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.

We fans of the Chicago Cubs rarely hear good news in October, so there's a little buzz of excitement around Wrigley Field these days about the possibility of Boston Red Sox GM Theo Epstein reportedly coming to Chicago to take over a similar or expanded role with the hapless Cubs.

In 2004, Epstein helped guide the Red Sox to their first World Series title in 86 years and to another title in 2007. In Chicago, he'd be trying to end a Cubs' championship drought dating back to 1908; the Cubs haven't even been to the World Series since 1945.

(This report is part of the Morning Edition series "2 Languages, Many Voices: Latinos In The U.S.," looking at the ways Latinos are changing — and being changed — by the U.S.)

One place the Hispanic population is growing is in the overwhelmingly white state of Iowa. The latest census figures show the Hispanic population, while only 5 percent of the state, has almost doubled since 2000.

And one small town — West Liberty — is the first in Iowa to have a majority Hispanic population.

As Hurricane Irene makes its way north, insurance companies are scrambling to get claims adjusters and other personnel in place up and down the East Coast and into New England.

Companies will be assessing the damage once Irene is through battering the northeastern states. If the hurricane hits as wide an area as is predicted, insured losses could be in the billions of dollars.

On the boardwalk of Ocean City, Md., Tony Russo Jr. is boarding up the windows of his family's restaurant, Tony's Pizza.

For most people, their biggest investment is their home. Following Standard and Poor's downgrade of U.S. credit, as well as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, there may be even more uncertainty about buying or selling a home right now.

Russell Zanca, 47, has a three bedroom, one and a half bath vintage brick Georgian house on the market. The anthropology professor's home is on a quiet tree-lined street on Chicago's North Side.

"It's just a nice solid house," Zanca says.

Construction projects at airports around the country have stopped and 4,000 employees of the Federal Aviation Administration are furloughed, all because Congress couldn't agree on an extension of the agency's authority to operate.

Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller, who chairs the subcommittee that oversees the FAA, indicates he will offer a plan as soon as Monday night to end the shutdown. Rockefeller's plan includes cuts in air service subsidies to some rural communities.

Those subsidies keep commercial aviation service in rural areas that would otherwise be isolated.

Illinois lawmakers are re-examining the state's business tax climate, just six months after raising the corporate income tax rate. The move comes as some corporate giants threaten to move out of Illinois. Some wonder how far the state should go to keep them.

Doug Whitley, president and CEO of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, says his members aren't happy with the state's approach towards businesses.

"Big-name, household-name companies that are long-standing Illinois businesses have begun to rattle the cage and say, you know, this isn't the best environment," he says.

There is still no end in sight to the state government shutdown in Minnesota. Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican legislative leaders remain far apart on how to balance the state's budget for the next two years. With the shutdown in its ninth day, unemployed state workers are increasingly anxious, and residents who rely on shuttered state services are increasingly frustrated. NPR's David Schaper reports.

In Minnesota, the state government shutdown is in its second week, with no end in sight.

The state's Democratic governor, Mark Dayton, and Republican legislative leaders remain divided over how to balance the budget. The two sides did not meet today and no new budget negotiations are scheduled.

Among the many state facilities that are closed are state parks, in the midst of peak season for camping, fishing and swimming. Outdoor enthusiasts in Minnesota aren't happy about it.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is betting a downtown casino would help boost the economy and fill holes in the city's budget.

Illinois lawmakers approved a bill last month that would give Chicago a casino and add others around the state, but the plan has hit a snag with Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, who's threatening a veto.

Meanwhile, many Chicago residents continue gambling across the state line in Indiana.

From Montana to Missouri, thousands of people have had to evacuate their homes and businesses to escape the floodwaters of the Missouri River. Over the weekend, the Army Corps of Engineers closed nearly 200 miles of the river to boating traffic.

The flooded shops and idled vessels along the Missouri are just the latest businesses hurt by weather-related disasters across the country this spring. Violent tornadoes, widespread flooding and even droughts have taken their toll.

Pages