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.

Pages

5:43am

Sun November 11, 2012
House & Senate Races

Senate Win In Wis. A 'Turning Point' For Gay Rights

Originally published on Sun November 11, 2012 2:05 pm

Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin greets supporters at a campaign rally for President Obama on Nov. 3 in Milwaukee. Baldwin became the first openly gay candidate to win a U.S. Senate seat.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Democratic Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin's sexual orientation was never really a factor in her victorious campaign against Republican former Gov. Tommy Thompson. Advocates for gay rights see that as a watershed moment for the movement.

Baldwin won a seat many thought she couldn't, defeating one of the state's most successful politicians in the process. The celebration Tuesday night in Madison was euphoric.

The enthusiastic crowd was never louder than when Baldwin acknowledged making history.

Read more

5:43am

Sun October 28, 2012
It's All Politics

Democrats See Opportunity In Fiery Illinois House Race

Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 3:06 am

Republican U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh and challenger Democrat Tammy Duckworth before a televised debate at the WTTW studios on Oct. 18, 2012, in Chicago.
Charles Rex Arbogast AP

One of the most bitter congressional races is in the suburbs of Chicago, where controversial freshman Republican Joe Walsh is fighting to keep a seat he was actually drawn out of.

The Tea Party favorite's bombastic rants frequently get him into trouble, even with members of his own party, and Walsh is facing a tough Democratic opponent in Iraq war veteran Tammy Duckworth, who lost both of her legs in combat.

Read more

7:15pm

Mon October 8, 2012
All Tech Considered

Baseball Autographs Get A Digital Upgrade

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 11:39 am

Sarah Wagner shows off an Egraph of Kerry Wood, her favorite Cubs player.
David Schaper NPR

On her 22nd birthday this summer, Sarah Wagner of suburban Wheaton, Ill., who describes herself as a huge fan of the Chicago Cubs, opened an email to find an incredible surprise — a recorded message from her favorite Cubs player:

"Hey, Sarah! Kerry Wood here! Thanks for your message and I hope you're having a great summer!"

"When I heard for the first time, I instantly smiled," says Wagner. "I think my hands probably went over like my mouth, like, 'Oh my gosh, Kerry Wood is talking to me, even though he has no idea who I am!' "

Read more

4:49am

Fri September 28, 2012
NPR Story

With Senate Control At Stake, Key Wis. Race Tightens

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 11:39 am

Former Gov. Tommy Thompson in Madison, Wis., ahead of the Aug. 14 Republican primary for Wisconsin's open Senate seat. He was one of four candidates.
Andy Manis AP

One of the most important seats in the battle for control of the U.S. Senate is in Wisconsin, where Democrat Herb Kohl is retiring. Early polls showed popular former Gov. Tommy Thompson might easily flip the seat to the GOP, but he's now trailing Democratic Rep. Tammy Baldwin. It's a race that's going down to the wire in this almost evenly divided state.

Read more

4:52am

Thu August 23, 2012
Around the Nation

Drought's Effects Keep Expanding

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 5:23 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This summer's drought is not helping the wildfire situation, and the drought is also deeply harming the nation's agricultural economy. Parched lands extend from California to Indiana, and from Texas to South Dakota, impacting everyone from farmers and ranchers to barge operators and commodity traders.

As NPR's David Schaper reports, some farmers are getting close to calling it quits.

DAVID SCHAPER, BYLINE: Looking over his small, 100-acre farm near South Union, Kentucky, Rich Vernon doesn't like what he sees.

Read more

5:51am

Sat August 4, 2012
Around the Nation

Soaked In Drought: Lessons From The Dust Bowl

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 11:43 am

Scorched pastures are spreading across central Illinois and the rest of the Midwest. Technology and techniques developed from previous droughts like the Dust Bowl are helping to save some of today's crops, but there's no substitute for water.
Scott Olson Getty Images

This summer's drought continues to wilt and bake crops from Ohio to the Great Plains and beyond. Under a baking, late-afternoon sun just outside of the tiny east-central Illinois town of Thawville, John Hildenbrand walks down his dusty, gravel driveway toward one of his corn fields.

"You can see on the outer edge, these are a lot better-looking ears on the outside rows. Of course, it's not near as hot as it is inside the field," he says.

Read more

4:45am

Wed July 11, 2012
NPR Story

Secrecy Surrounds Jesse Jackson Jr.'s Illness

Originally published on Wed July 11, 2012 7:55 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

On a Wednesday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Now to a political mystery in Chicago. Constituents and colleagues are demanding to know more about the whereabouts and condition of Congressman Jesse Jackson, Junior. Jackson took a leave of absence a month ago, but his office has been vague about why. And that lack of information about Jackson is the talk of the town. From Chicago, NPR's David Schaper reports.

