Bill Chappell | WAMC

Bill Chappell

Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.

Chappell's work for NPR includes being the lead writer for online coverage of several Olympic Games, from London in 2012 and Rio in 2016 to Pyeongchang in 2018 – stints that also included posting numerous videos and photos to NPR's Instagram and other branded accounts. He has also previously been NPR.org's homepage editor.

Chappell established the Peabody Award-winning StoryCorps on NPR's website; his assignments also include being the lead web producer for NPR's trip to Asia's Grand Trunk Road. Chappell has coordinated special digital features for Morning Edition and Fresh Air, in addition to editing the rundown of All Things Considered. He also frequently contributes to other NPR blogs, such as The Salt.

At NPR, Chappell has trained both digital and radio staff to tell compelling stories, promoting more collaboration between departments and desks.

Chappell was a key editorial member of the small team that performed one of NPR's largest website redesigns. One year later, NPR.org won its first Peabody Award, along with the National Press Foundation's Excellence in Online Journalism award.

Prior to joining NPR, Chappell was part of the Assignment Desk at CNN International, working with reporters in areas from the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America. Chappell also edited and produced stories for CNN.com's features division, before moving on to edit video and produce stories for Sports Illustrated's website.

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

Updated at 11:56 p.m. ET

Hurricane Delta is back in the Gulf of Mexico northwest of Cancún after making landfall around 6:30 a.m. ET Wednesday on Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula as a Category 2 storm, with winds estimated at 110 mph, the National Hurricane Center said.

The hurricane has weakened, with maximum winds of 90 mph. But it's expected to regain power before approaching the U.S. coast on Friday. Hurricane and storm surge warnings have been issued for parts of the northwestern and northern Gulf Coast.

Updated at 5 a.m. ET Wednesday

Hurricane Delta took aim at Mexico's northeast Yucatan coast Wednesday as a Category 3 storm with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph, having weakened somewhat since Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center said. It is still categorized as a major storm.

Delta earlier grew at an extraordinary rate, rising from sustained winds of only 40 mph Monday morning, to Category 4 on Tuesday with winds of 130 mph. The NHS says the storm is expected to strengthen once again as it heads for the U.S. Gulf coast.

More than 7,000 movie screens will be dark in the U.S. this weekend as the Regal theater chain said it will shut down all 536 locations on Thursday. The closure reflects "an increasingly challenging theatrical landscape" due to the COVID-19 pandemic and is temporary, the chain said.

Regal is shutting down theaters again less than two months after it started to reopen U.S. locations in late August. The decision was announced after the James Bond franchise's No Time to Die was shelved until 2021, further pushing back a release that had already been delayed.

Updated at 11:02 p.m. ET

The storm called Delta, which formed in the Caribbean Sea on Monday morning, has strengthened into a hurricane, the National Hurricane Center says. The storm will likely reach the northern Gulf Coast early Friday.

Updated at 4:45 p.m. ET

A court released some 15 hours of recorded grand jury proceedings in the Breonna Taylor case Friday – an extraordinary action that comes after a juror disputed Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron's explanation for why no one was directly charged in Taylor's killing by Louisville police this spring.

Updated at 7:31 p.m. ET

President Trump's positive coronavirus test has set off contingency possibilities that center on some key questions: What if COVID-19 renders the president incapable of executing the duties of his office? How would that affect the government — and the current election season?

Updated at 5:30 p.m. ET

United Airlines and American Airlines have sent furlough notices to a total of more than 32,000 employees, saying they can't afford to have them on payroll after Thursday – the expiration date for the federal CARES Act Payroll Support Program.

"To our departing 13,000 family members: thank you for your dedication and we look forward to welcoming you back," United said in a message sent to employees Wednesday night that it also shared with NPR.

President Trump has consistently told Americans "the complete opposite" of what his health experts have been telling him in private meetings about COVID-19, according to Olivia Troye, who until recently worked on the the White House coronavirus task force.

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET

A judge has granted Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron's request for more time to release a grand jury recording in the Breonna Taylor case.

The new deadline to release the recording is this Friday at noon ET, Jefferson Circuit Judge Ann Bailey Smith said in a court order on Wednesday. The order said the defense counsel had no objection to the request.

Updated at 1:55 p.m. ET

President Trump claimed to have the backing of the "Portland sheriff" during Tuesday night's debate with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. But the sheriff of that jurisdiction in Oregon immediately responded by saying that's not true.

"As the Multnomah County Sheriff I have never supported Donald Trump and will never support him," said Mike Reese, in a tweet that was also shared by the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office.

Two NFL teams are suspending all in-person club activities after the Tennessee Titans announced three players and five other personnel have tested positive for the coronavirus. Joining the Titans in shutting down in-person activities are the Minnesota Vikings, who played against them Sunday.

The Vikings said that as of Tuesday morning, no one in their organization has gotten a positive result from tests carried out after Sunday's game.

The recording of grand jury proceedings in the Breonna Taylor case will be released this week — an unusual step that comes after a juror disputed Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron's public explanation for why no charges were filed that are directly related to Taylor's killing by Louisville police.

Jefferson Circuit Judge Ann Bailey Smith has "ordered attorneys to file a recording of the grand jury proceedings" by Wednesday, member station WFPL reports. It's not yet clear when the recording might be released to the public.

Hair. It's long been a priority for Donald Trump.

