Bill Chappell

Bill Chappell is a blogger and producer who works with NPR's Morning Edition and Digital Media group. In addition to coordinating Web features, he frequently contributes to NPR's blogs, from The Two Way and All Tech Considered to The Salt.

Chappell's work at NPR has ranged from being the site's first full-time homepage editor to leading 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 trains both digital and radio staff to use digital tools to tell compelling stories, in addition to "evangelizing" — promoting more collaboration between departments. Other shows he has worked with include All Things Considered, Fresh Air, and Talk of the Nation.

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.

Chappell's work for CNN also included producing Web stories and editing digital video for SI.com, as well as editing and producing stories for CNN.com's features division. He also worked at the network's video and research library.

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

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.

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.

A record nine car models recorded driver death rates of zero, in a periodic study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The group's focus on 2011 models driven through 2012 also found the overall death rate fell by more than a third from its previous study.

The new study found that when looking at 2011 models through the 2012 calendar year, driver deaths per million registered vehicle years fell to 28; just three years earlier, the driver death rate was 48.

Three Americans who were working as contractors in Afghanistan died in a gunman's attack at the Hamid Karzai International Airport complex Thursday, the Associated Press reports.

The news agency adds:

"It was not immediately clear who did the shooting or whether the shooter was a member of the Afghan security forces.

"The U.S. defense officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the incident was in the early stages of investigation."

In addition to the U.S. casualties, an Afghan citizen also died, the AP says.

In an update to a complicated situation, a Japanese hostage held by the violent extremist group ISIS has reportedly been forced to record a message setting a Thursday deadline for Jordan to release an Iraqi prisoner. If not, the message says, the group will kill a Jordanian pilot it's holding.

The new demand and deadline was reported Wednesday, the day ISIS's original 24-hour deadline for the release of Sajida al-Rishawi, Iraqi prisoner held in Jordan, was to expire.

It's been nearly 100 years since a sighting of a Sierra Nevada red fox was documented in Yosemite National Park, according to park staff. But a remote motion-sensitive camera recently took photos of one of the rare animals as it padded across the snow.

"The Sierra Nevada red fox of California is one of the rarest mammals in North America," reports Ed Joyce of Capital Public Radio, "likely consisting of fewer than 50 individuals."

Now researchers believe they've seen one of the foxes twice since the start of December.

During her first day of confirmation hearings for attorney general, nominee Loretta Lynch gave answers that seemed in line with President Obama. But then she was asked about marijuana, and whether she supports legalizing it.

"Senator, I do not," Lynch told Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., when he asked whether she supports making pot legal.

The execution of three inmates has been put on hold, as the Supreme Court intervenes in a case that involves the controversy over the drugs states use to put people to death. The justices cited the sedative midazolam, which has been used in three executions that did not go smoothly.

The Supreme Court's stay is likely to hold until April, when it will hear arguments from three inmates who say that Oklahoma's execution protocol violates the U.S. Constitution.

The court's order did not elaborate on the reasons or debate behind the move:

They call it "The last McDonald's hamburger in Iceland." Purchased more than five years ago, it has been displayed in the Na­tional Mu­seum of Ice­land. Now a webcam has been devoted to the hamburger (with a side of fries), among the last sold by the American company in the country.

Coastal flooding and dangerous conditions were still affecting New England Tuesday evening, with blizzard warnings declared from Rhode Island to parts of New Hampshire and Maine. Since Sunday, parts of Connecticut, Massachusetts and other states have had more than two feet of snow.

Strong winds were a main concern along the coast, as they drove flood waters inland and caused other problems. The National Weather Service says winds gusted at over 70 mph in Nantucket and Chatham, Mass.

A jury has found two former members of the Vanderbilt University football team guilty of multiple counts of aggravated rape and aggravated sexual battery, in a case that stems from a 2013 assault in a dorm room. Others also face charges in the case.

Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey will face sentencing on March 6. Convicted of multiple felonies, the two could be sentenced to decades in prison.

From Nashville, Blake Farmer of member station WPLN reports:

Reversing what had been an unpopular approach, the White House says it is dropping the idea of ending a tax break for 529 college savings plans. Critics had called the proposal a tax hike. All 50 states and the District of Columbia sponsor 529 plans.

Money in 529 accounts is meant to grow along with future college students, and then be distributed to pay for education expenses without being taxed.

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