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, daughters, and dog. He is also considered a pioneer in the art form abstract expressionist origami.

courtesy Snake River Alliance

Idaho’s first commercial solar power project won’t be operational this month as predicted. But one of the companies involved in the project says it should come online by the end of May.

The state’s first solar power farm is on about 500 acres just southwest of Boise. When the project, known as Boise City Solar, is finished it will produce enough megawatts to power 29,000 homes during good solar exposure. That’s more homes than a city the size of Idaho Falls.

Who owns it?

Discover McCall Facebook page

Update on April 27, 2016:  Valley County officials learned Wednesday that they will advance to the top eight in the America’s Best Communities competition. They’ll bring home $100,000 to begin implementing an economic development plan. In 11 months the contest sponsors Frontier Communications, DISH Network and the Weather Channel will assess how well the eight communities are implementing their plans. They’ll then choose three winners who will receive $1 million, $2 million and $3 million.

TASER International / Facebook

A Wall Street Journal investigation this week highlights some possibly shady business practices by Taser, the maker of the eponymous shock device and other police hardware. It uses the Boise Police Department’s nearly $1.5 million body camera deal with Taser last year as an example.

According to the Journal, Taser convinces police departments it is the only company that can provide services in order to secure contracts without having to go through an open bidding process. That’s done, the Journal says, by giving free trips to decision makers.

St Luke's Hospital Sign
Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

A U.S. Department of Labor investigation found that one of Idaho’s largest employers was systematically violating the Family and Medical Leave Act.

The Labor Department says St Luke’s Medical Center failed to ensure that employees received FMLA protections.

Wikimedia Commons

Members of Boise State’s Osher Institute Tuesday heard lectures linking Senator Joseph McCarthy’s Communist witch-hunts of the 1950s to Idaho. History writer Marc Johnson connected the dots between McCarthy and two Idaho elections.

AP

Anyone who knows 20th century American history knows about Senator Joseph McCarthy and his hunt for Communists in the U.S. And anyone who knows about Idaho history and politics knows about Democratic Senator Frank Church. But what you may not know is that McCarthy's fall contributed to Church's rise.

That’s the theory Marc Johnson is presenting during two lectures Tuesday at Boise State’s Osher Institute. Johnson is a former journalist, adviser to Idaho Governor Cecil Andrus and a long-time behind-the-scenes political player. Now he writes about Idaho and U.S. history.

Screengrab ted.com

Pocatello has begun the process of redesigning its city flag. But, the reason for that redesign is a bit unusual. It begins with a TED Talk.

The public speaking events known as TED Talks are so popular they even have their own NPR show. (Saturdays at 3:00 on KBSX 91.5.)  And it was a TED talk by a public radio host/podcaster that shamed Pocatello into changing its flag.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

We introduced you to Kutukira Mberwa about a year ago when the Boise International Market was celebrating its grand opening.

dion gillard / Flickr Creative Commons

Twenty-year-old Boise resident Mariah Walton told the Guardian U.S. she wants to see her parents prosecuted.

“They deserve it. And it might stop others,” Walton said.

The news site owned by British Guardian Media posted a story Wednesday about Idaho’s faith healing law and the untold number of child deaths it has contributed to.

Sarah Conwell / facebook.com/thefuturesoon

You may know Jonathan Coulton for his humorous, often nerd-culture themed songs. Or maybe you know him as the co-host of NPR’s Ask Me Another. But Coulton is also the inspiration for a new musical that premiered Friday night in Boise.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

The TED organization has a large and loyal following for its live speaking events and millions of people watch the talks online. In recent years, locally organized TEDx events have been produced around the country.  Saturday TEDx Boise returns for its second year. All afternoon and into the evening notable Idaho residents will give talks on stage at the Egyptian Theater.

This year’s theme is “reframing radical.” We asked three of this year’s speakers how they want to do that.

Boise Escape / Facebook

People do a lot of unusual things in their leisure time. That includes - and this is not an April Fool’s joke – paying to be locked in rooms so they can struggle for an hour to get out. In fact, escape room games are an international sensation and Boise is no exception.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

A week ago we woke up to the news that Bernie Sanders had trounced Hillary Clinton in Idaho’s Democratic Primary. Sanders got 78 percent and Clinton got 21 percent. Two weeks before that Ted Cruz beat Donald Trump handily in the state’s Republican primary with 45 percent of the vote to Trump’s 28 percent.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho governor Butch Otter stood in front of reporters Monday and called the legislative session that ended Friday “pretty good.” Later in the press conference with legislative leaders he said lawmakers did a “tremendous job.” Lieutenant Governor Brad Little called it a “great session.” And Speaker of the House Scott Bedke recited a list of people he thought should be happy with it including teachers, students, firefighters and state employees.

Lauren Parker and John Abatzoglou / University of Idaho

You can’t grow oranges in Idaho because the winters are too cold. To get slightly more technical it’s the wrong cold-hardiness zone for citrus. Scientists have known for some time that those zones will shift with climate change. Now a new study from University of Idaho researchers predicts bigger shifts than previously thought and that could mean big changes in what crops are grown in which parts of the country.

Kyle Green / Idaho Statesman

Idaho Democrats caucused at locations around the state Tuesday night. The busiest venues were in Boise, where Democrats started voting more than two hours late due to long lines to get in.

Dominick Nicholes was among those who waited for hours outside a downtown arena and a large conference center. He was there to support Bernie Sanders. Nicholes thinks Sanders can fix the problems with the nation’s health care system and a lot of other problems he sees as well.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Democrats will caucus Tuesday night at 40 locations around Idaho. In order to participate, people cannot have voted in Idaho’s Republican or Constitution Party primary earlier this month and they have to be willing to sign a paper saying they consider themselves Democrats.

The Idaho Democratic Party wants people to show up between 5:00 and 6:00 at their caucus locations. The state party website says doors will close promptly at 7:00 MT (6:00 PT) and no one will be admitted after that.

screengrab truth208.org

The Idaho Meth Project has been warning about the dangers of methamphetamine through graphic advertising and outreach to teens since 2008. Now, the pet project of Idaho’s governor and first lady - Butch and Lori Otter - has changed its name and its focus.

The re-christened “Idaho Prevention Project” will continue its anti-meth message using the old name, but director Adrean Cavener says it will have a similar campaign called Truth 208 aimed at abuse of legal drugs like prescription opiates .

data from Idaho Department of Health and Welfare

We told you this week that the heroin epidemic much of the country is experiencing has not yet reached Idaho but that it could soon. However, some people say heroin is already a big problem here.

screengrab countyhealthrankings.org / Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The healthiest counties in Idaho are Valley, Ada and Blaine. The least healthy are Clearwater, Benewah and Owyhee. That’s according to this year’s national county health rankings from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. [For interactive versions of the maps above and to see previous years, click here.]

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