Read more

4:33pm

Mon July 2, 2012
Business

As Strikes Wane, Caterpillar Workers Hold The Line

Originally published on Mon July 2, 2012 6:35 pm

Striking workers picket outside a Caterpillar plant in Joliet, Ill. The work stoppage is now entering its third month.
Joseph P. Meier Sun-Times Media Photo

Whenever a car or truck turns off busy Channahon Road onto the long drive to the Caterpillar plant in Joliet, Ill., a handful of union workers on a picket line scream, "Scab! Scab!!"

As strikers try shaming the few workers and managers who cross the line, even a clearly marked sandwich delivery car gets shouted down.

Approximately 800 workers at this plant, which makes hydraulic systems for Caterpillar's heavy construction and mining equipment, are about to enter their third month on strike.

Negotiations Fail

Read more

7:46am

Sat June 9, 2012
Politics

Conservative Confab Rallies Behind Wisconsin Victory

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 10:58 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. It seems that every week, there's a new study out on political polarization in America. More and more, we talk to, vote with, and get our news from only those who think the way that we do. So, this week we sent reporters on a couple of polar expeditions to political gatherings on the left and the right. And in a moment, we'll hear from NPR's Scott Horsley at Netroots Nation in Rhode Island. First, now here's NPR's David Schaper at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Chicago.

Read more

5:45pm

Wed June 6, 2012
Election 2012

Walker Moves Forward As The Right's Newest 'Hero'

Originally published on Wed June 6, 2012 7:29 pm

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (center) is greeted by his Cabinet and staff Wednesday at the state Capitol in Madison, a day after defeating Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in a recall election.
Andy Manis AP

Republican Gov. Scott Walker triumphantly returned to the Wisconsin Capitol Wednesday, fresh off of his decisive victory in Tuesday's bitter recall election.

The governor appears to be emerging from the tough recall fight stronger, and with his national profile rising.

Read more

9:04am

Fri June 1, 2012
Politics

Gubernatorial Recall Election Polarizes Wis. Voters

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's been more than a year since Wisconsin Democrats began talking about recalling the state's governor, Scott Walker. Next week they'll get their chance to do it. Last night, Walker and his Democratic challenger, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, traded barbs in their final debate before Tuesday's vote. Turnout is expected to be very high, as the recall is sharply dividing voters in Wisconsin, so much so, some have just stopped talking to each other. NPR's David Schaper has the latest from Milwaukee.

Read more

6:16am

Sat May 26, 2012
Law

Chicago Outsider Busted Crime With Apolitical Flare

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 2:16 pm

U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald speaks to reporters during a news conference Thursday in Chicago. Fitzgerald announced he would step down.
Brian Kersey Getty Images

Patrick Fitzgerald, the federal prosecutor who went after the Gambino crime family, al-Qaida and even the White House in court — not to mention several Illinois politicians — is leaving his job as U.S. attorney in Chicago.

The career prosecutor, known as "Eliot Ness with a Harvard degree," will leave a legacy as a tenacious corruption buster, though some criticize his style as overzealous.

Read more

12:22am

Sun May 13, 2012
Around the Nation

Lack Of Support Puts The Brakes On High-Speed Rail

Originally published on Sun May 13, 2012 12:09 pm

California's Legislative Analyst's Office said the latest proposal to build a $68.4 billion high-speed train system is still too vague and the state legislature should not approve funding it for it this year.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Three years ago, President Obama was rolling out an ambitious vision for high-speed rail in America. "Imagine whisking through towns at speeds over 100 mph," the president said at the time.

Today, there are a few Amtrak trains going that fast, but for the most part, the president's plans for high-speed trains have slowed considerably.

Read more

4:22am

Wed May 9, 2012
NPR Story

Milwaukee Mayor To Face Gov. Walker In Recall Election

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 4:42 am

Voters in Wisconsin Tuesday, chose the Democrat who will face Republican Governor Scott Walker in next month's gubernatorial recall election. The winning Democrat was Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

6:26am

Tue May 8, 2012
Politics

Wis. Primary To Choose A Candidate To Face Walker

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 2:00 pm

Tom Barrett and Kathleen Falk chat before the start of a live debate for Democratic gubernatorial primary candidates Friday at the Wisconsin Public Television studio in Madison. The front-runners vying for a chance to take on Republican Gov. Scott Walker in a June recall election bashed the governor during the debate. Not pictured are fellow candidates Doug La Follette and Kathleen Vinehout.
Rick Wood AP

Shortly after he took office last winter, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and fellow Republicans in the Legislature enraged Democrats and public employee unions by cutting collective bargaining rights, and Wisconsin has been on fire politically ever since. A protest movement forced a recall election, scheduled for June 5, and now, voters in Tuesday's Democratic gubernatorial primary will select Walker's challenger.

Read more

Pages