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.

Bitter cold has returned to parts of the Midwest, mid-Atlantic and Northeast, following another heavy snowstorm that left 1 to 2 feet of snow from Ohio to New England. And when all this snow finally melts, it'll expose the physical toll of this brutal winter: potholes, broken water mains, collapsed catch basins and other infrastructure problems. "This winter's crazy, crazy busy," says John Polishak, a foreman for the Chicago Department of Water Management. "Everybody's been working 16 hours a...

Oil business in North Dakota is creating some big headaches for Amtrak travelers. Trains on the popular Empire Builder route between Chicago and the Pacific Northwest are often delayed for hours. One reason for the congestion is an influx of trains hauling crude oil across the Northern Plains. The delays are becoming so bad that a passenger group now wants the U.S. transportation secretary to intervene. Frozen Before Ice Fishing Among the disgruntled customers are ice fishers trying to get to...

The National Transportation Safety Board is calling for the swift enactment of tough new standards on trains carrying crude oil. And in an unprecedented move, the NTSB made its recommendations jointly with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada. With the huge increase in oil shipped by train across North America, the agencies warn another major disaster could be looming. Just last month, in North Dakota an eastbound train carrying light Bakken crude oil hit a grain train that had just...

While many of us may prefer to never again see temperatures drop below zero like they did earlier this week across the country, the deep freeze is putting warm smiles on the faces of many entomologists. That's because it may have been cold enough in some areas to freeze and kill some damaging invasive species of insects, including the tree-killing emerald ash borer. After their eggs are laid in the bark of ash trees during late summer, the larvae of these beetles start to bore. They feed on...

North Dakota and western Canada are producing crude oil faster than it can be shipped to refineries. Rail car manufacturers can't make new tank cars fast enough, and new pipeline proposals face long delays over environmental concerns. So energy companies are looking for new ways to get the heavy crude to market. One proposed solution is to ship the oil by barge over the Great Lakes — but it's a controversial one. Crews are working around the clock in North Dakota, where there's a lot of oil...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIsQuoFXwe4 A commuter train crash that killed four passengers in New York is raising questions about whether a high-tech safety system could have prevented the derailment. The train was traveling 82 miles an hour on Dec. 1 as it went into a curve where the speed limit is 30. The safety system, called positive train control, or PTC, can automatically slow down a train that is going too fast. But most trains don't have it. "For more than 20 years, the [National...

It's a sign of the times: More people are commuting for more than an hour to get to work, and many of the longest commutes are at least partially on public transportation. Take Sarah Hairston's commute from her apartment on Chicago's South Side to her part-time job at a shelter for homeless teens on the north side of town. Hairston, a 25-year-old graduate student, begins her trek at 4 a.m. by walking to a nearby bus stop, in the hopes of catching a bus to the L train. But if Hairston misses...

The death toll from Sunday's tornado outbreak across the Midwest stands at eight. Many of those who witnessed the devastation say they're shocked that number isn't higher. Early warnings delivered by text message may have helped limit the casualties.

There's a question that's looming over the new skyscraper at the World Trade Center site in New York: Should it count as the tallest building in the country? The developers say yes. But by some measures, the Willis Tower in Chicago — formerly known as Sears Tower — can still lay claim to the title. Now, an obscure organization known as the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat is preparing to settle the debate. "It's a seminal moment for skyscrapers," says Antony Wood, the council's...

It is still as dark as night as Jim Rix steps out of his red brick Chicago bungalow and gets into his car, parked on the street. It's 6 a.m., and the 53-year-old engineer is getting an early start on his 35-mile commute out to Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago's southwest suburbs. "Depending upon weather and time of day, it can take 45 minutes to two hours to get to and from work," Rix says. Rix is one of many on the roads driving a reverse commute from the city to the suburbs. Over the...

It's news many airline passengers have waited to hear: The Federal Aviation Administration may allow smartphones, tablets and other personal electronic devices to be used throughout an entire flight — including takeoff and landing. Frequent flier Barbara Reilly, a health care consultant from Atlanta, is like many airline passengers: She boards her flights with a laptop, an iPad and a cellphone, and "I used them all ... continuously, until the very moment I had to turn them off. And the second...

Close to 19 million passengers come through Chicago's Midway Airport each year, and many will spend a lot of cash here — on food, drinks, books, gum, parking and rental cars — not to mention the landing fees and gate fees paid by airlines. There are a lot of opportunities to make money in a bustling hub airport like this, and the city was hoping to cash in. Last winter, when the city opened the bidding process in what would have been the first commercial airport to go private, six investment...

Transcript ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: Defending national security is one of the core arguments President Obama is using in his bid to strike Syria. Congress is expected to vote on military action next week. NPR's David Schaper takes us now to two Chicago area districts where passions on Syria are running high. DAVID SCHAPER, BYLINE: The more than 200 folding chairs set up in the community center in suburban Willow Springs were not nearly enough to accommodate the overflowing crowd that turned out...

Transcript ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel. AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: And I'm Audie Cornish. Oh, what a day to be a hockey fan in Chicago. The city is celebrating its Stanley Cup champions after last night's thrilling come-from-behind victory over the Boston Bruins. The Blackhawks stunned the Bruins and all of Boston by tying the game with just a minute and 16 seconds left in the final period. Then, just 17 seconds later, the game-winning puck...

Transcript MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: Finally, a big jump and a mystery in Chicago. Police are searching for three men who jumped off the top of the 92-story Trump Tower late last night with parachutes. They managed to land and escape before police arrived. NPR's David Schaper has been gathering reaction in Chicago. DAVID SCHAPER, BYLINE: I'm standing on the Wabash Street Bridge over the Chicago River looking up 1,200 feet to the top of the 92-story Trump Tower. And the only thing I can think is...

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