Bill Chappell

Bill Chappell is a blogger and producer who currently works on The Two Way, NPR's flagship blog. In the past, he has coordinated digital features for Morning Edition and Fresh Air, and edited the rundown of All Things Considered. He frequently contributes to other NPR blogs, such as All Tech Considered and The Salt.

Chappell's work at NPR has ranged from being the site's first full-time homepage editor to being the lead writer and editor on 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 has trained both digital and radio staff to use digital tools to tell compelling stories, in addition to "evangelizing" — promoting more collaboration between legacy and digital departments.

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 during the Iraq war.

Chappell's work for CNN also included producing Web stories and editing digital video for SI.com, and editing and producing stories for CNN.com's features division.

Before joining CNN, Chappell wrote about movies, restaurants and music for alternative weeklies, in addition to his first job: editing the police blotter.

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.

The orange goo that took over the shore of a remote Alaskan village is actually a mass of fungal spores — not microscopic eggs, as scientists at the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration first believed.

"At this point, the best identification we can give to as the origin of these spores is a rust fungus," says Steve Morton, Ph.D., who works in the NOAA lab in Charleston, S.C., that conducted the full analysis. "The spores are unlike others we and our network of specialists have examined; however, many rust fungi of the Arctic tundra have yet to be identified."

An exhibition basketball game between Georgetown University's Hoyas and the Bayi Rockets descended into a brawl and then a full-on melee Thursday, one day after visiting Vice President Joe Biden stopped by to watch Georgetown play another team, the Shanxi Brave Dragons, in Beijing.

Both the Rockets and the Brave Dragons are professional teams. In Wednesday's game, the Hoyas beat the Brave Dragons, 98-81.

Police have been flown into the tiny Pacific resort island of Aitutaki, where officials say their bank has been robbed — a first for the small, tight-knit community. Part of the Cook Islands, Aitutaki is famous for its beaches, which ring a large lagoon full of clear, ice-blue water.

Tourism is the island's biggest industry — and that has local officials thinking that the shocking bank robbery was perpetrated by a visitor, not a resident.

It seems likely that two British men sentenced to serve four years in prison for plotting riots — which did not take place — will appeal their sentences. Their punishments were handed down less than a week after Britain was seized by fiery riots.

Libyan rebels are fighting to isolate Moammar Gadhafi in Tripoli, as their offensive in the strategic city of Zawiya continues to gain ground. Rebel forces launched their fight for the western port this past weekend, hoping to cut one of Gadhafi's main supply lines from Tunisia.

In another development Wednesday, the United States sent two more Predator drones to its military force near Libya, which has helped take control of the country's skies. The AP reports:

In July, a South Korean court awarded $932 in damages to a man who sued Apple over the iPhone's ability to track users' location — and store the data for up to a year. Now, around 27,000 South Koreans are making the same complaint, and seeking the same award.

If Apple loses in court, it may have to pay a total of $25.7 million, to match the original judgment of 1 million Korean won in damages for each plaintiff.

The Swiss franc has emerged as a safe haven currency for investors spooked by economic uncertainty in the U.S. and the European Union's euro zone. In the past year, the franc's value has soared — and now Swiss shoppers are going bargain-hunting in Europe's malls and shops.

Only 1 in 4 U.S. high school graduates who took the 2011 ACT college entrance exam scored high enough to be deemed ready for college-level courses in all four of the test's subject areas, according to the company that designs the tests.

The college-readiness rating of 25 percent represents a trend of improvement since 2007, when only 23 percent of students met all four benchmarks.

From California, two stories have emerged today about thieves stealing from schools. In one case, the criminals seemed motivated by selling metal pipes. And in the other, they wanted rare animals.

Two reptiles and a tarantula were stolen from a classroom in Jurupa Valley, elementary school teacher Bonnie Werner says. The thieves broke into Troth Street Elementary and took the prize elements of her collection of lizards, snakes and other animals.

Anyone who's harbored suspicions that only mean people seem to get ahead in the business world may be glad (or perhaps not) to learn that a new study agrees with them.

While such beliefs are often whispered in the office — and declaimed at volume during happy hour — new research quantifies just how much the nasty seem to profit by the (non-) virtue of their nastiness.

The SETI Institute's mothballed Allen Telescope Array — which scans the universe for signs of alien life — will soon be up and running again, thanks to more than $200,000 in donations that came from people including actress Jodie Foster and former astronaut Bill Anders.