Tax documents obtained by The New York Times show that during the making of The Apprentice, he deducted $70,000 for the cost of his haircuts and hairstyling. Trump's businesses also wrote off "at least $95,464 paid to a favorite hair and makeup artist of Ivanka Trump," the Times reported.

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET

Brad Parscale, senior digital adviser for the Trump campaign and former campaign manager, was involuntarily hospitalized after his wife told police in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Sunday afternoon that Parscale had access to weapons and was threatening to harm himself.

The justice system failed Breonna Taylor, says Tamika Palmer, the mother of the emergency room technician whom police shot and killed in her own apartment in March. She says Kentucky's attorney general was not up to the job of achieving justice for Taylor.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and first lady Pamela Northam have tested positive for the coronavirus, the governor's office announced Friday. The couple underwent PCR tests Thursday, after a staff member of the governor's residence was diagnosed.

The governor does not have symptoms, but Pamela Northam "is currently experiencing mild symptoms," a statement from the governor's office says. The Northams will self-isolate for the next 10 days as their health is monitored. Northam will continue to work from the governor's mansion.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to encourage unemployed New Yorkers to work at polls during the Nov. 3 election and has signed an executive order that relieves people who receive unemployment benefits from having to report part-time income they get from an election board.

Two police officers who were shot Wednesday night as protesters marched in Louisville, Ky., to demand justice for Breonna Taylor are expected to recover from their wounds, Mayor Greg Fischer says. A man has been arrested and faces multiple charges in connection with the shooting.

Tensions are running very high in Louisville, after a grand jury delivered a limited indictment against one officer who was present when police shot Taylor to death in her apartment.

Denver police detained a man after a vehicle plowed through a crowd of people demonstrating for justice in the Breonna Taylor case. The protesters were gathered near the Colorado state Capitol. Some of them had blocked the vehicle, which then sped away.

The venerable Sizzler USA family steakhouse chain has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, citing a business environment roiled by COVID-19 restrictions — and saying that not enough has been done to help restaurants survive.

"Our current financial state is a direct consequence of the pandemic's economic impact," Sizzler President Chris Perkins said, "due to long-term indoor dining closures and landlords' refusal to provide necessary rent abatements."

"There is insufficient evidence to prove negligent or reckless homicide" in the death of Carlos Ingram-Lopez in April, prosecutors in Pima County, Ariz., say, opting against criminal charges despite finding that Tucson police officers who placed him in custody failed to follow protocol and created an "unjustifiable risk."

Ingram-Lopez, 27, died after being handcuffed and held face-down in a garage for some 12 minutes. For much of that time, police kept two plastic emergency blankets and a "spit sock hood" over his head.

The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 200,000 on Tuesday — reaching what was once the upper limit of some estimates for the pandemic's impact on Americans. Some experts now warn that the toll could nearly double again by the end of 2020.

"I hoped we would be in a better place by now," said Caitlin Rivers, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. "It's an enormous and tragic loss of life."

The NFL has fined several head coaches $100,000 for not wearing face masks on the sidelines — a safety precaution that is required at games during the COVID-19 pandemic. The coaches' teams were also punished, with $250,000 fines.

The coaches include Pete Carroll of Seattle, Kyle Shanahan of San Francisco and Vic Fangio of Denver, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. A league source confirmed details about the fines to NPR on Tuesday morning.

Tropical Storm Beta's heavy rainfall and slow movement is raising the risk of flooding "from the middle Texas coast to southeast Louisiana," the National Weather Service said. Beta is heading for a part of Louisiana where electricity service for thousands of people hasn't recovered from being knocked out by Hurricane Laura last month. Some isolated areas could see 15 inches of rain.

The U.K.'s COVID-19 numbers are rising fast and could reach new 50,000 cases per day by mid-October, the country's top science adviser announced Monday. Sir Patrick Vallance said his warning is based on current trends that show "the epidemic is doubling roughly every seven days."

"There's no doubt we're in a situation where the numbers are increasing," Vallance said during an online briefing hosted by 10 Downing Street. The challenge now, he added, is to prolong the time it takes for infection rates to double.

Updated at 2:41 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is banning Americans from downloading popular video-sharing app TikTok and limiting the use of WeChat because of national security concerns, the Commerce Department announced on Friday.

As of midnight on Sunday, TikTok will also not be able to receive system updates, which could affect its functionality, including slowing down the app, but the app's current version will still work for American users. Over time, however, TikTok may stop working altogether.

The remnants of Hurricane Sally are dropping torrential rain on southeastern states — and its center was still in Alabama early Thursday, more than 24 hours after making landfall as a Category 2 hurricane. The storm has brought rainfall that is being measured in feet, not inches, in many places.

Sally is now a tropical depression, but it's bringing new flood threats to Georgia and South Carolina Thursday, the National Hurricane Center says.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says he and other staff will take an unpaid furlough week, part of an effort to respond to billions of dollars in lost revenue and to show solidarity during the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic shutdowns.

Updated at 11:17 p.m. ET

Hurricane Sally brought 100-mph winds and the threat of historic flooding to southeastern Alabama and the western Florida Panhandle on Wednesday after making landfall as a Category 2 storm. Some isolated areas in its path could see nearly 3 feet of rain.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and representatives of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates officially opened normal relations Tuesday, signing diplomatic agreements during a White House ceremony that was hosted by President Trump.

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