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
3:31 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

New York Boosts Pay For Thousands With Hourly Wage Hike

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signs an executive order raising the city's living wage law Tuesday. The move will require some employers to pay their employees between $11.50 and $13.13 an hour, depending on whether the employee receives benefits.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order Tuesday that effectively raises the hourly wage for thousands of workers in New York City. The city says its expansion of the Living Wage provisions will boost yearly earnings for the lowest-paid workers from $16,640 to $27,310.

From New York, NPR's Joel Rose reports:

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The Two-Way
1:07 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Ban On Single-Use Plastic Bags Is Enacted In California

California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed the nation's first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags. Here, mixed plastic items are seen at a recycling plant in Vernon, Calif., earlier this year.
Reed Saxon AP

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 2:23 pm

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed SB 270, the first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags in the U.S.

"This bill is a step in the right direction — it reduces the torrent of plastic polluting our beaches, parks and even the vast ocean itself," Brown said. "We're the first to ban these bags, and we won't be the last."

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The Two-Way
10:57 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Aral Sea's Eastern Basin Has Dried Out, NASA Photos Show

Images from August 2000 (left) and August 2014 (right) show the drop in water levels in the Aral Sea.
NASA

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 12:07 pm

"For the first time in modern history, the eastern basin of the South Aral Sea has completely dried."

That's the word from NASA, which has released images showing the progressive decline of the water levels in the Aral Sea, which straddles the border between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in Central Asia. The space agency captured the striking photographs via its Terra satellite.

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The Two-Way
8:56 am
Tue September 30, 2014

In NFL Game, A Slide And A Prayer Spur Debate And Clarification

Husain Abdullah of the Kansas City Chiefs scores a touchdown after an interception against the New England Patriots Monday. He was then penalized for praying on his knees — something the NFL now says shouldn't have been punished.
Dilip Vishwanat Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 11:28 am

When an NFL defender picks off a pass and runs it back for a touchdown, the celebration is often spirited. But referees in Monday night's game took exception to Kansas City's Husain Abdullah actions after he slid in the end zone and prostrated himself, imposing a 15-yard unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty.

The play quickly became a hot topic on social media, where many criticized a penalty for what qualifies as a quiet gesture in the NFL, where excited players are known to point at themselves, others, and the sky, sometimes while making crude gestures.

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The Two-Way
6:59 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Ominous Tremors At Mount Ontake Force Rescue Crews Off Volcano

Security personnel guard the entrance of a road leading to a trail on Mount Ontake in Nagano prefecture Tuesday, three days after the volcano erupted in central Japan.
Jiji Press AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 9:11 am

More than 20 bodies remained near the summit of Japan's Mount Ontake as new tremors and venting gases forced search teams to abandon their efforts early Tuesday local time. Officials don't yet know precisely how many climbers were trapped when the volcano erupted Saturday, a busy day for hiking.

From Tokyo, John Matthews reports for NPR:

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The Two-Way
3:17 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Spanish Court Blocks Catalonia's Independence Vote

Pro-independence Catalans protest in front of a Spanish government delegation in Barcelona Monday, after Spain's Constitutional Court suspended an independence referendum called by Catalonia.
Josep Lago AFP/Getty Images

Two days after the region's president announced a November vote on whether Catalonia should break away from Spain, the nation's highest court has suspended that plan, making it illegal to continue organizing the referendum. It's not clear whether the region's leaders will abide by the ruling.

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The Two-Way
2:26 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Who Will Win The 2014 World Series?

Mike Trout and Los Angeles Angels have been named favorites to reach the World Series, as have Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers. They're seen here when the two teams played in August.
Matt Brown Angels Baseball LP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 29, 2014 4:05 pm

If the oddsmakers are right, two Los Angeles teams will be the only ones left standing when the World Series starts in late October, in a "Freeway Series."

But there's talk of a "Beltway Series" back east, where two teams — the Washington Nationals and the Baltimore Orioles — are coming off strong seasons. And you can count on the St. Louis Cardinals and Detroit Tigers to derail everyone else's plans.

