Bill Chappell

Bill Chappell is a blogger and producer who currently works on The Two Way, NPR's flagship blog. In the past, he has coordinated digital features for Morning Edition and Fresh Air, and edited the rundown of All Things Considered. He frequently contributes to other NPR blogs, such as All Tech Considered and The Salt.

Chappell's work at NPR has ranged from being the site's first full-time homepage editor to being the lead writer and editor on 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 has trained both digital and radio staff to use digital tools to tell compelling stories, in addition to "evangelizing" — promoting more collaboration between legacy and digital departments.

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 during the Iraq war.

Chappell's work for CNN also included producing Web stories and editing digital video for SI.com, and editing and producing stories for CNN.com's features division.

Before joining CNN, Chappell wrote about movies, restaurants and music for alternative weeklies, in addition to his first job: editing the police blotter.

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
2:41 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Maryland Joins States That Won't Test New Drivers For Parallel Parking

A dying art? Maryland has stopped testing new drivers for parallel parking. Here, a car is seen in Baltimore.
Google Maps

Saying that it tests parallel parking skills in other ways, Maryland's Motor Vehicle Administration is phasing out the portion of its test that has intimidated new drivers for generations.

Maryland is joining the list of states that have stopped making new drivers prove that they can maneuver a car into a parallel parking spot. Virginia, California and Florida are among those that have made the move.

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The Two-Way
11:26 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Go Forth And Pwn For Shizzle, Word List Guardians Tell Scrabble Players

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 1:59 pm

A new batch of 6,500 words are now available to Scrabble players, after publishing house Collins updated its widely used Official Scrabble Words list Thursday. The list includes tech jargon and slang, such as pwn, twerk and shizzle.

Also added: aji (the pepper), coqui (the frog) and the more old-fashioned ixnay and zowee. (See a longer list at the bottom of this post.)

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Domestic Violence Charges Dismissed Against The NFL's Ray Rice

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 12:33 pm

Citing the completion of a pretrial intervention program, a New Jersey judge has dismissed a felony assault charge that was filed against former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice over a now-infamous incident in which Rice struck his then-fiancee in a casino elevator.

Rice hit Palmer during an argument while they were visiting Atlantic City, N.J., in February of 2014. A month later, he was indicted on a charge of third-degree aggravated assault. He then entered into a one-year pretrial program that would allow him to avoid a trial.

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The Two-Way
12:48 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Letterman Fills Final Show With Memories And Gratitude

David Letterman appears during the Wednesday taping of his final Late Show With David Letterman at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York.
Jeffrey R. Staab AP

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 6:04 am

Update, 1:10 a.m. ET:

David Letterman approached his final, hour-plus of late-night TV on Wednesday with the same self-deprecation he displayed in the previous 6,027 episodes, but leavened the snark with heaps of nostalgia and praise.

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The Two-Way
9:47 am
Wed May 20, 2015

Big Banks Pay $5.6 Billion, Plead Guilty To Felonies Over Currency And Rate-Fixing

Clockwise from top left: Barclays, Citicorp, JPMorgan Chase and the Royal Bank of Scotland will pay billions in fines and plead guilty to criminally manipulating global currency market going back to 2007. The bank UBS AG (not pictured) has also agreed to plead guilty.
Lefteris Pitarakis/Nick Ut/Kathy Willens/Matt Dunham AP

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 10:43 am

Citicorp, JPMorgan Chase, Barclays, The Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS AG have agreed to plead guilty to felony charges and pay billions in criminal fines, the Department of Justice says. The offenses range from manipulating the market price of U.S. dollars and euros to rigging interest rates.

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The Two-Way
8:10 am
Wed May 20, 2015

Rare Black Rhino Killed By U.S. Hunter Who Won Controversial Auction

An endangered black rhino is seen in this file photo from the Etosha National Park in norhern Namibia last year. An American hunter has killed one of the animals, under a special permit he bought for $350,000. While the rhinoceros is referred to as black, its colors vary from shades of brown to gray.
Barbara Scheer DPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 2:03 pm

A Texas hunter who paid $350,000 for the right to hunt a rare black rhino in Namibia has killed the animal. The hunt has drawn controversy and spurred debate over the best way to manage endangered wildlife.

Corey Knowlton won an auction last January for a hunting permit that would allow him to kill a black rhino weighing around 3,000 pounds.

