Russell Lewis

Russell Lewis is the Southern Bureau Chief for NPR News, a post he has held since 2006. Lewis focuses on the issues and news central to the Southeast — from Florida to Virginia to Texas, including West Virginia, Kentucky and Oklahoma. In addition to developing and expanding NPR's coverage of the region, Lewis assigns and edits stories from station-based reporters and freelancers alike, working closely with local correspondents and public radio stations. He also spent a year in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, coordinating NPR's coverage of the rebuilding effort. He's currently based in Birmingham, Alabama.

Lewis began his public radio career in 1992 at NPR member station WUFT in Gainesville, Florida, where he was an executive news producer. He spent time at WSVH in Savannah, Georgia. Lewis also worked for Kansas Public Radio and reported on the state legislature. He spent six years on the West Coast, working at one of public radio's flagship stations: KPBS in San Diego where he was senior editor and a reporter. He most recently was assistant news director and talk-show host at WGCU in Fort Myers, Florida. He was a frequent contributor to NPR, specializing in military and business issues.

In his spare time, Lewis loves to cook, read, and ride his bicycle.

6:24am

Thu July 23, 2015
U.S.

Investigators Seek The Gunman's Motivation In The Chattanooga Shooting

Originally published on Thu July 23, 2015 2:16 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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8:58am

Tue June 30, 2015
The Two-Way

U.S. Topples Top-Ranked Germany 2-0 To Reach World Cup Final

Originally published on Wed July 1, 2015 10:20 am

Carli Lloyd of the U.S. (in white) celebrates after scoring on a penalty kick Tuesday night in the Americans' 2-0 World Cup semifinal victory against Germany.
Elsa Getty Images

Updated, 9 p.m. ET:

In a battle between a fantastic attack and a fantastic defense, the latter prevailed, as two penalty kicks — one made, one whiffed — and a late insurance goal gave the U.S. a 2-0 win over Germany and a berth in the Women's World Cup soccer final.

After American forward Alex Morgan tumbled over a German defender — a foul that appeared to occur outside of the box — forward Carli Lloyd got a penalty shot past Germany's Nadine Angerer, whom the U.S. had kept busy all night.

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8:03am

Fri June 26, 2015
The Two-Way

U.S. Women Take Out China, Advance To World Cup Semifinals

Originally published on Fri June 26, 2015 10:26 pm

Goalie Hope Solo of the United States celebrates with midfielder Carli Lloyd on Friday after defeating China 1-0 in the Women's World Cup quarterfinals in Ottawa, Canada.
Jana Chytilova Freestyle Photo/Getty Images

Update, 9:30 p.m. ET:

The United States pulled out a victory against China on Friday night in the Women's World Cup, winning only 1-0 despite dominating the match.

Midfielder Carli Lloyd's header in the 51st minute made the difference, but the U.S. kept pressure on China all night long and had 17 shots to China's 7.

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12:34pm

Mon June 22, 2015
The Two-Way

U.S. Beats Colombia 2-0, But Will Be Shorthanded Vs. China

Originally published on Mon June 22, 2015 10:42 pm

Lauren Holiday of the United States is given a yellow card Monday in the first half against Colombia in a Women's World Cup match in Edmonton, Canada. She also received one in an earlier match against Australia, so Holiday will be suspended for the Americans' next match.
Kevin C. Cox Getty Images

Update, 10:05 p.m. ET:

The Americans won and advanced to the quarterfinals at the Women's World Cup, but lost midfielders Megan Rapinoe and Lauren Holiday for its next match, as each received her second yellow card of the tournament.

