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
6:17 pm
Thu July 23, 2015

Autopsy Of Sandra Bland Doesn't Suggest Homicide, Texas County Officials Say

A guard motions to a medic (left) who arrived with a stretcher to Waller County Jail in Hempstead, Texas, on July 13, the day Sandra Bland died at the jail. Officials said Thursday that an autopsy did not find signs that Bland's death was a homicide.
Waller County Sheriff's Office Landov

Releasing details — and photographs — from the autopsy of Sandra Bland, officials in Waller County, Texas, say that the cause of death for Bland, a black woman who died in the county's jail, was suicide by hanging. Officials also say she had marijuana in her system.

The case has drawn national scrutiny as Bland, who had driven to Texas from Illinois, died in police custody three days after she was pulled over by a state trooper for allegedly failing to signal a lane change. She was 28.

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The Two-Way
4:06 pm
Thu July 23, 2015

Jury Confirms Aurora Theater Shooter Is Eligible For Death Penalty

Originally published on Thu July 23, 2015 4:14 pm

A Colorado jury cleared the way for the second phase of the sentencing process for James Holmes, who was found guilty of killing 12 people and injuring 70 more in a shooting rampage at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater. One week after convicting Holmes, the jury confirmed in a unanimous finding Thursday that he's eligible for the death penalty.

The jury said that when Holmes opened fire in a crowded theater in 2012, he acted in "extreme indifference to the value of human life generally."

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The Two-Way
11:52 am
Thu July 23, 2015

Japan's Nikkei Will Purchase Financial Times Group For $1.3 Billion

Copies of the Financial Times newspaper are displayed for a photograph in London. British publisher Pearson is selling the paper to Japanese media company Nikkei.
Niklas Halle'n AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 23, 2015 2:07 pm

In a development that comes after a German firm was reportedly close to reaching a deal to buy the Financial Times Group from the Pearson publishing company, the Financial Times will instead be bought by Japanese media company Nikkei, for 844 million pounds ($1.3 billion) in cash.

Earlier Thursday, the Financial Times itself had reported that the newspaper's publisher was on the verge of being sold to German media group Alex Springer. Other reports had suggested that Bloomberg or Thomson Reuters were potential buyers.

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The Two-Way
12:16 pm
Wed July 22, 2015

Charleston Shooting Suspect Roof Could Face Death Penalty Over Federal Charges

Dylann Roof, seen here at a recent court hearing in Charleston, S.C., will face federal hate crime charges over a mass shooting that police say he carried out at a black church.
Grace Beahm AP

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 4:00 pm

Dylann Roof, who police say carried out a ruthless attack that killed nine black worshippers in a Charleston, S.C., church, is now facing federal hate crime charges along with more than a dozen other serious charges he's already accused of.

"Hate crimes are the original domestic terrorism," Attorney General Loretta Lynch says.

The 33 counts center on both the victims' race and their identity as church-goers who were attempting to follow their religious beliefs when Roof attacked.

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The Two-Way
10:27 am
Wed July 22, 2015

Marijuana Growers Hit A Snag: Toxic Pesticides

Its legal status and wide range of uses make marijuana a tough plant to regulate — or even to advise farmers about. Here, young marijuana plants are seen at a growing facility.
Elaine Thompson AP

Farmers who grow marijuana for Colorado's legal market are running into problems as they try to control mildew and pests. Because of the plant's illegal status at the federal level, a main source of agricultural guidance isn't available to pot farmers.

Attempts to regulate marijuana production often hit another problem, as the plant's wide range of uses sets it apart from many traditional food crops.

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The Two-Way
4:09 pm
Tue July 21, 2015

Actor Theodore Bikel Dies At Age 91

Theodore Bikel, seen here in 2013, died Monday after a long illness.
Jim Ruymen UPI /Landov

Originally published on Wed July 22, 2015 3:06 pm

Actor and musician Theodore Bikel, whose talents landed him memorable roles on the stage and screen, has died at age 91. His manager Robert Malcolm confirmed the news to NPR's Neda Ulaby, who says Bikel "died last night at a hospital in Los Angeles after a long illness."

Some of Bikel's most notable work took place on stage — starting with an early breakthrough in the London staging of A Streetcar Named Desire, in which he starred opposite Vivien Leigh.

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The Two-Way
1:16 pm
Tue July 21, 2015

Winner Of French Scrabble Title Does Not Speak French

Nigel Richards, seen here at a Scrabble tournament last winter, won the French-language Scrabble championships Monday. He began studying the French Scrabble dictionary in May.
Yui Mok PA Photos /Landov

Originally published on Wed July 22, 2015 8:52 am

The Scrabble career of Nigel Richards went from great to astounding this week, after he won the French-language Scrabble World Championships. A New Zealand native, Richards has won several English-language titles; his new victory follows weeks of studying a French dictionary.

