Of Political Debate

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The Two-Way
7:14 am
Sun September 8, 2013

France Leads Europe In Hunting, Newspaper Says

Hunters gather prior to a wild boar hunt in Pietrosella, on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica, in August.
Pascal Pochard Casabianca AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 8:46 am

French sports fans are known for their love of soccer. But according to Le Figaro, the country's "second sport" is hunting. The newspaper cites the National Federation of Hunters, which says that among all European countries, France has the most hunters.

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The Two-Way
6:23 am
Sun September 8, 2013

Man, 107, Dies In Shootout With Police

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 8:43 am

A 107-year-old Arkansas man who held off police is dead after a SWAT team stormed a house during a reported exchange of gunfire on Saturday afternoon.

Police officers had arrived at the house in Pine Bluff, Ark., to investigate a report of a domestic disturbance. They spoke with two people, who said Monroe Isadore had pointed a gun at them. Isadore was in his bedroom, they said.

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The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

Tokyo Will Host The 2020 Summer Olympics, Beating Out Istanbul

Tokyo will host the 2020 Summer Games, IOC officials said Saturday. In Tokyo, five-time Paralympian Wakako Tsuchida, left, and former Olympic athletes Hiromi Miyake, center, and Yoshiyuki Miyake cheer the news.
Atsushi Tomura Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 3:51 pm

It will be Tokyo, not Istanbul or Madrid, who hosts the 2020 Summer Olympics, the International Olympic Committee and its president, Jacques Rogge, announced in Buenos Aires Saturday. Rival city Madrid was eliminated in the first round of voting. We have updated this post with the latest news.

Update at 4:55 p.m. ET: Voting Tally Detailed

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The Two-Way
12:49 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

Pope Francis Leads Vigil Calling For Peace In Syrian Crisis

People in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican hold Syrian flags and signs against a possible military strike, after gathering for a vigil in the name of peace convened by Pope Francis Saturday.
Riccardo De Luca AP

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 3:44 pm

Pope Francis is leading a mass prayer vigil in St. Peter's Square Saturday night, building on his calls to avoid violence in the escalating conflict over Syria. Tens of thousands of people have come to the Vatican on what the pontiff has declared a day of fasting and prayer in the name of peace.

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The Two-Way
11:36 am
Sat September 7, 2013

Chobani Issues All-Clear After Yogurt Recall

The Chobani Greek yogurt company says the mold that caused some of its products to bloat or swell is not normally harmful to people. On Thursday, Chobani said, "To be extra cautious, we have moved from a voluntary withdrawal to a voluntary recall."
PR NEWSWIRE

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 12:18 pm

After concerns over its product led the Chobani Greek yogurt company to issue a voluntary recall of some packages earlier this week, the New York-based foodmaker now says the mold that was identified as the culprit is not dangerous.

"Through extensive testing and expert consultation, we now know that the mold found in the products we voluntarily recalled this week is a species called Mucor circinelloides," the company says. "Mucor circinelloides is not considered a foodborne pathogen."

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The Two-Way
9:52 am
Sat September 7, 2013

Rim Fire Is Third-Largest Wildfire In California's History

A charred tree rests on the forest floor after being sawn down to a stump Friday. Firefighters are still working to contain the Rim Fire, which is now the third-largest wildfire in California's history.
Mike McMillan U.S. Forest Service

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 11:00 am

The Rim wildfire that began three weeks ago today is now 80 percent contained, officials say, but it has burned more than a quarter of a million acres, and it may continue to grow, thanks to low humidity and other conditions.

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The Two-Way
8:17 am
Sat September 7, 2013

NASA Lunar Orbiter Solves Snag After Successful Launch

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden speaks before Friday night's launch of the LADEE moon orbiter. The craft has run into a small technical issue, NASA says, which it will fix before it arrives at the moon next month.
Carla Cioffi NASA

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 11:59 am

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The Two-Way
7:26 am
Sat September 7, 2013

EU Nations Join To Blame Syria, But Not To Support An Attack

Secretary of State John Kerry urged European Union officials, including foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, left, to support military action in Syria to punish the country for a chemical attack on its citizens.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 11:19 am

America's most powerful European allies agree that Syria should be held responsible for what the U.S. calls a chemical weapons attack on Syrian citizens on Aug. 21. Despite Secretary of State John Kerry's request to support military strikes, members of the European Union believe diplomacy should be the priority.

