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.

Mike Stewart / AP Images

A few years ago, the market for consumer drones exploded. Each wildfire season since then, officials have been trying to educate the public in the law. People fly the small unmanned devices over fires to get up-close footage and photos, often not knowing the practice is illegal.

Kyle Green / Idaho Statesman

Thursday, people critical of the Senate proposal to replace Obamacare staged a sit-in at Republican offices across the country. While the Senate is on recess, the protesters hoped to get the attention of their elected officials. In Boise, a group of women took a similar action – but with a maternal touch. Reporter Frankie Barnhill was there and filed this report.

Cliff Hall / Flickr Creative Commons

After a 60-year-old woman and her dogs were attacked by a black bear in North Idaho Tuesday, wildlife officials are reminding people of how to stay safe in the outdoors.

The woman was hiking on a trail near a visitors’ center at the Idaho Panhandle National Forests when a black bear charged her, biting her head, stomach and side. The woman’s dogs were also injured. All are expected to recover.

Phil Cooper with Idaho Fish and Game says the attack was likely the result of the woman and her dogs surprising the bear and her cub.

Boise National Forest / US Forest Service

In Idaho, wildfire season is approaching as hotter temperatures dry out what-is-now green undergrowth. At the same time, Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson is trying to get his Washington D.C. colleagues on board with a new way to pay for fighting those fires.

Dave Shea / Flickr Creative Commons

Although neighboring states like Oregon and Washington may be better known for their craft beers, the Idaho beer industry is budding. One important ingredient is grown in the Gem State: hops.

The bitter ingredient is loved among craft-beer enthusiasts, and many popular hoppy beers are made possible by harvests from the Yakima, Washington area.

But DJ Tolmie -- who has been in the Idaho hop business for a while -- says the state has a lot of potential.

Melissa Wintrow for Idaho / via Facebook

State Rep. Melissa Wintrow, D-Boise, sponsored successful legislation the last two years to change how police in Idaho handle, process and store what are known as "rape kits." The kits are used by investigators to preserve evidence of a sexual assault.

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.

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