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
3:47 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

AG Nominee Lynch Says She Differs From Obama On Marijuana

Loretta Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, leaves for a lunch break during a day-long Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on her nomination to be U.S. attorney general.
PETE MAROVICH UPI /Landov

During her first day of confirmation hearings for attorney general, nominee Loretta Lynch gave answers that seemed in line with President Obama. But then she was asked about marijuana, and whether she supports legalizing it.

"Senator, I do not," Lynch told Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., when he asked if she supported making pot legal.

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The Two-Way
1:41 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Supreme Court Tells Oklahoma To Put Off Executions, Citing Drug Dispute

The execution of three inmates has been put on hold, as the Supreme Court intervenes in a case that involves the controversy over the drugs states use to put people to death. The justices cited the sedative midazolam, which has been used in three executions that did not go smoothly.

The Supreme Court's stay is likely to hold until April, when it will hear arguments from three inmates who say that Oklahoma's execution protocol violates the U.S. Constitution.

The court's order did not elaborate on the reasons or debate behind the move:

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The Two-Way
12:37 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Live, From Iceland: It's A Hamburger

An exhibit called "The last McDonald's hamburger in Iceland" now has a webcam devoted to it. The burger was purchased in 2009.
Bus Hostel Reykjavik

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 1:29 pm

They call it "The last McDonald's hamburger in Iceland." Purchased more than five years ago, it has been displayed in the Na­tional Mu­seum of Ice­land. Now a webcam has been devoted to the hamburger (with a side of fries), among the last sold by the American company in the country.

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The Two-Way
2:54 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

In Case You Were Wondering, Marshawn Lynch Is Here For One Reason

Addressing journalists at the Super Bowl media day, Marshawn Lynch had only one message: "I'm just here so I won't get fined."
Christian Petersen Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 3:49 pm

Whatever the question, Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch has the answer. At a (mandatory) media appearance for the upcoming Super Bowl, Lynch stuck to one response Tuesday: "I'm just here so I won't get fined." After he said it nearly 30 times, he added one word: "Time."

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The Two-Way
1:33 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Alabama Chief Justice: Federal Courts Don't Hold Sway On Marriage

Robert Bate of Birmingham holds signs endorsing same-sex marriage outside the Jefferson County Courthouse in Birmingham, Ala., Monday. On Tuesday, the chief justice of the state's Supreme Court said federal courts are overstepping their jurisdiction in deciding cases about the issue.
Tamika Moore AL.com/Landov

Originally published on Tue January 27, 2015 4:10 pm

Days after a federal judge in Alabama ruled in favor of a same-sex couple who want their marriage recognized, the chief justice of the state's Supreme Court has sent a letter telling the governor that federal courts don't have jurisdiction over what constitutes a marriage in Alabama.

Chief Justice Roy Moore said that Friday's ruling by U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. Granade "has raised serious, legitimate concerns about the propriety of federal court jurisdiction over the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment."

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The Two-Way
3:03 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

Jeffrey Sterling, Former CIA Officer, Is Convicted Of Espionage

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 5:28 pm

A former CIA officer who was accused of giving a journalist classified information about U.S. plans to spoil Iran's nuclear program has been convicted of espionage in federal court.

Jeffrey Sterling, 47, was officially fired from the CIA in 2002; he was indicted for espionage in 2011 and now faces the possibility of dozens of years in prison. He'll be sentenced in April.

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The Two-Way
12:20 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

2015 Will Continue Streak Of Shrinking U.S. Budget Deficit

A chart shows the U.S. federal government's spending and revenues, from 1965 projected forward to 2025.
Congressional Budget Office

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 5:22 pm

The federal budget deficit will fall in 2015, the sixth consecutive year of decreases relative to the overall economy, according to new figures by the Congressional Budget Office. The office also says the U.S. economy will expand at a "solid pace" for the next few years.

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The Two-Way
12:55 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

NFL Hires Investigators, Says Patriots Used Underinflated Balls

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 3:53 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
3:54 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 8:03 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
1:56 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 5:36 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
12:39 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Jeff Gordon Says 2015 Will Be His Last Full NASCAR Season

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jeff Gordon, left, says he won't race full-time after the 2015 season. Here, Gordon shakes hands with long-time team owner Rick Hendrick last year.
Jeff Siner MCT /Landov

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 4:02 pm

The NASCAR season that begins next month will bring the last run at a championship for Jeff Gordon, who announced today that he won't race full-time after this year. Now 43, Gordon has been part of competitive racing since he was 5 years old.

But don't call it a retirement. Gordon says he'll stay involved in both NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports, the team he's been affiliated with for more than two decades.

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The Two-Way
11:05 am
Thu January 22, 2015

House Approves Bill That Would Bar Federal Funding For Abortions

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 12:11 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
2:50 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 2:56 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
2:04 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 6:38 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
1:06 pm
Mon January 19, 2015

NFL's Wilfork Lifts Driver Out Of Crashed Car, Hours After AFC Title Game

New England Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork seen here before a practice Wednesday, helped a woman who was trapped in a crashed car Sunday night.
Charles Krupa AP

Massachusetts State Police are crediting New England Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork with helping a driver at an accident Sunday night, after Wilfork helped lift a woman out of a crashed car — "with one hand," police say. The car had turned over on its side, trapping the driver.

The incident occurred at 12:45 a.m., as Wilfork, whose NFL bio lists as being 6 feet 2 inches tall and 325 pounds, was heading home from the Patriots' win in the AFC Championship Game. That's when he saw a car had crashed on Route 1, which runs past his team's stadium in Foxborough.

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The Two-Way
11:41 am
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 6:52 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
10:22 am
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 2:25 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
8:05 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 8:38 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
3:24 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 5:10 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
1:28 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 1:57 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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