Frankie Barnhill

News Reporter

Frankie Barnhill is a general assignment reporter for Boise State Public Radio. She joined the newsroom fulltime in January, 2015.

She earned her production chops at American Public Media, where she interned for Marketplace Tech Report and American RadioWorks. Frankie was also a researcher in Minnesota Public Radio's newsroom for an investigative report on bullying.

As a freelance reporter in 2014, Frankie won a grant to profile five emerging artists for Boise State Public Radio's audience. The project, entitled "Artist Statement," was an exploration of Boise's burgeoning artistic scene.

Frankie was a fellow with the Institute for Journalism & Natural Resources in 2013 and again in 2015, where she began to hone her environmental reporting skills.

Frankie graduated from the College of St. Catherine with a degree in English literature. The Missoula native spends most of her free time riding her left-handed bike, quoting "30 Rock," and going to concerts.

Matthew Wordell / Treefort Music Fest

The sixth annual Treefort Music Fest starts has begun in downtown Boise (March 22-26). The festival will once again showcase indie music from around the region and beyond. In total, 420 bands will take over more than 20 venues around downtown -- not to mention all the mini forts. 

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

About a dozen teenagers are helping set up a stage in a burrito shop in downtown Boise. (The salsa bar is stage right.) Some are stringing decorations from the ceiling and walls, in preparation for the slew of bands they'll host during Treefort Music Fest.

Gus Marsden is helping run this new venue as a leader of the festival's all-ages volunteer team.

Stethescope, Health Care, Doctor, Medical
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

A plan from Congressional Republicans to replace Obamacare could result in a mass exodus from Idaho’s online health insurance exchange.

State officials say almost 60,000 people could leave the exchange under the new proposal. Your Health Idaho director Pat Kelly said Friday that’s because it removes tax credit subsidies and the requirement for individuals to have health insurance.

FiveThirtyEight / via Hackfort

Podcasts are taking over Treefort Music Fest this year. The annual festival – which will host 420 bands – is giving podcast lovers some immersive opportunities during the March 22-26 event.

John Miller / AP Images

Right now, state boards and commissions created by executive order are not subject to Idaho Open Meeting law. That means they can hold meetings without letting the public know, and without letting the public sit in on the discussions.

If a new bill passes muster at the statehouse, that could change. Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Iona, proposed the change yesterday, fittingly during Sunshine Week – a week meant to expose transparency issues in government. The bill now goes to the Senate.

Bryant Olsen / Flickr Creative Commons

Federal officials have approved an Idaho wildlife conservation plan to avoid potential listings under the Endangered Species Act.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service signed off on a state plan that identified 205 Idaho species of concern. Grizzlies, salmon and sage grouse were all on the list, as well as monarch butterflies. Wildlife officials are working on taking Yellowstone grizzlies off the Endangered Species List.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

Idaho’s agricultural exports decreased by almost eight percent in 2016. The downturn comes as the U.S. dollar remains strong compared to other major currencies.

Since its record high in 2014, Idaho agricultural exports have been declining. The Capital Press newspaper reports the high value of the dollar is part of the problem. Digging into the numbers, Mexico imported the most Idaho products – about $176 million worth. Canada and China came next.

Danny Heslop / YouTube screengrab

Drumroll, please...

More Idaho bands than ever before took part in NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Contest. Although the big winner is not from Idaho (check out New Orleans band Tank and the Bangas who stole the hearts of the NPR Music jury), Boise State Public Radio staff were impressed by the caliber of musicians from the Gem State.

Ada County Statehouse Capitol Building House Chambers Entrance
Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho lawmakers advanced a bill that would reverse two anti-abortion laws if passed.

Earlier this year, a federal judge told Idaho lawmakers that he would strike down two anti-abortion laws if they don’t reverse those measures at the state level. In 2015, Idaho passed two laws that banned women from being prescribed abortion-inducing medicine through telemedicine.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

About 2,000 people gathered at the steps of the Idaho Statehouse Saturday. A coalition of conservation and environmental groups organized the rally.

People traveled from all over the state to rally in support of public lands. They held signs and led chants, many dressed in hunter orange and camo.

About 60 percent of the state is owned by the federal government, a fact that was repeated several times by organizers of the event.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Jaeden Forrey took on an unusual school assignment.

“This is my 1970 Monte Carlo," says Forrey. "I got it – not this last Christmas but the Christmas before. And I got it [when it] had no paint, no engine, no transmission, no interior. So I did all the body work, I did all the engine work and interior work on it.”

New York Road Runners

A Boise nonprofit has become the first ever Idaho charity to partner with the New York City Marathon.

The Lee Pesky Learning Center serves kids with learning disabilities in reading, writing and math. The nonprofit has offices in Boise, Caldwell and Hailey.

“And we work on intervention strategies that support the needs of the whole child so that they can overcome their learning challenge and be successful in school and in life.”

Vito Barbieri
Matt Cilley / AP Images

Idaho state Rep. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens, introduced a bill Wednesday that would exempt public officials from fulfilling certain public records requests. He brought up the proposal in the House State Affairs Committee.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP Images

We checked in with a few voters in Boise right after President Donald Trump's speech Tuesday night.

Republican Tyler Ricks actually voted for libertarian Gary Johnson last November. He wasn’t convinced candidate Trump would bring real change to Washington. But Ricks says he was happy to hear the president sound more – well – presidential.

“It was more calm," says Ricks. "And I think that came across – you know that he does truly care about Americans.”

He says Trump’s speech spoke to him directly.

Idaho Capitol Dome
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho House Speaker Scott Bedke has appointed Republican Rep. Clark Kauffman of Filer to serve on the Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs. His appointment replaces Rep. Greg Chaney, R-Caldwell, from the board. Chaeny has served on it since 2015.

Boise State Public Radio and Idaho Education News are partnering to produce a week-long series on how the March 14 statewide school elections affect students, communities and taxpayers.

High school junior Erin Frazer is laser-focused, moving her mouse deftly as she manipulates an image on her computer screen.

“I think Illustrator is my favorite out of all these programs,” she says.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

The Boise School District says it needs renovations to its schools and is asking voters to approve a $172 million bond to pay for it all. In Meridian, voters will consider a new bond for the West Ada School District worth $160 million over 10 years. And the Kuna school district has both a bond and supplemental levy on the ballot for the March 14 election.

Tom Britt / Flickr Creative Commons

Zebra mussels are knocking at Idaho’s door.

Montana, Utah and Nevada all have the invasive species, which attach to boats and can spread easily from different bodies of water. They can kill native lake species and cost millions of dollars in damage and mitigation. They first appeared in the Great Lakes after Eastern European boats introduced them in the 1980s.

 

Boise Parks and Recreation Department

If you’ve taken a stroll on the Boise Greenbelt in the last week or so, you’ve probably noticed a higher and faster river rushing past you. In just a few days, rocks in the river bed have been covered and large logs have been carried downstream.

Idaho Division of Tourism / Flickr Creative Commons

In 1890, the brand new state of Idaho was granted more than four million acres of land by the federal government. Public education is the beneficiary of money generated from state land sales to individuals or companies. Idaho law limits these sales to no more than 320 acres in some cases and 160 acres in others.

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