David Schaper

David Schaper is a NPR National Desk reporter based in Chicago.

In this role, he covers news in Chicago and around the Midwest. Additionally he reports on a broad range of important social, cultural, political, and business issues in the region.

The range of Schaper's reporting has included profiles of service members killed in Iraq, and members of a reserve unit returning home to Wisconsin. He produced reports on the important political issues in key Midwest battleground states, education issues related to "No Child Left Behind," the bankruptcy of United Airlines as well as other aviation and transportation issues, and the devastation left by tornadoes, storms, blizzards, and floods in the Midwest.

Prior to joining NPR, Schaper spent nine years working as an award-winning reporter and editor for Chicago Public Radio's WBEZ-FM. For three years he covered education issues, reporting in-depth on the problems, financial and otherwise, plaguing Chicago's public schools.

In 1996, Schaper was named assistant news editor, managing the station's daily news coverage and editing a staff of six. He continued general assignment reporting, covering breaking news, politics, transportation, housing, sports, and business.

When he left WBEZ, Schaper was the station's political reporter, editor, and a frequent fill-in news anchor and program host. Additionally, he served as a frequent guest panelist on public television's Chicago Tonight and Chicago Week in Review.

Since beginning his career at Wisconsin Public Radio's WLSU-FM, Schaper worked in Chicago as a writer and editor for WBBM-AM and as a reporter and anchor for WXRT-FM. He worked at commercial stations WMAY-AM in Springfield, IL; and WIZM-AM and FM in La Crosse, WI; and at public stations WSSU-FM (now WUIS) and WDCB-FM in in Illinois.

Schaper earned a Bachelor of Science at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and an Master of Arts from the University of Illinois-Springfield.

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U.S.
3:30 am
Fri June 19, 2015

Battle Over New Oil Train Standards Pits Safety Against Cost

Oil trains sit idle on the BNSF Railway's tracks in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood.
David Schaper NPR

Originally published on Fri June 19, 2015 3:30 pm

The federal government's new rules aimed at preventing explosive oil train derailments are sparking a backlash from all sides.

The railroads, oil producers and shippers say some of the new safety requirements are unproven and too costly, yet some safety advocates and environmental groups say the regulations aren't strict enough and still leave too many people at risk.

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Religion
4:26 pm
Thu June 18, 2015

Both Catholics, Non-Catholics Applaud Pope For Bold Remarks On Climate Change

Originally published on Thu June 18, 2015 8:58 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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The Two-Way
6:01 pm
Thu June 11, 2015

Parties Say They Trust Hastert Judge's Impartiality

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert this week pleaded not guilty to breaking banking laws and lying about the money to the FBI. The federal judge in the case will preside over it after the parties declined his offer to recuse himself.
Christian K. Lee AP

The federal judge overseeing the criminal case of former House Speaker Dennis Hastert will continue to preside over it, even though he made campaign contributions to Hastert, as neither the prosecution nor the defense see it as a conflict of interest.

During Hastert's arraignment Tuesday, Chicago U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Durkin acknowledged that in 2002 and 2004, he contributed $500 and $1,000 to Hastert's campaign through his law firm, but he said he had never met the speaker.

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U.S.
3:48 am
Wed June 3, 2015

Most Commuter Rails Won't Meet Deadline For Mandated Safety Systems

Despite Congress mandating all railroads be equipped with a Positive Train Control system by the end of the year, Chicago's Metra system isn't expected to reach that goal until 2019. Most commuter trains won't meet the deadline.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Wed June 3, 2015 7:59 am

Many investigators say Positive Train Control (PTC), an automated safety system, could have prevented last month's Amtrak train derailment. Amtrak officials have said they will have PTC installed throughout the northeast corridor by the end of this year, which is the deadline mandated by Congress.

But the vast majority of other commuter railroad systems, which provided nearly 500 million rides in 2014, won't be able to fully implement positive train control for several more years.

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Law
7:38 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

Former House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert Indicted By Federal Grand Jury

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 9:01 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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U.S.
8:02 am
Sat May 16, 2015

Red Tape Slows Control System That Could Have Saved Speeding Train

Officials attend the launch of a Positive Train Control system for Los Angeles' Metrolink commuter trains in February 2014 at Los Angeles Union Station. Congress mandated the technology after a Metrolink engineer ran a red light while he was texting and crashed head-on with a freight train in 2008.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Sat May 16, 2015 7:35 pm

National Transportation Safety Board investigators say Positive Train Control — a system of satellites, communication towers and complex software that makes sure trains' safely follow their routes — would have prevented Tuesday's Amtrak train derailment in Philadelphia, which killed eight passengers.

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Around the Nation
5:12 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

NTSB Continues Investigation Into Derailed Amtrak Train

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 6:56 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
8:37 pm
Fri May 8, 2015

Illinois High Court Tosses Out State's Pension Fix

The Illinois Supreme Court today struck down a recently passed law designed to fix the nation's worst funded public pension system, putting Illinois lawmakers and the state's new Republican governor back to square one as they try to solve a huge state budget crisis.

The law enacted in December 2013, would have eliminated annually occurring 3% cost of living increases in pension benefits. It also would have upped the retirement age for state workers and limited the amount of salary that could be used to calculate pensions.

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The Two-Way
6:04 am
Wed May 6, 2015

Chicago Creates Reparations Fund For Victims Of Police Torture

Stanley Wrice pauses in December 2013 as he speaks to the media with his lawyer, Heidi Linn Lambros (left), and his daughter, Gail Lewis, while leaving Pontiac Correctional Center in Pontiac, Ill. Wrice was released after serving more than 30 years. He claimed for decades that Chicago police detectives under the command of then-Lt. Jon Burge beat and coerced him into confessing to rape.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Wed May 6, 2015 1:43 pm

Updated at 1:30 p.m. ET.

The city of Chicago has become the first in the nation to create a reparations fund for victims of police torture, after the City Council unanimously approved the $5.5 million package.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says the abuse and torture of scores of mostly black, male suspects in the 1970s, '80s and early '90s by former police Cmdr. Jon Burge and his detectives is a "stain that cannot be removed from our city's history."

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The Two-Way
7:54 pm
Thu April 23, 2015

SkyWest Now Says Several Passengers Were Ill On Diverted Flight

SkyWest Airlines says three passengers lost consciousness on a plane, operating as United Express, that made an emergency landing in Buffalo on Wednesday.
Gary Wiepert AP

Officials at SkyWest Airlines and federal authorities say they still don't know what caused three passengers to lose consciousness on a flight that then made an emergency landing in Buffalo Wednesday. Earlier, the airline said one passenger was affected.

The SkyWest plane, operating as United Express flight #5622, was flying from Chicago's O'Hare airport to Hartford, Connecticut with 75 passengers on board.

Some passengers say part way into the flight, they started having trouble breathing, and felt dizzy and nauseous.

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