NPR's Teri Schultz reports for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
6:11 am
Sat September 7, 2013

In Australian Vote, Prime Minister Concedes To Abbott

Women hold a banner celebrating Australia's next prime minister, conservative Tony Abbott, in Sydney. Abbott swept away Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, as voters punished Labor for years of internal party warfare.
Saeed Khan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 11:22 am

In Australia's just-concluded national vote, conservative Tony Abbott has won enough support to become the country's next prime minister and end six years of Labor rule. That's the analysis from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, which reports that voters' main issues were the economy and repeal of carbon and mining taxes.

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The Two-Way
4:10 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

5 Years After Being Covered With Water, Chinese Village Emerges

A July photo shows houses that have emerged from Tangjiashan Barrier Lake in Xuanping Township, in southwest China's Sichuan Province.
Liu Huawei Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 4:11 pm

It's been a long time since the people who lived in rural Xuanping saw their little town, which was flooded by a powerful earthquake in 2008. But thanks to a steep drop in water levels, parts of their village in China's Sichuan Province are visible again, from homes and businesses to its school.

The village's ghostly return began in July, when water levels fell from 712 meters to 703 meters above sea level — a difference of nearly 30 feet, as news site China Daily Asia reported.

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The Two-Way
1:14 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

Mexico Summons U.S. Ambassador, Seeking Answers To Spying Claims

New reports allege that the NSA spied on Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, seen here walking with President Barack Obama in June, when he was a candidate for office. Mexico and Brazil have demanded a response to charges of U.S. spying on their internal affairs.
Ben Stansall AFP/Getty Images

Allegations that U.S. agents spied on Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto when he was a candidate during last year's campaign have led Mexico to summon U.S. Ambassador Anthony Wayne and demanded "a thorough investigation."

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The Two-Way
11:49 am
Tue September 3, 2013

Two Alligators Topping 720 Pounds Each Caught In Mississippi

Beth Trammell of Madison, Miss., poses with the 723.5-pound alligator she and five others caught over the weekend.
Ricky Flynt Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks Department

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 4:24 pm

Two alligators, each weighing more than 720 pounds, were caught in Mississippi this past weekend, setting a new state record for heaviest male alligator. Both animals measured more than 13 feet in length; it took hours to get the trophies into the hunters' boats.

The huge reptiles were brought down on the same day, setting a state record that stood for less than two hours before it was broken again.

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The Two-Way
10:02 am
Tue September 3, 2013

U.S. 'Space Fence' Radar System Goes Silent, After 50 Years

A computer image generated by NASA shows objects orbiting Earth, including those in geosynchronous orbit at a high altitude. The objects are not to scale.
NASA

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 10:51 am

The Space Fence is down. That's the message we get from the SatWatch site, following up on our report last month that the U.S. Air Force was poised to shut down the radar system that tracks thousands of objects orbiting Earth. It had been in operation since 1961.

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The Two-Way
3:25 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Apple Stores Launch Trade-In Program For Used iPhones

People hoping to upgrade their old iPhone for a newer model now have the option of trading in their phone to get credit toward a new device at an Apple store. The technology company announced the new option Friday, ahead of the expected Sept. 10 release of updates to its iPhone line.

The new trade-in program, which Apple says is available at its 252 U.S. retail stores, has several requirements:

  • The phone must be able to be powered up.
  • The phone cannot be water-damaged.
  • Any generation iPhone is eligible.
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The Two-Way
10:54 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Bag It, Trader Joe's Tells 'Pirate' Grocer In Canada

"I bought the stuff at full retail. I own it," says Michael Hallatt, owner of the _irate Joe's grocery in Vancouver. His store faces a lawsuit from Trader Joe's for infringing on its trademark and possibly confusing customers.
_irate Joe's

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 1:24 pm

For the past year and a half, Mike Hallatt has been driving across the U.S.-Canada border and back, bringing loads of groceries back to Vancouver. There's no food shortage in Canada — but there's an absolute lack of Trader Joe's grocery stores, and that created an opening for an entrepreneur who doesn't mind making a long drive.