The telescope array has been shut down since late April, when the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute said it could no longer afford to keep the telescopes operational.

Two British men have been sentenced to four years in prison for starting separate Facebook pages as a way to organize riots in Chesire, apparently inspired by events in London and other cities. The men were reportedly arrested early in the week of Monday, Aug. 8. The U.K. riots finally began to subside on Wednesday of that week.

Only 13 percent of the American public approves of how Congress is doing its job, according to a new Gallup poll. The low-water mark ties the all-time low set this past December, when Americans grew tired of the lame-duck Congress.

A U.S. drone missile strike has reportedly killed at least four suspected militants and wounded two others in Miramshah, Pakistan, the main city in the tribal area of North Waziristan, according to Pakistani officials. The United States does not normally confirm its drone strikes.

From Islamabad, Julie McCarthy filed this report for our Newscast unit:

According to the office of the political agent, the drone missiles struck a house and a nearby parked car in Miramshah as residents were beginning the pre-dawn Ramadan fast.

Seven months after it fired 800 employees, Evergreen Solar is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy relief. The company, which has received tens of millions of dollars in grants and incentives from the state of Massachusetts, will also face calls to return at least some of that money.

In the language of failed businesses, those calls are termed a "clawback" effort.

Pat Smith and his twin sons, Nate and Nick, were at a charity hockey game Thursday when he purchased three $10 raffle tickets for a chance to hit a near-impossible hockey shot, with a $50,000 prize. One of his sons hit that shot — but as Pat told organizers the next day, it wasn't the one whose name was on the ticket.

The Faribault, Minn., arena was in a state of pandemonium after Nate Smith sent a hockey puck from center ice into the goal — the 3-inch puck traveled 89 feet down the ice and into a 3.5-inch hole in a board laid over the mouth of the goal.

The use of DNA evidence to exonerate people wrongfully convicted of crimes — and in some cases, free them after decades in prison — is verging on becoming commonplace. It's one reason several states have ceased or slowed down their use of capital punishment. But for some exonerees, the large compensation payment they're often owed brings another clash, with their attorneys.

In Germany, a dairy cow named Yvonne's death-defying escape — and continued success in eluding capture — has become an incandescent symbol of freedom and animal dignity. Okay, that may be hyperbolic. But how else to explain scores of visitors to Zangberg, the Bavarian commune Yvonne calls home, or the 10,000-euro reward offered for her safe return?

America's two largest hot dog makers face off in a district courthouse in Chicago today, in a case that may determine the limits companies must observe when putting down their competition in advertisements.

The quibble started in 2009, when an Oscar Mayer ad campaign directly targeted Ball Park Franks, with the claim "We are tastier." As proof, it cited a "national taste test" — organized by Oscar Mayer. The folks at Ball Park weren't satisfied.

The decisive tip that brought the capture of three Florida siblings dubbed the "Dougherty Gang" came from two retired officers who were just out to enjoy a day in the San Isabel National Forest, according to new details of their arrest.

And it turns out that one of the brothers will also face a charge of grand theft auto, because the 2006 white Subaru Impreza the trio repeatedly used to flee police was a loaner.

One day after the U.S. debt "supercommittee" was finalized, the largest political donors to Republicans and Democrats on the panel are being scrutinized — after all, lobbyists are widely expected to court the committee's 12 members, to ensure that their interests stay off the chopping block.

A U.S. appeals court has ruled in favor of 26 states that filed suit to challenge a requirement in President Barack Obama's healthcare law that forced individuals to own health insurance. The law's "individual mandate" portion was declared unconstitutional, according to Reuters.

The court has apparently ruled that the remainder of the law, without the individual mandate, can stand, Reuters reports.

A woman who had been hospitalized since being struck by a cyclist in San Francisco last month died Thursday, opening the question of what charges, if any, might be filed against the cyclist. Dionette Cherney, a Washington, D.C., resident in her late 60s, suffered a head injury in the crash, from which she did not recover.

Two young women are accused of looting during the riots that have taken over several British cities this week. How they came to the attention of the courts provides a glimpse into the unrest — and how far the fractured country has to go to heal itself.

Researchers have created a new thin flexible sensor that can be applied with water, like a temporary tattoo. Measuring activity in the brain, heart and muscles, the innovation could cut down on the number of wires and cables medical personnel use to monitor patients, among other applications.

The electronics can bend, stretch and squeeze along with human skin, and maintain contact by relying on "van der Waals interactions" — the natural stickiness credited for geckoes' ability to cling to surfaces.

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