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
10:23 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Alabama's Governor Signs Education Bill Allowing School Choice

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has signed the controversial Alabama Accountability Act into law. The measure's opponents say they will seek to block it.
Dave Martin AP

Alabama's Gov. Robert Bentley has signed a sweeping education bill that gives tax credits to parents who want to transfer their children from a failing public school to another public or private school. The bill became law one day after the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that a lawsuit against it was premature.

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The Two-Way
2:45 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Pope Francis: What Happens After A Papal Election

After Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected as the 266th pontiff, he chose the name Pope Francis. His installation Mass could come early next week.
Jeff J Mitchell Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 4:53 pm

As news spread that the chimney atop the Sistine Chapel was billowing white smoke to signal the election of Pope Francis, anticipation built for the new pontiff's first appearance on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica.

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The Two-Way
11:09 am
Wed March 13, 2013

The Ale That Men Brew: Iron Maiden Serves Up A Beer

Iron Maiden lead singer Bruce Dickinson samples his band's latest offering, Trooper ale, made with what he calls "our special secret-squirrel recipe."
Iron Maiden Beer

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 2:12 pm

Three decades after giving the world The Number of the Beast, Iron Maiden is poised to release its latest work — and it's a beer. That's the latest from the Metal Injection website, whose "Bands and Booze" section makes it uniquely qualified to present such news.

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The Two-Way
4:26 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

Claims Of A Meteorite's Ancient Aquatic Fossils Spark Debate

Images show what researchers say could be a "hystrichosphere," a fossilized dinoflagellate cyst.
Journal of Cosmology

A meteorite that lit the sky over Sri Lanka with a yellow and green flame when it fell to earth on Dec. 29, 2012, contains "fossilized biological structures," according to researchers in Britain, Sri Lanka, and the United States. Elaborating on claims they first made in January, the scientists are also seeking to answer critics who are skeptical of their findings.

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The Two-Way
12:21 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

In Noma's Norovirus Episode, Ignored Emails Get Some Blame

The facade of Noma in Copenhagen. More than 60 diners complained of nausea and diarrhea after eating at the widely acclaimed restaurant last month.
Dresling Jens AP

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 12:32 pm

Days after news spread that Danish restaurant Noma, three-time winner of Restaurant magazine's "World's Best Restaurant" title, was blamed for a norovirus outbreak in which dozens of diners fell ill, the restaurant has issued a public response and sought to clarify its handling of the situation.

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The Two-Way
4:07 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

'World's Best Restaurant' Blamed For Diners' Illnesses

The famed Noma restaurant in Copenhagen has been blamed for more than 60 of its diners falling ill. Investigators say an illness spread from the staff to the customers.
Keld Navntoft AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 10:12 am

Noma, the Danish eatery that has won fans with its innovative approach to Nordic cuisine, and won Restaurant magazine's "World's Best Restaurant" title the past three years, is getting some unwelcome press, after dozens of people who ate at the Copenhagen restaurant fell sick.

Update: Monday, March 11

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The Two-Way
2:13 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Alabama's Contentious Education Bill In Limbo As Courts Review Cases

Gov. Robert Bentley talks with reporters in his office, one day after Alabama Republicans adopted legislation to provide state tax credits to attend private schools.
Dave Martin AP

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 2:14 pm

A week after a sweeping and controversial education bill was adopted by the Alabama Legislature, the measure is on hold, with a circuit judge and the state's supreme court reviewing separate lawsuits filed over it. Democrats say Republicans broke the rules when they inserted school choice language into a bill that was originally meant to give school districts flexibility in meeting standards.

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The Two-Way
11:09 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Citizens Of Nitro, W.V., Watch Town's Bridge Blow Up

An image taken from a video depicts a section of the Dick Henderson Memorial Bridge in Nitro, WV, being demolished by a controlled explosion Friday.
YouTube

The last portion of the Dick Henderson Memorial Bridge, which once connected the West Virginia towns of Nitro and St. Albans, was demolished this morning. Hundreds of people gathered to view the controlled explosion Friday morning.