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The Two-Way
2:00 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Wanna Go To Fit City? List Ranks America's 50 Fittest Metro Areas

People exercise along the Reflecting Pool on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.; the metro area was ranked as America's fittest city for the second year in a row.
Andrew Harnik The Washington Times/Landov

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 6:44 am

The new American Fitness Index is out, with some good news and bad news. Five metro areas fell five or more slots; nine others rose by five or more places. The rankings tally several criteria, from rates of smoking, diabetes and obesity to access to parks.

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The Two-Way
1:16 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

60 Percent: Record Number Of Americans Support Same-Sex Marriage In Poll

The Supreme Court will rule on same-sex marriage next month; here, Reverend Scott Hopkins, right, of United Methodist Church in Vienna, Va., voices his support of gay marriage as Tracy Grisham, of Amarillo, Texas, voices her disapproval.
John Boal EPA /LANDOV

Hitting a new all-time high, 60 percent of Americans say they believe marriage between same-sex couples should be recognized by law, with the same rights and privileges as traditional marriages, according to the latest Gallup poll.

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The Two-Way
9:31 am
Tue May 19, 2015

Biker Shootout Update: 7 Remain In Hospital; Uninvited Gang Had Come To Meeting

Motorcyles sit in the parking lot of the Twin Peaks restaurant, the scene of a deadly biker gang shootout in Waco, Texas.
Erich Schlegel Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 19, 2015 11:03 am

We're learning more about the circumstances around Sunday's gunfight between rival biker gangs in Waco, Texas, that left nine people dead and sent 18 to the hospital. At least 170 people were arrested after the fracas broke out at a Twin Peaks restaurant.

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Tue May 19, 2015

British Police Arrest 9 Over Audacious Easter Jewelry Heist

Surveillance camera images issued by the Metropolitan Police show thieves entering and leaving the scene of the burglary of the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit company. Police arrested seven suspects Tuesday.
Metropolitan Police PA Photos /Landov

Originally published on Tue May 19, 2015 11:40 am

The crime drew international headlines for its ingenious design and massive take. But now Scotland Yard says its "Flying Squad" has arrested seven men, ages 48 to 76, over the Hatton Garden theft that was reportedly one of the richest heists in Britain's history.

The arrests took place Tuesday, when more than 200 officers raided 12 addresses in north London and Kent, police say. They recovered some of the heist's haul, which has been difficult to estimate (but has been placed at up to $300 million).

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The Two-Way
6:33 am
Tue May 19, 2015

Longtime 'Charlie Hebdo' Cartoonist Announces He's Quitting

French cartoonist Luz, seen here in January, says he will leave the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo this fall.
Ian Langsdon EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Tue May 19, 2015 7:49 am

The cartoonist who drew the image of the Prophet Muhammad that appeared on the comeback issue of Charlie Hebdo is leaving the satirical magazine, citing stress and a lack of inspiration. The cartoonist, Luz, was one of the few artists who survived January's attack on the magazine's office in Paris.

"I will no longer be Charlie Hebdo, but I will always be Charlie," said Luz.

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The Two-Way
12:00 pm
Mon May 18, 2015

Google Wins Copyright And Speech Case Over 'Innocence Of Muslims' Video

A federal court has dissolved an order that forced Google-owned YouTube to take down the controversial "Innocence of Muslims" video. The ruling rejects copyright claims from Cindy Lee Garcia, an actress in the video.
Bret Hartman Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon May 18, 2015 12:58 pm

In a complicated legal battle that touches on questions of free speech, copyright law and personal safety, a federal appeals court has overturned an order that had forced the Google-owned YouTube to remove an anti-Muslim video from its website last year.

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The Two-Way
9:35 am
Mon May 18, 2015

Supreme Court Calls Maryland Income Tax Law 'A Tariff'

Originally published on Mon May 18, 2015 12:40 pm

In a ruling that will trigger the loss of millions of dollars in tax revenue and is likely to affect many other states, the U.S. Supreme Court has struck down Maryland's practice of double-taxing residents' income earned in other states.

The case challenged Maryland's refusal to grant residents who paid income tax on money earned in other states a credit against that amount when they tally up the taxes they owe to their home counties (and some cities). The state allows the credit to be applied only against the state taxes; county income taxes can be as high as 3.2 percent.