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The Two-Way
4:38 pm
Mon July 20, 2015

American Zach Johnson Wins British Open In 3-Way Playoff

Zach Johnson won the 144th Open Championship at The Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland, on Monday. He's seen here teeing off on the 18th hole in the playoff round.
Andrew Redington Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 20, 2015 5:36 pm

American Zach Johnson has added a second major title to his career, winning the British Open on Monday in a dramatic four-hole playoff. Masters and U.S. Open champion Jordan Spieth narrowly missed a chance to join the playoff, quashing dreams of a Grand Slam in 2015.

"It's surreal," an emotional Johnson said after the win, adding: "I'm thankful. I can't play any better than I did. My wife is my rock."

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The Two-Way
2:13 pm
Mon July 20, 2015

Military Finds U.S. Paid $14.7 Million For Overdue Warehouses In Afghanistan

The interior of one of several large warehouses at Kandahar Airfield. Because the U.S. military can't use them, they'll likely pass to the Afghan government.
SIGAR

Originally published on Mon July 20, 2015 2:51 pm

Early last year, the Pentagon's Defense Logistics Agency accepted a $14.7 million warehouse facility. Newly built in Afghanistan, it had 173,428 square feet of climate-controlled space — but it was finished so late that it never fulfilled its intended use. Now it's likely to be transferred to the Afghan government.

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The Two-Way
10:18 am
Mon July 20, 2015

Affair-Enabling Website Ashley Madison Is Compromised By Hackers

The website of the "married dating" service Ashley Madison was the target of hackers who are now demanding that the service be discontinued.
AshleyMadison.com

Originally published on Mon July 20, 2015 11:43 am

Ashley Madison, a website that helps millions of married people cheat on their spouses, has lost a trove of personal and confidential information to hackers who are threatening to release the data of more than 37 million users.

News of the data hack comes at a time when Ashley Madison's parent company has raised its profile by backing a related TV show; its leaders have also discussed a potential $200 million stock offering.

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The Two-Way
3:48 pm
Fri July 17, 2015

Marine Corps Identifies 4 Service Members Who Died In Chattanooga Attack

Caroline Dove holds a photo of Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Skip Wells, her boyfriend, at her home in Savannah, Ga., on Friday. Wells was among four Marines killed Thursday in Chattanooga, Tenn.
Russ Bynum AP

Originally published on Fri July 17, 2015 10:40 pm

Updated at 10:40 p.m. ET

Their experience levels ranged from multiple deployments in war zones to one year in the service with no deployments. Their homes ranged from Georgia to Wisconsin, but their lives converged in Thursday's deadly attack in Tennessee.

The Marine Corps has formally identified the victims as Gunnery Sgt. Thomas J. Sullivan, Staff Sgt. David A. Wyatt, Sgt. Carson A. Holmquist, and Lance Cpl. Squire K. Wells.

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The Two-Way
11:23 am
Fri July 17, 2015

Mocked And Maligned, Japan Spikes Plan For $2 Billion Olympic Stadium

Tokyo's proposed National Stadium, a key part of its 2020 Olympics plan, is being reopened to design proposals after Japanese officials said new cost estimates had risen sharply.
Japan Sports Council

Originally published on Fri July 17, 2015 5:24 pm

Its cost had swollen to more than $2 billion; its design sparked an unflattering meme. And now Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has ordered organizers of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics to start over with their plan to build a centerpiece stadium.

"I have decided to bring the current (building) plan for the new National Stadium back to the drawing board and review the plan from scratch," Abe said, according to Kyodo News.

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The Two-Way
12:39 pm
Wed July 15, 2015

Motorcycles Can Now Run Problematic Red Lights In Kentucky

As of Wednesday, Kentucky has made it legal for people on motorcycles to run red lights after waiting for them to change. A motorcyclist rides in Kentucky in this file photo.
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed July 15, 2015 3:17 pm

A new law that was prompted by motorcycles' inability to trigger sensors at traffic signals takes effect in Kentucky today, allowing motorcyclists to run a red light after they've come to a complete stop and waited for it to change.

Under the new law, people on motorcycles can move through a light only after they've stopped and waited for either two minutes or, as the bill says, if "the traffic control signal at the intersection has completed two (2) lighting cycles."

