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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5:07am

Mon September 24, 2012
Election 2012

'60 Minutes' Airs Obama, Romney Interviews

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 9:08 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK. So, all those political ads are on the air. Last night, the candidates themselves were on the air. They did interviews on the same CBS program, "60 Minutes." NPR's David Schaper was watching.

DAVID SCHAPER, BYLINE: After a week in which his campaign was on the defensive, Romney told "60 Minutes" he remains confident.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "60 MINUTES")

MITT ROMNEY: I'm going to win this thing.

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5:01am

Mon September 17, 2012
Law

'Bernie Madoff Of The Midwest' To Plead Guilty

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 9:52 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Another massive financial fraud case is going to federal court on this Monday. In Iowa, the founder and CEO of Peregrine Financial Group, or PFG, is expected to plead guilty to charges that he swindled customers out of at least $100 million. NPR's David Schaper reports.

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5:23am

Thu August 23, 2012
Around the Nation

Drought Extends Reach, Some Farmers Ready To Quit

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.

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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.

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7:28am

Thu July 26, 2012
Business

Caterpillar Inc. Strike Continues Amid Record Profits

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 10:35 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a boost from Caterpillar.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: Caterpillar is reporting a big increase in its profits - up 67 percent for the second quarter. The world's largest manufacturer of heavy construction and mining equipment is on pace to rake in record profits this year. But that hasn't motivated Caterpillar to sweeten its offer to union workers who are on strike at a plant outside of Chicago.

From Chicago, NPR's David Schaper has more.

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6:45am

Wed July 11, 2012
Around the Nation

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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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3:38am

Mon April 23, 2012
Education

Chicago Wants Longer School Day; Foes Want Details

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 9:39 am

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel sits with South Side first-graders in October. Emanuel's plan to lengthen the school day and the school year has met with resistance.
Charles Rex Arbogast AP

Most kids in Chicago's public schools spend just five hours and 45 minutes in school a day. It's one of the shortest school days in the country.

That's why more than half of the city's public elementary schools have no recess. At those that do, it's shockingly short.

"We have a 10-minute recess and a 10-minute lunch at our school," says Wendy Katten, mother of a third-grader at Burley Elementary School in Chicago. "It's not sufficient."

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