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.

Federal regulators say the nation's railroads are making slow and uneven progress in installing positive train control, technology that could prevent train crashes, and there is growing concern that several railroads may not make the government's deadline for implementing the system. Positive train control uses GPS, trackside signals, onboard computers and other technologies to slow down or stop a train that is going too fast. It is seen as a major safety improvement that can reduce the risk...

On a night that the national election results had her discouraged, Seattle resident Anne Johnson had at least one ballot measure to celebrate: ST3, which will raise the local sales tax in the Seattle-Tacoma area to help pump $54 billion into expanding the region's rail and bus systems. It passed by a wide margin. "That is awesome, and we've put a lot of work into that, and I'm excited for the direction that that will take Seattle," says Johnson, who adds that the transit improvements will...

If it's true that misery loves company, then the heartbreaking failures of the Chicago Cubs over the last century certainly cemented bonds through generations of fans. The Cubs are in the World Series for the first time in 71 years, and they haven't won the fall classic since 1908. That makes this year's success somewhat bittersweet for many fans in Chicago, who remember parents, grandparents, spouses and other loved ones who didn't live long enough to see this day. So in cemeteries all...

Our cars and trucks are being made with more safety features. New technologies such as lane departure warnings, blind spot detection, vehicle stabilizers and anti-lock brakes can, and do, save lives. Yet more people are dying on the nation's roadways — nearly 18,000 in the first six months of this year. That's a huge jump of 10.4 percent over the same time period in 2015, and it's part of a disturbing trend, according to federal officials, because traffic fatalities rose significantly last...

Many travelers have resigned themselves to paying $25 or more to check a bag when flying. But that fee becomes especially onerous when the bag doesn't show up on the carousel at baggage claim. The White House is proposing a new rule that would require airlines to refund the checked baggage fee if luggage is "substantially delayed," though it does not define "substantially." NPR aviation reporter David Schaper says airlines are already required to compensate passengers for lost or damaged...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. DAVID GREENE, HOST: The numbers in the city of Chicago, they're just staggering. More than 3,000 people have been shot this year, more than 500 killed. That's already more than all of last year. And Chicago has recorded more murders this year than New York and Los Angeles combined. The city announced yesterday it will hire nearly 1,000 new police officers over the next two years. And Mayor Rahm Emanuel outlined a broader effort to...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. DAVID SCHAPER, BYLINE: I'm David Schaper in Chicago, where that cheap gas that Jeff talked about and a stronger economy are putting a lot more cars and trucks on the road. I'm sitting in my car on Lake Shore Drive, and traffic is bumper-to-bumper, barely moving at all. New government figures show that more vehicles plus more people driving more often all adds up to more crashes. And highways like this one are getting a lot more...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The U.S. Department of Transportation released a statistic on Wednesday that should surprise no one who flies: In the first six months of the year, nearly 1 in every 5 flights was delayed. Flights can be delayed for reasons ranging from bad weather to mechanical problems, but airlines know delays are a problem. Sarah, a corporate training professional based in Texas, is a frequent flier and writes the travel blog Road Warriorette . (She didn't want her last name used because her employer...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. DAVID GREENE, HOST: Well, hope you are not trying to fly this morning on Delta Airlines. Hundreds of flights are delayed or canceled after the airline had to ground its entire fleet because of a system outage. Earlier this morning, we reached one person stuck in this mess, Jackie Watanabe (ph). She was trying to get from Las Vegas to Raleigh. JACKIE WATANABE: Every few minutes, they just kept saying they're still having computer...

It's a warm and muggy summer afternoon in Chicago, but that doesn't seem to bother the kids clamoring to ride the Ferris wheel, the Rock-O-Plane and other carnival rides set up in this southwest suburban park. At the annual Chicago Fraternal Order of Police summer picnic, city cops and their families hauled in coolers and set up grills to enjoy food and bond with brothers and sisters in blue. But there's something hanging over this picnic: the stress and strain of the job, and the scrutiny...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

A record number of Americans are dying by accident and increasingly because of fatal overdoses and falls, and not so much in car crashes. A new report from the National Safety Council shows more than 136,000 people in the U.S. died accidentally in 2014, the highest number ever recorded. That's an increase of 4.2 percent from the year before and 15.5 percent more than a decade ago. The higher accidental death rate is being fueled in large part by the opioid and heroin epidemic. Overdose and...

The excruciating wait times at Chicago's O'Hare and Midway airports the past couple of weeks have travelers fuming and some city officials looking for other options. Chicago Alderman Ed Burke is calling on the city to do airport security the way it's done in Kansas City, San Francisco and several smaller airports around the country. He wants to hire a private company to staff the screening checkpoints. "It's working in San Francisco, isn't it? And it's working in 20 other airports around the...

The head of the Transportation Security Administration is promising the agency will do a better job of staffing enough officers at airport security checkpoints to reduce long lines. But he says those long lines are likely to continue through the peak summer travel season. Travelers at some airports have been waiting two to three hours or more to get through screening. As a result, thousands have missed their flights in recent weeks. The problem has been particularly bad at Chicago's airports....

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