David Schaper

David Schaper is a NPR National Desk reporter based in Chicago.

In this role, he covers news in Chicago and around the Midwest. Additionally he reports on a broad range of important social, cultural, political, and business issues in the region.

The range of Schaper's reporting has included profiles of service members killed in Iraq, and members of a reserve unit returning home to Wisconsin. He produced reports on the important political issues in key Midwest battleground states, education issues related to "No Child Left Behind," the bankruptcy of United Airlines as well as other aviation and transportation issues, and the devastation left by tornadoes, storms, blizzards, and floods in the Midwest.

Prior to joining NPR, Schaper spent nine years working as an award-winning reporter and editor for Chicago Public Radio's WBEZ-FM. For three years he covered education issues, reporting in-depth on the problems, financial and otherwise, plaguing Chicago's public schools.

In 1996, Schaper was named assistant news editor, managing the station's daily news coverage and editing a staff of six. He continued general assignment reporting, covering breaking news, politics, transportation, housing, sports, and business.

When he left WBEZ, Schaper was the station's political reporter, editor, and a frequent fill-in news anchor and program host. Additionally, he served as a frequent guest panelist on public television's Chicago Tonight and Chicago Week in Review.

Since beginning his career at Wisconsin Public Radio's WLSU-FM, Schaper worked in Chicago as a writer and editor for WBBM-AM and as a reporter and anchor for WXRT-FM. He worked at commercial stations WMAY-AM in Springfield, IL; and WIZM-AM and FM in La Crosse, WI; and at public stations WSSU-FM (now WUIS) and WDCB-FM in in Illinois.

Schaper earned a Bachelor of Science at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and an Master of Arts from the University of Illinois-Springfield.

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Europe
4:59 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Alps Crash Has Aviation Officials Reconsidering Safety Protocols

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 6:00 am

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The Two-Way
8:42 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Midwest Town Braces For More Steel Layoffs

U.S. Steel's Granite City Works in 2011.
David Schaper NPR

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 11:40 pm

U.S. Steel will be shutting down a steel mill in southern Illinois, laying off more than 2000 workers. The company says in a statement that it will consolidate its North American flat-rolled operations and temporarily close its Granite City Works plant, which is across the Mississippi River from St. Louis.

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World
3:22 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

Plane In French Alps Crash Considered Workhorse Of Commercial Aviation

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 10:40 am

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And as Eleanor told us, the Germanwings airline has had a good safety record. The same goes for the plane itself, the Airbus A320. NPR's David Schaper reports that it's one of the workhorses of commercial aviation.

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It's All Politics
4:49 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Chicago Mayor's Race Reveals Deep Divide In Democratic Party

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel failed to capture a majority of the vote last month, forcing him into a runoff. It's highlighting a divide among Democrats playing out nationally.
Charles Rex Arbogast AP

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 5:39 pm

One of the nation's savviest politicians is in an unexpected fight.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, President Obama's former White House chief of staff, is in an unprecedented runoff election next month.

The challenger, Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, contends that Emanuel favors the rich and powerful over working-class Chicagoans. But Emanuel is firing back, attacking Garcia for having no plan to deal with the city's deep financial problems.

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All Tech Considered
4:14 pm
Thu March 12, 2015

Silicon Prairie: Tech Startups Find A Welcoming Home In The Midwest

Lincoln, Neb., is home to several startups, which use the city's low cost of living and high quality of life to attract workers.
Nicolas Henderson Flickr

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 5:50 am

Some startup entrepreneurs are leaving the high tech hot spots of San Francisco, New York and the Silicon Valley for greener pastures in a place that actually has greener pastures: Lincoln, Neb.

In fact, one of the secrets to the economic success of Lincoln, a city with one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, is a surprisingly strong tech startup community that is part of what some in the region are calling the Silicon Prairie.

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Business
4:00 am
Thu March 12, 2015

Improving U.S. Economy Boosts Spring Air Travel

Originally published on Thu March 12, 2015 5:37 am

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Get ready for longer airport lines. Airlines are forecasting a big increase in air travel this spring. Profits are up as well. But as NPR's David Schaper reports, do not expect airfares to drop anytime soon.

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The Two-Way
9:42 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

House Approves Amtrak Funding, Rewrites Rules To Allow Furry Riders

Amtrak conductor Michael Laubauskas talks on a radio Feb. 19 as his train departs Trenton, N.J., for Washington, D.C. The U.S. House passed an Amtrak funding bill Wednesday that splits Amtrak's high-ridership Northeast Corridor line that runs from Boston to Washington from the less profitable part of the system.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Fri March 6, 2015 12:12 pm

Instead of fighting like cats and dogs, Congress appears to be coming together for a change, and maybe it's because of our feline and canine friends.

