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.

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Air Quality
4:50 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

You Can Blame Idaho’s Smoky Skies On California

Credit National Weather Service

The air quality in the Treasure Valley has dropped from good to moderate, thanks to a change in winds that’s bringing in smoke from the south. The National Weather Service in Boise reports the sudden influx of smoke into Idaho is due to a change in the wind pattern.

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Scam
10:52 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Police Say Scammers Targeting Victims In Treasure Valley

Credit Thomas Hawk / Flickr

Con artists are giving new life to an old scam. The Boise Police Department is warning Treasure Valley residents to avoid becoming victims.

The Boise Police Department says scammers are using fear and the threat of arrest to get victims to part with their money. BPD first reported on a version of this scam last November.  Now they say scammers have escalated their efforts to con people out of money.

Here's how the scam works:

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Hunting
11:17 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Idaho Fish And Game Cracking Down On Illegal Spotlight Hunting

Credit Gary Beck / Flickr Creative Commons

The Idaho Fish and Game Department is cracking down on an illegal hunting practice known as "jacklighting." Hunters pull over to the side of a road at night, get out of the car and shine a high powered spotlight on a hillside. Any dear or elk are frozen in place by the sudden glare. Then the hunters shoot.

Fish and Game says the practice is dangerous and unethical, so the department is taking further action to catch and prosecute perpetrators.

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Migration
4:59 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

If You Were Born In Idaho, Data Show You Probably Stayed

Where people born in Idaho are moving to.
Credit New York Times screengrab

If you were born in Idaho, The New York Times reports you've likely stayed put. And if you did move, it was more likely you stayed in the West.  

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Health
2:50 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

Serious Respiratory Virus Reported In Eastern Idaho

Eastern Idaho health officials say four children have been hospitalized due to a respiratory virus.

Officials tell KIFI-TV that the children are being treated at the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.

Hundreds of children in more than 10 states have been sickened by a severe respiratory illness that public health officials say may be caused by an uncommon virus similar to the germ that causes the common cold.

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Gambling
3:08 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Judge Tells Coeur d’Alene Tribe To Stop Offering Poker

Credit Images Money / Flickr

A judge told the Coeur d’Alene Tribe Friday to stop playing Texas Hold ‘em poker at its casino.

The Spokesman Review reports U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill issued the injunction, saying tournaments violate Idaho’s state ban on poker.

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Jobs
8:24 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

SkyWest Airlines To Build $20 Million Maintenance Center In Boise

SkyWest says it plans to hire 100 people for its new facility.
Credit Aero Icarus / Flickr Creative Commons

SkyWest Airlines has chosen Boise for the site of its new $20 million maintenance facility, a project state leaders tout was made possible by a newly-created tax incentive program.

In June, Boise Mayor David Bieter announced SkyWest would open a maintenance facility at the Boise Airport, using an existing hangar at the Jackson Jet Center. He said then that SkyWest was considering expanding that facility in Boise.

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Culture
2:58 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

How Do You Say That? 9 (More) Idaho Place Names Only Idahoans Can Pronounce

The Kamiah flower shop can be found in downtown Kamiah, that's kam-ee-eye.
Credit Kara Oehler / Flickr Creative Commons

Idahoans are passionate about how to say the places in which they live. We learned that earlier this month with a post about the 10 places only Idahoans know how to pronounce.

You sent us dozens of suggestions, comments and explanations about Idaho's unique place names. Commentors also disagreed about the correct pronunciation of some words, which is to be expected, says Boise State University Assistant Professor of Linguistics Tim Thornes.

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Domestic Violence
9:35 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Special Idaho Court A Model In Fight Against Domestic Violence

Rick and Tess are working together in Ada County's Domestic Violence Court
Credit Michael Martin

Rick and Tess laugh a lot. After 22 years together, they finish each others sentences and tease each other constantly. “I’ve got the one-in-a-million,” says Rick of his wife. “Yeah, me too,” laughs Tess. The pair's marriage hasn't always been easy, three years ago Rick was arrested on domestic violence charges.

Rick and Tess didn’t want to use their real names, but they did want to talk about their experience with Ada County’s domestic violence court. This special court has become a model for judges around the country in the fight against domestic violence.

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West Nile Virus
11:46 am
Fri August 22, 2014

5 Human Cases Of West Nile Virus Reported In Idaho

The latest data for West Nile cases in Idaho
Credit Map by Idaho Department of Health and Welfare

The number of West Nile virus cases in Idaho have gone up this month in humans and mosquitoes.  
 

Human cases of West Nile were reported in four counties recently, Blaine, Lincoln, Payette, and Washington.  

