Bill Chappell

Featured Story

A Trip To The White House Garden

Students from Kemper Elementary School recently traveled to Washington, D.C. to help First Lady Michelle Obama plant a garden at the White House. Big Fat Farm Show host Kellie Pettyjohn talked with Danyel Mezzanato of the Montezuma School To Farm Project and one of the Kemper Elementary School students about how this opportunity came to be, and what the students got to experience on this journey.
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Andrew Rivett / Creative Commons
  • Motorcycle fatalities set a record in the state of Colorado in 2015, and that has prompted the start of a new safety campaign.
  • Obama administration pushing for a compromise to guide public-lands management in eastern Utah rather than jumping in to proclaim a national monument.

California Gov. Jerry Brown has made some of the state's temporary water restrictions permanent. The executive order, in response to the state's drought, permanently bans wasteful practices like hosing sidewalks and washing cars with hoses that don't have shut-off nozzles.

Turn on the TV and you can barely escape the acronym TPP.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a free trade deal between the U.S. and 11 other countries that's currently being negotiated. Presidential candidates on both sides of the aisle are deriding the TPP, saying it's a bum deal that will hurt the U.S. economy and especially low-wage workers.

The History of the McElmo Creek Flume

May 9, 2016
Colorado Preservation, Inc.

The McElmo Creek Flume is a unique piece of irrigation infrastructure that illustrates how water delivery systems were critical in the early days of Cortez history. KSJD's Tom Yoder sat down with Linda Towle, chairwoman of the Cortez Historic Preservation Board, to talk about efforts being made to restore the McElmo Creek Flume and protect it as a historical resource.


Americans have until May 10 to help the Food and Drug Administration with one of philosophy's greatest riddles: What is the meaning of "natural"?

Preserving Historic Buildings In Cortez

May 6, 2016
Tom Yoder

Historic preservation is a vital component of understanding the history of Cortez and how it came to be the city it is today. KSJD's Tom Yoder talked with Jill Seyfarth, a historical and archaeological consultant with Cultural Resource Planning in Durango, about her recent historic preservation work at several downtown Cortez buildings, including the historic buildings where the KSJD studios and Sunflower Theatre are located.

Scientists have had a literal breakthrough off the coast of Mexico.

After weeks of drilling from an offshore platform in the Gulf of Mexico, they have reached rocks left over from the day the Earth was hit by a killer asteroid.


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The Raven Narratives

Live Storytelling Event, 7:30pm, May 20th at the Sunflower Theatre

Sunflower Theatre


Gypsy flamenco swing at the Sunflower Theatre, Friday, May 13th, at 7:30pm

The Almanac

Crowdsourced Climate Observations

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

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, and editing and producing stories for'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 Solar Impulse 2 landed in the Phoenix area Monday night, welcomed by spectators at Goodyear Airport as the plane's pilots continue their quest to be the world's first solar powered airplane to fly around the Earth.

The 745-mile trip took nearly 16 hours — less time than expected, largely due to powerful tailwinds. The plane reached a maximum altitude of 22,000 feet.

From member station KJZZ in Phoenix, Andrew Bernier tells our Newscast unit:

Ballerina Misty Copeland, who made history when she became the first black female principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre last summer, now has her own Barbie doll. The doll wears a costume similar to Copeland's for her Firebird role.

For the Greatest Show on Earth, there is no longer an elephant in the room. The 145-year-old Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus held its last show featuring elephants Sunday night, in a move that's being applauded by animal rights activists.

Ringling announced its plan last spring, saying it is sending all its Asian elephants to live on the company's Florida nature reserve. The original plan called for phasing out elephants' role in the circus by 2018. But in January, Ringling's parent company, Feld Entertainment, said it was moving up the timetable.

For years, it's been a mystery: Who created the bitcoin crypto-currency, only to vanish as the virtual money grew into a phenomenon? Australian computer scientist Craig Wright now says he's "Satoshi Nakamoto," the alias that was used to create bitcoin.

"Satoshi is dead," Wright wrote in a blog post in which he says he created bitcoin. "But this is only the beginning."

One year after an All-Star season that saw him win awards for his hitting and fielding, Major League Baseball has suspended Miami Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon for 80 games because tests found that he used two performance-enhancing drugs.

Gordon tested positive for two banned substances, MLB says: externally derived testosterone and Clostebol, an anabolic steroid.

Inside the rally, people chanted "Build that wall." Outside, others chanted "Don't vote Trump" — and before the night was over, the two sides had a tense confrontation on a street in Costa Mesa, Calif., where Donald Trump gave a speech Thursday.

Police say no major injuries were reported — but that they also arrested around 20 people. Before the night was over, demonstrators attacked at least one police car, shattering its windows.

North Korea's Supreme Court has sent another U.S. citizen to prison, sentencing a Korean-American man to 10 years in prison and hard labor over espionage charges. Kim Dong-chul, 62, is reportedly a former resident of Fairfax, Va.

Its name will be "Red Dragon." And if the latest partnership between SpaceX and NASA works out, the privately funded craft will land on Mars to collect scientific data — possibly within the next two years. The plan is to use the Dragon capsule, but without a human crew.

"SpaceX is planning to send Dragons to Mars as early as 2018," the company said via Facebook Wednesday. "These missions will help demonstrate the technologies needed to land large payloads propulsively on Mars."

Airstrikes in Syria's largest city killed more than a dozen people at a well-known hospital, says aid group Doctors Without Borders, adding that the violence claimed one of the last pediatricians working in Aleppo.

"We are outraged at the destruction of Al Quds hospital," the group said in a tweet Thursday, saying that the facility included an intensive care unit and an emergency room.

A friend of the pediatrician who died told NPR's Alice Fordham via Skype that Mohammed Wassim Moaz was "very kind" and that the children in Aleppo "love him very much."

After tens of thousands of votes, the pair of eaglets born in the National Arboretum last month now have official names. Freedom and Liberty won, beating out other options such as Stars and Stripes.

The eagles have been very popular. Since February, more than 35 million people have watched them progress from eggs to hatchlings to eaglets, according to the American Eagle Foundation, which set up cameras near the birds' nest in the arboretum in Washington, D.C.