Emilie Ritter Saunders

Digital Content Coordinator

Emilie is Boise State Public Radio's digital content coordinator. She helps shape what you see on this website, from original reporting and building data visuals to story planning and social media outreach.

From Sept. 2011-Aug 2013, Emilie was StateImpact Idaho's multimedia journalist. That two  year collaboration between Boise State Public Radio and NPR focused on in-depth reporting on Idaho's economy and state policy.

Emilie has earned local, regional and national awards for her work in radio, online, and television journalism. Her work has been heard on the BBC, CBC, National Native News, and on NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Her work has appeared in Reuters, The Idaho Statesman, and The Missoulian.

Emilie comes to Boise from Montana Public Radio where she was the Capitol Bureau Chief from 2008-2011. Emilie was a Senior Fellow with NPR's Economic Training Project from 2009 until 2010. She graduated from the University of Montana School of Journalism in 2007.

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Politics
1:06 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Longtime Political Reporter Popkey To Head Idaho Congressman's Press Team

Dan Popkey joined the Idaho Statesman in 1984.
Credit Courtesy Idaho Statesman

Longtime Idaho political reporter Dan Popkey is leaving his job at the Idaho Statesman to be Rep. Raul Labrador's new press secretary.

A press release from the Republican Congressman's office Tuesday says Popkey will be based in Meridian, and coordinate communications for Idaho and Washington, D.C. 

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Politics
11:46 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Judge Rules Peterson Is No Longer Chairman Of Idaho's Republican Party

Peterson, left, talks with Gov. Otter the day after the GOP's May primary.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Barry Peterson is no longer the chairman of the Idaho Republican Party, that's the ruling from 5th District Judge Randy Stoker.

“His term has expired,” Stoker told the court.

The judge’s ruling came after extensive arguments that lasted for more than two hours in court this morning in Twin Falls.

“This is not a question of this court taking any position with regard to what the Republican Party should do in this state,” Stoker said. “I have no dog in this fight, so to speak.” - Spokesman-Review

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Wildfires
10:50 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Idaho's Whiskey, Mack Fires Fully Contained

Mop up work on the fires will continue this week.
Credit Boise National Forest

Idaho's Whiskey Complex and Mack fires burning north of Boise are now fully contained. A Boise National Forest spokesman says mop up and monitoring of the fires will continue Monday.

The Whiskey Complex was a series of fires sparked by lightning on July 13. It has burned 9,446 acres south of Garden Valley on the Boise National Forest. Spokesman David Olson says isolated areas of smoke will still be visible this week as the fire smolders within its containment lines.

The Mack fire was one of 27 fires started by lightning last week. It burned 229 acres.

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Policy
4:16 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Gov. Otter Didn't Know 8 Immigrant Children Have Been Sent To Idaho In Border Surge

Gov. Otter with First Lady Lori Otter at a recent Republican event at the Capitol.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

This post was updated at 10:00 a.m. July 25, 2014.

This week, Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter sent a letter to federal officials telling them not to send any of the unaccompanied young migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border to Idaho.

However, federal officials say they've already sent children from the border to Idaho.

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Culture
3:03 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

What Are The Sounds That Make Your Idaho City Home?

Floaters drift down the Boise River on a July day.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

On a hot summer day, the sounds that echo through Boise State Public Radio's windows along the Boise River are the shrieks and squeals of floaters drifting downstream.

A mini-rapid is right in front of the newsroom, and it's at that spot where floaters tend to get a healthy dose of cold river water. Their giggles, shock-induced screams, and mild expletives mixed with the constant churn of fast-moving water, are a lovely reminder of summer in Boise. It's a sound that likely defines Boise.

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Wildfires
11:20 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Fire Managers Nearing Containment On Most Lightning-Caused Wildfires North Of Boise

Credit Photo Courtesy Boise National Forest

This post was updated at 11:15 a.m. July 25, 2014.

Fire officials say they've nearly contained all 27 of Wednesday's lightning-caused wildfires on the Boise National Forest and state lands north of Boise.