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5:12pm

Tue June 16, 2015
The Two-Way

U.S. Women Beat Nigeria 1-0, Win Group And Advance To Elimination Rounds

Originally published on Thu June 18, 2015 12:07 pm

Abby Wambach of the U.S. (from right) celebrates with teammates Lauren Holiday and Tobin Heath after scoring against Nigeria at the end of the first half Tuesday during the FIFA Women's World Cup in Vancouver, Canada.
Ben Nelms EPA/Landov

Updated at 12:15 p.m. ET On June 17:

U.S. veteran Abby Wambach, making her second start of the World Cup, scored her first goal of the tournament and the 183rd of her storied international career to push the Americans past Nigeria on Tuesday in Vancouver, Canada.

The 1-0 victory allowed the U.S. to win Group D and advance into the elimination rounds, where they'll face another group's third-place team on Monday, followed by a possible matchup against Cameroon or China later next week.

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4:30pm

Tue June 16, 2015
Goats and Soda

Nigerian Soccer Fans Really Know How To Have A Ball

Originally published on Tue June 16, 2015 8:06 pm

Nigerian fans stand and deliver cheers at a match against Australia, played during the Women's World Cup in Winnipeg, Canada.
Russell Lewis NPR

If you watch the United States play Nigeria at the Women's World Cup tonight — kickoff is at 8 p.m. — you'll keep your eyes on the field. After all, it's an important match. A win or a tie, and the U.S. is guaranteed to advance to the knockout round. Even with a loss, the U.S. could still move on. Nigeria is the best team from Africa.

But maybe you should look at the stands instead.

Nigerian fans are an attraction in their own right. Decked out in bright green T-shirts and waving flags, they stand, cheer, party, play trumpets and drums, dance and sing.

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1:03pm

Fri June 12, 2015
The Two-Way

U.S. And Sweden Struggle To 0-0 Tie In Women's World Cup

Originally published on Fri June 12, 2015 10:35 pm

U.S. forward Sydney Leroux controls the ball during a Group D match with Australia on Monday during the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada. The U.S. won, 3-1.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Update, 10:10 p.m. ET:

The U.S. and Sweden fought to a 0-0 tie in Winnipeg on Friday night — a disappointing result against the Americans' trash-talking former coach, but enough to keep them in control of their group at the Women's World Cup.

The U.S. struggled to maintain control in the Swedish half for much of the game, and had a hard time connecting on their longer passes forward. Two header attempts off corners around the 72nd minute were tipped over the crossbar and went wide right, and a frenzy in the final minute of extra time came up empty.

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10:37am

Mon June 8, 2015
The Two-Way

U.S. Women Beat Australia 3-1 In Teams' Opening Match Of World Cup

Originally published on Mon June 8, 2015 9:52 pm

Christen Press of the United States celebrates Monday after scoring a second-half goal against Australia during the FIFA Women's World Cup in Winnipeg, Canada.
Kevin C. Cox Getty Images

Update, 9:45 p.m. ET:

Forward Christen Press scored in the 61st minute and Megan Rapinoe scored her second goal of the match in the 78th minute for the Americans, who beat Australia 3-1. Combined with the 1-1 tie between Sweden and Nigeria earlier on Monday, the U.S. has a strong lead in its World Cup group.

Rapinoe also was issued a yellow card in the second half, as was U.S. midfielder Lauren Holiday. Goalie Hope Solo had five saves.

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7:59am

Tue July 8, 2014
The Two-Way

The One American On The Field At Today's World Cup Semifinal

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 9:35 am

Referee Mark Geiger will be the U.S. presence at the World Cup semifinal on Tuesday.
Clive Rose Getty Images

The United States will have a presence at today's semifinal World Cup match between Brazil and Germany. It won't be the U.S. National Team on the field, but American referee Mark Geiger. FIFA selected Geiger to be on the officiating crew of the high-stakes match. It's the first time a U.S. referee has been used this late in a World Cup.

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1:08pm

Sat July 5, 2014
The Salt

Want To Eat Brazilian Food At The World Cup? Please Step Outside

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 10:53 am

Acaraje are a regional food in Brazil made from fried balls of mashed-up beans, onions and salt. The balls are sliced in half, slathered with a spicy pepper sauce and cashew paste, and then topped with shrimp.
Russell Lewis NPR

The stadiums of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil are all different, constructed to reflect the region. Natal's arena has a wavy beach-dune style, while the stadium in Manaus looks like a woven basket.

