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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12:26pm

Thu December 29, 2011
It's All Politics

At Romney Rally, Iowa's Moderate GOP 'Silent Majority' Voters Start Talking

Originally published on Mon January 2, 2012 6:26 am

A young Mitt Romney supporter holds yard signs Thursday at a campaign event at J's Homestyle Cooking in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Another strong turnout this morning for Mitt Romney at a restaurant in Cedar Falls, though the small place wasn't quite as packed as yesterday's breakfast stop in Muscatine. Romney spent a lot of time shaking hands and posing for pictures with customers, supporters and restaurant staff, after he spoke for about 20 minutes. He usually takes a couple of questions from the crowd but did not today, preferring to spend more time than usual glad-handing.

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8:58am

Thu December 29, 2011

6:13pm

Wed December 28, 2011
It's All Politics

Romney Jabs Rival, But Says He'd Take A President Paul Over Obama Part 2

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney took a swipe at GOP rival Ron Paul and his isolationist foreign policy positions while campaigning in Iowa Wednesday, but he later told reporters he would support the outspoken Texas congressman if he were the Republican Party nominee for president.

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9:13am

Wed December 28, 2011
It's All Politics

In The Hunt For Votes, Romney Heads East To 2008 Iowa Stronghold

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 10:18 am

Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign stop Wednesday at Elly's Tea and Coffee in Muscatine, Iowa.
Chris Carlson Associated Press

On Wednesday morning, Mitt Romney was getting an early start to campaigning in eastern Iowa, meeting and greeting voters having breakfast or just getting a caffeine boost at Elly's Tea and Coffee in Muscatine.

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8:55am

Wed December 28, 2011
It's All Politics

Immigration Emerges As Key Issue For Some Iowa Voters

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 10:33 am

Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks at a campaign event at Clark Electric Co-op on Dec. 27 in Osceola, Iowa. Perry's stance on immigration has troubled some Iowa voters.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Campaign buses loaded with Republican presidential hopefuls and their entourages are rolling across Iowa as the candidates hope some face time with GOP voters will help boost their chances in the Jan. 3 caucuses.

The main issue for many Iowa voters is the economy. But there's a sleeper issue emerging: immigration reform.

Iowa's Hispanic population is surging and Republican candidates are struggling with how best to deal with voter concerns.

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4:00am

Wed December 28, 2011
Election 2012

For Some Iowa Voters, Immigration Is Decisive

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 1:20 pm

GOP presidential candidates are touring Iowa ahead of next week's caucuses. The main issue for many voters there is the economy, but another hot topic is emerging: overhauling immigration policies. Iowa's Hispanic population is surging, and Republican candidates are struggling with how best to deal with voter concerns.

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5:37pm

Fri December 2, 2011
Business

Sears Considers Leaving Illinois For Better Tax Deal

Originally published on Fri December 2, 2011 7:00 pm

Sears Holding Corp., parent company to Sears and Kmart, is considering a move from its corporate headquarters after a tax incentive package failed to pass the state House of Representatives. More than 6,000 employees work at the Hoffman Estates, Ill., campus.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Thousands of jobs are on the line in a competition between states over the corporate headquarters of Sears. Several states are offering tax incentive packages to try to lure the company away from Illinois, including one bid from Ohio that's worth up to $400 million.

The Sears Holding Corp., parent company to Sears and Kmart, says it is seriously considering the offer after Illinois lawmakers failed this week to approve a package of tax incentives aimed at keeping Sears and another corporate giant from leaving.

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12:01am

Wed November 30, 2011
Hard Times: A Journey Across America

A Steel Town Looks At Its Future, And Sees Rebirth

Originally published on Wed November 30, 2011 12:07 pm

The old Granite City Steel Mill is now owned and operated by US Steel.
David Schaper NPR

Part of a monthlong series

The Great Recession has hit the industrial Midwest especially hard in recent years, from big cities to small factory towns. But now, in at least one small Illinois city, local leaders believe the worst is finally behind them.

Sitting across the Mississippi River from downtown St. Louis, Granite City, Ill., has certainly seen better days. In its downtown, there are more boarded-up and empty storefronts and vacant lots than there are businesses.

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12:01am

Thu November 17, 2011
Hard Times: A Journey Across America

When Hard Times Means Leaving A Career For A Job

Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 12:40 pm

After a long job search, Alice Eastman, a once highly paid professional, now works at Target. "I've climbed to pretty much the top of the one ladder, and now I'm starting at the bottom rung of a different ladder. It's a job. It's not a career," she says.
David Schaper NPR

Part of a monthlong series

Alice Eastman, a single mother living in Wheaton, Ill., is one of many Americans who, after losing her job, tried to make ends meet on unemployment while she hunted for a job in her field. Then after a long, fruitless search, she took a lower-paying job in retail.

