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
9:32 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Winter Storm Winds Down, But Blizzard Conditions Persist

Francisco Fernandez de Alba skis along a recently plowed road during a snowstorm in Providence, R.I., Tuesday. Parts of the state were buried under nearly two feet of snow by early Tuesday afternoon, and more was on the way.
Michelle R. Smith AP

Coastal flooding and dangerous conditions were still affecting New England Tuesday evening, with blizzard warnings declared from Rhode Island to parts of New Hampshire and Maine. Since Sunday, parts of Connecticut, Massachusetts and other states have had more than two feet of snow.

Strong winds were a main concern along the coast, as they drove flood waters inland and caused other problems. The National Weather Service says winds gusted at over 70 mph in Nantucket and Chatham, Mass.

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The Two-Way
8:19 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Former Vanderbilt Football Players Found Guilty In Rape Case

The defense gatherers after the jury was read the charges against Brandon Vandenburg, center, and Cory Batey, right, in Nashville Tuesday. The pair were found guilty of aggravated rape and aggravated sexual battery.
John Partipilo AP

A jury has found two former members of the Vanderbilt University football team guilty of multiple counts of aggravated rape and aggravated sexual battery, in a case that stems from a 2013 assault in a dorm room. Others also face charges in the case.

Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey will face sentencing on March 6. Convicted of multiple felonies, the two could be sentenced to decades in prison.

From Nashville, Blake Farmer of member station WPLN reports:

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The Two-Way
6:56 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Obama Administration Won't Seek To End 529 College Tax Break

Originally published on Tue January 27, 2015 9:12 pm

Reversing what had been an unpopular approach, the White House says it is dropping the idea of ending a tax break for 529 college savings plans. Critics had called the proposal a tax hike. All 50 states and the District of Columbia sponsor 529 plans.

Money in 529 accounts is meant to grow along with future college students, and then be distributed to pay for education expenses without being taxed.

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The Two-Way
5:54 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 Tue January 27, 2015 7:52 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
4:33 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 7:10 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
9:24 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

New England Expected To Bear The Brunt Of Nor'easter

Snow falls around the Empire State Building in midtown Manhattan.
Patrick Sison AP

Originally published on Tue January 27, 2015 6:51 am

Updated: 3:25 a.m. ET Tuesday:

Along the East Coast, people are waiting to see what Mother Nature unleashes. Forecasters had predicted the storm could bring 1 to 3 feet of snow and hurricane-force winds. But early Tuesday morning, the National Weather Service downgraded some of the numbers. It says New England will get slammed the hardest but not as badly as had been expected.

Original Post:

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The Two-Way
8:07 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

Argentina's President Dissolves Intelligence Agency, Citing Prosecutor's Death

Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez unveiled her plan to replace her country's intelligence service with a new agency. She delivered a televised speech while seated in a wheelchair in Buenos Aires.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 10:33 pm

One week after an Argentine prosecutor was found dead on the eve of his testimony about an alleged government cover-up of a terrorist attack, President Cristina Fernandez has announced the dissolution of her government's intelligence agency.

Fernandez said she plans to shut down the SI, the Secretariat of Intelligence, in favor of a newly created agency, the Federal Intelligence Agency. She said it's time to reform the intelligence service because the existing one "has not served the national interests."

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The Two-Way
5:13 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

Jeffrey Sterling, Former CIA Officer, Is Convicted Of Espionage

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 8:28 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
3:20 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 8:22 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
9:01 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

4-Year Prison Term For Colorado Woman Over Plot To Join ISIS

Shannon Conley's parents, Ana and John Conley, exit the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Denver following their daughter's plea hearing in September 2014.
Brennan Linsley AP

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 11:30 am

Shannon Conley, 19, has been sentenced to four years in prison for trying to travel to Turkey and work as a nurse for the extremist group ISIS. Conley reached a plea agreement over charges of trying to provide support for the terrorist group last fall.

When she was arrested, Conley was living in the Denver suburb of Arvada, where she had initially raised suspicions by visiting the grounds of a church and making notes and drawings. She was arrested months later, after several warnings from FBI agents.

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The Two-Way
7:04 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

'Modern Farmer' Owner Says It Will Live On, Despite Staff Exit

Modern Farmer has a particular fondness for stories about anything having to do with goats.
Courtesy of Modern Farmer

A hip chronicle of ag life isn't dead yet, the owner of Modern Farmer says. The National Magazine Award winner lost its last paid editorial staff Friday, The New York Times reports. But the story comes with a clarification: Modern Farmer's owner says he'll publish again this summer.

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The Two-Way
3:55 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

NFL Hires Investigators, Says Patriots Used Underinflated Balls

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 6:53 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
9:16 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Goosebumps And Gas: New Data From Rosetta Probe Describes Comet

Close-ups of a curious surface texture on Comet 67P nicknamed "goosebumps," all of them at a scale of around 3 meters and spanning areas more than 100 meters.
ESA/Rosetta/MPS

Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, the hurtling hunk of dust and ice that's being tailed by an Earth-made space probe as it hurtles toward the sun,

We're learning more about the comet that a European Space Agency paired up with its Rosetta probe, thanks to a special issue of the journal Science that collects much of the information scientists have been able to glean from about the comet.

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The Two-Way
6:58 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 11:03 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
4:56 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 8:36 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
3:39 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 7:02 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
2:05 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

House Approves Bill That Would Bar Federal Funding For Abortions

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 3:11 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
9:36 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Rare And 'Horrific': Frilled Shark Startles Fishermen In Australia

A frilled shark swims in a tank after being found by a fisherman off Japan's coast in 2007. One of the rare creatures was recently caught in Australia, shocking fishermen.
Awashima Marine Park Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 8:23 am

Normally, we wouldn't call something a living fossil. But the name seems tailor-made for the frilled shark, whose roots are traced to 80 million years ago. Its prehistoric origins are obvious in its primitive body; nearly all of the rare animal's closest relatives are long extinct.

In the most recent of those 80 million years, the frilled shark has been scaring the bejeezus out of humans who pull it out of the water to find an animal with rows of needle-like teeth in a gaping mouth at the front of its head.

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The Two-Way
9:22 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Google Is Said To Be Preparing Its Own Mobile Wireless Service

Google plans to launch a new mobile phone service that it will sell directly to U.S. consumers, according to technology site The Information and other news outlets. Instead of building its own network, Google will reportedly use bandwidth purchased from cellphone carriers Sprint and T-Mobile.

The wireless service could be rolled out as early as this year, adding what could be a disruptive new force to the U.S. mobile market. It would also give Google another way to leverage its Android mobile platform — and to control how those devices operate.

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The Two-Way
5:56 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

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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