David Schaper

Based in NPR's Chicago bureau, David Schaper covers breaking news in Chicago and around the Midwest, as well as a broad range of important social, cultural, political, and business issues in the region. His reports can be heard on NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition.

Schaper has recently profiled service members killed in Iraq, as well as members of a reserve unit returning home to Wisconsin. He has also 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 tornados, storms, blizzards, and floods in the Midwest.

Schaper brings more than 15 years of experience in radio news to NPR. Prior to joining NPR in December 2002, 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 also 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. He was also 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 also worked at commercial stations WMAY-AM (Springfield, IL) and WIZM-AM and FM (La Crosse, WI), and in Illinois at public stations WSSU-FM (now WUIS) and WDCB-FM.

Schaper was born and raised in Chicago's western suburbs. He earned a B.S. at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, and an M.A. from the University of Illinois-Springfield. Schaper and his wife Kathy, live in Chicago with their three children.

Wisconsin's Republican Gov. Scott Walker struck a nerve back in February with his bill to eliminate nearly all the collective bargaining rights of almost all public employees in the state.

Tens of thousands of people marched, chanted and protested for weeks. The law passed anyway, but it hasn't taken effect yet because it remains tied up in the courts.

In Indiana and Ohio, lawmakers advanced similar proposals despite similar outrage — and those are now law.

More quietly, several other states have curbed collective bargaining rights, too.

This is not the spring to be selling gardening supplies, beer at a baseball park, or renting bicycles in the Upper Midwest. This weather has been unusually cold, wet and raw. And that's kept many who would be buying at home and indoors, and it's impacting the bottom line of many businesses.

In Memphis, Tenn., water levels remain near record highs and have only just begun to recede.

Hundreds of people are still living in shelters which the interfaith community of Memphis is leading the effort to provide.

Marcello Gonzalez, 29, stands inside the sprawling Hope Presbyterian Church just east of Memphis. He says the last time he saw the mobile home he owned with his wife and two little boys, it was full of water.

Water, water everywhere — and there's just too much of the wet stuff. As a big surge of water moves down the Mississippi River, city leaders in Memphis and points south prepare for more flooding.

The Mississippi River and its tributaries continues to rise. In Memphis, Tenn., hundreds of homes already are underwater and thousands of people have moved to higher ground. Floodwaters there are expected to crest Tuesday just under the record level set in 1937.

No state may be more politically polarized right now than Wisconsin. That follows the effort by Republican Gov. Scott Walker to eliminate the collective bargaining rights of most public workers there. The divide is most apparent between Wisconsin's biggest cities and its smallest towns.

In Wisconsin, the fight over collective bargaining has moved to a new phase: recall elections in several state Senate districts.

On Monday, volunteers and Democratic Party activists filed recall petitions against Republican state Sen. Luther Olsen.

He's now the third Republican in Wisconsin's Senate who will likely face a recall election this summer — and more petitions are expected to be filed against other state senators this week.