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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Outdoor Recreation
2:26 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Eagle Snow Park Set To Open After Long Delay

These particular kids aren't in Eagle, but the Mayor says there will be many happy faces like these at the park this weekend.
Credit Torch Magazine / Flickr

After two years of planning, a snow park will open Saturday for tubing and snowboarding in Eagle.

The City of Eagle and the park’s developer, Ryan Neptune, had been trying to get the park underway for two years. But they clashed with Ada County, which owned the land and said a commercial operation wasn’t allowed under the lease agreement.

The city finally bought the property from the county earlier this year, and gave the green light to the operation.

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Election 2014
12:40 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Idaho Records Its Lowest-Ever General Election Voter Turnout

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

This story was updated Nov. 21, 2014 

Idaho's voter participation in this year's general election was the lowest ever.

Secretary of State Ben Ysursa tells the Spokesman Review that nearly 37 percent of Idaho's voting-age population cast a ballot Nov. 4.

Ysursa described the results as "abysmal," and urged the need to turn the number around.

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Weather
4:21 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

It's Cold, But Pipes Aren't Freezing In Treasure Valley

Credit Mia Gant / Flickr

This week's very cold weather in the Treasure Valley hasn't caused a lot of problems when it comes to frozen pipes.

That’s despite Boise setting another record low this morning of 4 degrees, breaking the old record of 7 set back in 1985. It's the third-straight morning of record cold.

United Water Idaho's Mark Snider says the company has had 10 calls from people without water.

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Public Safety
10:07 am
Tue November 18, 2014

40 Idaho Kids Go To Emergency Rooms After Eating, Touching Laundry Soap Pods

Credit US CPSC / Flickr

Idaho's Department of Health and Welfare says more calls are coming in about children being poisoned by bright and colorful laundry detergent packets this year compared to last. Children can mistake the plastic soap tabs for candy.

So far this year, 69 Idaho children in Idaho have been exposed to the packets by eating them or getting the soap in their eyes and nose. That compares to 45 kids during the same time frame last year.

This year, 40 kids went to the emergency room and five of those children ended up being hospitalized.

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City Government
10:10 am
Tue November 11, 2014

Firefighters, City Of Boise Negotiating New Contract

Credit Nicholas D. / Flickr Creative Commons

The City of Boise and the Firefighters Union are negotiating a new labor contract. At issue is how much firefighters should be paid.

Last year, the average department employee made $85,000, plus another $50,000 for insurance and retirement, according to the Idaho Statesman. That’s up 24 percent from a decade ago. However, two years ago, firefighters refused a contractual raise.

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Weather
2:42 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

Snow And Cold Temperatures Are Headed To Southern Idaho

This National Weather Service map shows forecast temperatures through Thursday.
Credit National Weather Service

The first major winter storm of the season is headed for Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, bringing with it the season's first hard freeze and snowfall to the Treasure Valley.

There’s a good chance of snow on Thursday in the Boise area.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Les Colin says an arctic air mass is coming in from central Canada.

“There was a typhoon whose remnants went up into the Bering Sea,” Colin says, “and it created an intense storm there and the consequences spread into North America and then down south into Canada and into the United States.”

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2014 Election
1:34 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

5 Idaho Legislative Districts To Watch On Election Day

Idaho Statehouse
Credit Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho's legislative races are not very competitive, at least that's the opinion of Gary Moncrief, professor emeritus at Boise State University, who studies state legislatures.

While all 105 seats in the Legislature are up for grabs this year, Moncrief sees only five districts where the races could be close.

“In Idaho, usually somewhere between 40 and 50 percent of the seats are not contested,” says Moncrief.

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Idaho History
12:06 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Idaho's Legacy Comes To Life In 20th Century Photos

William Allen Stonebraker had a homestead of 409 acres in the Payette National Forest and Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. His home in Stites, south of Kooskia, was featured in many photos. Here his brother Sumner fools around on the porch.
Credit University of Idaho Library

William Allen Stonebraker worked and played in the rugged central Idaho wilderness at the turn of the 20th century and he's left behind a unique legacy of photographs to tell his story. That photo collection has just been released by the University of Idaho Library.

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Election 2014
10:15 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Idaho Gubernatorial Candidates Square Off One Final Time Before Election Day

A.J. Balukoff, John Bujak and Butch Otter during Thursday night's Idaho Public Television debate. It was the candidates' final debate of the race.
Credit Idaho Public Television

In their last meeting before Tuesday's election, three men running to be Idaho's governor wasted no time in taking shots at each other's policies and ideas. The debate, hosted by Idaho Public Television, featured incumbent Republican Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter, Democrat A.J. Balukoff and Libertarian John Bujak.

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2014 Election
4:24 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Many Young People Don't Vote, We Explain Why This Young Idahoan Does

Credit Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

It’s no secret that young voters are less likely to vote than older voters. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that in every presidential election since 1964, 18-to 24-year-olds voted at lower rates than all other age groups. In the last mid-term election, 21.3 percent of 18-to 24-year-olds voted. The number was almost three times higher for those 65 and over.

