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.

tilproject.com

Idaho lawmakers Thursday evening are invited to a presentation by an anti-Islamic preacher and an anti-immigration advocate. The speakers will be in the Capitol’s largest public meeting room, the Lincoln Auditorium.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Tuesday was the second day of the 2016 session of the Idaho legislature but lawmakers did not spend the afternoon crafting policy. Instead they did a five-hour training on civil discourse. Legislative leaders participated in the training a few months ago and decided all lawmakers needed to hear it. It’s presented by the National Institute for Civil Discourse at the University of Arizona which works with Congress, state legislatures and the media to promote civility in political conversation.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

In 2015, nearly 730,000 foreign-born people took the oath to become U.S. citizens. That included 1,449 in Idaho. Thursday more joined them in Idaho’s first naturalization ceremony of the year.

Sometimes these ceremonies are done with a lot of pomp at public events like 4th of July celebrations. This one is in the waiting room of a federal office, the kind of place where most days people take a number and wait to talk to someone through a window.

M&R Glasgow / Flickr.com

With an executive order this week, President Obama is seeking to require background checks on most gun sales. Until now, the checks haven't been required for sales by small vendors. This is sometimes referred to as the “gun show loophole.”

idtrucking.org

In Congress’ recent omnibus spending bill there was a small, largely unnoticed provision that applied only to Idaho. But it had nothing to do with spending. The provision allows Idaho to raise weight limits for big trucks.  

Screengrab idahopotatodrop.com

For those of you who don’t have plans yet for New Year’s Eve, or for those of you who want advice on avoiding crowds that night, here’s an update on what has become Idaho’s biggest New Year’s Party.

It’s probably safe now to call the Idaho Potato Drop an annual event. This is the third year a car-sized foam potato will be lowered from a crane in downtown Boise as a crowd counts down the end of the year. This time the event is moving a few blocks to the small park in front of the state Capitol building. 

New Approach Idaho

Friday afternoon on the steps of Idaho’s Capitol a group of people plan to break the law. It’s a protest that could come with some serious repercussions for those involved.

Idaho has some of the strictest marijuana laws in the country. If Serra Frank is caught with an ounce, she could reasonably expect to pay a $1,000 fine and spend a year in jail. But Frank says she will be smoking pot at the Capitol on January 1 anyway. 

screengrab blogs.estately.com

There’s a theory that postulates you can learn a lot about a person from what he/she searches for online (though I think people in the sciences would quibble over the use of the word theory there.) A blog from real estate site estately.com extends that theory to learning about states from residents’ Google searches. Estately’s 2015 list says Idaho Googled the word “Vaccines” more than any other state.

Courtesy Courtney Wyatt

At the Boise Bike Project Saturday children will be getting free bicycles. That’s not unusual, that’s what the Bike Project does. But this time some of the kids getting the bikes were passengers in a car that hit - and severely injured - a boy only five-years old. And it was the mother of that boy who asked that these kids get bikes.

Here’s the part you may have heard about. This past September a 5-year-old Boise boy named Maximo was riding his bike home from kindergarten with his dad when he was hit by a minivan.

screengrab otterpac.com

Political action committees (PACs) have come to dominate American politics with their ability to donate to candidates and spend independently to support candidates. But a new PAC in Idaho may be unique in the state.

Otter Pac registered with Idaho’s Secretary of State last month. That’s Otter as in Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

In the months leading up to the eviction of more than 100 people from a tent city near downtown, Boise city leaders frequently cited crime as one of the main reasons the camp needed to be cleared.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Update 1:55 p.m. Wednesday: A plan to relocate some of the homeless people ejected from a Boise tent city last week has fallen through after objections from potential neighbors.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

On Friday morning, Boise Police will begin clearing a homeless camp near downtown.

The camp in an alley known as Cooper Court has been around since early summer and nearly 100 people sleep there. City leaders have said for months that the camp is unsafe, unhealthy and would not be allowed to remain long term.

U.S. Census Bureau

The 2014 American Community Survey from the U.S. Census Bureau gives a county by county and even neighborhood by neighborhood look at something most of us probably know: Idaho was in worse shape after the Great Recession. For the first time this year the census allows people to compare two non-overlapping five-year periods. Those are 2005-2009 and 2010-2014, a rough approximation of before the recession and after it.  

Less Money

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

It’s been nearly two weeks since police warned residents of a tent city near downtown Boise to leave or face potential arrest. But, the tents are still up, and dozens of people are still sleeping in the alley known as Cooper Court despite the pre-dawn warning a week before Thanksgiving.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The Boise International Market burned down in September, putting its business owners out of work. This weekend, a handful of those - mostly refugee - entrepreneurs started back up in a temporary location for the holiday season.

Trailhead in downtown Boise is in a pretty good location for restaurants and retail. It isn’t designed for either, though. Trailhead is a business incubator.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Update Wednesday 12:50 p.m.: Bogus Basin officials have announced plans for a partial opening Friday through the end of the weekend. 

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

It may be the beginning of the end for the homeless tent city near downtown Boise.

Thursday morning residents of the alley known as Cooper Court were awoken by Boise Police officers handing out warnings. The notices listed several laws people were breaking by sleeping in the alley and notified them that they could be fined or jailed.

The tents are located by the Connector in downtown, in an alley off Americana Boulevard and River Street. It's behind the Interfaith Sanctuary homeless shelter.

Courtesy Boise Alternative Shelter Co-op

There are two ideas being talked about in Boise to house chronically homeless people. You can think of them as the Eugene model and the Salt Lake City model.

For the last decades of the 20th century, death rates were declining for most Americans. But so far in 21st century Idaho, that's not happening.

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