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.

Post updated at 9:38 p.m. ET.

A massive federal spending bill finally won the House's approval Thursday night, less than three hours before a midnight deadline that threatened a federal shutdown. The measure's fate had been in doubt after it narrowly survived a rules vote earlier in the day. The final tally was 219-206.

It's not Star Wars on the high seas — but the U.S. Navy says it has made a "historic leap" by deploying a laser weapon system for the first time. The Navy released a video showing a LaWS — shorthand for "laser weapon system" — being used by the USS Ponce during target practice in the Persian Gulf.

As it nears the end of a season marred by allegations of domestic abuse by players, the NFL's owners voted to strengthen the league's personal conduct policy Wednesday. The changes include a "baseline" suspension of six games without pay for a first violation in domestic abuse and sexual assault cases.

Negotiations over the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill Congress will consider this week included how to handle Washington, D.C.'s bid to legalize marijuana. Some 65 percent of the federal district's voters approved the move via ballot initiative last month.

It was the first time a living Nobel Prize recipient had ever sold his medal. And now scientist James Watson, 86, will hang on to the medal he won for his work on DNA, after a Russian billionaire who bought the medal for $4.75 million at auction says he wants Watson to keep it.

Cho Hyun-ah, whose family runs Korean Air, caused a stir over the weekend after she demanded that a Korea-bound jetliner return to a gate at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, where it had been preparing to take off.

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton suffered two fractured in his back Tuesday but escaped without other injury, after a vehicle he was driving crashed around 12:30 p.m. ET. The truck reportedly flipped several times on a bridge in central Charlotte, where Church Street passes over Interstate 277.

"The severity of Newton's injuries was not immediately available but witnesses told Channel 9 that Newton's truck flipped four times," WSOC Channel 9 TV reports.

The outcome of an outlandish TV stunt Sunday night didn't go down well with many viewers, who say they were duped into expecting that the Discovery special Eaten Alive would actually portray a man being ingested by an anaconda.

But that didn't happen, forcing the network to defend the program today by saying it had been naturalist Paul Rosolie's "absolute intention to be eaten alive."

In a dizzying finish, American scientist Elizabeth Herndon set a new women's world record in the Beer Mile World Championships in Austin, Texas, last night, breaking through a tight field to obliterate the previous mark by 11 seconds.

In the men's race, Canadian mailman Corey Gallagher relied on fast drinking to separate himself from the field, turning in a time a hair over 5 minutes, just three seconds off the men's world record.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Police Department Commissioner Bill Bratton have announced plans to give training to police officers to help them treat all citizens with equal respect and with equal regard for their safety.

"These changes are happening because the people demanded it," de Blasio said.

A grand jury has decided not to indict a New York police officer in the death of Eric Garner on a Staten Island sidewalk this past July.

"It's a very painful day for so many New Yorkers," Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday.

The encounter between Garner and officer Daniel Pantaleo caused an uproar after video footage of the incident was released. It showed Garner repeatedly gasping, "I can't breathe," as Pantaleo and other officers took him to the ground.

To mark 50 years of A Charlie Brown Christmas airing on American televisions, our readers are sharing photos and memories of Christmas trees that reflect the spirit of that TV classic: a bit forlorn, perhaps, but full of heart.

By a 44-5 vote, Chicago's City Council set a minimum-wage target of $13 an hour, to be reached by the middle of 2019. The move comes after Illinois passed a nonbinding advisory last month that calls for the state to raise its minimum pay level to $10 by the start of next year.

The current minimum wage in Chicago and the rest of Illinois is $8.25. Under the ordinance, the city's minimum wage will rise to $10 by next July and go up in increments each summer thereafter.

"This little green one here seems to need a home."

And with that, Charlie Brown picks out a scrawny tree that even his friend Linus doesn't see fitting "the modern spirit" of Christmas. Lucy, he says, will not be happy.

As you likely know, the tree embodies the spirit of A Charlie Brown Christmas, a TV special that has proven to be timeless and is now airing in its 50th year.

In the latest development after a series of rape allegations were made against him, comedian Bill Cosby has resigned from the board of trustees at Temple University. The move was announced in a short news release in which Cosby cited "the best interests of the university and its students."

Cosby has had a lasting relationship with Temple, dating back to his first years at the school in the 1960s (he dropped out to pursue his comedy career but returned to graduate in 1971).

On Monday, the school issued a short news release, consisting of two statements:

Updated at 6:54 a.m.

