Russell Lewis

Russell Lewis is the Southern Bureau Chief for NPR News, a post he has held since 2006. Lewis focuses on the issues and news central to the Southeast — from Florida to Virginia to Texas, including West Virginia, Kentucky and Oklahoma. In addition to developing and expanding NPR's coverage of the region, Lewis assigns and edits stories from station-based reporters and freelancers alike, working closely with local correspondents and public radio stations. He also spent a year in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, coordinating NPR's coverage of the rebuilding effort. He's currently based in Birmingham, Alabama.

Lewis began his public radio career in 1992 at NPR member station WUFT in Gainesville, Florida, where he was an executive news producer. He spent time at WSVH in Savannah, Georgia. Lewis also worked for Kansas Public Radio and reported on the state legislature. He spent six years on the West Coast, working at one of public radio's flagship stations: KPBS in San Diego where he was senior editor and a reporter. He most recently was assistant news director and talk-show host at WGCU in Fort Myers, Florida. He was a frequent contributor to NPR, specializing in military and business issues.

In his spare time, Lewis loves to cook, read, and ride his bicycle.

Around the Nation
5:20 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Freezing Weather Paralyzes Parts Of The South

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 12:49 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Surprise: People across the South are digging out this morning. Weather forecasters knew there would be snow, but missed their calculations on where and how much, which is how Principal Ken Jarnagin ended up sheltering about 800 students for the night at Spain Park High School in Hoover, Alabama.

KEN JARNAGIN: We decided to put all the males in the gyms. So we asked the coaches to roll out wrestling mats. And we spread the girls all throughout the academic wing.

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NPR Story
5:01 pm
Sun November 24, 2013

Sorting Through The Rubble, Tacloban Cleans Up After Typhoon

Originally published on Sun November 24, 2013 5:52 pm

Every day in Tacloban, the place gets a bit cleaner. Dump trucks, bulldozers and excavators are criss-crossing the Philippine city to deal with the mountain of typhoon debris. Virtually every building in this city of 200,000 people was destroyed or damaged. Now, government leaders and aid groups are sorting out how to deal with the massive piles of garbage and where it should be disposed.

Remembrances
8:33 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Scott Carpenter, Second US Astronaut To Orbit Earth, Dies

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

One of America's first astronauts has died. Scott Carpenter was part of the original Project Mercury team and he was the second American to orbit the Earth. Carpenter died this morning in Denver after complications from a stroke. He was 88 years old. As NPR's Russell Lewis reports, Scott Carpenter made it into space just that one time back in 1962, but he continued his pioneering ways.

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Around the Nation
6:05 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

1963 Anniversaries Highlight Civil Rights Lessons

On Tuesday in Washington, D.C., the four girls killed in the 1963 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Ala., posthumously received the Congressional Gold Medal. The recognition comes after a year of civil rights ceremonies across the South. The events have drawn renewed attention to how the civil rights movement should be taught to a younger generation.

Sports
3:27 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Minor Leaguer Takes Mature Strides To Become Better

Tyler Saladino plays for the Birmingham Barons, the AA affiliate of the Chicago White Sox.
Russell Lewis NPR

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 5:53 am

Tyler Saladino is one of thousands of minor league baseball players hoping to make it to the major leagues. He plays in Alabama for the Birmingham Barons, the AA affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. Last year, NPR profiled Saladino. But since then, maybe things have changed for the 23-year-old infielder.

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Law
5:12 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Jury Selection Begins In George Zimmerman Trial

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 8:11 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Jury selection began today in the trial of George Zimmerman. He's the Neighborhood Watch volunteer who shot and killed an unarmed teenager named Trayvon Martin last year in Sanford, Florida. Zimmerman tailed Martin through a row of townhouses on a rainy night, first in a truck, then on foot. Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty to a second-degree murder charge. He describes himself as Hispanic. Martin was African-American. And the racially-charged trial now centers on whether Zimmerman acted in self-defense.

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History
5:39 am
Sun March 31, 2013

Old Newspapers Shed New Light On Emmett Till Murder

Officers stand by in 1955 as religious leaders from Chicago demonstrate outside the White House in Washington over the murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till.
AP

Originally published on Sun March 31, 2013 6:21 pm

New details about one of Mississippi's most infamous murders are coming to light — more than a half-century later. The death of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black boy who allegedly whistled at a white woman, helped spark the civil rights movement.

Till lived in Chicago, and was visiting his relatives in the Mississippi Delta when he was murdered. His body was mutilated and dumped into a river. The accused were the woman's husband and her half-brother, and their trial drew reporters from both the white and black press.

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Sports
6:05 am
Sat March 2, 2013

In Alaska's Iditarod Sled Race, Vets Are A Dog's Best Friend

Mushers can bring up to 20 dogs to the Iditarod but can start the race with only 16. In the days before the competition, the animals are taken to the Iditarod headquarters in Wasilla, Alaska, for pre-race exams.
Russell Lewis NPR

Originally published on Sun March 3, 2013 12:15 am

In Anchorage, Alaska, on Saturday, the "Last Great Race on Earth" begins.

Sixty-seven sled dog teams will start the 998-mile Iditarod race across the barren, frigid and unforgiving land. In this year's competition, there are a handful of first-time racers — but those aren't the only rookies.

One is veterinarian Greg Reppas, whose job is to ensure the dogs are healthy throughout the race.

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Around the Nation
3:31 pm
Sat September 1, 2012

Gone But Not Forgotten, Isaac Leaves Messy Wake

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News, I'm Scott Simon. The remnants of Hurricane Isaac have now moved north, dumping heavy rain in Arkansas and Missouri. In Louisiana and Mississippi, it will take many weeks - if not months - to clean up the mess from the flooding and torrential downpours. As NPR's Russell Lewis reports, residents there are taking things kind of in stride, even as they need to rebuild yet again.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPLASHING WATER)

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