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

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. ”

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.

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.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Boise residents Tuesday approved by a wide margin a bond to build new fire stations. Seventy-six percent of voters said yes to borrowing $17 million over 10 years. The city plans to upgrade or replace four Boise fire stations and build a new training facility.

“That facility is very needed,” says Boise Fire Chief Dennis Doan. “We haven’t had a training facility in Boise that’s useable in over 20 years, at least. That’ll be a great safety feature for our fire fighters.”

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

It's Election Day! Maybe you’ve been closely following the races and you know the issues and how you'll cast your ballot. But maybe you don’t actually know how or where or when to vote.

So, here are a few pieces of information to help you out.

Polls are open from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm.

Democrats, Donkey, Politics
DonkeyHotey / Flickr Creative Commons

We recently asked our Boise State Public Radio Facebook followers about what it's like to be an Idaho Democrat, and we got a big response.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Some neighborhoods see a lot more trick-or-treaters than others Halloween night. One of the busiest Halloween hotspots is Boise’s Harrison Boulevard.

We caught up with Harrison homeowner Scott Petersen as he was painting the walkway to his front door with a rectangular sponge attached to a handle.

“At the moment we’re actually creating our yellow brick road," Petersen says. "I found this little tool at Home Depot and my girlfriend found the paint, which is washable, which is critical.”

Janelle / Flickr Creative Commons

One of the nation’s biggest producers of natural, organic and vegetarian food is opening a facility in Idaho. California-based Amy’s Kitchen has bought a 500,000-square-foot plant in Pocatello, formerly owned by Heinz.

The announcement came from Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter’s office Wednesday.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Jerry Panko vacuums up leaves around the candidate signs in his north Boise front yard. Panko is a retired teacher, he refers to himself a liberal, he’s a big fan of unions and he’s a long-time Democrat.

With Election Day a week away we’re profiling some Idaho voters. We talked with Panko about the experience of being a hardcore Democrat in Idaho.

Panko says the affiliation came in handy nearly three decades ago when he first asked out the woman who would become his wife. She had some requirements for him.

Manoosh26 / Flickr Creative Commons

The Wood River Valley is bracing for the loss of one of its largest employers. Ski equipment maker Smith Optics is one of the area’s top 10 employers and one of the biggest private-sector employers, according Harry Griffith, director of Sun Valley Economic Development - a nonprofit focused on the Blaine County economy.