In a rare bipartisan vote, the House Wednesday approved an Amtrak funding bill that will keep the trains running for another four years, and allow some pets to ride along on the intercity passenger rail service.

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U.S.
1:58 am
Mon March 2, 2015

A Nearly Recession-Proof City Is Not Slowing Down

Lincoln has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in revitalizing its downtown, a historic area called Haymarket, to create a more culturally vibrant urban center that is helping the city keep and attract young adults.
David Schaper NPR

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 6:15 am

At 2.5 percent, Lincoln, Neb., has one of the lowest jobless figures in the country. But that's nothing new — the city has ranked at or near the top of the nation, with one of the lowest unemployment rates for years, even during the Great Recession.

But on a recent visit, it's clear that Lincoln is not resting on its laurels. It's working hard at keeping and drawing talent to this city of nearly 300,000.

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Around the Nation
3:20 am
Wed February 18, 2015

W.Va. Train Derailment Raises Safety Questions About Newer Tankers

Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 5:24 am

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The Two-Way
1:16 am
Thu February 5, 2015

U.N. Agency Sets New Standards For Tracking Aircraft In Flight

Originally published on Thu February 5, 2015 6:11 am

The United Nations' aviation organization is endorsing a new standard meant to keep air traffic authorities and airlines from losing track of a jetliner, such as Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

That plane disappeared into the Indian Ocean almost a year ago with 239 people on board.

Under the new policy, commercial airliners would be required to transmit their location every 15 minutes and every minute if in distress.

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Around the Nation
2:10 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Winter Storm Snarls Air Traffic Throughout Northeast

Originally published on Tue January 27, 2015 7:20 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
8:47 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

To Keep Planes From Disappearing, NTSB Urges Constant Tracking

One of many relatives who waited in vain for news of loved ones aboard missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The NTSB hopes to get faster answers by requiring better technology, especially on planes that fly over large bodies of water.
Andy Wong AP

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 10:48 pm

In a response to recent incidents in which large commercial airliners have vanished into oceans, the National Transportation Safety Board is calling for new regulations requiring all passenger planes that fly over large bodies of water to be equipped with more sophisticated flight tracking technologies.

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Economy
3:02 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Illinois' Financial Condition Is Dire, Gov. Rauner Warns

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 6:40 am

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And it's budget time in many states. Most are now projecting strong growth, even surpluses - not, however, the state of Illinois. There, a gaping budget hole appears to be even bigger than previously thought, as NPR's David Schaper reports.

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Politics
3:01 am
Mon January 19, 2015

Private Sector Included In Plan To Finance Infrastructure Repairs

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 5:37 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Around the Nation
2:16 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

NTSB: D.C. Metro Incident Highlights Need To Improve Transit Safety

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 4:45 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Economy
4:11 am
Thu January 8, 2015

FAA Clarifies Fuel Tax Rule, Municipalities To Lose Needed Funds

Originally published on Thu January 8, 2015 5:44 am

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Around the Nation
2:58 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

In Midwest, Bitterly Cold Temps Keep Students At Home

Originally published on Wed January 7, 2015 4:17 pm

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From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

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Around the Nation
2:29 pm
Thu December 25, 2014

Chicago Officials Spar With South Dakota Over Airport Ads

Originally published on Mon December 29, 2014 10:13 am

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Around the Nation
1:20 am
Wed December 24, 2014

The Year In Air Travel: Packed Planes And More Perks — For A Price

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 8:37 am

It's been a good year for commercial airlines.

With the economy recovering, more people are getting on planes and flying for both business and pleasure. And the cost of fuel, one of the airlines' biggest expenses, is dropping.

But as anyone traveling for the holidays can tell you, airfares remain high. And many frequent fliers at Chicago O'Hare International Airport say they wouldn't give the airlines perfect grades this year.

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Latin America
7:36 am
Sun December 21, 2014

Ready To Hit The Cuban Beach? Americans Still Have To Wait

A couple walks on the beach in the resort area of Varadero, Cuba. Varadero is home to upscale hotels and resorts that cater to foreign tourists, but there aren't yet enough to handle a potential influx of Americans.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 10:12 am

With President Obama beginning the process of normalizing relations with Cuba this week, many may envision soon soaking up the sun on a warm Cuban beach, sipping a refreshing rum drink.

In reality, that's not likely to happen for quite a while. But just the increased opportunity for travel between the two countries has those with longtime ties to Cuba already thinking about the possibilities it will bring.

