Samantha Wright

News Reporter/On-air Host

Samantha Wright is a news reporter and the local host for Boise State Public Radio's All Things Considered on weekday afternoons.

Her spot reporting, special projects, and audio production have been featured on Voice of America, National Public Radio News, This American Life, National Native News, the Northwest Radio Network and on The New York Times website. Samantha earned a Regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Use of Sound for her feature “Co-op Cooks.”  She also earned a first place award for Use of Sound for her feature “Canning Makes a Comeback” from PRNDI - Public Radio News Directors Incorporated. Samantha was a co-producer of the Idaho StoryCorps Project. The project was recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

The University of Idaho is inviting people to the Boise VA Medical Center to get their hands dirty with history. Students will be digging for the next three weeks on the site of historical Fort Boise and need volunteers to help them out.

Return to Snake River Facebook Page Screenshot

A jump across the Snake River Canyon is back on, this time with Hollywood stuntman Eddie Braun.

The Twin Falls Times News says Braun will ride a rocket across the canyon in September.

The last attempt to jump the canyon came in 1974 when Evel Knievel tried and failed to make it across.

Braun will launch from private property in Jerome County and land on private property in Twin Falls County.

Office of Idaho Senator Mike Crapo

An Idaho judge has been confirmed by a U.S. Senate Committee. Now David Nye faces the full Senate. The Spokesman Review’s Eye on Boise Blog reports Nye got unanimous support from the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday for the job of Idaho’s next U.S. district judge.

Gordon Bowen Collection / Boise City Department of Arts and History

It’s 25 miles long and stretches from Eagle to Lucky Peak. The Greenbelt is Boise’s premiere biking and walking path. But how did dozens of separate chunks of riverside pathway eventually end up as one long greenbelt?

Using city documents, interviews with Greenbelt pioneers and historical research, Author David Proctor tells the story in his new book, “Pathway of Dreams: Building the Boise Greenbelt.”

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The Director of Boise's zoo announced today that they will give $100,000 to replant native vegetation in the area burned by the Table Rock Fire in the Boise Foothills.

Zoo Director Steve Burns says the money will come from the Zoo Boise Conservation Fund.

Over the last nine years, zoo visitors have generated about $2 million in the fund for wildlife conservation. A portion of each zoo entry fee goes into the fund.

Charles Peterson / Flickr Creative Commons

A wildlife drama, involving a problem bear, played itself out over the Fourth of July weekend near the eastern Idaho/western Wyoming border. Campers had to leave while officials tracked down the troublemaker.

The Forest Service decided to close the Teton Canyon area east of Driggs after a problem bear tried to enter tents, charged at people and displayed what officials called “bold, unnatural behavior.”

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The Boise Fire Department says it will only respond to life-threatening emergencies in the Foothills where houses are sliding down a hillside.

Officials say the creeping landslide at Alto Via Court has created dangerous conditions. BFD wants Foothills users and curious onlookers to stay away from the site.

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

The Ada County Sheriff says in less than 24 hours over the Fourth of July holiday, his dispatch office received 235 fireworks complaints and 33 reports of grass fires.

Boise Fire Chief Dennis Doan says at least 12 fires in Boise were likely caused by fireworks over the Monday holiday. And the Table Rock Fire in the Boise Foothills last week, which burned a home, was caused by illegal fireworks. The Nampa Fire Marshal says illegal fireworks likely burned down a home Tuesday morning.

NASA, ESA, and J. Nichos (University of Leicester)

The NASA space probe Juno arrives at Jupiter on the Fourth of July.

The probe will study Jupiter’s atmosphere, magnetic fields, and auroras. The hope is to better understand the planet's origin and evolution.

Boise State's physics department will use telescopes to get a close-up look at Jupiter Monday night as Juno starts orbiting the planet.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

The group that helped get a new law passed that allows Idaho residents to carry a concealed weapon without a permit will celebrate with a rally Friday in Boise.

Scott Graf, Boise State Public Radio

Final update: Crews reached full containment on the Table Rock Fire at 9 o'clock Thursday evening. Boise Fire officials say crews will monitor the fire through at least Friday to maintain containment. 

