Adam Cotterell

News Reporter

Adam Cotterell returned to his home town of Boise, Idaho in 2007 after three years teaching university English in China. His plan was to teach high school drama and history, but in a move that almost makes him believe in destiny he took a part time job in Boise State Public Radio’s newsroom. He became a full time general assignments reporter in 2010. Adam's main focus is on covering education, but also enjoys doing all types of stories; from interviewing unique people to reporting on Boise's theatre scene.

Adam lives in Boise with his wife, daughter, and dog. He is also considered a pioneer in the art form abstract expressionist origami.

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Earthquakes
6:17 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Lack Of Scientific Equipment In Idaho Makes Understanding Challis Earthquakes More Difficult

A portable seismograph used by the U.S. Department of the Interior
Credit Wikipedia Commons

Geologists plan to install three portable devices known as seismometers or seismographs in the Challis area in central Idaho to help experts better understand a recent flurry of earthquakes.

The U.S. Geological Survey has recorded a sequence of quakes rumbling the area, the largest of which was a 4.9-magnitude quake on Saturday which shook pictures off walls. Challis residents also felt earthquakes above 4.0-magnitude on Monday and April 10.

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Education
7:44 am
Sat April 12, 2014

BYU-Idaho Makes List Of Most Underrated Colleges

BYU Idaho's Rexburg campus.
Credit facebook.com/BYUID

Leaders at many of Idaho’s colleges and universities would argue their schools don’t get the credit they deserve. But the most underrated is Mormon Church-owned Brigham Young University-Idaho, at least according to the news website Business Insider.

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Gay Rights
6:35 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Meet Two Couples Suing To Make Same-Sex Marriage Legal In Idaho

Amber and Rachael filed their lawsuit against Idaho in Nov. 2013. Their lawyer Deborah Ferguson looks on as we talk at their Boise home.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Amber Beierle and Rachael Robertson have been together for three years. Within the last six months they've become the public face of an effort to strike down Idaho's constitutional ban on gay marriage. At home, they're like many other couples playing with their dogs on the back patio.

“Charlie's the corgi,” Amber says. “Then we’ve got the Labradoodle Boozer. And Georgia is the basset hound.” Add in Herman, the big orange cat, and that’s their family -- so far. The two have planned on having kids ever since they got together more than three years ago.

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Theater
9:51 am
Fri April 4, 2014

From Idea To Opening Night, Boise Contemporary Theater's New Play Has Arrived

Actors Stitch Marker and Carie Kawa rehearse a scene from The Uncanny Valley at Boise Contemporary Theater.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

A new original play opens Saturday at Boise Contemporary Theater (BCT), and there’s a chance the actors might be handed new lines between now and then. I’ve been following the creation of The Uncanny Valley for nearly a year, ever since I had a chance run in with BCT’s Dwayne Blackaller last April. He told me about the new play he was writing with BCT artistic director Matthew Cameron Clark.

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2014 Election
4:38 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Removed From Idaho Education Task Force, One Member Cries Foul

Education Improvement Task Force members at a public meeting last year. Mike Lanza (left) sits next to Rodger Brown, the governor's deputy chief of staff.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

A member of Idaho’s 'Task Force for Improving Education' has been kicked out of the group. Mike Lanza says he was told it was because he went to work for Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter’s Democratic challenger.

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Arts + Culture
9:47 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Josh Ritter, Michael Franti, Portland Cello Project Included In Sun Valley Concert Lineup

Idaho native Josh Ritter performs in Sun Valley on July 27.
Credit Tim Teeling / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho’s largest arts organization Tuesday announced its performance schedule for the upcoming season. The Sun Valley Center for the Arts kicks off its annual summer concert series in July and its winter concerts in October. Its lecture series also begins in October and features a noted historian, a rock n roll photographer, and NPR’s social science correspondent Shankar Vedantum will talk about how our brains shape our lives.

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Education
12:21 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Idaho Kids Take New High-Tech Test This Week

Idaho has been giving its test the I-SAT on computers for years. Other states that gave their tests on paper have had to make big investments in computers to transition to the Smarter Balanced Assessment.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho school kids in 3rd through 8th, and 11th grades will be taking a new test starting Monday. The Smarter Balanced Assessment replaces the I-SAT which Idaho had been using to measure student achievement for years. Smarter Balanced is based on the Common Core standards Idaho and most other states have adopted. Students in more than 20 states are taking it this week.

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Politics
10:47 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Idaho Gets A C+ On Election Gender Equality By Sending One Woman To Congress

Credit screen grab from umn.edu/cspg/smartpolitics

Idaho gets a C+ for the percentage of women it elects to Congress in a new election gender equality report card from the University of Minnesota’s Smart Politics blog. The site, dedicated to data-driven political reporting, looked at all the U.S. House races for the past 25 years.

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Medicaid Cuts
2:25 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Judge Halts Idaho Medicaid Cuts After ACLU Lawsuit

Credit Jasleen_Kaur / Flickr Creative Commons

A U.S. District Court judge issued an injunction Tuesday to halt deep cuts to Medicaid and restore about $16 million in assistance to Idaho's developmentally delayed adults.

The decision lets an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Idaho lawsuit on behalf of disabled Idahoans proceed as a class-action case.

That opens it up to more people who lost some their Medicaid dollars when the program was slashed in 2011.

Judge B. Lynn Winmill cited cases of severely mentally disabled Idahoans that can no longer afford necessary therapy and other care in his decision.

