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
5:42 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Dow Jones Index Closes Above 16,000 For First Time

For the first time in its history, the Dow Jones industrial average closed above 16,000 points Thursday. The index of 30 stocks touched the mark earlier this week, when a trader was photographed at the New York Stock Exchange.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

The Dow Jones industrial average tacked on 109 points Thursday for a gain of less than 1 percent. But the small rise brought a big milestone, as the industrial index closed above 16,000 for the first time in its history. The index had touched the mark earlier this week but fell short by the day's end.

Today, the Dow closed at 16,009.99.

The historic moment for the benchmark index that tracks 30 leading U.S. companies came on a day that began with positive economic news.

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The Two-Way
4:41 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Number Of Homeless Declines Again, But Gains Aren't Universal

A homeless man sleeps under an American flag blanket on a park bench in New York City. New U.S. data reports a drop in the number of homeless people — but not in New York and other states.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

The number of homeless people in the U.S. shrank from 2012 to 2013, according to a large government study that found the number of veterans and others who are homeless declined for the third straight year. But homeless numbers rose in New York and other states, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The study also found that nearly 20 percent of homeless people were in either New York City (11 percent of the U.S. total) or Los Angeles (9 percent).

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The Two-Way
3:44 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

JPMorgan Chase Will Pay $13 Billion In Record Settlement

In a settlement deal, JPMorgan Chase has agreed to pay some $13 billion in fines and other payments related to mortgages and mortgage securities that helped cause the financial crisis that began in 2007.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 5:38 pm

In an agreement settling many U.S. claims over its sale of troubled mortgages, JPMorgan Chase will pay a record $13 billion, in a deal announced by the Justice Department Tuesday. The plan includes a $4 billion payment for consumer relief, along with a payment to investors of more than $6 billion and a large fine.

The latest updates on this story are at the bottom of this post. We've also added a few key points to the main post.

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The Two-Way
1:36 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

King Of Thrones: America's Best Restroom Is In Minneapolis

In the Game of Thrones, this is the winner: the fanciful restroom of the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis.
Varsity Theater

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 4:38 pm

It pays to be unique when you're going for the title of best restroom in the land. Design details are crucial, and so is the choice of materials. It also doesn't hurt if you serve drinks in a commodious chamber. Those are the strengths of the Varsity Theater, a concert hall in Minneapolis that has won America's Best Restroom Contest for 2013.

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The Two-Way
5:52 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Holy Empathy! Batkid Lives Superhero Dream In San Francisco

Miles Scott, dressed as Batkid, talks strategy with Batman before saving a woman from peril in San Francisco on Friday. The Make-A-Wish Foundation turned San Francisco into Gotham City for Miles, creating a daylong event to grant the leukemia survivor's wish to be a superhero.
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 6:50 pm

Friday was a busy day in the crime-fighting world. As a superhero might say, you never know when a dastardly plot will emerge. And sometimes you're outnumbered. But not in Gotham, and not today — because an entire city seemed to stand with Batkid, aka a 5-year-old boy named Miles, whose wish to be a superhero has been granted.

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The Two-Way
12:43 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Michigan Man Charged With Murder In Shooting Death On Porch

Theodore P. Wafer, 54, charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Renisha McBride, appears at his arraignment in Dearborn Heights, Mich., on Friday.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 6:57 pm

  • Sarah Cwiek Reports For 'All Things Considered'

Prosecutors in Michigan are charging a man with second-degree murder for a Nov. 2 incident in which Renisha McBride, 19, was shot in the face after knocking on Theodore Wafer's door at night in Dearborn Heights, a suburb west of Detroit.

McBride's family has said they believe she was seeking help after being in a car wreck hours earlier. We've updated this post with the latest information we have.

Update at 6:40 p.m. ET: Comments And Questions From Detroit

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The Two-Way
11:20 am
Fri November 15, 2013

House Approves 'Keep Your Health Plan' Legislation

The House votes Friday on a bill submitted by GOP Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan, shown with Speaker John Boehner, that seeks to ensure Americans can keep their existing insurance plans even if those policies don't meet standards in the Affordable Care Act.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 7:29 pm

The House has approved a Republican-sponsored bill that would allow insurance companies to continue offering policies that would be canceled because they don't meet the standards of the Affordable Care Act. The Keep Your Health Plan Act, H.R. 3350, was adopted by a vote of 261-157, with 17 members not voting.

We've updated the top of this post with the results of the vote and other news.

Update at 7:30 p.m. ET: States Reportedly Confused By Obamacare Fix

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The Two-Way
5:10 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Denver's Smell-O-Scope Targets Marijuana's Skunky Scent

A man uses the Nasal Ranger to detect smells in the southern U.S., in this photo provided by St. Croix Sensory. In Denver, the device is being used to monitor complaints of strong marijuana smells.
Courtesy of Nasal Ranger

Recreational marijuana is legal in Colorado. But that doesn't mean residents want the air to smell like a pot rally. Denver is getting more calls to enforce an odor ordinance that can impose a buzz-killing fine on violators. To find them, the city relies on a device called the Nasal Ranger.

