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.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Comic book conventions, known has "cons", happen in nearly every city in the country. Some are money-making affairs, others are organized by fans for fans. But in Boise, the public library has gotten in on this pop-culture phenomenon.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Southwest Idaho’s nearly 300,000 acre Soda Fire is the largest this year in areas managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Most of the burned area was habitat for the sage grouse, the bird whose status as a contender for the Endangered Species List could affect ranching, recreation and energy production in 11 western states. That is why the national director of the BLM was in Boise Wednesday to talk about rehabilitating that land.

Boise State Public Radio

A man was severely burned and his two dogs were killed last week in a hot spring in the Salmon-Challis National Forest. Normally, Panther Creek hot spring is very hot, but comfortable enough for outdoor soaking enthusiasts. But now, forest managers say the water has gotten much hotter (possibly at or near boiling) and they are urging users to be cautious.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

More than 70 firefighters from Australia and New Zealand arrived in Boise Sunday to help fight wildfires burning throughout the Northwest. They are currently at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise for training and will deploy later this week. Area fire managers requested their help last week, following a rash of large fires that have stretched American resources very thin.

The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) issued an alert Monday declaring air quality unhealthy again in the Treasure Valley. The agency issued a similar alert last Thursday.  

If your shortness of breath is giving you déjà vu, you’re not alone. This summer's smoke and wildfires are approaching the numbers put up in the summers of 2007, 2012 and 2013.

I-5 Design and Manufacture / Flickr Creative Commons

I shop at Albertsons a few times a week. I live near one and there are two close to our radio studio. I’ll pop over in the evening or on weekends to pick up a few things. Granted, my market research is light-years from being scientific, but on those trips I’ve noticed a couple of things that have made me less than optimistic for the future of this hometown company. 

One, it’s never crowded compared to the store where I go for my big, once-a-week shopping trips. And two, like me, everyone there seems to be buying just a few things.  

Elevated / Flickr Creative Commons

The Ketchum City Council this week passed an ordinance authorizing police to break into cars to rescue pets endangered by high temperatures. It may be the only city ordinance of its kind in Idaho. That could be because most law enforcement agencies don’t think it’s necessary.

Meridian Deputy Police Chief Tracy Basterrechea says even though his city doesn't have a specific ordinance on it, his officers have the authority to break into a car to rescue an overheated animal.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Boise-based Albertsons filed this week to offer stock for public sale. Albertsons became one of the largest food retailers in the country early this year when it closed on its acquisition of Safeway. 

Ada County Weed, Pest and Mosquito Abatement

Later this week, Ada County will take to the skies to spray for mosquitoes.  The spraying will occur Thursday after 8 p.m. over east Boise, and in Eagle and Star.

Mosquitoes in Canyon and Gem Counties have tested positive for West Nile Virus, and Ada County mosquito abatement officials say it’s only a matter of time before the potentially deadly disease reaches the state’s most populous county.

Idaho Statesman

You’ve seen roadside memorials - a cross or flowers that says someone died at that location. Now, the Ada County Highway District (ACHD) wants to regulate those displays.

ACHD commissioners asked a group to write some rules, and Wednesday morning the commission will decide if those are ready to advance.

Currently, people place the markers without permission. ACHD only removes them if they’re problematic, but spokesman Craig Quintana says they’re becoming problems too often.

Idaho Statesman

The Boise City Council Tuesday will consider a revised master plan for St. Luke’s downtown hospital. A public hearing on the plan last week drew so much testimony for and against that the meeting lasted until 1 a.m.  As a result, the council delayed its vote to this week.

fs.usda.gov

When local wildfire agencies are concerned that fire danger in their area is getting extreme, they can ask for a visit from a national team of experts. One of those teams has been in Boise this week. National Wildfire Prevention and Education Teams conduct short, intense messaging campaigns. The National Interagency Fire Center describes the program this way.

Terry R. Thomas / naturetrack.com

When more than 2,000 migrating snow geese were found dead at eastern Idaho’s Mud Lake in March, headlines all over the country said the birds had fallen dead from the sky. Idaho’s Department of Fish and Game says that did not actually happen, but the agency has revised its explanation of what did occur.

When the birds were found, fish and game biologists saw clear signs of avian cholera. And the department initially ascribed the whole die-off to cholera.

John Penny / Flickr Creative Commons

If you’re in Boise, take a look around. There’s a very good chance some of the people you see are out-of-towners. June and July are Boise’s busiest months for tourism.

The Boise Convention and Visitors Bureau keeps track of how many hotel rooms get rented and when. Visitors bureau director Carrie Westergard says both in June and July the city could have as many visitors as residents.

SP8254 - On a Break! / Flickr Creative Commons

The Supreme Court’s decision Friday makes same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states. But it’s been legal in Idaho since last fall.

“It changes nothing for Idaho, nothing at all,” Shaakirrah Sanders says.

Michael Galkovsky / Flickr Creative Commons

The head of Idaho's state-run health insurance exchange says no matter what decision the U.S. Supreme Court made Thursday on the federal subsidies that are part of Obamacare, the state wouldn't have been affected.  

The court upheld the practice of giving subsidies to people buying health insurance in states that don’t have their own exchanges. Idaho is one of the 16 states that created exchanges.

Kerry Lannert / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho Power sees the highest demand for electricity in the summer when people crank up their air conditioners. And with a long stretch of very hot weather in store, that demand is expected to be very high.

The utility that powers most of southwest Idaho and eastern Oregon set a new record for energy consumption just two years ago in July. Idaho Power spokesman Brad Bowlin says that record could be surpassed soon.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The neighborhood known as the Waterfront District is a game changer for Garden City. It was the first high-end housing built in the historically poor, southeast section of town. It’s the development that kicked off, what many people believe is inevitable gentrification.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

A coalition of groups and individuals concerned about the health of the Boise River has released an enhancement plan and wants public feedback. The Boise River Enhancement Network (BREN) says the natural resource needs serious help in four areas: water quality, fish habitat, riparian areas and the river channel itself. BREN wants cities, counties, farmers and others who rely on the river to work better together to protect it.

Idaho Office for Refugees

Nearly 7,000 refugees from more than 30 countries have been resettled in Idaho in the last decade. More than a dozen of them will be sworn in as U.S. citizens Saturday as part of the World Refugee Day celebration in downtown Boise, which is sponsored by the Idaho Office for Refugees.

Benjamin Rutikanga is one of them. Rutikanga fled his home in Rwanda during the infamous genocide of the '90s. He later fled other conflict in Congo. Then he spent more than a decade in a refugee camp before being sent somewhere he’d never heard of: Boise Idaho.

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