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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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript KELLY MCEVERS, HOST: One of the country's most passionate advocates for health care reform has died. Dr. Quentin Young was a civil rights activist in Chicago and a personal physician to city's first black mayor, to a governor and to Martin Luther King. David Schaper has this remembrance. DAVID SCHAPER, BYLINE: The care of his patients always came first to Quentin Young, buy fighting for universal access to care was his...

Amid low gas prices and a stronger economy, Americans are driving more than ever before, with new federal government figures showing traffic volumes are at an all-time high. However, there is a downside to this resurgence of driving: increased traffic congestion and pollution. New data from the Federal Highway Administration show that Americans drove a record 3.15 trillion vehicle miles last year — that's the equivalent of traveling from Earth to Pluto and back 337 times. Why are we driving...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST: For the first time in decades, passengers will soon be able to catch a commercial flight from the U.S. to Cuba. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx is in Havana this morning to sign a deal to get those planes in the air. NPR's David Shaper reports. DAVID SCHAPER, BYLINE: Decades of Cold War policies made Cuba one destination that's off-limits to U.S. commercial airlines. Only about a dozen daily...

A growing number of Americans are driving less and getting rid of their cars. The trend is gaining traction in middle-aged adults, to the point where fewer of them are even bothering to get or renew their driver's licenses, but it's been prominent among younger adults — millennials — for years now. "Honestly, at this point, it just doesn't really seem worth it," says 25-year-old Peter Rebecca, who doesn't own a car or have a driver's license. "I mean, I live in Chicago, there's really good...

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has reached a long sought-after agreement with two major airlines — United and American — to build a new runway at O'Hare airport. The $1.3 billion project will increase capacity at the congested airfield in hopes of reducing delays. However, the deal does not include an agreement with the airlines to increase terminal space and add new gates, which some travel industry experts say is critical to reducing congestion at O'Hare, an airport notorious among frequent...

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

Editor's note: This report contains graphic descriptions of torture. The Chicago Police Department is the latest force in the national spotlight for a controversial shooting of a young black man, but the issues raised by recently released videos showing police shootings are not new in Chicago. The incidents, critics say, are evidence of what they call a long history of Chicago police using excessive force on minorities in the city. The day he was tortured is one that Darrell Cannon says will...

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel appears to be reversing course and says he now "welcomes" a Justice Department investigation in "systemic issues embedded" in the city's police department. The mayor's office Thursday morning released a statement seeking to "clarify" Emanuel's comments Wednesday, in which he suggested a federal civil rights pattern-and-practice investigation "in my view, would be misguided." Emanuel now says he is open to a longer-term review of the Chicago Police Department to...

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

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript KELLY MCEVERS, HOST: Chicago police officials have now released a video of a white police officer shooting a black teenager 16 times last year, killing him. Those who have seen the video describe it as graphic and disturbing, and it was made public just hours after the officer who fired the shots was charged with first-degree murder. Now protesters are in the streets of Chicago while city leaders call for calm. From...

He was considered a model police officer — a devoted family man and a mentor to the young people in the small Illinois town of Fox Lake, near the Wisconsin state line. The death of Illinois police Lt. Charles Gliniewicz on the morning of Sept. 1 sparked a massive manhunt involving hundreds of his fellow officers from around the region, where he was known to many as "GI Joe." Law enforcement officers from coast to coast came for his funeral to honor a man many believed to be a hero, who became...

Stepping off his recent flight from Boston at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, education consultant Debashis Sengupta looked a little surprised. "The flight today was actually quite nice," says Sengupta. "No problems at all, in fact — not something I was expecting from United." This frequent flier says an uneventful, on-time flight on United is the exception, not the rule. "I'm not a fond customer of United at all," says Sengupta, 53, of West Newton, Mass. "I've never had a good flying...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: There's a big shake-up at United Airlines today. The chief executive officer and two other high-ranking officials at United Airlines abruptly resigned in the midst of an internal and federal investigation. The airline is being investigated by the U.S. attorney's office in New Jersey over whether it improperly tried to sway senior officials at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. NPR's David...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript DAVID GREENE, HOST: And let's return to a story we first told last week about a crisis in Chicago. There's been a stunning increase in the number of people dying from using heroin, and yet, at this moment, the state of Illinois is cutting funding for heroin treatment. Critics are attacking the Republican governor of Illinois, Bruce Rauner, who vetoed part of a bill funding treatment programs. The governor says he is...

After Hurricane Katrina's massive storm surge annihilated tens of thousands of homes on the Gulf Coast, many families tried to quickly rebuild. Ten years later, some are still trying, while others are losing hope. Tiny Pearlington, Miss., sat unwittingly in the center of Hurricane Katrina's path of devastation. They eye of the storm passed directly overhead, and a 30-foot storm surge nearly obliterated the town. Bill Griffin, 78, has lived here his entire life — the past 50 years amid the...

When Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast 10 years ago, the eye of the storm made landfall near a tiny speck of a town at the mouth of the Pearl River on the Louisiana border with Mississippi. To say Katrina — one of the deadliest and costliest hurricanes in U.S. history — nearly wiped Pearlington, Miss., off the map isn't entirely true. The fact is, Pearlington was so small that it wasn't even on many maps. As a result it took a couple of days for search-and-rescue teams to reach...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: Water levels in the Great Lakes are rising from record lows. Lakes Huron and Michigan are 3 feet higher than a year ago. Here's NPR's David Schaper. DAVID SCHAPER, BYLINE: Walking over the foredune towards the sparkling blue-green waters of Lake Michigan at Central Avenue Beach in the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, you'd expect to find a long, gradual, sandy descent to the water's edge. But instead....

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: Highways across the country are already busy and the lines are starting at airports. Welcome to the Independence Day weekend. AAA predicts nearly 42 million Americans will be traveling at least 50 miles from home - the most since 2008. And NPR's David Schaper reports from Chicago a growing number of travelers, and the businesses that rely on them, worry about the condition of the nation's...

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. Since February, five trains carrying North Dakota Bakken crude oil have derailed and exploded into flames in the U.S. and...

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. Durkin...

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