The Mack Fire is still the largest, now estimated at 270 acres. It's now 10 percent contained.

This post was updated at 10:25 a.m. July 24, 2014.

A Boise National Forest spokesman says 14 of 27 lightning-caused fires burning on federal and state lands north of Boise are now contained.

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Wildfires
10:00 am
Thu July 24, 2014

At More Than 9,000 Acres, The Whiskey Complex Fire Is 75 Percent Contained

A firefighter uses a drip torch along the South Fork Payette River Road.
Credit Photo Courtesy Boise National Forest

This story was updated at 10:00 a.m. July 24, 2014. 

The Whiskey Complex Fire burning in the Boise National Forest is now 75 percent contained.

The fire is estimated at 9,446 acres. The Forest Service says 851 people are staffing the fire, which is expected to be fully contained by July 28.

The voluntary evacuation order for 60 homes along the South Fork Road has been lifted, while the closure of the South Fork Payette River Road is still in effect. Access to that road is only available to fire crews and residents.

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Sports
10:49 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Fox Won't Broadcast Stuntman's Snake River Canyon Jump

Beckley is a 63-year-old who's been jumping motorcycles since the mid 1970s. At 285 lbs. he bills himself as the world's largest motorcycle jumper.
Credit Big Ed Beckley's Facebook page

The Times-News reports that the Fox television network won't broadcast Texas stuntman "Big" Ed Beckley's planned Snake River Canyon motorcycle jump.

On his Facebook page, Beckley writes the network didn't have the money to broadcast the event.

"We received the final word the executes at FOX TV have backed away from the Snake River Canyon Jump. It was not in their new budget for us to make the jump.

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Wildfires
10:20 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Blaine County's Preacher Fire Nears Containment

The Preacher Fire has burned 33,864 acres.
Credit Courtesy Bureau of Land Management

This story was updated at 10:00 a.m. July 18, 2014

The Preacher Fire, burning in Blaine County, is now 60 percent contained and fire managers expect full containment Friday night. 

The lightning-caused fire sparked July 14 and has since grown to nearly 34,000 acres.

The fire is burning in grass and brush. A red flag warning expected Friday means winds could pick up and humidity can drop, making a fire more likely to flare up.

This story was updated at 6:10 p.m. July 16, 2014

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Wildfires
9:59 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Dry Conditions, Hot Weather Make Fighting Idaho's Whiskey Complex Wildfire A Challenge

Firefighters work to clear brush on the Boise National Forest as smoke from the Whiskey Complex hangs in the air.
Credit Photo Courtesy Boise National Forest

Fire officials working to contain and control the Whiskey Complex wildfires burning near Garden Valley, Idaho say conditions on the ground are more like late August, not mid July. "This demonstrates how the very dry vegetation challenges the suppression efforts," spokesperson Dave Olson writes.

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Policy
4:27 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Idaho's GOP Leader Sues For Party Control

Barry Peterson (left) talks with Gov. Otter at the GOP's May 21 unity rally.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho's Republican Party infighting may be solved in court.

The leader of Idaho's Republican Party has filed a lawsuit against two members of his own party who called an Aug. 2 meeting of the GOP Central Committee after the group left its state convention without voting on a platform or new leaders.

Chairman Barry Peterson has called for an Aug. 9 meeting.

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Health
12:36 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

As Boise Is Surrounded By Wildfires, Smoke Could Be Here For Weeks

The foothills were barely visible from southeast Boise Thursday morning.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Smoke is settling in the Treasure Valley from wildfires burning in Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Canada. The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality is forecasting moderate to unhealthy air conditions for the next couple of days. 

"We’ll see higher levels in the early morning hours and before lunch," says DEQ's Michael Toole, "and hopefully if that pattern continues, we’ll see clearing in the afternoons which will give us some relief."

