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

A visiting Boise State professor has spent this week trying to get Idaho children to connect with refugee children.

The “Quilting to Speak” workshop is the brainchild of Reshmi Mukherjee. She’s a visiting professor at Boise State, and is teaching a course this summer about communication between refugees and non-refugees.

Pockafwye / Flickr

Sunday broke some records for high temperatures, but the heat didn’t break Idaho Power’s record for peak demand. That’s even though the company is seeing tremendous demand on the system.

Sunday, the company used 3,292 megawatts of power to keep irrigators pumping and air conditioners on. But spokeswoman Lynette Standley says the system record — set July 2 — 2013, is 3,407 megawatts.

Idaho Power expects to use more power Monday than Sunday. Standley says the projection is over 3,300 megawatts. That compares to an average use of less than 2,000 megawatts.

Arte_ON / Flickr

A new look at bicycle crash data shows 1,195 people have been involved in crashes in Ada County since 2007. Most were in Boise. Eleven of those crashes resulted in the death of the cyclist.

Department of Defense

Monday morning, a squadron of the Idaho Army National Guard is in the desert south of Boise for a live-fire training exercise. The soldiers are preparing for a special trip to California, to the Army’s most sought-after training experience.

Evan James hymo/Wikipedia

Health officials say a third area in southwestern Idaho has rodents that are likely infected with plague.

Laurie Boston with the Southwest District Health Department says six voles and one wild mouse from the Riddle area were tested. One vole showed probable plague infection.

Riddle is 79 miles south of Mountain Home. The vole was found along Highway 51 in southern Owyhee County.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

For the last six years, a man with a degree from Stanford has been standing on a street corner in California. He holds a pen and a notebook. David Breaux asks each person on the street the same thing: To share their written concept of the word compassion.

He began his quest in 2009.

It’s a lawsuit that’s been going on since 1980 and it may finally be resolved. Known as the “Jeff D.” lawsuit, it focuses on children’s mental health services in Idaho.

Despite repeated attempts to resolve the 35-year-old case, it keeps coming back. At the core of the issue is Idaho’s system for providing care to kids with mental health problems. The plaintiffs says the state isn’t doing enough for those kids.

Nampa and Meridian Irrigation District

As summer temperatures heat up the Treasure Valley, many homeowners turn to their irrigation district to water their lawn. These districts crisscross  the Valley, but the largest is the Nampa and Meridian Irrigation District (NMID). And NMID says its tax time.

A.Currell / Flickr

As Idaho gets ready for the third year of using a state health exchange under the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies are still adapting to the new system. This month, those companies announced some proposed rate increases for insurance policies next year.

The Associated Press reported last week that Blue Cross of Idaho has asked for the most rate hikes.

“[That’s] simply because we offer more plan options for people,” says Josh Jordan, manager of Corporate Communications with Blue Cross of Idaho. He says every insurance carrier in the state asked for increases.

daniel / Flickr

This week, we’re going behind the scenes of Idaho’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC). Since 2008, the unit has made 237 arrests in Idaho. The yearly numbers have remained fairly steady for several years, hovering between 30 and 40.

Across the country, ICAC units have seen a consistent increase in the number of people arrested for crimes against children since 2000.

Yannick Meyer / Flickr

Do you know what your kids are doing online? That’s the question Tim Brady asks when he talks about his work protecting children from internet predators. After nine years shielding kids, this Boise Police detective has some advice for parents when it comes to the Internet and safety.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

This story includes graphic descriptions and language that may not be suitable for young audiences; some may find this content offensive.

Police Detective Tim Brady sits at his desk, surrounded by computer screens. He flips on a monitor and an instant-chat session is on the screen, this one recorded a few years ago. It is one of thousands of hours the Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children unit, (ICAC) has spent online.

“Within less than a minute I’m bombarded with all these people that think they’re speaking with a 13-year-old girl,” Brady says.

Neil Weightman / Flickr

A dog in Ada County has tested positive for plague. It’s the first case – human or canine – of the bacterial disease since officials reported an outbreak in ground squirrels south of Boise two weeks ago.

Epidemiologist Sarah Correll is with the Central District Health Department. She says a preliminary test came back positive, which means the dog likely has the plague. Results from a second test will come back next week.

The Peregrine Fund/Bosch WebCam

The five kestrel chicks made famous by the Peregrine Fund’s Kestrel Cam will be banded Thursday as they get ready to leave the nest. Banding is when scientists put bracelet-like metal bands around the birds' legs to help monitor them in the future.

Katherine Jones / Idaho Statesman

The wife of a Boise pastor jailed in Iran will testify tomorrow before the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Naghmeh Abedini will tell the story of her husband, Saeed, who has been detained in Iran since 2012.

Idaho Transportation Department

Last week, the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) pushed 27 road and bridge projects to the top of their “fix it” list. The projects, from Nampa to Pocatello, are just a fraction of the outstanding road issues facing the Department. ITD says the projects will cost $46.8 million. 

USAF Airman Shane Phipps

Idaho health officials say ground squirrels south of Boise have tested positive for plague. They say humans and pets should avoid the area.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare in a statement Friday says the bacterial disease can be spread by the bites of fleas or by direct contact with infected animals, including rodents, rabbits and pets.

“We have investigated reported mortalities of ground squirrels in the area southeast of Boise during May,” State Wildlife Veterinarian Dr. Mark Drew said.

Idaho Rivers United

The head of Idaho Rivers United (IRU) is stepping down. Bill Sedivy says after 16 years as executive director of the organization, he wants to spend more time on the rivers and less time in the office.

The non-profit Idaho Rivers United is celebrating 25 years as an advocacy group in the state. It works to protect Idaho’s rivers and fish, and has more than 3,400 members.

Sedivy says it was a love of river rafting that got him involved in protecting rivers in the first place.

UGA College of Ag & Environmental Sciences / Flickr

Norovirus has been found in samples from an outbreak at a Nampa Middle School two weeks ago. The Southwest District Health Department confirms two stool samples came back positive for the virus.

It started two weeks ago when children at Lone Star Middle School came down with vomiting and diarrhea. By that Thursday, more than 150 kids stayed home sick. The next day, close to 500 students missed class.

Nicole Mays / Flickr

Federal investigators say that a Tennessee man and his family raised millions of dollars  for cancer patients, then spent the money on cars, luxury cruises, college tuition and to employ family members with six-figure salaries.

Officials say it's one of the largest charity fraud cases ever and involves all 50 states.

Pages