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The Two-Way
4:45 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

County Will Pay $15.5 Million To Man Who Spent 22 Months In Solitary Confinement

When he was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and other charges in 2005, Stephen Slevin had no way of knowing that an opinion about his mental state would put him on a path to spend more than 22 months of solitary confinement in a New Mexico county jail, despite never having his day in court. This week, he reached a $15.5 million settlement with Dona Ana County.

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The Two-Way
2:39 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

In The Iditarod Race, 'Pee Pants' Get An Endurance Test

Several female mushers in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race are trying out new attire that allows them to skip bathroom stops. Here, a musher and his team pass fans at the ceremonial start of the race in Anchorage.
Dan Joling AP

It will take more than a week for Alaska's Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, which began Sunday, to cover nearly 1,000 miles. But every minute counts — and several mushers are trying out special pants that allow them to race without stopping for bathroom breaks.

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The Two-Way
10:59 am
Thu March 7, 2013

China's Citizens Hide As Much As $2.34 Trillion In Income, Researcher Says

As much as $2.34 trillion in yearly income goes unreported in China, an economics scholar says. Here, an imported car passes a shopping mall in Beijing.
Vincent Yu AP

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 12:19 pm

China's citizens do not report as much as $2.34 trillion of what they make every year, hiding "gray income" that would represent nearly 20 percent of the country's GDP, Chinese economics scholar Wang Xiaolu says, in a report from the news site Global Voices.

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The Two-Way
3:57 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

House Gives OK To $982 Billion Short-Term Spending Bill

The House has approved a bill to fund the federal government through the end of September. The $982 billion continuing resolution introduced by Rep. Harold Rogers (R-KY), who heads the Appropriations Committee, would avoid a potential government shutdown on March 27.

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The Two-Way
2:28 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Arkansas Legislature Embraces Strictest U.S. Abortion Law

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 4:42 am

Arkansas has approved a law banning most abortions after 12 weeks of gestation, as both houses of the state's legislature vote to override a veto by Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe. The Republican-backed Human Heartbeat Protection Act will become the nation's most restrictive law.

In vetoing the Senate version of the bill Monday, Beebe said that it "would impose a ban on a woman's right to choose an elective, nontherapeutic abortion well before viability."

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The Two-Way
12:22 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Yes Mississippi, You Can Homebrew (If Governor Signs New Bill)

Home-brewing will become legal in Mississippi in July, if the governor signs a newly approved bill. Mississippi and Alabama are the last two states in which brewing beer at home is illegal or in a gray area.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 5:00 pm

Mississippi is poised to make home brewing legal, after its Legislature approved a beer-brewing measure Wednesday. The bill now heads to Gov. Phil Bryant, who last year approved a move to raise the state's maximum alcohol limits on beer — something the current bill's supporters point to with optimism. The governor's office has not indicated whether he intends to sign the bill.

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The Two-Way
11:18 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Portland City Employee Is Arrested, Accused In Pakistan Terror Attack Of 2009

Reaz Qadir Khan, 48, was accused Tuesday of giving money and advice to terrorists. The U.S. Department of Justice alleges that Khan helped plan a suicide bomb attack on Pakistan's intelligence headquarters in 2009.
Multnomah County Sheriff's Office

A Portland, Ore., resident was arrested Tuesday on charges of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists. The FBI alleges that Reaz Qadir Khan, 48, gave money and advice to a man involved in a deadly 2009 suicide bomb attack on the headquarters of Pakistan's intelligence service in Lahore.

The attack resulted in an estimated 30 deaths and 300 injuries. Khan, a naturalized U.S. citizen, could face a maximum sentence of life in prison if he is found guilty. FBI agents arrested him at his home Tuesday morning.

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The Two-Way
10:02 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Pro Wrestling's Paul Bearer Dies At Age 58

William Moody, who brought a sense of ghoulish danger to the WWE as manager Paul Bearer, died Tuesday at age 58.
WWE, Inc.