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Election 2014
8:13 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Jones-Ybarra Education Debate Highlights Differences School Spending

Democrat Jana Jones, left, and Republican Sherri Ybarra, right.
Credit Idaho Public Television

The two candidates vying for the job of Idaho's Superintendent of Public Instruction faced off Tuesday night in a debate sponsored by Idaho Public Television. 

Republican Sherri Ybarra and Democrat Jana Jones are competing to replace Tom Luna, who's stepping down at the end of his current term. 

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Gay Marriage
2:29 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Idaho Veteran's Cemetery Will Bury Lesbian Couple

Idaho Veteran's Cemetery
Credit Idaho Air National Guard / Flickr

An Idaho Navy veteran, who wanted to be buried with her late wife, will get her wish.

The Spokesman-Review’s Eye on Boise blog reports the head of the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery says there’s no longer a reason to keep the two apart. Madelynn Taylor has her wife Jean Mixner's ashes. She wanted to set up arrangements to have her ashes interred with Mixner's at the cemetery in Boise.

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Film
5:38 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

PBS Show Explores Coeur d'Alene, One Of The Whitest Towns In America

Credit Courtesy Futuro Media Group

It’s estimated that by 2043, white Americans will no longer be a majority of the U.S. population. But in Coeur d'Alene, Caucasians already make up a whopping 92 percent of the population. Nationally, whites total 63 percent of the population.

Coeur d'Alene has been homogeneous for the last 20 years as nearly 90 percent of new residents were white.

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Charity
12:42 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Idahoans Give More To Charity Than People In Most States

Credit Alex Proimos / Flickr

Idaho is a very charitable state. Idahoans gave more of their income to charity than every surrounding state, except Utah. But low-income Idahoans are giving away more of their hard-earned cash than the wealthy.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy used Internal Revenue Service (IRS) data from 2006 to 2012 to find patterns of giving across the country.

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2014 Election
8:35 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Labrador, Ringo Debate Over Immigration, Gay Marriage Policy

Rep. Raul Labrador and state Rep. Shirley Ringo are debating to win Idaho's First Congressional District seat.
Credit Courtesy Idaho Public Television

Immigration reform and gay marriage were just two of the issues on the table Thursday night during the Idaho Public Television debate between candidates running for Idaho's First District Congressional seat.

Republican incumbent Raul Labrador and Democratic challenger Shirley Ringo are vying for a chance to represent Idaho in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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Election 2014
9:49 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

Denney, Woodings Touch On Issue Of Closed Primaries During Statewide Debate

The two candidates running to be Idaho's next Secretary of State faced off Tuesday in a debate hosted by Idaho Public Television.  

State Representative Lawerence Denney of Midvale, a Republican, debated state Representative Holli Woodings of Boise, a Democrat.

In a debate Monday, Denney was reported as saying that primaries should not be run by the state government, but by political parties.  

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Obituary
9:39 am
Mon October 6, 2014

Idaho Rock Musician Paul Revere Dead At 76

Rock musician Paul Revere, known for his outlandish costumes and enthusiastic stage persona passed away Saturday in Idaho.
 

He was born Paul Revere Dick in 1938 in Nebraska and later came to Boise and Caldwell. He was a teenager in the 50s with a love of music. He started his first band, the Downbeats, which eventually became Paul Revere and the Raiders.

The group became the house band for the Dick Clark TV show “Where the Action Is,” and appeared on Johnny Carson, Ed Sullivan and The Smothers Brothers.

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History
6:30 am
Mon October 6, 2014

New Book Explores How The Railroad Built Nampa

The Oregon Short Line depot circa 1908. Railroads were the lifeblood of Nampa in the city's early history.
Credit Canyon County Historical Society

In 1885, southwestern Idaho's Nampa was just a water tower and a few shacks, but that quickly changed when the railroad came to town. A new book by historian Larry Cain examines the railroad's impact on Nampa, and how the city has changed.

Cain says the trains, and their cargo, are a big reason why Nampa thrived in the early part of the last century.

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Transportation
9:39 am
Thu October 2, 2014

Ride-Share Service Uber Comes To Boise For Free Trial

Uber is coming to Boise, at least temporarily. The ride-sharing app, which connects passengers with drivers, starts a temporary free trail in the city Thursday.

Uber has been around since 2009 and operates in more than 200 cities worldwide.

It works like this: riders download an app on their phone, plug in a destination, and choose a driver to pick them up. Drivers use their own cars.

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Gas Prices
5:59 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

After Pricey Summer, Idaho's Gas Prices Headed Down

Credit Nathan Feir / Flickr

Gas prices are dropping in Idaho and around the nation. Following a regular trend, Idaho’s prices were higher this summer than the national average, but winter prices tend to be lower. One expert says there are several reasons why.

Idaho had the sixth highest gasoline price in the nation at certain times this year.

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