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.

Ways To Connect

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

President Barack Obama spoke for just over 30 minutes Wednesday at Boise State University, touting the proposals from his Tuesday State of the Union address aimed at helping the middle class.

Jim Max / For Boise State Public Radio

President Barack Obama made a whirlwind stop in Boise Wednesday, touching down at around 1:20 p.m. MST.  Air Force One then departed the Boise airport three hours later.

In between, the president spoke to thousands people at the Caven-Williams Sports Complex on the Boise State University campus. He also visited Boise State's New Product Development Lab.

Idaho Statesman

President Barack Obama will speak at 3:00 p.m. MST at Boise State University.

After last night's State of the Union address, Obama is in Idaho to further his plans laid out in his speech which include tax and education plans aimed at benefiting the middle class.

Kyle Green / Idaho Statesman

An annual accounting of Idaho government payroll shows the state last year paid $1.47 billion in salaries, taxes, healthcare and insurance costs.

The annual report from the Idaho Controller’s Office shows more than a third of the state’s 25,033 workers are earning less than $40,000 each year. About 10 percent earn more than $70,000.

Kaitlyn Farrington
NBC/USOC

Idaho native and Olympic gold medalist Kaitlyn Farrington announced an unexpected retirement Thursday, just a year after winning the halfpipe snowboarding competition in Sochi.

Data: Pew | Chart: Emilie Ritter Saunders

If Idaho had to pay all its bills using just reserves, the state could have funded government for 27 days in fiscal year 2014.  That's according to a report released by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

State reserves, or rainy day accounts, were depleted during the recession as states relied on that money to pay for an increase in welfare costs and unemployment insurance benefits. 

Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter is kicking off the 2015 legislative session with his annual State of the State address and budget proposal, where he outlines increased spending for schools, boosting state employee pay, cutting income taxes, and leaving some tough decisions up to the Legislature.

An idea Otter returns to repeatedly in his speech is that "Idaho learns."

Young Invincibles

A national group working to engage young people on issues like education and health care gives Idaho a D- when it comes to state support for higher education.

UGA College of Ag / Flickr Creative Commons

The J.R. Simplot Company is partnering with a Texas-based company to build a 300,000-square-foot beef processing facility near Kuna, Idaho, creating up to 600 new jobs.

Simplot and Caviness Beef Packers announced Tuesday it expects to open in the fall of 2016, pending regulatory approval.

In a press release, Simplot officials say the processing plant will be called CS Beef Packers, LLC. The two companies say they're investing $100 million to build the facility.

This story was updated at 5:18 p.m. 

The Kootenai County Sheriff's office confirms a 2-year-old boy shot and killed his mother inside a North Idaho Walmart.

In a press release, officials write the accidental shooting occurred at 10:20 a.m. Tuesday, inside a Hayden, Idaho Walmart.

Five of Idaho's neighboring states will ring in the New Year with an increase in their minimum wage. Idaho, meanwhile, hasn't seen an increase in its minimum wage since 2009.

Idaho's wage is the federal minimum, $7.25 per hour.

Not only is Idaho nearly surrounded by states with a minimum wage above the federal baseline, but it's nearly surrounded by states with the highest minimum wages in the country.

Jeremy Conant / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho is among the top 10 states for estimated population growth between 2013 and 2014, recording the strongest population gain since the recession, according to the Idaho Department of Labor.

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows Idaho’s 2014 population is up 1.3 percent from 2013. That’s higher than the national average population growth of 0.7 percent.

Census puts Idaho’s estimated population at 1,634,464 million. That’s an increase of 21,000 people.

National Weather Service

Update, 9:15 a.m.: The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for much of southern Idaho and southeastern Oregon. The advisory will take effect late Wednesday afternoon as a cold front blows through.

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

An Idaho high school senior made waves earlier this month for a pointed editorial taking aim at Superintendent of Public Instruction-elect Sherri Ybarra.

Harmony Soto, 17, decided to plagiarize Boise Weekly writer George Prentice after Ybarra narrowly won November's election -- even after Ybarra was accused of plagiarizing her opponent's campaign website.

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

By various measures, Idaho is a generous state. Wallet Hub finds Idaho is the third-most generous state when it comes to charitable giving. The Chronicle of Philanthropy finds Idahoans give more than residents of every surrounding state except Utah. Idahoans are also eager to give their time.

Idaho’s Department of Health and Welfare has been awarded a nearly $40 million federal grant to improve health outcomes.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human services announced 28 states will share $665 million in state innovation grants.

Idaho’s four-year innovation grant is meant to transition away from a fee-for-service system of health care delivery, to a value-based system.

Idaho's health department lists these seven items as its goals.

Treasure Valley commuters navigated dense fog Friday morning, and more fog could be on the way for early Sunday.

A National Weather Service Boise forecaster just happened to climb Table Rock as the fog rolled through the eastern part of the valley. The forecaster pulled out his iPhone and captured a neat perspective on Friday morning's fog.

Source: National Weather Service Boise

house, sold sign, yard
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

The housing-market research firm RealtyTrac finds that Ada County is showing early signs of a home-price bubble, based on affordability and an uptick in the foreclosure rate.

Boise River, snow, weather
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

The winter storm system that has blanketed much of the region since Thursday morning will have dropped up to 8- inches of snow in the Boise area by the time it’s finished.

National Weather Service meteorologist Jay Breidenbach says snow should stop falling late Friday afternoon, and more snow isn’t in the immediate forecast.

“The damage is done," Breidenbach says. "The roads are going to be just horrible this afternoon for the commute because temperatures are going to stay below freezing."

Idaho National Guard

This story was updated Nov. 7 at 12:00 p.m.

The Idaho National Guard has identified the two soldiers who were killed Thursday near Gowen Field when their Apache helicopter crashed.

Chief Warrant Officer 4 Stien P. Gearheart, 50, and Chief Warrant Officer 4 Jon L. Hartway, 43, were killed when the helicopter they were piloting crashed during night training. Gearheart was from Meridian, Hartway was from Kuna. 

The Guard says both men were part of the 1-183rd Attack Reconnaissance Battalion based in Boise.

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