Frankie Barnhill

News Reporter

Frankie Barnhill is a general assignment reporter for Boise State Public Radio. Her work has appeared on NPR's Morning Edition and Weekend Edition.

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 quoting "30 Rock" and going to concerts.

Chadd Cripe / Idaho Statesman

The North Fork Championship is one of the biggest kayak competitions in the country, and will culminate this weekend with a race for some of the most elite boaters in the world.

Rebecca Boone / AP Images

The Idaho Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Thursday over a controversial veto by Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter.

The Idaho Legislature passed a repeal of the grocery tax earlier this year, a 6 percent tax that most states do not impose. The measure gained bipartisan support and passed the Senate and House in March.

Adam Perkins / Flickr Creative Commons

The U.S. and China signed a trade deal Monday to open the Asian market to American beef. The Chinese market has been off-limits to American ranchers since 2003 after a mad cow disease scare.

Cameron Mulrony is with the Idaho Cattle Association, and says having exports to China is a big deal.  

“The Chinese is a growing market, it’s a large market," says Mulrony. "And those people are traveling and have the taste for U.S. beef so we’re hopefully optimistic that that in turn will give us a boost in our market.”

Screengrab / Natural Resources Conservation Service

By now many of us have seen the teacup diagram from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation showing the remaining capacity of reservoirs in the Boise and Payette River Basins.

To nerd out even more about this exceptional water year, it's best to dig in to the June water supply report from the National Resources Conservation Service.

Economic Innovation Group

The Economic Innovation Group is a Washington D.C.-based research and advocacy group focused on the decline of entrepreneurship and rising income inequality. Policy director John Lettieri says despite a popular narrative that disruption and change is constant in the business world, entrepreneurship across the country is actually quite static.

Lettieri says low job turnover, employment in startup companies and slow migration patterns represent that something fundamental is changing in the economy.

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

As long as significant rain doesn’t fall this weekend, the amount of water flowing into the Boise River could begin going down next week. But before that happens, officials are asking people to closely monitor things in case flooding gets worse.

Warmer weather this week has pushed Lucky Peak Dam to 88 percent capacity, while the upstream Arrowrock and Anderson Ranch Reservoirs are 98 and 99 percent full.

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

Wednesday, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced a departmental review of how the greater sage grouse is protected. 

The sage grouse lives in 11 western states, and its habitat spans more than 40 million acres. The bird’s population has declined significantly in recent decades, as natural resource development expanded in some states.

In 2015, the Obama administration decided not to put the bird on the Endangered Species List, in exchange for a habitat-wide approach to preserving the animal. That plan restricts oil, gas and mining development in sage grouse country.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

The Boise Depot is one of those places Boiseans take visitors to show off their town. The early 20th Century Spanish architecture stands out and is a great backdrop for weddings and parties.

But the one thing you haven’t found at the depot for 20 years? Passenger trains.

Colin Falconer has long wondered why that is. Falconer is originally from Seattle and used to take the Amtrak to northern Idaho to swim in lakes with friends when he was a kid. He loved being able to watch the scenery go by, and goof around in the aisles with his buddies.

Idaho Transportation Department / via Twitter

High and fast water has caused a section of Idaho Highway 21 to close. The Idaho Transportation Department closed more than 10 miles of the well-used road after part of the highway crumbled into a creek, creating "extremely hazardous" driving conditions.

Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

During Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue's visit to Idaho last week, the Trump administration official met with state leaders on a range of issues. He took a tour of the state Capitol in Boise alongside Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, and met with dairy producers and other agriculture leaders.

 

Perdue told reporters later on Friday the question of what to do about undocumented workers who fill agriculture jobs across the country is something he has talked with President Trump about often.

Google Maps / Surel's Place

Boise’s First Thursday is a well-known event in the Treasure Valley. Focused mostly on the visual arts – with music, theater and dance playing a role as well – it’s become a staple of the downtown scene each month.

Jimmy Emerson / Flickr Creative Commons

The Idaho Department of Labor says between 2015 and 2025, the state is expected to grow by 15 percent.

Using a new model to project these changes, the agency says the state’s pace is about three times higher than the nation’s when it comes to population.

So where is this boost coming from? The trend of older people moving to the state for retirement continues to lead the way. The department predicts the 65 and older crowd will grow by about 36 percent.

Paul Thompson / Flickr Creative Commons

Yellowstone National Park is now offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information about a wolf found shot in the park last month.

The National Park Service is investigating the death of a famous white female wolf. The service initially set a reward for information at $5,000. But park spokesperson Jonathan Shafer says a group of generous advocates have upped the ante.

“And we increased that amount to $25,000 as a result of a groundswell of interest from people who wanted to contribute to the reward fund,” says Shafer.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Water managers are crediting a new Idaho law with keeping water from leaving the state.

Idaho Department of Water Resources bureau chief Brian Patton says the updated policy is making things a little better for the Eastern Snake River Plain Aquifer. He says the state's existing water right is for one 1,200 cubic feet per second. But with all the snow southern Idaho received this winter, 15 times that amount was flowing down the river at different points.

A refugee from Boise imprisoned for terror charges is now in more trouble.

Fazliddin Kurbanov is serving 25 years in federal prison for conspiring and attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. The 34-year-old refugee fled Uzbekistan in 2009, and lived in Boise until he was arrested in 2013.

Kurbanov has maintained his innocence, telling a federal judge during his sentencing last year that he’s never been a terrorist.

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