William Moody, who as the pro wrestling character Paul Bearer embodied a sense of theater that was equal parts morbid and absurd, has died at age 58. A portly man known for his wild-eyed stare and habit of carrying a brass urn under his arm, Paul Bearer was most notably the manager of The Undertaker and Kane.

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The Two-Way
4:40 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Judge Intervenes In Heated Battle Over Alabama's Education Bill

Circuit Court Judge Charles Price hears arguments in in Montgomery, Ala., Tuesday on a bill that provides private school tax credits. The judge halted the bill from being delivered to the governor.
Dave Martin AP

A judge in Alabama has blocked the state's governor from signing a school choice bill, after a lawsuit alleged that lawmakers bypassed state rules when they substantially revised the legislation in committee. The vote to pass the bill last week was marked by confusion, anger, and accusations of "sleaziness" and "hypocrisy," as AL.com reported.

Here was the scene last week, as the bill's backers sought to end debate and hold a vote:

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The Two-Way
3:02 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

At 106, Man Finally Gets An Elusive High School Diploma

Fred Butler has done many things in his 106 years, from serving in two military theaters of World War II to helping raise five children. But he had never gone to high school, or earned a diploma — the result of leaving school after the eighth grade to work full-time in a print shop to help support his family.

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The Two-Way
1:38 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Green Jacket Auction Halted After Augusta National Asserts Ownership

Augusta National says it has long maintained ownership of the green jackets it awards the winners of the Masters Tournament. Here, Bubba Watson accepts his jacket after winning last year's event.
Streeter Lecka Getty Images

The Masters Tournament is still a month away, but the green jackets that grace the winners' shoulders are already in the news, thanks to a lawsuit over a proposed auction of a former champion's jacket.

On one side is tournament host Augusta National Golf Club, which says the jacket, won by Art Wall Jr. in 1959, was stolen; on the other is Florida doctor Stephen Pyles and Heritage Auctions of Texas, who insist the jacket was obtained legally and can thus be sold to the highest bidder.

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The Two-Way
10:39 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Cyclists Do Not Emit More Carbon Than Cars, State Legislator Admits

Washington State Rep. Ed Orcutt has apologized for saying "the act of riding a bike results in greater emissions of carbon dioxide from the rider," after an email with a bike shop owner sparked criticism. Here, a cyclist rides in Seattle last year.
Elaine Thompson AP

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 11:19 am

Days after angering cyclists with his contention that people who ride bikes don't help pay for roads — and stating that "the act of riding a bike results in greater emissions of carbon dioxide from the rider," Washington State Rep. Ed Orcutt has apologized for his words, and any confusion they created.

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The Two-Way
2:38 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Listing The World's Billionaires: A Not-So-Exact Science

Two recent tallies of the world's richest people agree on the broad points — but not on which continent has the most billionaires. Here, U.S. dollars are counted, with Chinese yuan notes in the background.
STR AFP/Getty Images

There are more than 1,400 billionaires in the world right now, according to two sources — one in the U.S., and one in China. But the tallies by Forbes and Hurun Report differ on key points, including whether there are now more billionaires in Asia than anywhere else.

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The Two-Way
1:31 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Researchers Connect Rats' Minds Via Internet

Rats share information via brain implants, say researchers.
NPR

An experiment that used rats to create a "brain-to-brain interface" shows that instructions can be transferred between animals via electronic signals and the Internet, according to scientists who studied how rats can use brain implants to share problem-solving information.

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The Two-Way
9:51 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Kim Dotcom Loses Court Battle In Megaupload Extradition Case

Kim Dotcom, founder of the file-sharing website Megaupload, says he will take his fight against extradition to the United States to New Zealand's highest court, after an appeals court ruled in the U.S. government's favor Friday.

At issue is the amount of evidence Dotcom's defense team is entitled to see at the extradition hearing. An appeals court overruled a lower court's decision that the U.S. government had to provide more than a summary of its case against the Internet entrepreneur.

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The Two-Way
4:32 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Two For One: Groupon Replaces CEO Mason With Board Members

Andrew Mason, a co-founder of Groupon, has been ousted by the company's board, one day after a disappointing earnings report. Here, he's seen at a 2012 conference in Germany.
Johannes Simon Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 4:48 am

Hear Laura Sydell's report for Morning Edition by clicking the audio link.