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The Two-Way
11:09 am
Wed July 15, 2015

Malware And Hacking Forum Darkode Is Shut Down; Dozens Arrested

The Darkode malware forum was replaced by an image announcing its seizure by authorities Wednesday.
Justice Department

Originally published on Wed July 15, 2015 11:36 am

Announcing an international takedown of a malware marketplace, federal officials say that the forum called Darkode has been dismantled and dozens of its members have been arrested. Darkode has been a marketplace to purchase and trade hacking tools since at least 2008.

Investigators say that while the forum's existence was widely known, they hadn't been able to penetrate it until recently. Darkode operated under password protections and required referrals to join. On Wednesday, the site consisted of an image saying that it had been seized by authorities.

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The Two-Way
9:58 am
Wed July 15, 2015

Solar Airplane's Round-The-World Trip Is Halted Until 2016

The Solar Impulse 2 landed in Hawaii in early July. The team behind the sun-powered airplane says it will be grounded until next spring.
Solar Impulse | Revillard | Rezo Solar Impulse | Revillard | Rezo

Originally published on Wed July 15, 2015 11:51 am

Battery problems on the Solar Impulse, the airplane that has been flying around the world using only the sun's power, have grounded the plane until next spring. The lithium-ion batteries overheated on a recent five-day trip from Japan to Hawaii.

"Irreversible damage to certain parts of the batteries will require repairs which will take several months," organizers said early Wednesday, ending hopes of finishing what would be a record-setting trip by late summer.

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The Two-Way
12:25 pm
Tue July 14, 2015

Eric Garner's Family Urges Justice Department To Prosecute Officer

Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, speaks at a news conference at the National Action Network in New York a day after settling a $5.9 million wrongful death case with the city. At far right is Garner's widow, Esaw Garner.
Brendan McDermid Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue July 14, 2015 1:49 pm

Having reached a $5.9 million settlement with New York City over Eric Garner's death last summer, Garner's family says they want a federal indictment of a police officer who helped restrain him. A county grand jury previously opted not to indict officer Daniel Pantaleo, who had his arm wrapped around Garner's neck in a chokehold as Garner struggled to breathe.

"They deserve to be prosecuted. They treated my husband like an animal," Garner's widow, Esaw Garner, said of the police officers who were involved.

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The Two-Way
8:54 am
Tue July 14, 2015

NASA Zooms In On Pluto, For Closest Views Yet

An image of Pluto that was taken by New Horizons shortly before its flyby Tuesday shows a heart-shaped pattern on the planet's surface. NASA says Pluto "sent a love note back to Earth."
NASA/Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

Originally published on Tue July 14, 2015 9:50 pm

New images of Pluto have arrived from a NASA space probe, and they're already allowing scientists to update what we know about the dwarf planet — such as its size. NASA's New Horizons probe has traveled more than 3 billion miles to send photos and data about Pluto back to Earth.

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The Two-Way
3:15 pm
Mon July 13, 2015

Land Rover Recalls 65,000 Vehicles Over Unlatching Doors

The 2013 Land Rover Range Rover is among the SUV models included in a new recall over the vehicles' keyless entry software. The automaker says an update will fix a problem in which doors can unexpectedly open.
PR NEWSWIRE

Concerns over the safety of drivers and passengers has prompted Land Rover to issue a recall of more than 65,000 recently made SUVs. The problem stems from keyless entry software that can allow seemingly latched doors to open.

"Some customers have reported that one door has opened while the vehicle was in motion," the company said in an initial report on the flaw in June.

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The Two-Way
10:57 am
Mon July 13, 2015

'Bloom County 2015': Berkeley Breathed Revives Comic Strip

Idle for more than 25 years, the comic strip Bloom County returned to life Monday.
Berkeley Breathed/Facebook

Originally published on Mon July 13, 2015 2:57 pm

Fans of the well-loved comic strip Bloom County are celebrating this morning, after cartoonist Berkeley Breathed issued the first panels of his satirical strip in decades.

Breathed won a Pulitzer Prize for his work on Bloom County back in 1987; two years later, he quit producing it. On Sunday, he posted a photo of himself to Facebook in which he sat in front of a computer screen with an empty cartoon template titled Bloom County 2015.

"A return after 25 years. Feels like going home," he wrote.

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The Two-Way
4:37 pm
Fri July 10, 2015

Former Virginia Gov. McDonnell's Conviction Affirmed By Appeals Court

Originally published on Fri July 10, 2015 8:22 pm

A federal appeals court has upheld the corruption conviction of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. After the ruling, McDonnell said he never violated his oath of office; his lawyers say they'll continue to fight the conviction.

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