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.

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.

Jeff Roberson / AP Images

Emergency managers have brought in heavy equipment to deal with canals overflowing with ice. Record snowfall this winter, followed by a fast warming spell have put people in Idaho’s ag-centric counties on high alert.

Rob Howard / Flickr Creative Commons

St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Bonners Ferry burned to the ground last spring. At the time, the loss of the building was estimated to be worth $1 million. Investigators found signs of vandalism in the church after the fire was put out, including a broken statue of Jesus they say was smashed before the fire brought the building down.

Nigel Duara / AP Images

State lawmakers are considering putting an end to mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes. The proposal has bipartisan support, but still has several hurdles to jump before becoming a law.

Rep. Ilana Rubel, D-Boise, says she first became aware of issues surrounding mandatory drug sentences when she spoke with judges around the state. The Boise lawmaker says Idaho’s standards are more stringent than they need to be, going above and beyond federal statute.

screenshot / YouTube

After this week’s resignation of retired General Mike Flynn as President Trump’s National Security Adviser, Democrats on Capitol Hill called for an investigation.

state seal, legislature
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Monday was a busy day at the Statehouse.

Camp Rainbow Gold

Camp Rainbow Gold serves kids and families struggling with cancer in Idaho. Currently, the nonprofit leases from two private camps in the Sawtooth Mountains, and camp officials want to build a permanent location near Ketchum to increase the number of kids who can attend.

sage grouse, in flight, birds
Bryant Olsen / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho Gov. "C.L" Butch Otter says he plans to appeal the dismissal of a lawsuit brought against the Interior Department in 2015. The dismissed lawsuit alleges the department violated federal environmental rules when it withdrew almost four million acres of land in Idaho for conservation of the greater sage grouse.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter says he chose the wrong word in his recent remarks acknowledging his preference that Christian refugees should be treated as a priority.

Otter, speaking at an Idaho Press Club event Tuesday, said he believes in religious preference, not religious discrimination. When pressed on the difference between the two, Otter said the United States has an obligation to protect groups being targeted for discrimination.

 

J. Scott Applewhite / AP Images

Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho) has introduced a bill to give states more responsibility to manage conservation of the greater sage grouse. It comes as GOP control of Congress and the executive branch begin to shift western land management policy.

In 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decided not to list the sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act – instead approving strict land management plans that limit mining activities across 10 million acres.

Dieseldemon / Flickr Creative Commons

Voters in the Wood River Valley may be asked to consider another local option tax to fund airline services and marketing efforts.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

The Idaho House overwhelmingly approved a $51 million tax cut plan Thursday despite hesitation from Republican and Democratic lawmakers unhappy with the deal.

 

House Majority Leader Mike Moyle (R-Star) is sponsoring the bill, and says the state’s current surplus means Idaho should give a little money back to tax payers. If the bill passes, the first $750 of income would be exempt from taxation, and the top income and corporate rates would be reduced from 7.4 percent to 7.2 percent.

Treefort Music Fest

Boise’s Treefort Music Fest has announced its last group of musicians set to play the March festival.

The festival, now in its sixth year, has several big name indie acts on the billing. One new addition to the list today is Angel Olsen, who has played Boise before – but on a smaller stage. The musician’s latest album has been hailed by music critics, and was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered.

Kurt Carpenter / USGS

The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality is holding its 27th annual water quality workshop at Boise State this week. Dan Wise is with the U.S. Geological Survey in Oregon, and Wednesday he’s presenting his findings from a regional study on phosphorus in streams.

Here’s a quick high school science refresher: Phosphorus is a chemical element and is essential for life. It’s in chemical fertilizer, as well as in animal and human waste. But there’s a delicate balance – too much phosphorus can cause problems in waterways with too much plant growth.

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

Social media requests to flood the phone lines of Idaho’s congressional delegation seem to be working. Over the weekend, the voicemail inboxes of Idaho Sen. Jim Risch and Sen. Mike Crapo were full.

According to Crapo communications director Lindsay Nothern, the Boise office was fielding calls from Idahoans all Monday morning. Nothern says he personally took dozens of calls.

J. Mc. / Flickr Creative Commons

The City of Boise wants people to move their inaccessible bins from alleys to the street. The request comes after winter storms that have made some alleys with piled-up snow and ice impossible for trucks to navigate.

Here's the full press release from the city:

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Treasure Valley bus riders are now able to cruise the web at the same time they cruise around town.

ValleyRide buses are offering free wireless internet to their users. The WiFi is another step toward modernization of the bus system; in Oct. 2016, the system opened a brand new underground transit center in downtown.

According to a press release from Valley Regional Transit, the service will come with filters to block access to websites deemed inappropriate. Many cities across the world have offered free internet on buses for years.

Jason Lantz / Idaho Bureau of Land Management

Four days in January cost Southwest Idaho and Eastern Oregon more than $25 million in winter storm damage. The Idaho Statesman talked with a New Jersey-based company that analyzes insurance claims data, and reports the Jan. 6-9 storm meets the industry standard of a “catastrophic event.”

Verisk Analytics says the total pricetag for damaged homes, cars and businesses is unclear.

Pages