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.

Pages

Sports
5:14 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Proposal Would End Football At University Of Alabama-Birmingham

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 6:28 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Space
4:30 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Rocket Explosion Comes At A Tough Time For NASA

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 6:16 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
10:20 pm
Sun October 26, 2014

U.S. Women's National Soccer Team Cements Its Dominance

The U.S. Women's National Soccer Team left its CONCACAF tournament competition in the dust. The team didn't give up a single goal all tournament. Abby Wambach, shown controlling the ball in the second half of the U.S. 6-0 win over Costa Rica in the finals, scored seven of the U.S. team's 21 goals.
Mitchell Leff Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 27, 2014 1:56 pm

The U.S. Women's National Soccer Team showed why it's the top-ranked squad in the world. It won the CONCACAF tournament Sunday with a near-perfect 6-0 final game against Costa Rica.

The U.S. has had an easy run during this World Cup qualifying tournament for the North American, Central American and Caribbean Region. The United States had already qualified for next year's World Cup with a victory in the semifinals against Haiti. Sunday's win over Costa Rica further cemented the U.S. dominance.

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Latin America
5:06 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Brazilian Police Move In On Sunday's World Cup Protesters

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 12:34 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And those protests that Tom mentioned earlier played out across Brazil in the year leading up to the World Cup. The complaints focused on the high cost of hosting the games. Many say that money should have been spent improving schools, hospitals, and neighborhoods. During the tournament, the rallies were more muted. But just before yesterday's final there was one more protest, and it turned violent. NPR's Russell Lewis was there.

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The Two-Way
7:59 am
Tue July 8, 2014

The One American On The Field At Today's World Cup Semifinal

Referee Mark Geiger will be the U.S. presence at the World Cup semifinal on Tuesday.
Clive Rose Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 9:35 am

The United States will have a presence at today's semifinal World Cup match between Brazil and Germany. It won't be the U.S. National Team on the field, but American referee Mark Geiger. FIFA selected Geiger to be on the officiating crew of the high-stakes match. It's the first time a U.S. referee has been used this late in a World Cup.

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The Salt
1:08 pm
Sat July 5, 2014

Want To Eat Brazilian Food At The World Cup? Please Step Outside

Acaraje are a regional food in Brazil made from fried balls of mashed-up beans, onions and salt. The balls are sliced in half, slathered with a spicy pepper sauce and cashew paste, and then topped with shrimp.
Russell Lewis NPR

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 10:53 am

The stadiums of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil are all different, constructed to reflect the region. Natal's arena has a wavy beach-dune style, while the stadium in Manaus looks like a woven basket.

Inside those stadiums, however, you'd never know you're in Brazil. Budweiser is an official beer seller, and Coke has the soda market cornered. Other menu items include hot dogs, cheeseburgers and turkey sandwiches. It's almost impossible to find any Brazilian fare on the menu.

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The Two-Way
11:06 am
Tue July 1, 2014

U.S.-Belgium Match Could Be A Game Of Goalkeepers

U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard pumps his fist after qualifying for the next World Cup round following the team's 1-0 loss to Germany last week.
Ricardo Mazalan AP

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 1:27 pm

Win or go home. Do or die. Lose and you're done. Choose your sports cliche, and for the United States team, it's true. The U.S. takes on Belgium at 4 p.m. EDT today in Salvador, Brazil. It's the Americans' first game in the knockout stage. The victor moves on to the quarterfinals, and the loser books a flight home.

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The Two-Way
10:36 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Weather, History Muddy The Field For U.S.-Germany Showdown

Jermaine Jones and other members of the U.S. men's national team train in Manaus, Brazil. Fitness may be a crucial factor in the U.S.-Germany game on Thursday in Recife .
Raphael Alves AFP/Getty Images

It's do or die (or tie) time for the United States today in the World Cup.

The U.S. team plays its final game in group play against world No. 2-ranked Germany at noon EDT in the Brazilian seaside city of Recife. The stakes couldn't be higher, and the intrigue is all here, folks.

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Latin America
4:15 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

A World Cup Surprise: Arias In The Heart Of The Amazon

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 9:30 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Of all the Brazilian cities staging games at the World Cup, none is more exotic than Manaus. It's nestled in the heart of the Amazon jungle. You can only get there by plane or boat - an unlikely place to host soccer games. And there's something else in Manaus that's unexpected - a centuries-old theater and opera house. NPR's Russell Lewis took a break from soccer and paid a visit.

RUSSELL LEWIS, BYLINE: The first thing you notice about the Teatro Amazonas is how lovely it is. Then the beauty melts away and it's what you hear.

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The Two-Way
7:27 am
Sun June 22, 2014

U.S. Vs. Portugal: 'Now Is The Moment' To Show American Mettle

United States' goalkeeper Tim Howard works out during a training session. "We're going to do our best to bottle him up," Howard said of Portugal's forward Cristiano Ronaldo.
Julio Cortez AP

Originally published on Sun June 22, 2014 10:17 am

The World Cup round of 16 in Brazil is taking shape.

Already in: Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica and the Netherlands. The big question: Will the United States join that distinguished list today?

The U.S. soccer team has a tough matchup against Portugal. Win, and the Americans are in. Lose or tie, and the road gets a lot tougher with next Thursday's game against Germany.

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Sports
4:32 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

In Brazil, Predictions Of Doom And Gloom Give Way To Minor Annoyances

Brazil's World Cup preparation endured some heavy criticism leading up to the games. Stadiums were still under construction, Internet connections were sketchy and transportation faced major challenges. A week into the tournament, NPR's Russell Lewis has traveled to three airports and three cities so far. He talks to Melissa Block about what has worked and what remains a challenge.

Sports
8:20 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

With Win Over Ghana, U.S. Is Off On The Right Foot In Brazil

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 11:09 pm

On Monday night, the U.S. soccer team accomplished a feat it failed to achieve in the past two World Cups: beat Ghana. With a 2-1 victory, the Americans position themselves well for the games to come.

Sports
12:31 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Brazil's Opening Victory Gets A Raucous Reception

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 7:01 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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The Two-Way
12:08 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

U.S. To Face Ghana As 'Group Of Death' Play Begins

In this photo taken with a fisheye lens, members of the U.S. soccer team warm up during a training session the day before their Group G World Cup match with Ghana in Natal, Brazil.
Julio Cortez AP

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 1:47 pm

It's day five of the World Cup in Brazil. But it's the most important day for the U.S. men's soccer team — it's game day.

Tonight at 6 p.m. ET, the U.S. opens World Cup play squaring off against Ghana in the seaside city of Natal. The tiny African country is not particularly a soccer powerhouse. But Ghana has vexed the U.S. — eliminating the team from the past two World Cups.

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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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