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The Two-Way
10:27 am
Mon September 29, 2014

California Enacts 'Yes Means Yes' Law, Defining Sexual Consent

California has become the first U.S. state to define when "yes means yes" in sexual assault cases on college campuses, after a bill sponsored by state Sen. Kevin de Leon was signed into law Sunday.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Mon September 29, 2014 5:29 pm

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill into law that makes California the first in the nation to have a clear definition of when people agree to sex. The law goes further than the common "no means no" standard, which has been blamed for bringing ambiguity into investigations of sexual assault cases.

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The Two-Way
8:16 am
Mon September 29, 2014

Japan's Mt. Ontake Is Still Erupting As Questions Emerge About Warnings

A photo taken from a Kyodo News helicopter shows Japan's Self-Defense Forces personnel rescuing climbers who were in critical condition near the top of Mt. Ontake Monday, before rescue operations were suspended.
Kyodo /Landov

Originally published on Mon September 29, 2014 4:37 pm

The volcano whose eruption surprised hikers in central Japan this weekend sent a plume of ash and gas more than 1,500 feet into the air Monday as it continued to erupt, officials say. That has complicated efforts to find victims and survivors, and rescue efforts have again been halted.

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The Two-Way
2:49 pm
Sun September 28, 2014

Sober And Sold-Out: Dance Club In Sweden Cuts Booze For A Night

Clubgoers dance at a Stockholm club that forbade its patrons from drinking Friday night.
Marten Andersson

Breathalyzers were placed in the doorway of a nightclub in Stockholm this weekend, with an unusual purpose: to ensure no guests had been drinking alcohol. It was all part of a plan for a booze-free night out called Sober, where staff were also on the lookout for anyone who seemed to be on drugs.

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The Two-Way
12:09 pm
Sun September 28, 2014

Kenya's Kimetto Sets New Marathon World Record In Berlin

Kenya's Dennis Kimetto crosses the finish line to win the Berlin Marathon Sunday. Kimetto set a new world marathon record, breaking the 2 hour, 3 minute mark for the first time.
Tobias Schwarz AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 28, 2014 1:00 pm

For the first time, the world record in the marathon is now under 2 hours and 3 minutes, after Dennis Kimetto of Kenya tore through the course at Sunday's Berlin Marathon. Kimetto, 30, says he wants to set a new record next year.

"I feel good because I won a very tough race," Kimetto said after the finish. "I felt good from the start and in the last few miles I felt I could do it and break the record. I believe I can improve it further. I'd like to return and try to break it again next year."

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The Two-Way
8:46 am
Sun September 28, 2014

Turkey Signals Willingness To Join Coalition Against ISIS

Turkish military forces of the Jandarma (police) block access at the Mursitpinar crossing gate near the Syrian border, where Syrian Kurdish people seek to pass, on Sunday. Turkey's leader says the country is willing to fight ISIS.
Bulent Kilic AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 28, 2014 12:55 pm

Saying his country will do "whatever is needed" to help fight the extremist group ISIS, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he has reached what local media are calling "a point of determination."

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The Two-Way
7:36 am
Sun September 28, 2014

Hong Kong Police Use Tear Gas On Large Pro-Democracy Protest

Riot police launch tear gas into a crowd of thousands of protesters outside the government headquarters in Hong Kong Sunday. Police warned of further measures as they tried to clear the streets.
Wally Santana AP

Originally published on Sun September 28, 2014 9:50 pm

Police in riot gear have been deployed to the streets of Hong Kong, where thousands of protesters are calling for free elections. Police used tear gas and pepper spray to try to clear the city's central business and government district. Organized by student groups, the Occupy Central protests have now been going on for three days.

Update at 12:45 p.m. ET: Organizers Urge A Retreat

Saying that the chance for severe injuries is too great, Occupy Central's organizers ask supporters to retreat from stand-offs with police.