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Protests
10:01 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Gay Rights Protesters Take Their Message On The Road, Begin Training Idahoans Outside Boise

Emily Shannon got involved with the "add the words" movement after seeing news coverage of this year's first Capitol protest. She participated in subsequent protests, was arrested and most recently trained people in Moscow to protest.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho’s 2014 legislative session may well be defined by protests. Gay rights advocates stepped up pressure on lawmakers to extend discrimination protections to gays, lesbians and transgender people. More than 100 people were arrested in numerous protests. Those were well choreographed and featured people standing silently, each with a hand over his or her mouth. Now, organizers are bringing this distinctive strategy to other parts of the state.

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Theater
1:30 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Actor Says It's A Thrill To Work On Boise Contemporary Theater’s Evolving New Play

Carie Kawa is a Los Angeles-based actor starting in BCT's new original play, The Uncanny Valley.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Carie Kawa awkwardly holds a beat-up, framed poster showing earth-seen-from-space to face the mostly empty seats at Boise Contemporary Theater (BCT.) The first week of rehearsal is ending for the original play The Uncanny Valley. The poster is a stand-in for a painting which is an important linchpin in the plot. The story turns on this prop, but the prop itself is too big for Kawa to turn around to show another actor as she’s supposed to.

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Policy
8:57 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Why Medical Marijuana Legalization Has No Traction In Idaho

Various strains of medical marijuana on display at a California convention.
Credit Audio Vision, Public Radio / Flickr Creative Commons

Four of Idaho's six neighboring states allow some form of legal marijuana use. Oregon, Nevada and Montana allow medical marijuana while Washington recently legalized pot for most residents. In each of those states, voters approved legalizing marijuana, but in Idaho, the issue has gotten nowhere.

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Wildfires
3:56 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Idaho Should Have 'Normal' Wildfire Season Thanks To Recent Storms

Last Summer's Beaver Creek Fire Threatened Sun Valley, Ketchum and Hailey
Credit InciWeb / http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3635/

It's still at least three months away, but it looks as though Idaho’s wildfire season should be fairly normal in 2014. Ed Delgado manages predictive services at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise.

“We’ve got good snowpack right now and assuming it melts off fairly regularly over the next couple of months, that’s going to be good for the soils especially in the mountain areas,” Delgado says. “So that’s going to kind of prolong the wet period.”

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Theater
1:07 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Listen: Get A Sneak Peek Of Boise Contemporary Theater's New Play

Cast and crew gather for a first reading of Uncanny Valley.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Boise Contemporary Theater's new original play, The Uncanny Valley opens in less than three weeks and the script isn't yet finished. The new original play is a work in progress we’ve been following for a few months.

Just last month actors gathered for their first table read.  This was the first time writers and co-directors Dwayne Blackaller and Matthew Cameron Clark showed all the actors the play. Clark is also acting in this show.

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Agriculture
10:12 am
Mon March 17, 2014

ACLU, PETA Sue Idaho Over New Law To Punish Animal Rights Activists

Credit Anna King / Northwest News Network

The American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho, PETA and other groups are suing the state over a new measure that would prosecute people who secretly film agricultural operations. Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter signed the so-called 'ag-gag' bill into law at the end of February.

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Theater
2:29 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Boise Writers Have 3 Weeks To Finish An Original Play Before Opening Night

The Uncanny Valley actors and writers gather for their first table-read.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Rehearsals start this week at Boise Contemporary Theater (BCT) for a play that opens in three weeks. For a professional company like BCT, three weeks is a slightly tight, though fairly normal rehearsal schedule.

Three weeks is usually plenty of time for experienced actors to memorize lines, work on their characters, and learn what they’ll be doing on stage. But for the play, The Uncanny Valley memorizing lines and actions has an added challenge. They're still being written.

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Water
7:30 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Recent Rain Turns Concern To Optimism For Idaho Rafting Companies

Credit Cascade Raft and Kayak

The stretch of rain and snow across much of Idaho in the last few weeks has transformed what looked to be a terrible water year into a pretty good one. It’s not just farmers who are breathing easier now. Many in Idaho’s tourism industry, like whitewater rafting companies, rely on snowpack and stream flows as well.

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Education
6:30 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Idaho School Districts Increasingly Rely On Levies To Pay The Bills

Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

School districts across Idaho will be asking voters to approve supplemental levies Tuesday. That includes Meridian, Nampa, and Kuna. Districts going to voters for more money has become commonplace in recent years.

A little more than a decade ago, about a third of Idaho schools had levies in place. Now it’s two thirds, according to Mike Ferguson, head of the non-profit research group Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy. In that time, the money coming from levies has tripled to about $190 million. 

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Idaho Legislature
5:59 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Idaho Budget Writers Approve 5 Percent Boost For Schools

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Budget writers at Idaho’s Capital approved a 5.1 percent increase in education spending for next fiscal year. The budget includes a 1 percent boost for teacher pay and an additional $15.8 million dollars for leadership bonuses.

If approved, the budget will bring state spending on schools to $1.374 billion dollars. That’s slightly higher than 2008’s $1.367 billion, but still below the state’s 2009 peak of $1.418 billion.

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Environment
9:10 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Interactive Map Pinpoints Idaho, U.S. Wind Turbines

A screenshot of the USGS map known as windFarm.
Credit usgs.gov

If you’ve driven across southern Idaho in the past few years, you’ve no doubt seen a lot of wind turbines. But have you ever wondered how many there are? Now you can count them and get stats on each one with a new interactive map.

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