Bill Chappell

Bill Chappell is a producer who works with Morning Edition and NPR.org, coordinating with radio and digital media staff to create Web features that complement stories heard on-air. He also frequently writes original Web pieces.

Chappell's work at NPR has ranged from being the site's first full-time homepage editor to writing for its World Cup 2010 blog. Chappell's assignments have included being the lead Web producer on NPR's trip to Asia's Grand Trunk Road, as well as being the Web liaison and producer of the Peabody Award-winning StoryCorps project.

Chappell was an integral part of the team that executed a comprehensive redesign of NPR's Web site in 2009. One year later, the site won its first Peabody and the National Press Foundation's Excellence in Online Journalism award, among others.

Drawing from his experience in improving NPR's storytelling ability, he trains both digital media and radio staff in using NPR's digital tools.

Other shows he has worked with include Fresh Air, All Things Considered, Talk of the Nation and Piano Jazz with Marilyn McPartland.

Prior to joining NPR in 2003, Chappell worked on the Assignment Desk at CNN International, handling regions from Asia and Africa to Europe and Latin America.

During the intensive early months of the Iraq War, he coordinated packages and live shots out of Qatar, Israel and Australia. During the war, he set up live interviews and brought in packages to supply content to CNN's global networks.

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.

Chappell's prior work included producing Web pages and editing digital video for CNNSI.com, as well as editing and producing news and features at CNN.com. His entry to CNN came via the network's central library, where he often manned the reference desk.

Chappell's entry into national journalism came after years of writing about movies, restaurants and music for alternative weeklies. 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.

Updated at 11:50 p.m. ET

Irma, once a powerful and longrunning hurricane, weakened to a tropical depression as it moved through Georgia on its way to Alabama. It continues to dump heavy rain but all surge warnings have been canceled.

Irma has left behind dangerous floodwaters, power outages for millions of people and the debris it has made of human possessions across Florida.

The huge storm remained a Category 1 hurricane through early Monday, before finally being downgraded to a tropical storm and then a tropical depression.

As southern Florida prepares to take a direct hit from Hurricane Irma, officials have warned people in downtown Miami to take special care because of the 20 to 25 tower construction cranes that loom over the area, hundreds of feet tall.

Updated at 5:00 a.m. ET Friday

The National Hurricane Center says Irma is now a Category 4 storm. It has maximum sustained winds of 155 mph.

Updated at 11 p.m. ET

Hurricane Irma continued its northwestward sweep Thursday evening, losing little steam as it skirted the Dominican Republic and Haiti and bearing the full force of its 165-mph winds down upon the southeastern Bahamas and away from the Turks and Caicos islands. Forecasters upgraded their alert for South Florida to a warning.

Two stained-glass windows honoring Confederate Gens. Robert E. Lee and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson at the Washington National Cathedral will be removed immediately, the cathedral says.

The facility's leadership says the decision came after long deliberations on an important question: "Are these windows, installed in 1953, an appropriate part of the sacred fabric of a spiritual home for the nation?"

The answer, the National Cathedral's leadership decided Tuesday, is no.

Updated 2:14 a.m. ET Thursday

The National Hurricane Center says the dangerous core of the storm will move away from Puerto Rico Thursday morning and is expected to pass just north of the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Irma is expected to be near the Turks and Caicos and southeastern Bahamas by Thursday evening.

Updated at 10:10 p.m. ET

As Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm that the National Hurricane Center calls "extremely dangerous," is making its way west through the Caribbean Sea.

Updated at 2:15 a.m. ET Wednesday:

The most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricane in recorded history made its first landfall in Northeast Caribbean islands. The eye passed over Barbuda around 1:47 a.m, according to the National Weather Service.

Updated at 11:10 p.m. ET

"Hurricane Irma has intensified into an extremely dangerous Category 5 hurricane," the National Hurricane Center says, citing the latest data from NOAA and Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft.

Updated 8:35 p.m. ET

The Salt Lake City hospital where a police officer roughly arrested a nurse who was protecting her patient's rights in July will no longer allow law enforcement agents inside its patient care areas. They'll now have to check in rather than enter through the emergency room.

A judge has thrown out charges of involuntary manslaughter and aggravated assault against former members of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity who had been indicted by a grand jury over the death of pledge Timothy Piazza at Penn State.

A total of 18 Beta Theta Pi members were named in the grand jury's indictment released in May. As of Friday's ruling, 14 still face charges, after the judge dismissed the cases against four of the men.

Harvey is finally out of the picture — but the storm's devastating effects on Houston and other parts of Texas and Louisiana are still coming into focus. As waters recede, some areas remain flooded, and there is no drinking water in Beaumont.

At least 36 people are confirmed to have died because of the storm. Property damage could be as high as $100 billion, Moody's Analytics says.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency says it has received more registrations for assistance — 364,000 — than for any previous single event.

Updated at 11 a.m. ET

The U.S. economy created an estimated 156,000 jobs in August, falling slightly short of analysts' estimates, according to the Labor Department. The unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 4.4 percent; it had been at 4.3 percent.

Saying that Kenya's recent national election that gave President Uhuru Kenyatta another term in office was held in an unconstitutional manner, the country's Supreme Court has annulled the results of the Aug. 8 vote. The surprising announcement prompted celebrations by opposition candidate Raila Odinga.

The turnabout comes weeks after the elections commission said Kenyatta had beaten Odinga by more than 1 million votes. The court's decision did not go into deep detail about what led it to invalidate the election.

From Nairobi, NPR's Eyder Peralta reports:

Thousands of people are without water in Beaumont, Texas, adding to the misery of extreme flooding that has left large swaths of it and neighboring towns underwater. The lack of water is also forcing a large hospital to shut down — including its emergency services.