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The Two-Way
6:25 am
Sun September 28, 2014

More Than 30 Feared Dead In Japanese Volcano's Eruption

A hiker is lifted by a rescue helicopter at Mt. Ontake, which erupted Saturday. The volcano straddles the Nagano and Gifu prefectures in central Japan.
Kyodo Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sun September 28, 2014 12:51 pm

The sudden and powerful eruption of a volcano Saturday may have killed more than 30 hikers in central Japan, according to authorities who have made their way up the side of Mt. Ontake. Officials say the hikers were found close to the mountain's peak, in cardiac and respiratory arrest.

As the AP reports, "The victims have been described as not breathing and their hearts have stopped, which is the customary way for Japanese authorities to describe a body until police doctors can examine it."

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The Two-Way
12:38 pm
Sat September 27, 2014

Ohio's James Traficant Dies, Days After Accident On Farm

Former Rep. James Traficant, seen here arriving at a House ethics hearing in 2002, has died at age 73.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 28, 2014 12:02 pm

Former Rep. James Traficant, the Ohio politician whose career included 17 years in Congress and a conviction for bribery, has died at age 73. Traficant's family had been fearing for his life since earlier this week, when he was critically injured in a tractor accident.

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The Two-Way
11:42 am
Sat September 27, 2014

U.S. Leads More Airstrikes Against ISIS In Iraq And Syria

Two Royal Air Force Tornado GR4 fighter jets prepare to take off Saturday from an airbase in Cyprus. The British warplanes were heading on their first mission over Iraq since being given parliamentary authority to strike at ISIS Friday.
- AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 27, 2014 11:57 am

U.S. fighters and drone aircraft continue to strike targets tied to the so-called Islamic State group, with at least 10 missions carried out in Iraq and Syria since Friday. Some of the strikes hit around Kobani, a town close to Turkey's border with Syria that's been under siege.

Kobani is in an area where tens of thousands of Kurdish people have fled Syria in the past week, seeking safety in Turkey.

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The Two-Way
9:27 am
Sat September 27, 2014

More Chicago Flights Canceled; Suspect Was Told Of Hawaii Transfer

Travelers lined up Friday to reschedule flights at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport after the region's air traffic control was sabotaged. More flights are resuming Saturday, but hundreds were also canceled.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 27, 2014 3:06 pm

The number of canceled flights in and out of Chicago crept toward 800 Saturday afternoon, as workers tried to restore one of the nation's busiest air traffic control systems. The system was crippled Friday, officials say, after a disgruntled employee set a fire in a federal radar center. (We updated the number of cancellations at 5 p.m. ET).

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The Two-Way
7:49 am
Sat September 27, 2014

Hiker Catches Volcano's Eruption On Video, And Is Overtaken By Ash

A hiker's dramatic video captured the scene as a huge cloud of ash poured down the side of Mt. Ontake in Japan Saturday.
YouTube

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 9:16 am

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The Two-Way
6:20 am
Sat September 27, 2014

Catalonia Defies Spain As Leader Signs Decree For Breakaway Vote

President of Catalonia's regional government Artur Mas acknowledges cheers Saturday after signing a law setting a Nov. 9 vote on independence. At left is the president of the Catalan Parliament, Nuria de Gispert.
Lluis Gene AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 27, 2014 10:49 am

One week after the Catalan parliament gave him the power to do so, Catalonia's leader is calling for a vote in the northeast region of Spain on whether it should become independent. The vote is set for November 9, but Spain's central government has said it won't let the vote occur.

Catalonia has already launched a website for the independence vote, referring to it with the shorthand 9N. The website includes a sample ballot that asks two questions: Should Catalonia be a state, and should that state be independent?

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The Two-Way
4:20 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Crime Falls As U.S. Locks Up Fewer People, Attorney General Holder Says

In the past year, the U.S. prison population fell by roughly 4,800, the first time in decades the number has gone down, according to the Justice Department. Attorney General Eric Holder discussed the findings in New York on Tuesday.
Julio Cortez AP

The U.S. is seeing "historic" progress in reducing both its crime and its incarceration rates, Attorney General Eric Holder said, with the federal prison population falling by some 4,800 inmates in the past year — "the first decrease we've seen in many ‎decades."

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