Groupon co-founder Andrew Mason has been fired as the daily-deal company's CEO, one day after Groupon posted financial results that showed it lost $67.4 million during 2012. Board chairmen Eric Lefkofsky and Ted Leonsis will jointly fill the CEO post on an interim basis.

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The Two-Way
12:14 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

In Maui, Wild Chicken Spurs Power Outage At Airport, Surrounding Area

Why are so many feral chickens crossing the road in Maui? To get a rental car, of course.
Stephanie Federico NPR

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 2:31 pm

A roaming chicken's close inspection of a transformer caused a power outage and brief delays at Maui's Kahului Airport this week. The incident occurred Tuesday afternoon, when the bird wandered into a transformer at the airport's rental car area, leaving parts of the facility without power for more than an hour.

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The Salt
3:12 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Budweiser May Seem Watery, But It Tests At Full Strength, Lab Says

Plaintiffs accuse Anheuser-Busch of misleading consumers about the alcohol content in Bud Light, Budweiser and other products. The brewer denies the claims.
Gary C. Caskey UPI/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 1:14 pm

Update at 7:35 p.m. ET: Beer Is At Full Strength, Tests Say

Samples of Budweiser and other Anheuser-Busch InBev beers were found to be in line with their advertised alcohol content, according to lab tests conducted at NPR's request. We've rewritten portions of this post to reflect that new information.

Anheuser-Busch is accused of misleading beer drinkers about the alcohol content of Budweiser and other products, in a series of class-action lawsuits filed in federal court.

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The Two-Way
1:10 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Pastagate: Quebec Agency Criticized For Targeting Foreign Words On Menus

In Quebec, a restaurant's use of the word "pasta" on its menu sparked a government agency into action. Officials who enforce rules that guard French as the official language now say "exotic" words can be allowed in some cases.
Timothy Hiatt Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 4:15 pm

A government agency in Quebec, Canada, has come under intense criticism after attempting to get pasta stricken from a restaurant's menu. The move had nothing to do with the food: Officials said Italian words such as pasta, calamari, and antipasto should be replaced with French words to conform with the law.

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The Two-Way
10:21 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Daytona 500 Ratings Hit 5-Year High; Viewership Spikes In Cities

This year's edition of the Daytona 500 posted its strongest TV ratings since 2008, thanks to a buildup of attention drawn by Danica Patrick's history-making pole position and a horrendous crash during a race at the track Saturday. Viewership peaked late in the race, when Patrick dropped from third position to finish eighth behind winner Jimmie Johnson.

The biggest percentage gains in viewership seem to have come in big cities.

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The Two-Way
3:41 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Attack By Chondrite: Scientists ID Russian Meteor

Researchers who studied pieces of the meteor collected near Lake Cherbarkul say it was a common chondrite meteor. The largest of the 53 fragments was one centimeter in diameter. Photo provided by the Urals Federal University Press Service.
Alexander Khlopotov AP

The meteor that caused at least 1,000 injuries in Russia after a startling and powerful daytime explosion one week ago has been identified as a chondrite. Russian scientists who analyzed fragments of the meteor, whose large size and well-documented impact made it a rarity, say that its composition makes it the most common type of meteor we encounter here on Earth.

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The Two-Way
10:14 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Does Danica Patrick Have An Edge In The Daytona 500?

Danica Patrick became the first woman to win the No. 1 starting slot at NASCAR's elite level. But will that spot — and her weight advantage — give her an edge in Sunday's Daytona 500?
Jonathan Ferrey Getty Images

It took Danica Patrick 45.817 seconds to circle the track and win the pole position for the Daytona 500. It'll take about four hours to determine who wins the famed race that starts the Sprint Cup season at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.

By taking the No. 1 slot, Patrick made history as the first woman to win a pole in NASCAR's elite division. And she made some people wonder whether the pole position — and her light weight — might give her an advantage.

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