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Business
2:32 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

GOP Leaders: Gas Tax Hike Could Fuel Fixes To Bad Roads And Bridges

Thomas Harden of Chicago pumps gas into his truck. He says he wouldn't support a gas tax increase.
David Schaper NPR

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 11:57 am

Gasoline prices are at their lowest level in four years. The price at the pump in many states is almost a full dollar cheaper than it was last spring.

So some politicians think this is a good time to raise gasoline taxes. Several states are tired of waiting for Congress to fix the federal highway trust fund, so they're considering raising gas taxes themselves to address their crumbling roads.

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The Two-Way
7:53 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

Jane Byrne Dies: No Woman Has Led A Larger U.S. City

Jane Byrne savors her victory in the previous night's Democratic primary in 1979, when she defeated incumbent Chicago Mayor Michael Bilandic. She became the city's first female mayor.
Carl Hugare MCT/Landov

Originally published on Sat November 15, 2014 6:48 am

Jane Byrne, who stunned Chicago's powerful political machine in becoming the first and still only woman elected mayor of the nation's third-largest city, died today at the age of 81.

She is being remembered as a trailblazer for women in politics who cracked the glass ceiling in a city whose political oligarchy 'don't want nobody nobody sent.' *

A product of the machine herself and a protege of late mayor Richard J. Daley, Byrne bucked party leaders to topple their annointed candidate, incumbent mayor Michael Bilandic, in the Democratic primary in February of 1979.

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Business
3:22 pm
Sun November 9, 2014

Holiday Travelers Should Expect Packed Planes, Higher Fares

The airline industry is predicting more people will take to the skies this Thanksgiving than in any year since the start of the recession.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Sun November 9, 2014 4:21 pm

With gas and oil prices plunging, among those benefiting are airlines. With fuel prices down, profits are up, but that doesn't mean you'll be able to find cheap airfares, especially over the holidays.

The airline industry is predicting more people will take to the skies over Thanksgiving than any year since the start of the recession.

The weather in Chicago is not quite frightful yet, but the snow and cold is coming; so warm weather destinations for the holidays sound appealing.

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Religion
2:23 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

Chicago Archdiocese Documents Detail Decades Of Sex Abuse

Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 4:33 pm

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Around the Nation
4:31 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

As Infrastructure Crumbles, Trillions Of Gallons Of Water Lost

A water maintenance crew works on leaky infrastructure in Skokie, a Chicago suburb. The area loses almost 22 billion gallons of water a year because of ailing infrastructure.
David Schaper NPR

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 5:13 pm

Imagine Manhattan under almost 300 feet of water. Not water from a hurricane or a tsunami, but purified drinking water — 2.1 trillion gallons of it.

That's the amount of water that researchers estimate is lost each year in this country because of aging and leaky pipes, broken water mains and faulty meters.

Fixing that infrastructure won't be cheap, which is something every water consumer is likely to discover.

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Around the Nation
8:43 am
Sat October 4, 2014

FAA Chief: No Quick Fix To Prevent Another Fire Like Chicago

Federal Aviation Administration Administrator Michael Huerta answers questions Friday after touring the Chicago air traffic control center with Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill. (left), and city aviation Commissioner Rosemarie Andolino.
Charles Rex Arbogast AP

Originally published on Sat October 4, 2014 11:50 am

The head of the Federal Aviation Administration is trying to deflect criticism over an arson fire at an air traffic control center that shut down Chicago's airports last week.

Administrator Michael Huerta toured the fire-damaged Chicago air traffic control center in suburban Aurora on Friday with members of the Illinois congressional delegation.

Huerta admitted the agency has no quick fix to prevent a similar shutdown of a control facility from paralyzing air traffic across the country.

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Around the Nation
2:14 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Chicago Air Traffic Control Fire Still Disrupting Flights Days Later

Originally published on Mon September 29, 2014 4:30 pm

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

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The Two-Way
9:52 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Lights, Camera, Drones: Hollywood's Lens Gets A Little Larger

A Parrot Bebop drone flies during a demonstration in May in San Francisco.
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Fri September 26, 2014 2:08 pm

Hollywood is getting the green light to fly its own drones.

The Federal Aviation Administration is giving approval to six movie and TV production companies to use drones for filming. And the move could pave the way for the unmanned aircraft systems to be used in other commercial ventures.

The FAA will permit the six companies to use remote-controlled drones to shoot movies and video for TV shows and commercials, but there will be certain limitations.

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Business
2:32 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

At 'World Routes,' Airports Court Airlines To Bring In More Flights

Originally published on Wed September 24, 2014 7:44 am

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

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

What happens when 3,000 airport and airline executives from around the world gather in one place? Lots of wining and dining, schmoozing and sales pitching, and there's one more night of it in Chicago.

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Religion
2:25 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Pope Picks Moderate To Lead Chicago's Catholics

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 3:40 pm

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

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