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The Two-Way
7:50 am
Mon May 18, 2015

2 BASE Jumpers Die On Wingsuit Flight In Yosemite

Dean Potter, seen here in 2012, died this weekend along with Graham Hunt while they were attempting a wingsuit flight in Yosemite National Park in California.
Hao Tongqian Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Mon May 18, 2015 8:41 am

The world of climbing lost a daring innovator Saturday when Dean Potter, 46, died during a wingsuit flight from Yosemite National Park's Taft Point. Potter was killed along with Graham Hunt, 29, as they attempted to soar above Yosemite Valley and El Capitan.

The pair attempted their wingsuit flight on Saturday around dusk — a time that National Geographic says many athletes choose for BASE jumping, which is illegal in all of America's national parks. They were found Sunday by a search and rescue helicopter.

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The Two-Way
1:53 pm
Fri May 15, 2015

First In Fish: 'Fully Warmblooded' Moonfish Prowls The Deep Seas

NOAA Fisheries biologist Nick Wegner holds an opah caught during a research survey off the California coast. Researchers say the opah is the first fish known to be fully warmblooded, circulating heated blood throughout its body.
NOAA Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 12:12 pm

Over decades of studying the oceans' fishes, some species have been found to have partial warmbloodedness. But scientists say the opah, or moonfish, circulates heated blood — and puts it to a competitive advantage.

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The Two-Way
12:59 pm
Thu May 14, 2015

New England Patriots Clarify: 'Deflator' Refers To Weight Loss

Originally published on Fri May 15, 2015 4:22 am

Days after a stinging report and punishment was announced by the NFL over "deflategate," the New England Patriots have elaborated on their response, publishing its own scientific findings and version of events online.

On Monday, the NFL suspended Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for four games, fined the Patriots $1 million and stripped the team of a first-round draft pick over the findings in the report by attorney Ted Wells' investigative team.

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The Two-Way
7:13 am
Thu May 14, 2015

Harry Shearer, Voice Of Ned Flanders And Mr. Burns, Will Leave 'The Simpsons'

Actor and writer Harry Shearer says he's leaving the cast of The Simpsons, the show he has been a part of since it first aired in 1989.
Dave J Hogan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 14, 2015 12:00 pm

After 26 seasons of giving life to nincompoops, do-gooders, and even God, actor Harry Shearer has announced he'll be leaving The Simpsons. A stalwart of the show, Shearer has voiced central characters such as Ned Flanders, Mr. Burns, Reverend Lovejoy and Principal Seymour Skinner.

In a tweet sent in the wee hours of Thursday, Shearer said he was leaving "because I wanted what we've always had: the freedom to do other work."

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The Two-Way
2:54 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

House Approves USA Freedom Act, Extending And Revising The Patriot Act

Originally published on Mon May 18, 2015 10:49 am

Updated at 5:51 p.m. ET

The U.S. House of Representatives voted Wednesday to approve a measure that would, among other things, end the mass collection of Americans' phone data.

The USA Freedom Act extends many parts of the 2001 USA Patriot Act, which expires June 1. The measure's fate in the Senate is less likely.

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The Two-Way
12:34 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

Senate Reaches Deal To Vote Thursday On 'Fast-Track' Trade Bill

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 2:19 pm

One day after Senate Democrats blocked the "fast-track" trade authority bill that has been championed by both President Obama and Republicans, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says an agreement has been reached to move forward.

The solution calls for separate votes on bills that Democrats had wanted to move as a single package on the floor, according to NPR's Ailsa Chang. Ailsa says the Senate will vote on a customs enforcement bill that includes Sen. Charles Schumer's safeguards aimed at reducing currency manipulation.

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The Two-Way
9:16 am
Wed May 13, 2015

Harriet Tubman Wins Unofficial Contest To Be On $20 Bill

With 118,328 votes, Harriet Tubman edged Eleanor Roosevelt in a campaign to put a female face on the $20 bill.
Womenon20s

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 10:22 am

The Women on 20s campaign, which seeks to put a female face on the $20 bill, has announced a winner: Harriet Tubman, the escaped slave whose ingenuity and courage led other captives to freedom.

Tubman narrowly edged Eleanor Roosevelt, finishing with 118,328 votes to Roosevelt's 111,227, according to Women on 20s. More than 600,000 votes were cast over 10 weeks, including more than 350,000 in the final round that began on April 5.

Early on, Roosevelt had led Tubman by nearly 15,000 votes, but the final round brought a reversal.

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