David Schaper

Based in NPR's Chicago bureau, David Schaper covers breaking news in Chicago and around the Midwest, as well as a broad range of important social, cultural, political, and business issues in the region. His reports can be heard on NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition.

Schaper has recently profiled service members killed in Iraq, as well as members of a reserve unit returning home to Wisconsin. He has also 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 tornados, storms, blizzards, and floods in the Midwest.

Schaper brings more than 15 years of experience in radio news to NPR. Prior to joining NPR in December 2002, 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 also 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. He was also 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 also worked at commercial stations WMAY-AM (Springfield, IL) and WIZM-AM and FM (La Crosse, WI), and in Illinois at public stations WSSU-FM (now WUIS) and WDCB-FM.

Schaper was born and raised in Chicago's western suburbs. He earned a B.S. at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, and an M.A. from the University of Illinois-Springfield. Schaper and his wife Kathy, live in Chicago with their three children.

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3:02am

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 8:37 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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7:36am

Sun December 21, 2014
Latin America

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

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 10:12 am

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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2:32pm

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 11:57 am

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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3:22pm

Sun November 9, 2014
Business

Holiday Travelers Should Expect Packed Planes, Higher Fares

Originally published on Sun November 9, 2014 4:21 pm

The airline industry is predicting more people will take to the skies this Thanksgiving than in any year since the start of the recession.
David Goldman AP

With gas and oil prices plunging, among those benefiting are airlines. With fuel prices down, profits are up, but that doesn't mean you'll be able to find cheap airfares, especially over the holidays.

The airline industry is predicting more people will take to the skies over Thanksgiving than any year since the start of the recession.

The weather in Chicago is not quite frightful yet, but the snow and cold is coming; so warm weather destinations for the holidays sound appealing.

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4:31pm

Wed October 29, 2014
Around the Nation

As Infrastructure Crumbles, Trillions Of Gallons Of Water Lost

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 5:13 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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