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.

Ways To Connect

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The school day is over at Boise’s Whitney Elementary but the playground is full of children. About 140 kids each day take part in the afterschool program at the adjacent Whitney Community Center.

It has tutors to help with homework. There’s book clubs, arts and crafts, board games, basketball, outside activities, and pool and computer games for the older kids who walk over from South Junior High. Director Barbara English says some kids stay until the center closes at 7:00, but not because of all the stuff to do.

philanthropy.com

A recent report from the finance website Wallet Hub says Idaho is the third most-generous state (tied with Kansas). Utah and South Dakota topped the list. Wallet Hub looked at volunteer time and money donated using IRS statistics and survey data.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Republican Idaho Sen. Jim Risch says the U.S. Senate should not have released a report on CIA interrogation practices following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The report that became public Tuesday says the CIA tortured prisoners, did not get much valuable information from doing so, and lied to Congress about it.   

Jody MacDonald

A Ketchum resident has received an unusual honor this year. Gavin McClurg is one of National Geographic’s Adventurers of the Year. McClurg is a paraglider who, earlier this year, flew more than 400 miles through the Canadian Rockies.

Paragliding is flying using a parachute. Some people do it as a hobby but it’s also an extreme sport. It’s popular in Europe where the biggest competitions take place.

Luke Malek
Idaho Legislature

A federal appeals court in Seattle hears arguments Monday in a challenge to the National Security Agency’s (NSA) practice of gathering phone records of millions of people not suspected of crimes. North Idaho lawyer Peter Smith will be arguing for the plaintiff, who is his wife.

Park Ranger / Flickr Creative Commons

Leaders of a marijuana advocacy group that was launched two weeks ago say they’ve attracted more than 200 volunteers. New Approach Idaho wants to put a ballot measure before Idaho voters in 2016 to legalize medical marijuana.

Oregon Department of Agriculture

Idaho has the highest share of undocumented immigrants who will benefit from President Barack Obama’s recent executive action on immigration, according to a report from the Pew Research Center.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The Saint Alphonsus Festival of Trees is one of the Treasure Valley’s most enduring holiday traditions. This is the 31st year of this celebration of all things Christmas. It’s open to the public from Wednesday through Sunday.

St. Al’s spokesman Josh Schlaich says 20,000 to 30,000 thousand people visit each year.

“It really is a generational thing,” Schlaich says. “We see grandparents, that have been coming for years, come with their grandchildren. We see great grandchildren. ”

facebook.com/boycottblackthursday

For the past few years Brian Rich has been telling everyone who will listen not to go shopping on Thanksgiving. The credit union marketing coordinator from Boise started a social media campaign in 2011 called Boycott Black Thursday.

Google Earth

Meridian will be getting a new YMCA, city park and elementary school. The Treasure Valley YMCA announced Thursday it will build its first new facility since opening the Caldwell Y nine years ago. The new South Y will be built in Meridian south of I-84 near Eagle Road and Amity.

It will be built on 22 acres of donated land. The J.A. and Katherine Albertson Foundation is donating $4 million to start the project.  

bea.gov

In 2013, per capita personal income rose 2.9 percent in Idaho according to a report out Thursday from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Nationally, per capita personal income grew 1.3 percent. Even with the growth, Idaho’s average per capita personal income of $36,146 remains nearly $9,000 below the national average.

Blaine County, home of Sun Valley, had Idaho’s highest personal income in 2013. Here are the top five counties:

Bookhaven National Laboratory / Flickr Creative Commons

The company that provides most of southern Idaho with its electricity is ready to incorporate solar power into its portfolio for the first time. Idaho Power's foray into solar will be relatively small.

Currently about half of Idaho Power’s electricity comes from hydroelectric dams. A little more than a third comes from coal-burning power plants in neighboring states. There’s some natural gas, and about 7 percent comes from privately-generated, renewable sources, mostly wind. None of it, though, is solar. 

forest, land, trees
Dave Thomas / Flickr Creative Commons

A San Francisco-based investment advising firm told Idaho’s Land Board that its commercial property investments are not a great idea.

Robert Couse-Baker / Flickr Creative Commons

Idahoans are using more water per capita than residents of any other state according to a recent report from the U.S. Geological Survey. The USGS does a detailed look at water use every fifth year.

Molly Maupin led the team that calculated the nation’s water use for 2010. It took them four years to compile all the data. They looked at all the different ways people were using water, from morning showers to cooling nuclear power plants.

The National Book Award is one of the highest honors an American writer can receive; second only perhaps to the Pulitzer Prize. This week, Boise-based author Anthony Doerr will find out if he can add National Book Award winner to his resume. Doerr’s novel “All The Light We Cannot See” is one of five finalists in fiction.

David Walsh / U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

The discovery of a mammoth skull near eastern Idaho’s American Falls reservoir recently made national headlines. But scientists' work on the mammoth has just begun.

Tim Hagen / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho resort towns like Coeur d’Alene, Sun Valley and McCall had higher crime rates than most of the state’s other towns and cities according to the FBI’s annual report of crime stats released this week.

Kevin Wolff, who teaches criminal justice at John Jay College in New York, says many resort towns are in the same boat.

Albion, Mayor
Ed Glazar / Times-News

The tiny town of Albion, Idaho made national headlines a year ago when its mayoral election ended in a tie and the outcome was then decided by a coin toss. Now, a year after winning that coin toss and keeping his seat as Albion’s mayor, Don Bowden has stepped down because of health problems.

Donald Sandquist / Flickr Creative Commons

In a survey released by Republican Sen. Mike Crapo's office a third of more than 1,000 Idaho veterans who responded say they're unhappy with health care through the Veterans Administration.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Republicans will take control of the U.S. Senate in January. That could mean more influence for Idaho’s two Republican senators.

When a new party takes control, each of the Senate’s 20 committees and 68 subcommittees get a new leader. Sarah Binder studies Congress at the Brookings Institution in Washington DC. She describes it as a big round of musical chairs. Binder says heading a Congressional committee brings power.

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