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The Two-Way
1:50 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Federal Reserve Nominee Yellen Navigates Confirmation Hearing

Janet Yellen, President Obama's nominee to become the next chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, is sworn in Thursday on Capitol Hill for her confirmation hearing.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 5:58 pm

Janet Yellen cleared a key hurdle Thursday, as her confirmation hearing to become the next chair of the Federal Reserve went smoothly. There were only a few snags in roughly two hours of questions and discussions between Yellen and members of the Senate banking committee.

Many of the senators lauded Yellen's extensive experience, as well as her adherence to views they heard her discuss in private meetings on Capitol Hill in recent weeks.

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The Two-Way
10:39 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Judge Sentences 'Whitey' Bulger To Two Life Terms In Prison

James "Whitey" Bulger, in a 2011 U.S. Marshals Service photo, has been sentenced to two life terms in prison for his role in 11 killings.
EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 11:32 am

James "Whitey" Bulger has been sentenced to two terms of life in prison, to run consecutively, plus five years for his role in the murder of 11 people. Bulger, 84, is also being punished for racketeering and other crimes. Before announcing the sentence, U.S. District Judge Denise Casper read aloud the names of Bulger's victims.

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The Two-Way
6:08 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

'Holy Cow' And 'Kangaroo Court': Panel Grills HealthCare.gov Officials

Todd Park, U.S. chief technology officer, answers questions in a House Oversight Committee hearing about problems with the federal HealthCare.gov site. One Democrat on the committee called the hearing "a kangaroo court."
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 6:46 pm

A House oversight hearing examining the troubled start of HealthCare.gov was contentious from the start Wednesday, as Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., sought to cut short the opening remarks of one of the first officials to speak, Frank Baitman, the deputy assistant secretary for Information Technology in the Department of Health and Human Services.

Issa, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, asked Baitman to conclude his statement, noting that the panel's time was short. The interruption came as Baitman discussed the work of his agency to save taxpayers money.

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The Two-Way
4:28 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

More Than 106,000 Chose Health Plans Under Affordable Care Act

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius issued a report Wednesday revealing that 106,185 Americans selected a health plan in the new marketplace from Oct. 1 to Nov. 2.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 6:47 pm

More than 106,000 Americans selected health plans in the first reporting period of open enrollment for the new health insurance marketplace, according to data released Wednesday by the Department of Health and Human Services.

That number is only "about 20 percent of the government's October target," as NPR's Scott Horsley reports for our Newscast unit.

Less than 27,000 people used the federal HealthCare.gov site to select a plan. The overall number includes enrollments made via federal and state marketplaces from Oct. 1 to Nov. 2, the agency says.

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The Two-Way
4:51 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

World Anti-Doping Leader: Armstrong Needs 'Miracle' To Return

The head of the World Anti-Doping Agency calls Lance Armstrong's lifetime ban "done and dusted." Armstrong is seen here riding in an event in Iowa this year.
Matthew Stockman Getty Images

Sports officials from cycling's governing body and the World Anti-Doping Agency will meet this week to discuss an in-depth review of doping among cyclists. But WADA's chief says that one topic that's not likely to be reviewed is Lance Armstrong's lifetime ban, which he calls "done and dusted."

WADA president John Fahey made that comment Tuesday in South Africa, where officials are meeting for the World Conference on Doping in Sport.

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The Two-Way
2:04 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Women Fare Worse In Egypt Than In Any Arab State: Survey

A new survey of gender experts finds that in the Arab world, Egyptian women face the worst treatment. Here, women attend a political march to the presidential palace in Cairo in February.
Khaled Desouki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 5:35 pm

Citing high rates of sexual harassment and female genital mutilation, a new survey finds that women in Egypt face the worst treatment in any Arab country. Other countries with high levels of unrest — Iraq and Syria — are also among the worst for women, along with Saudi Arabia, according to the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

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The Two-Way
12:07 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Mexican Officials Say Former Texas Cop Led Kidnap Ring

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 6:46 pm

A man who served in the U.S. military and as a Texas police officer has been arrested near Monterrey, Mexico, where authorities say he led a kidnapping gang. The 32-year-old suspect is known by two names: Luis Ricardo Gonzalez Garcia and Javier Aguirre Cardenas, according to Mexican law enforcement officials. The 16-member gang is blamed for several violent crimes.

Officials say the suspect was traveling in a car in an upscale neighborhood on the edge of Monterrey last month when he was arrested. He was reportedly carrying a 9 mm handgun.

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