Inside those stadiums, however, you'd never know you're in Brazil. Budweiser is an official beer seller, and Coke has the soda market cornered. Other menu items include hot dogs, cheeseburgers and turkey sandwiches. It's almost impossible to find any Brazilian fare on the menu.

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4:15pm

Wed June 25, 2014
Latin America

A World Cup Surprise: Arias In The Heart Of The Amazon

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 9:30 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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7:27am

Sun June 22, 2014
The Two-Way

U.S. Vs. Portugal: 'Now Is The Moment' To Show American Mettle

Originally published on Sun June 22, 2014 10:17 am

United States' goalkeeper Tim Howard works out during a training session. "We're going to do our best to bottle him up," Howard said of Portugal's forward Cristiano Ronaldo.
Julio Cortez AP

The World Cup round of 16 in Brazil is taking shape.

Already in: Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica and the Netherlands. The big question: Will the United States join that distinguished list today?

The U.S. soccer team has a tough matchup against Portugal. Win, and the Americans are in. Lose or tie, and the road gets a lot tougher with next Thursday's game against Germany.

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4:32pm

Wed June 18, 2014
Sports

In Brazil, Predictions Of Doom And Gloom Give Way To Minor Annoyances

Brazil's World Cup preparation endured some heavy criticism leading up to the games. Stadiums were still under construction, Internet connections were sketchy and transportation faced major challenges. A week into the tournament, NPR's Russell Lewis has traveled to three airports and three cities so far. He talks to Melissa Block about what has worked and what remains a challenge.

8:20pm

Mon June 16, 2014
Sports

With Win Over Ghana, U.S. Is Off On The Right Foot In Brazil

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 11:09 pm

On Monday night, the U.S. soccer team accomplished a feat it failed to achieve in the past two World Cups: beat Ghana. With a 2-1 victory, the Americans position themselves well for the games to come.

12:08pm

Mon June 16, 2014
The Two-Way

U.S. To Face Ghana As 'Group Of Death' Play Begins

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 1:47 pm

In this photo taken with a fisheye lens, members of the U.S. soccer team warm up during a training session the day before their Group G World Cup match with Ghana in Natal, Brazil.
Julio Cortez AP

It's day five of the World Cup in Brazil. But it's the most important day for the U.S. men's soccer team — it's game day.

Tonight at 6 p.m. ET, the U.S. opens World Cup play squaring off against Ghana in the seaside city of Natal. The tiny African country is not particularly a soccer powerhouse. But Ghana has vexed the U.S. — eliminating the team from the past two World Cups.

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5:45pm

Thu October 10, 2013
Remembrances

Scott Carpenter, Second US Astronaut To Orbit Earth, Dies

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 8:33 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

One of America's first astronauts has died. Scott Carpenter was part of the original Project Mercury team and he was the second American to orbit the Earth. Carpenter died this morning in Denver after complications from a stroke. He was 88 years old. As NPR's Russell Lewis reports, Scott Carpenter made it into space just that one time back in 1962, but he continued his pioneering ways.

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3:27am

Wed June 12, 2013
Sports

Minor Leaguer Takes Mature Strides To Become Better

Originally published on Sun July 19, 2015 7:25 pm

Tyler Saladino plays for the Birmingham Barons, the AA affiliate of the Chicago White Sox.
Russell Lewis NPR

Tyler Saladino is one of thousands of minor league baseball players hoping to make it to the major leagues. He plays in Alabama for the Birmingham Barons, the AA affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. Last year, NPR profiled Saladino. But since then, maybe things have changed for the 23-year-old infielder.