Public reaction to a Missouri grand jury's decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson has ranged from fire and looting close to where Wilson shot Michael Brown to peaceful protests nearby.

Other protests were held in large and small cities and college towns across America on Tuesday; photos from those scenes show a variety of demonstrators, tactics and responses.

"The violence we saw in areas of Ferguson last night cannot be repeated," Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said Tuesday, announcing that he is sending hundreds more members of the National Guard to the city that saw intense looting on Monday night.

"Last night, criminals intent on lawlessness and destruction terrorized this community," Nixon said, "burning buildings, firing gunshots, vandalizing storefronts, and looting family businesses — many for the second time."

Police officer Darren Wilson's "current employment status has not changed," Ferguson Mayor James Knowles says, speaking one day after a grand jury declined to indict Wilson in the death of Michael Brown.

Saying that an internal affairs investigation into the August incident in which Wilson shot Brown to death is continuing, Knowles added that he couldn't go into more specifics than to say Wilson remains on administrative leave.

As a grand jury considers whether Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson should face criminal charges over the shooting death of Michael Brown, 18, many in the St. Louis suburb are calling for calm, even as they prepare for what could be a sharp public reaction to the jury's decision.

Saying "the grand jury is still gathering information," the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the jury will meet next week.

Citing "great sorrow, great rage" and "great determination," University of Virginia President Teresa A. Sullivan says she's suspending all the school's fraternities until Jan. 9. The move comes days after a Rolling Stone article in which a woman described being gang-raped when she was a freshman in 2012.

A football dream ended in Texas last night, as the little town of Booker saw its high school team lose for the first time this year, eliminating them from the state playoffs. But Booker High School has plenty to celebrate — the 29 players on its team include the state's all-time leading passer and leading receiver.

A roadway robbery in Guinea resulted in an alarming haul this week, as thieves made off with cash, personal items — and a batch of Red Cross blood samples from patients believed to be infected with the deadly Ebola virus.

The incident happened in southern Guinea, an area close to two other West African nations hit hard by the outbreak: Liberia and Sierra Leone.

NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports:

"Robbers riding on a motorbike waylaid a taxi and made off with cellphones, jewelry and cash near the town of Kissidougou.

Hoping to broker a deal to ease years of disputes over Iran's nuclear program, Secretary of State John Kerry and other diplomats are locked in negotiations in Vienna. They have until Monday to reach a permanent deal.

After a nearly two-year investigation, the final report by the House Intelligence Committee concludes that the CIA "ensured sufficient security for CIA facilities in Benghazi and ... bravely assisted the State Department" on Sept. 11, 2012, during a deadly attack on U.S. facilities in Libya.

That's the first conclusion of the report, the result of thousands of hours of investigation into the events that led to the deaths of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

A bus in Britain is making headlines for running on gas — and we're not talking about petroleum or natural gas. The Bio-Bus runs on biomethane gas that's produced by human sewage and food waste.

The Bio-Bus has 40 seats and a range of around 186 miles on a full tank. When it officially goes into service next week, it'll run as a shuttle between the city of Bath and the Bristol airport, along with other routes.

Public bathrooms don't have to be boring. Just look at this year's contenders for the title of America's Best Restroom, which range from sculpture and doll themes to wash-tub basins. This year's winner is tucked along a "green wall" of plants.

The top bathroom in America is currently at Longwood Gardens, west of Philadelphia, according to Cintas, the business uniform and supply company that runs the Best Restroom competition.

A TV comedy Bill Cosby had been developing for NBC has been canceled, after new allegations of rape have been made against the comedian. Netflix made a similar move late Tuesday, shelving a comedy special that had been slated to premiere the week of Thanksgiving.

The USA Freedom Act had the support of not only the White House and Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy but also that of Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, but the bid to reform the NSA failed late Tuesday after it didn't receive enough votes to cut off debate.

After a 58-42 vote, the measure had the support of the majority – but it didn't get the 60 votes necessary to break a Republican filibuster. It was something of an odd end for a bill that had been approved by the Republican-controlled House back in May.

The controversial Keystone XL pipeline project to expand an oil pipeline running from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico has failed the approval of Congress, after the Senate voted against the project Tuesday. The House passed its version of the bill Friday.

An early tally showed 35 for and 30 against the bill; subsequent calls for senators' votes failed to net the 60 votes needed for passage. The decisive 41st "No" vote came with 55 votes in favor, and the final tally was 59-41.

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