Update, 5:35 p.m.: Fire crews continued to make progress on the Table Rock Friday Thursday afternoon. Boise Fire Department officials said just before 5:30 that the fire is now 85 percent contained and that full containment is expected by 10 p.m.

Major Chris Borders / Idaho National Guard

A soldier from the Idaho Army National Guard is the nation’s first female enlisted soldier to graduate from M1 tanker school.

Sergeant First Class Erin Smith enlisted in Idaho’s Guard in 2001 as a combat medic. She's been deployed to Bosnia and Iraq. She had wanted to try being an Army tanker and last year, when the military opened up all positions to women, she got the chance.

Nathan Feir / Flickr

Going somewhere over the July 4 weekend? You are not alone. AAA Idaho says 215,000 Idahoans will be traveling over the holiday period.

AAA Idaho says Independence Day is typically the busiest summer travel holiday, thanks to summer vacations and kids out of school.

Around the country, 43 million Americans are expected to travel over the weekend. That’s five million more than Memorial Day. Idaho and other mountain states will see 3.2 million holiday trips.

Thanks to low gas prices, 173,000 Idahoans will take their car when they travel this weekend.

Adelpha Photography/Flickr

Idaho’s Hispanic population is growing. That’s according to the Idaho Department of Labor.

Using Census Bureau numbers, the department found that the Hispanic population grew 2.9 percent between mid-2014 and mid-2015. That’s an increase of 5,696.

Janell Hyer is a research analyst at the Labor Department. She says Idaho’s Hispanic population went up 15.1 percent since the 2010 census.

“We added over 26,000 Hispanics to our community and living in this area you’re seeing more and more commercial businesses that are targeting Hispanics.”

Tom Jefferson

An Idaho filmmaker is part of a desperate battle to help save the world’s smallest cetacean.

Last June, we first told you about Matthew Podolsky and his documentary on an Idaho man who's spent 35 years helping the state's bluebirds. But lately, Podolsky has been filming a short documentary in Mexico, trying to save what’s often called “the Panda of the Sea.”

National Weather Service Boise/Bogus Basin

Spring in Boise means all types of weather, from sunny and hot - it was 101-degrees last Wednesday - to snow. Winter made a brief comeback Thursday at Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area with clouds, fog, and some light snow.

The National Weather Service in Boise posted a time-lapse video of the winter weather on its Twitter account. 

NWS also posted photos from Brundage Mountain Resort, which got snow all day on Thursday. 

Zoo Boise

Teenagers volunteering at Zoo Boise are helping to try and save one of the world’s most endangered mammals.

The teens are using an information booth to raise money for the Saola - a forest mammal that lives in Vietnam. The animal rocked the scientific world when, in 1992, scientists first discovered what turned out to be not just a brand new species, but a whole new genus.

These antelope-type creatures have two long curing horns on their heads and white spots on their faces. They are remarkably shy and gentle, and have never been seen alive in the wild by scientists.

Matt Leidecker

It’s been almost a year since President Obama signed a bill establishing three new Wilderness areas in Idaho’s Boulder-White Cloud Mountains. With the designation comes tourism, and one writer wants to help more people explore the landscape.

Matt Leidecker has written five guidebooks, including one on Sun Valley and one on the Sawtooths. His fifth book, “Exploring the Boulder-White Clouds - A Comprehensive Guide,” comes out this month.

Boise Police Department / Cold Case

Boise Police are trying to crack a murder case that’s 39 years old. Despite the passing of time, they’re hoping for new leads in a Cold Case that happened back in 1977.

The Crime: It was April 20, 1977. Oney Leiby, 62, was a night watchman at Thriftway Lumber in Boise. He was murdered in the middle of the night while on duty, leaving behind a wife and two grown sons.

Central District Health Department

A second cat in Elmore County has likely died of plague. This cat lived outside the plague area boundary drawn by health officials.

This is the second cat death in a week. The Central District Health Department reports this cat lived two miles from Mountain Home and lived both indoors and outdoors. It had contact with ground squirrels before it died. Members of both families, along with the rest of their pets, are being monitored to make sure the cats did not spread the plague.

Final lab results on the animals will come in next week.

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