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5:39am

Sun March 31, 2013
History

Old Newspapers Shed New Light On Emmett Till Murder

Originally published on Sun March 31, 2013 6:21 pm

Officers stand by in 1955 as religious leaders from Chicago demonstrate outside the White House in Washington over the murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till.
AP

New details about one of Mississippi's most infamous murders are coming to light — more than a half-century later. The death of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black boy who allegedly whistled at a white woman, helped spark the civil rights movement.

Till lived in Chicago, and was visiting his relatives in the Mississippi Delta when he was murdered. His body was mutilated and dumped into a river. The accused were the woman's husband and her half-brother, and their trial drew reporters from both the white and black press.

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6:05am

Sat March 2, 2013
Sports

In Alaska's Iditarod Sled Race, Vets Are A Dog's Best Friend

Originally published on Sun March 3, 2013 12:15 am

Mushers can bring up to 20 dogs to the Iditarod but can start the race with only 16. In the days before the competition, the animals are taken to the Iditarod headquarters in Wasilla, Alaska, for pre-race exams.
Russell Lewis NPR

In Anchorage, Alaska, on Saturday, the "Last Great Race on Earth" begins.

Sixty-seven sled dog teams will start the 998-mile Iditarod race across the barren, frigid and unforgiving land. In this year's competition, there are a handful of first-time racers — but those aren't the only rookies.

One is veterinarian Greg Reppas, whose job is to ensure the dogs are healthy throughout the race.

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8:11am

Sun December 16, 2012
Remembrances

A Father Humbled By The Too-Short Life Of His Daughter

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 4:07 pm

Emilie Parker, 6, was killed Dec. 14 in a mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
Courtesy of the family

Her name was Emilie Parker. Six years old. Long, flowing blond hair, piercing blue eyes and a sweet smile. Emilie was one of the 20 children killed on Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School. As we learn the names of the victims, we're also learning their stories.

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6:19am

Sat May 12, 2012
Around the Nation

Wearing Helmets In Tornadoes Gains Momentum

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 1:18 pm

Tornado survivor Jonathan Ford saves what he can from his home April 29, 2011, after it was destroyed by a powerful tornado in Pleasant Grove, Ala.
John Bazemore AP

Months after safety advocates embraced wearing helmets during tornadoes — the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidelines on the practice. The CDC says there's not yet enough scientific evidence to fully endorse the idea. But the agency is warming up to people donning helmets when severe weather threatens.

Since a horrific outbreak of tornadoes killed more than 250 people last year in Alabama, safety advocates have been on a crusade.

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2:48am

Fri April 27, 2012
Around the Nation

Can Helmets Cut Tornado Deaths? CDC Isn't So Sure

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 8:04 pm

Noah Stewart shelters in the closet just 15 minutes before an April 2011 tornado demolished his house. Wearing the helmet may have saved his life, one doctor says.
Courtesy of the Stewart family

Tornadoes killed more than 500 people in the U.S. last year — the highest number in decades. Already this year, 63 people have died, and the tornado season doesn't hit its peak until June.

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4:58pm

Tue March 13, 2012
Science

Tornado Tech: What If Dorothy Had A Smartphone?

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 1:44 pm

This May 3, 1999, funnel became the F-5 storm that damaged thousands of buildings in central Okahoma. University of Oklahoma storm chasers and observers are anticipating the annual tornado season as it approaches the central part of the country.
J. Pat Carter AP

For many, the only way they learn a tornado is approaching are sirens. In the spring and summer, tornado sirens go off a lot more when twisters roar across Alabama, which has been hit by 900 since 2000, accounting for a quarter of all U.S. tornado deaths.

"I am still surprised that so many people rely on just one source of getting warned, and that has to change," said Jim Stefkovich, meteorologist in charge of the Birmingham office of the National Weather Service.

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4:00am

Thu April 28, 2011
Around the Nation

Killer Storms Hit Southern States

It was another day of utter devastation across the southeastern United States Wednesday. Dozens of people were killed in five states by storms bearing tornadoes. Residents of Alabama were especially hard hit.