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

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.


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 / 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.]

WBEZ / Flickr Creative Commons

There’s a story you hear in small towns and big cities all over the country. It goes like this: a lot of people get addicted to prescription opioid pain killers like oxycodone. When they can’t get those anymore they turn to heroin because the experience is similar and heroin is cheaper and easier to get. Much of the United States is now experiencing what is widely being called a heroin epidemic.

In Idaho we have the first part of that story. Walter Bogucki is an inpatient counselor at Port of Hope, a drug treatment center in Nampa.

Andy Woodruff / screengrab/

If you, like me, spent this morning stewing in the juices of your hatred for daylight saving time (I’ve been indulging the fantasy of creating a super PAC to give money to congressional candidates who vow to abolish it, but have been stuck on how to raise millions of dollars), consider how it would change things for you if it ceased to exist. A cartographer named Andy Woodruff has created an interactive map to help us.

Tabby Haskett /

The North Idaho town of Orofino has asked the Idaho legislature to create a specialty license plate for its high school. No other Idaho high school has its own license plate. The bill has passed the House despite some stiff opposition.

Orofino is home to a state mental hospital and many people see the local school mascot, the “Maniacs” as an offensive caricature. The image is a wild-haired, screaming cartoon character jumping in the air. It wears what, to many people, looks like a hospital gown.

Dustin Moore / Flickr Creative Commons

Say what you will about the Internal Revenue Service, at least they won’t call you at work and threaten you with immediate arrest if you don’t give them money now. Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden says the IRS uses the mail. That’s an important distinction because nearly a million people nationwide in the last three years have gotten calls from someone claiming to be with the IRS demanding money.

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio/ StateImpact Idaho

Polls are open from 8:00 am until 8:00 Tuesday night for Idaho’s Republican presidential primary. To cast a ballot, voters have to affiliate with the GOP, and registration is allowed at polling stations. There are 13 candidates on the Republican ballot. That could complicate who gets Idaho’s 32 delegates.

Courtesy Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine

Since we learned recently that a for-profit medical school will be built in Meridian, we’ve also heard criticism that it won't help solve Idaho’s doctor shortage. Much of that criticism is about the lack of residency positions in Idaho. Critics argue doctors don’t practice where they go to medical school, but where they do their residency. Idaho only has 41 spots for residents and competition is already stiff.

Coleen Danger / Flickr Creative Commons

Volunteers with the group New Approach Idaho have spent several months gathering signatures to put medical marijuana legalization on the ballot in November. Now, with less than two months until the deadline, the group’s president has canceled the petition.

Bill Esbensen says he received a letter from a national pediatric organization that had been listed on the petition as supporters of medical marijuana. The group asked that its name be removed. Esbensen says New Approach leadership had been considering pulling the petition anyway because it wasn’t written well enough.

Richard Eriksson / Flickr Creative Commons

A recent recommendation to the Boise City Council has awoken an issue that was, a few years ago, among the most hotly debated topics in Idaho’s capital city – should downtown Boise get a streetcar? But Mike Journee, a spokesman for Mayor Dave Bieter, says a committee led by a city engineer has not yet recommended that Boise actually build a streetcar line.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The President Pro Tem of Idaho’s Senate, Brent Hill (R-Rexburg) Tuesday said his greatest disappointment for the current legislative session is that lawmakers have not brought forth a bill to prevent discrimination against the LGBT community that also ensures religious freedom. A week ago Hill told KBSX that negotiations had been going on behind the scenes and that there was still time in the session to present a bill.

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

We learned last week that the state of Idaho has struck a deal with a group of investors who want to build a for-profit, osteopathic medical school on Idaho State University’s Meridian campus. When he made the announcement, Idaho Governor Butch Otter said the school would go a long way in solving Idaho’s doctor shortage.

Emilie Ritter Saunders / StateImpact Idaho

We learned last week that Idaho could get its first medical school two years from now. But the announcement that it would be a school of osteopathic medicine left a lot of people wondering just what that is. Everybody knows what an M.D. is. But you may not know that an M.D. has a degree in allopathic medicine. Someone with a degree in osteopathic medicine is a D.O.