Updated at 10:40 p.m. ET

Fire broke out and containers of chemicals burst at the Arkema plant in Crosby, Texas, early Thursday, confirming fears that highly flammable organic peroxides produced at the plant could pose a threat after Hurricane Harvey knocked out safety systems.

"We got some water, y'all. Harvey wasn't playing," Mayor Derrick Freeman of Port Arthur, Texas, says in a video that shows knee-deep water inside his house. He's far from alone: A large shelter in the coastal city was flooded by rainfall dumped by Tropical Storm Harvey.

At least 100 people had sought refuge at the Bob Bowers Civic Center — only to see brown, murky water rush in, flooding a large space and leaving water just below the surface of cots.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is leaving an Obama-era policy on transgender military service members largely intact, saying he needs input from an expert panel to determine the best way to implement President Trump's ban that would keep transgender people from serving in the U.S. military.

Trump barred transgender would-be recruits from signing up, but he gave Mattis discretion to decide the status of transgender people who are already serving.

It took two commercial trucks to deliver the 18,000 pounds of sandbags Kristin Massey deployed to anchor plastic sheeting around her home, but it wasn't enough to stop the massive amount of water brought by Harvey. Massey posted new images of her flooded home Tuesday.

"We did all that we could, but it would never have been enough," Massey wrote, providing an update that included photos of her flooded neighborhood of Meyerland, in southwest Houston.

Updated 10:50 p.m. ET

The medical examiner of Harris County, Texas, has confirmed five deaths directly stemming from Tropical Storm Harvey. A spokesperson for the office says another eight deaths that may be linked to the storm are awaiting autopsy.

The ME names four of the victims, including police Sgt. Steve Perez, whose death was announced Tuesday.

  • Alexander Kwoksum Sung, male, 64, place of death South Houston, caused by drowning/accident

David Torrence, an athlete who ran in last year's Summer Olympics and had been training for more races, was found dead in a swimming pool in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Monday, according to local news reports and Torrence's friends.

"The track world lost a great friend and athlete today," USA Track & Field said in a tweet about the 31-year-old runner's death.

The colors the National Weather Service uses to show rainfall on its weather map couldn't represent the deluge in southeastern Texas, so the NWS added two more purple shades to its map. The old scale topped out at more than 15 inches; the new limit tops 30 inches.

The scale of the catastrophe hitting southeast Texas and parts of Louisiana has residents struggling to protect their lives and property, as up to 50 inches of rain is forecast to hit some areas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey this week.

For a sign of the conditions in Houston and nearby areas, consider this: The U.S. Coast Guard says it's "conducting urban search and rescue in the city of Houston."

Updated 5:30 p.m. ET

In Houston, reservoirs swollen by rain from Hurricane Harvey were opened early Monday, a move that was expected to flood more homes — but one that the Army Corps of Engineers says is needed to limit the scope of the disaster that's threatening lives and property in Texas.

Amazon is cutting the prices of bananas, butter, organic eggs, and other best-selling staples at Whole Foods' 470 stores, promising customers lower costs and targeting the grocer's "Whole Paycheck" nickname. The online giant also says its Amazon Prime members will get special prices and perks.

Updated at 11:30 a.m. ET

Tens of thousands of angry followers of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh — who calls himself the "Guru of Bling" — forced a lockdown in cities in northern India on Friday, after a court convicted the guru of raping two of his followers. Local media report that at least 28 people have died in the unrest.

Protesters set fires and clashed with police and security officers in two states, Haryana and Punjab, after a court in Panchkula announced it had found the guru guilty.

Thai authorities are looking for former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra after she was a no-show Friday at a hearing where she was expected to learn the verdict in her criminal trial. Thailand's Supreme Court has issued an arrest warrant and border guards were keeping an eye out for her, although there was speculation that Shinawatra may have already left the country.

The dramatic twist dashed the expectations of many in Thailand who had been awaiting the verdict — and a potential prison sentence for Shinawatra if convicted of negligence.

Updated at 1:45 a.m. ET Friday

Hurricane Harvey is getting stronger and could make landfall in the middle of the Texas coast Friday night, the National Hurricane Center says, warning of the potential for a deadly storm surge and flooding along the Gulf of Mexico.

Early Friday morning, the Center said Harvey had strengthened to a Category 2 hurricane with maximum winds as strong as 100 mph.

Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods is another step closer to reality, after the Federal Trade Commission decided the grocery deal would not hamper competition or provide an unfair advantage.

Transgender members of the U.S. military would be subject to removal at Defense Secretary James Mattis' discretion — and the service would bar transgender people from enlisting, under new White House guidelines for the Pentagon. President Trump announced the ban via a tweet last month.

Rough details of the guidelines were confirmed by NPR's Tom Bowman after the White House plan for the Pentagon was reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Spanish police say they've arrested four people in connection to terrorist attacks that killed 14 people and injured more than 100 others in and around Barcelona Thursday. Five suspects were killed as they tried to carry out a second terrorist attack in a nearby city.

The current location of the driver of a white van that plowed through a crowd of people on Barcelona's landmark Las Ramblas boulevard Thursday afternoon remains unknown.

The U.S. Navy has relieved the USS Fitzgerald's commander and two other senior leaders of their duties — and it's also praising the crew for saving their ship after the destroyer collided with a large Philippine-flagged container ship off the coast of Japan on June 17.

Two psychologists who were paid more than $80 million by the CIA to develop "enhanced interrogation" techniques — which have been called torture — have settled a lawsuit brought by men who were detained.

The list of brutal methods devised by Bruce Jessen and James Mitchell for use by the U.S. included waterboarding. The tactics were meant to condition detainees into a state of helplessness. Mitchell has said he was told by U.S. officials that the idea was to "walk right up to the edge of the law."

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