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History
2:18 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

New Book Reveals Secrets Of Boise's Old Pen Through Photos

The old Idaho Penitentiary housed inmates from 1872 to 1973. This is the old administration building at the Pen, which is still standing today.
Credit Courtesy Idaho State Historical Society

A new collection of vintage photographs is highlighting Idaho's historic old penitentiary which was home to bank robbers, assassins, horse thieves and moonshiners for more than 100 years. The fortress-like Old Pen has long been a staple in east Boise, and it's now a place for tourists instead of criminals.

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Culture
9:38 am
Tue August 12, 2014

How Do You Say That? 10 Idaho Places Only Idahoans Know How To Pronounce

Credit Craig Cloutier / Flickr Creative Commons

Here's one way to find out if someone is from Idaho: ask them to pronounce Boise, Coeur d'Alene, or Pend Oreille.

If there’s one thing that trips up folks from outside Idaho, it’s our weird and wonderful place names.  Counties, cities, and rivers in Idaho can be hard to pronounce, if you don’t know them well.

These 10 words can be tough for new Idahoans (special thanks to the Idaho Press Club’s Idaho Pronunciation Guide).

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Sports
2:18 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

Texas Stuntman Cancels His Snake River Canyon Jump

Credit BigEdBeckley.net

The Twin Falls Times-News reports that Texas stuntman "Big Ed" Beckley says he won’t jump the Snake River Canyon. At least not this year.  

On his webpage, Beckley writes that since the Fox television network “backed out” of a TV deal, he’s looking for a media partner for 2015. 

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Health
10:19 am
Tue August 5, 2014

West Nile Virus Spreads To 7 Idaho Counties

Credit Enrique Dans / Flickr Creative Commons

West Nile virus has now been reported in seven Idaho counties. The mosquito-borne virus has shown up in Adams, Ada, Bingham, Boundary, Canyon, Gem and Payette counties.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare says all instances of the virus have been discovered in mosquito pools, no human cases of the disease have been reported.

Last year, West Nile was found in 16 Idaho counties. Forty people were infected with the virus and two Idahoans died. One of the worst West Nile years on record was 2006 when nearly 1,000 Idahoans were infected and 23 people died.

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History
3:39 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

Former Secret Service Agent To Give Meridian Talk About Kennedy Assassination

Many Americans can still remember where they were on November 22, 1963, the day that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. Gerald “Jerry” Blaine remembers exactly where he was; in Austin, when a fellow Secret Service Agent pounded on his door saying the President had been hit.

Blaine was a Special Agent of the Secret Service, it was his job to protect the President from harm.

He’ll be in Meridian Monday to give two talks about  the day that's forever inked in history books.

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Health
12:32 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

West Nile Virus Found In Ada County

Credit Ben Rauch / Flickr

West Nile virus is in Ada County. A mosquito trap near Star, Idaho tested positive for West Nile this week. It the first instance of the disease in Ada County this year.

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Wildfires
2:47 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Firebreak Along I-84 To Reduce Risk Of Roadside Wildfires

A look at I-84 at Simco Road.
Credit Google Maps

On average, nine fires spark each year along Interstate 84, burning more than 1,000 acres. Now, the Bureau of Land Management is partnering with various agencies to cut down on the risk of roadside wildfires.

Fire officials are building a firebreak along a 10-mile stretch of the highway to keep fire starts from trailer chains or hot mufflers to a minimum.

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Idaho Legislature
7:00 am
Sun July 20, 2014

Gay Rights Protesters Arrested At Idaho's Capitol To Be Sentenced

In February, protesters stood in silence at the Capitol to protest against discrimination. Monday they have their day in court.
Credit Frankie Barnhill / For Boise State Public Radio

During the legislative session, dozens of people protested inside and outside the Idaho Capitol against discrimination. Monday is their chance to stand up in court and say why they did it.

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Weather
1:40 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Is It Hot Enough In Idaho? Keep Cool And Save Money With These 9 Tips

The life-giving sun can sometimes be too much to take in an Idaho summer. We have ways you can cool your home down.
Credit photonut-mi / Flickr

The last few days have been scorchers, and the National Weather Service says the heat will continue at least into next week. Everyone is looking for ways to stay cool.

One spot that should always provide respite is your home. Idaho Power has these tips on how to keep your house cool, while saving a little money on air conditioning.

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Wilderness
6:00 am
Fri July 11, 2014

50th Anniversary Of The Wilderness Act Sparks Conversation, Idaho Lecture Series

The Sawtooth Wilderness is a rugged landscape in Central Idaho.
Credit Greg Dusic / U.S. Forest Service

Fifty years ago, the Wilderness Act was signed into law, setting aside large areas of land in their natural state. Today, almost 110 million acres have been designated as wilderness by the U.S. Congress.

Idaho is celebrating the milestone with a lecture series in the shadow of the Sawtooth Wilderness Area, sandwiched between Atlanta and Stanley.

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