Originally called Pirate Joe's, Hallatt's store serves a niche market: Canadians who wish Trader Joe's was in their country and who will pay a bit extra for triple ginger snaps and fanciful trail mixes.

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The Two-Way
9:14 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Don't Call It A Mind-Meld: Human Brains Connect Via Internet

Acting as a "sender," brain researcher Rajesh Rao watches a video game and waits for the time to hit the "fire" button. But he'll only think about doing that — the impulse was carried out by someone in another building, in a recent test of brain-to-brain communication.
University of Washington

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 9:42 am

In what they call "direct brain-to-brain communication in humans," researchers in Washington state say they've successfully passed signals from one mind to another via the Internet, without using surgical implants. In their test, two people collaborated on a task while sitting in different buildings, using only their minds.

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The Two-Way
1:53 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Federal Court Backs Calif. Ban On Conversion Therapy For Minors

A federal appeals court has reversed an injunction that kept California's law banning conversion therapy from taking effect. This composite image shows sate Sen. Ted Lieu, left, who introduced the original bill, and David Pickup, a marriage and family therapist who is a plaintiff in the suit against it.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

California's pioneering law that prohibits treating young gay people with psychotherapy in an attempt to change their sexual orientation has cleared a constitutional challenge in federal appeals court. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled that the ban does not violate essential rights.

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The Two-Way
10:34 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Spain's Tomato Festival Shrinks, As Town Pares Crowd Size

Ammunition in the form of tomatoes are thrown to a crowd gathered for the annual Tomatina Festival in Bunol, Spain, near Valencia, Wednesday.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

The Tomatina Festival, the famous free-for-all in which partiers pelt one another with ripe tomatoes, was held in Bunol, Spain, Wednesday. The big party that has become an international sensation in recent years was smaller than usual in 2013 — for the first time, the town sold a limited number of tickets for 10 euros (about $13.25) to indulge in the huge food fight.

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The Two-Way
8:39 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Venus Williams Bounced From U.S. Open In Second Round

Venus Williams waves to tennis fans as she leaves the court after a three-hour loss to Zheng Jie of China in the U.S. Open's second round.
Don Emmert AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 10:56 am

For Venus Williams, a three-hour tennis match came down to a third-set tiebreaker against Zheng Jie of China at the U.S. Open Wednesday night. But the world's former No. 1 player couldn't get past 44 unforced errors, and Zheng outlasted her in a rain-delayed match. Williams lost 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (5).

In the match's final two points, Williams misfired on successive shots after coming back to even the tiebreaker at 5-5, sending Zheng into the third round. Williams is currently ranked 60th in the world.

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The Two-Way
7:19 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Israeli Soldiers Go 'Gangnam Style' With Palestinians; Incur Wrath

An image taken from an amateur video shows an Israeli soldier dancing atop a Palestinian man's shoulders to the song "Gangnam Style." The soldier and his colleagues have been suspended.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 7:34 am

A group of Israeli soldiers who diverted their patrol into a dancehall earlier this week are facing their bosses' displeasure, after video captured the men — armed, wearing helmets and other gear — dancing with dozens of Palestinians in a club in Hebron. They were drawn into the building by hearing "Gangnam Style," the iconic dance hit song by South Korean rapper Psy.

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The Two-Way
3:17 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

China Weighs Ban On Homework; Teachers, Students Argue Against

In the hopes of easing pressures on China's students, the country' education officials are considering a ban on written homework. Here, students walk to school in Beijing in June.
Ed Jones AFP/Getty Images

Chinese officials hope to rein in teachers who assign too much homework, as the country's Ministry of Education considers new rules that ban schools from requiring students to complete written tasks at home. Citing undue stress on students, the ministry would also limit the number of exams students take.

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