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Wildfires
9:50 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Update: Idaho's Whiskey Complex Wildfire Closes Sections Of Boise County

The Whiskey Complex wildfire burning near Garden Valley is now 4,500 acres.
Credit Photo Courtesy Boise National Forest

This story was updated at 9:41 a.m. July 17, 2014

The Whiskey Complex wildfire burning in Boise County has grown to 4,500 acres and could expand today because of forecast westerly winds.

The Boise National Forest reports hot temperatures and dry fuels have been a challenge for firefighters working to contain the Complex. It's estimated at 3 percent contained.

Voluntary evacuations are still in place for residents in Pioneerville and those along the South Fork Payette River road.

Here's an update from the Boise National Forest:

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Entertainment
2:18 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Idaho's Eccentric Political Candidate Harley Brown Gets Reality TV Deal

Brown has long been a candidate for political office in Idaho. He's never been elected.
Credit Aaron Kunz / Idaho Public Television

Well, it happened. Idaho's very own gubernatorial debate superstar Harley Brown has inked a TV deal, according to the Boise Weekly.

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Health
11:52 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Study: Fungus Found In Chobani Yogurt More Dangerous Than First Reported

Chobani's voluntary recall began Sept. 5, 2013. The company says the facility has been cleaned and the mold hasn't been detected since.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

A fungus found in Chobani yogurt produced at its Twin Falls facility last year that led to a voluntary recall was more virulent than first thought.

In August and September 2013 more than 200 people were made sick by the Greek yogurt after a strain of fungus called Mucor circinelloides was detected in the product.

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Quiz
8:00 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Quiz: Do You Know The Difference Between Idaho And Iowa?

Idaho is the top producer of potatoes in the United States.
Credit 4435Russet / Flickr Creative Commons

Yes, Idaho and Iowa are two very different states.

It seems the great state mix-up has made it back into the spotlight, so we made this quiz to test your knowledge of the Gem State and the Hawkeye State.

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Culture
11:40 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Idahoans And Iowans Join Forces To End State Mix-Up

Both agricultural states, Idaho is known for potato production while Iowa is known for its corn.
Credit Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho and Iowa are, in fact, two different states, and entrepreneurs, writers and creative-types want the world to learn the difference. (Take our quiz to see how well you know Idaho and Iowa.)

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Obituary
11:58 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Former Idaho Gov. John Evans Has Died At Age 89

Former Gov. John Victor Evans Sr., one of Idaho's last Mormon Democrats to achieve statewide political success, has died. He was 89.

Summers Funeral Home confirmed he died Tuesday morning at his home in Boise.

Evans was born Jan. 18, 1925, in Malad City. He is the grandson of the founder of the Idaho-based D.L. Evans Bank.

Evans was elected Idaho lieutenant governor in 1974, a position he held for the next three years. In 1977, he was elevated to the chief executive job when then-Gov. Cecil D. Andrus was named U.S. Interior secretary under President Jimmy Carter.

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Weather
2:23 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Boise Logs 45 Triple-Digit Days In 5 Years, More Heat Is On The Way

Credit Data: National Climate Data Center | Chart: Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

The National Weather Service in Boise is predicting a week of triple-digit, or near-triple-digit temperatures for the Treasure Valley.

Over the last 30 years, Boise has logged, on average, nine days of 100 degrees or warmer each year. The last two years have exceeded the average with 14 days at or above 100 in 2013, and 12 days in 2012. Data from the National Climate Data Center show Boise has had 45 days of temperatures at or above 100 degrees from 2009-2013.

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Boise State
5:01 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Boise State Ends Lawsuit With The American Athletic Conference For $2.3 M

Credit Mike / Flickr Creative Commons

Boise State University says it has agreed to pay $2.3 million to the American Athletic Conference as a negotiated exit fee, ending long-running litigation.

In 2011, Boise State had planned to become a football-only member of the Big East conference, as it was called then. But after the conference broke apart Boise State chose to keep most of its sports teams in the Mountain West Conference.

Boise State's negotiated exit fee to the American Athletic Conference means both parties have agreed to drop their lawsuits.

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