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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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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Vital Statistics
5:55 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Fewer People Are Getting Married In Idaho, More Are Having Babies

Credit Allan / Flickr

More Idaho babies are being born outside of marriage than ever before, and the state's marriage rate is at a 60-year low, that's according to a recent report from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

The latest Vital Statistics Annual Report is for 2012 and it covers everything from births, population, marriages, and deaths.

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Boise
2:38 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Boise Mayor: New Jobs Coming To Airport, Pitches New Fire Bond

Credit Dave Bieter's Facebook Page / City of Boise

Boise Mayor David Bieter announced Friday that SkyWest Airlines is opening a maintenance facility at the Boise Airport.

During his annual State of the City speech, Bieter said the facility will use an existing hangar at the Jackson Jet Center. “While we’re not sure yet the total number of jobs, we do know they will be able to service three large planes every night,” Bieter says. “And the wages they will pay will serve a family well.”

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Military
1:54 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Boise VA Director Responds To Audit Of Medical Care

Boise VA Medical Center Director David Wood
Credit Boise VA Medical Center

In the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' medical scandal that's forced patients to wait for care, a new audit shows Boise’s VA Medical Center scored well in some areas, and not so well in others.

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Documentary
9:55 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Meet Idaho's 'Bluebird Man' Who Helped The Species Make A Comeback

Al Larson and one of the nest boxes on his Bluebird Trail.
Credit Matthew Podolsky

For the last 35 years, Al Larson has been helping bluebirds thrive in Idaho. He loves bluebirds. He’s known around birding circles as Idaho’s “bluebird man.” “That’s what they call me. I haven’t sprouted wings yet,” Larson chuckles.

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Transportation
11:45 am
Fri June 6, 2014

No Reprieve: Boise's Buffered Bike Lanes Will Disappear

Credit Ada County Highway District

This post was updated June 6 at 4:00 p.m.

The temporary bike lanes in downtown Boise are going away.  That's according to the Boise Weekly.  The Ada County Highway District met again this afternoon to reconsider a Wednesday vote that killed the bike lane project.

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History
6:00 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Idaho Military Museum Re-Opens After Renovation

The Idaho Military Museum is back open for business after being closed since October 2013.  

The museum started at Gowen Field in the late 1980s and eventually moved off base into a nearby warehouse. 

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Recreation
6:38 am
Tue June 3, 2014

Fan Of Boise's Greenbelt? Survey Says You Probably Have A College Degree

Hundreds of people use the Boise Greenbelt everyday. Surveys found there's no average user of the trail system.
Credit Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Most of the people who use the Boise Greenbelt have a college degree. And last year, more people used it on weekdays. Those are two big conclusions from two years’ worth of surveys on the 45-year-old trail system.

Jaap Vos is director of the Community and Regional Planning Program at Boise State University. BSU has done surveys on the Greenbelt two years in 2012 and 2013.

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Television
6:00 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Boise Veteran Featured In NOVA D-Day Special On PBS

Robert Haga joined up after Pearl Harbor and had a "front row seat" at D-Day off the coast of Normandy.
Credit Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

In June 1944, Robert Haga was on board the USS Chickadee in the waters off of Normandy. Now, a Boise resident, Haga is one of the D-Day veterans featured in a new NOVA special on PBS, "D-Day’s Sunken Secrets."

In the program, a team of experts explores the sea beds along the coastline of Normandy from above and below the water, inviting veterans like Haga along for the journey.

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Transportation
3:38 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Survey: A Majority Of Respondents Don't Like Boise's New Bike Lanes

Credit Ada County Highway District

The results are neck-and-neck, but a slim majority of people who've responded to an Ada County Highway District survey want downtown Boise's temporary bike lanes gone.  

Those commuting downtown either love or hate the new lanes on Capitol, Main, and Idaho streets in Boise. Since the Ada County Highway District started the pilot project earlier in May, they’ve been collecting feedback from bikers and drivers.

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Crime
1:35 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Two Boise Men Charged Under Federal Hate Crime Law For Beating A Black Man

U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson and law enforcement partners announce details of a hate crime in Boise.
Credit Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Two Boise men have been indicted on federal hate crime charges for allegedly assaulting an African-American man last year. U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson says the victim, known in court documents as D.L., was severely beaten in October 2013 at the Torch 2 Lounge in Boise. Authorities are not releasing the victim's name or age to protect his privacy.

Jonathan Henery, 28, and Beau Hansen, 30, both of Boise, have been charged with a hate crime. Olson says the assault was racially motivated. She says her office, the FBI, and the Boise Police Department have been partners in this case.

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