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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7:38pm

Thu May 28, 2015
Law

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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8:16am

Sat May 16, 2015
U.S.

Red Tape Slows Control System That Could Have Saved Speeding Train

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

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

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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6:04am

Wed May 6, 2015
The Two-Way

Chicago Creates Reparations Fund For Victims Of Police Torture

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

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

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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7:39am

Sat March 28, 2015
Europe

Safety Experts Question Mental Screenings For Pilots

Originally published on Sat March 28, 2015 10:56 am

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

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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6:13pm

Wed March 18, 2015
It's All Politics

Chicago Mayor's Race Reveals Deep Divide In Democratic Party

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 7:39 pm

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel failed to capture a majority of the vote last month, forcing him into a runoff. It's highlighting a divide among Democrats playing out nationally.
Charles Rex Arbogast AP

One of the nation's savviest politicians is in an unexpected fight.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, President Obama's former White House chief of staff, is in an unprecedented runoff election next month.

The challenger, Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, contends that Emanuel favors the rich and powerful over working-class Chicagoans. But Emanuel is firing back, attacking Garcia for having no plan to deal with the city's deep financial problems.

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5:29pm

Thu March 12, 2015
All Tech Considered

Silicon Prairie: Tech Startups Find A Welcoming Home In The Midwest

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 7:50 am

Lincoln, Neb., is home to several startups, which use the city's low cost of living and high quality of life to attract workers.
Nicolas Henderson Flickr

Some startup entrepreneurs are leaving the high tech hot spots of San Francisco, New York and the Silicon Valley for greener pastures in a place that actually has greener pastures: Lincoln, Neb.

In fact, one of the secrets to the economic success of Lincoln, a city with one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, is a surprisingly strong tech startup community that is part of what some in the region are calling the Silicon Prairie.

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3:58am

Mon March 2, 2015
U.S.

A Nearly Recession-Proof City Is Not Slowing Down

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 8:15 am

Lincoln has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in revitalizing its downtown, a historic area called Haymarket, to create a more culturally vibrant urban center that is helping the city keep and attract young adults.
David Schaper NPR

At 2.5 percent, Lincoln, Neb., has one of the lowest jobless figures in the country. But that's nothing new — the city has ranked at or near the top of the nation, with one of the lowest unemployment rates for years, even during the Great Recession.

But on a recent visit, it's clear that Lincoln is not resting on its laurels. It's working hard at keeping and drawing talent to this city of nearly 300,000.

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3:16am

Thu February 5, 2015
The Two-Way

U.N. Agency Sets New Standards For Tracking Aircraft In Flight

Originally published on Thu February 5, 2015 8:11 am

The United Nations' aviation organization is endorsing a new standard meant to keep air traffic authorities and airlines from losing track of a jetliner, such as Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

That plane disappeared into the Indian Ocean almost a year ago with 239 people on board.

Under the new policy, commercial airliners would be required to transmit their location every 15 minutes and every minute if in distress.

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5:01am

Mon January 19, 2015
Politics

Private Sector Included In Plan To Finance Infrastructure Repairs

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 7:37 am

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

4:24pm

Wed January 7, 2015
Around the Nation

In Midwest, Bitterly Cold Temps Keep Students At Home

Originally published on Wed January 7, 2015 6:17 pm

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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3:20am

Wed December 24, 2014
Around the Nation

The Year In Air Travel: Packed Planes And More Perks — For A Price

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 10:37 am

It's been a good year for commercial airlines.

With the economy recovering, more people are getting on planes and flying for both business and pleasure. And the cost of fuel, one of the airlines' biggest expenses, is dropping.

But as anyone traveling for the holidays can tell you, airfares remain high. And many frequent fliers at Chicago O'Hare International Airport say they wouldn't give the airlines perfect grades this year.

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9:36am

Sun December 21, 2014
Latin America

Ready To Hit The Cuban Beach? Americans Still Have To Wait

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 12:12 pm

A couple walks on the beach in the resort area of Varadero, Cuba. Varadero is home to upscale hotels and resorts that cater to foreign tourists, but there aren't yet enough to handle a potential influx of Americans.
David Gilkey NPR

With President Obama beginning the process of normalizing relations with Cuba this week, many may envision soon soaking up the sun on a warm Cuban beach, sipping a refreshing rum drink.

In reality, that's not likely to happen for quite a while. But just the increased opportunity for travel between the two countries has those with longtime ties to Cuba already thinking about the possibilities it will bring.

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4:58pm

Mon December 8, 2014
Business

GOP Leaders: Gas Tax Hike Could Fuel Fixes To Bad Roads And Bridges

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 1:57 pm

Thomas Harden of Chicago pumps gas into his truck. He says he wouldn't support a gas tax increase.
David Schaper NPR

Gasoline prices are at their lowest level in four years. The price at the pump in many states is almost a full dollar cheaper than it was last spring.

So some politicians think this is a good time to raise gasoline taxes. Several states are tired of waiting for Congress to fix the federal highway trust fund, so they're considering raising gas taxes themselves to address their crumbling roads.

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6:16pm

Wed October 29, 2014
Around the Nation

As Infrastructure Crumbles, Trillions Of Gallons Of Water Lost

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 7:13 pm

A water maintenance crew works on leaky infrastructure in Skokie, a Chicago suburb. The area loses almost 22 billion gallons of water a year because of ailing infrastructure.
David Schaper NPR

Imagine Manhattan under almost 300 feet of water. Not water from a hurricane or a tsunami, but purified drinking water — 2.1 trillion gallons of it.

That's the amount of water that researchers estimate is lost each year in this country because of aging and leaky pipes, broken water mains and faulty meters.

Fixing that infrastructure won't be cheap, which is something every water consumer is likely to discover.

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10:43am

Sat October 4, 2014
Around the Nation

FAA Chief: No Quick Fix To Prevent Another Fire Like Chicago

Originally published on Sat October 4, 2014 1:50 pm

Federal Aviation Administration Administrator Michael Huerta answers questions Friday after touring the Chicago air traffic control center with Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill. (left), and city aviation Commissioner Rosemarie Andolino.
Charles Rex Arbogast AP

The head of the Federal Aviation Administration is trying to deflect criticism over an arson fire at an air traffic control center that shut down Chicago's airports last week.

Administrator Michael Huerta toured the fire-damaged Chicago air traffic control center in suburban Aurora on Friday with members of the Illinois congressional delegation.

Huerta admitted the agency has no quick fix to prevent a similar shutdown of a control facility from paralyzing air traffic across the country.

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