Eastman had a pretty good job making $75,000 a year at the park district in the Chicago suburb of Bolingbrook, heading up its Department of Natural Resources.

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4:00am

Fri November 4, 2011
Business

Airline Prices Stay Up Despite Fewer Travelers

Originally published on Fri November 4, 2011 10:20 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The sluggish economy means fewer travelers will be heading home for Thanksgiving this year, although it hasn't brought down prices. And as NPR's David Schaper reports, those who do fly will still find their flights packed.

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2:54pm

Fri October 21, 2011
Around the Nation

Chicago's 'Congestion Fee' Gets Chilly Reception

Originally published on Sat October 22, 2011 2:05 am

Motorists in Chicago navigate the morning rush hour as they make their way toward downtown.

Scott Olson Getty Images

Chicago recently ranked as the city with the second-worst traffic congestion problem in the country, but it doesn't have a lot of money to invest in other transit options. Mayor Rahm Emanuel's solution? A $2 "congestion fee" on weekday parking in public lots and garages downtown.

Other cities have had some success with congestion pricing for parking, but some Chicagoans are skeptical of the plan.

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3:02am

Sat October 15, 2011
Sports

Being Bartman: 'Catching Hell' Tells Cubs Fan's Story

As the Chicago Cubs' Moises Alou made a leaping attempt at a pop foul during the National League Championship Series, Steve Bartman (in Cubs cap and dark sweater) was among the fans reaching for the ball. While one image suggests he acted alone, the second photo tells another story.

Elsa Getty Images

We fans of the Chicago Cubs rarely hear good news in October, so there's a little buzz of excitement around Wrigley Field these days about the possibility of Boston Red Sox GM Theo Epstein reportedly coming to Chicago to take over a similar or expanded role with the hapless Cubs.

In 2004, Epstein helped guide the Red Sox to their first World Series title in 86 years and to another title in 2007. In Chicago, he'd be trying to end a Cubs' championship drought dating back to 1908; the Cubs haven't even been to the World Series since 1945.

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12:01am

Mon October 10, 2011
2 Languages, Many Voices: Latinos In The U.S.

West Liberty Is Nation's First Majority Hispanic Town

Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 3:42 pm

Jose Zacarias lives in an old farmhouse flanked by corn and soybean fields near the edge of town. The Mexican-born immigrant came to West Liberty more than 25 years ago.

Benjamin Roberts

(This report is part of the Morning Edition series "2 Languages, Many Voices: Latinos In The U.S.," looking at the ways Latinos are changing — and being changed — by the U.S.)

One place the Hispanic population is growing is in the overwhelmingly white state of Iowa. The latest census figures show the Hispanic population, while only 5 percent of the state, has almost doubled since 2000.

And one small town — West Liberty — is the first in Iowa to have a majority Hispanic population.

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11:52am

Sat August 27, 2011
Around the Nation

Insurers Prepare For Flood Of Claims From Irene

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:29 am

Chris Pittman (left) and Frank Eckel board up a storefront in Cape May, N.J., in anticipation of Hurricane Irene.
William Thomas Cain Getty Images

As Hurricane Irene makes its way north, insurance companies are scrambling to get claims adjusters and other personnel in place up and down the East Coast and into New England.

Companies will be assessing the damage once Irene is through battering the northeastern states. If the hurricane hits as wide an area as is predicted, insured losses could be in the billions of dollars.

On the boardwalk of Ocean City, Md., Tony Russo Jr. is boarding up the windows of his family's restaurant, Tony's Pizza.

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12:01am

Wed August 10, 2011
Business

Economic Turmoil Rattles Unsettled Housing Market

For most people, their biggest investment is their home. Following Standard and Poor's downgrade of U.S. credit, as well as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, there may be even more uncertainty about buying or selling a home right now.

Russell Zanca, 47, has a three bedroom, one and a half bath vintage brick Georgian house on the market. The anthropology professor's home is on a quiet tree-lined street on Chicago's North Side.

"It's just a nice solid house," Zanca says.

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4:52pm

Mon August 1, 2011
Politics

FAA Debate Puts Subsidized Rural Airports At Risk

Construction crews at a new air traffic control tower at Oakland International Airport were told on July 19 to stop working after the U.S. House refused to reauthorize routine funding of the Federal Aviation Administration.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Construction projects at airports around the country have stopped and 4,000 employees of the Federal Aviation Administration are furloughed, all because Congress couldn't agree on an extension of the agency's authority to operate.

Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller, who chairs the subcommittee that oversees the FAA, indicates he will offer a plan as soon as Monday night to end the shutdown. Rockefeller's plan includes cuts in air service subsidies to some rural communities.

Those subsidies keep commercial aviation service in rural areas that would otherwise be isolated.

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