Bill Chappell

Bill Chappell is a writer and producer who currently works on The Two Way, NPR's flagship news portal. In the past, he has edited and coordinated digital features for Morning Edition and Fresh Air, in addition to editing 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.

Updated at 11:40 p.m. ET

In the outbreak of powerful and destructive fires that have struck California since Sunday, there are now 22 large wildfires burning in the state. They've caused at least 23 deaths and scorched nearly 170,000 acres, officials said Wednesday.

Updated at 6:17 p.m. ET

At least 15 people have died in intense wildfires that have destroyed thousands of buildings in Northern California, where firefighters are battling 17 large blazes in the state's wine country, including Napa and Sonoma counties. Together, they've burned 115,000 acres, according to Cal Fire.

A Japanese court says the government and Tokyo Electric must compensate people in Fukushima for their suffering in the 2011 nuclear power plant disaster, saying officials should have been prepared for a potentially ruinous tsunami. It's the largest ruling of its kind over the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant.

In holding the government and TEPCO liable in the class-action lawsuit, the Fukushima district court ordered payments totaling nearly $4.5 million to about 3,800 plaintiffs — roughly $1,184 per person.

Charles "Chuck" Svatos hit it big in the Iowa lottery — as Iowa Lottery says, "$25,000 a year for life!" But Svatos, 92, is taking his money in a lump sum, a decision that was presumably made easier because of his age.

By taking the cash option, Svatos received $390,000 — of which the federal government took nearly $100,000 and the state took nearly $20,000, still leaving him with a hefty $273,000, according to Iowa Lottery.

Updated at 2 p.m. ET

A tropical cyclone in the northwestern Caribbean Sea has been upgraded to a named storm, Tropical Storm Nate. The system is likely to become a hurricane in the next three days and could hit the northern Gulf Coast on Sunday morning, forecasters say.

"Residents along the Gulf Coast from Louisiana through the Florida Panhandle should monitor the progress of this system and heed any advice given by local officials," the National Hurricane Center says.

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