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.

Kristina Anderson

A woman who survived the mass shooting at Virginia Tech nine years ago is bringing her message of safety to Boise State University.

Kristina Anderson was in French class on April 16, 2007 when another student walked into her building, chained the doors shut, and started shooting at teachers and students. Anderson was shot three times. The gunman killed 32 people and wounded 17 others before taking his own life.

Now, Anderson travels the country telling her story and encouraging people to talk about safety in schools, businesses and public spaces.

Dr. Clinton Shock

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell Tuesday will visit the sagebrush burned in last year’s massive Soda Fire in southwest Idaho and eastern Oregon. The Bureau of Land Management is working to recover the area, but a group of private scientists are concerned about the way the recovery is being handled. Specifically, that the agency is hurrying through the recovery without following its own concepts for adaptive management. The BLM though, says the project is being handled correctly.

1905 photo courtesy of the Idaho State Archives & Library

A group of dedicated historians and preservationists are working to educate people and protect downtown Boise’s historic architecture, one weekend at a time.

The non-profit group Preservation Idaho has started up weekly tours of the city, called WalkAbout Boise.

capitol, statehouse, idaho
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Tuesday’s primary election in Idaho saw seven incumbent lawmakers lose their positions in the Legislature. It also whittled down the candidates vying for a seat on Idaho’s Supreme Court.

Many match-ups featured moderate Republicans against candidates from the far right wing of the party.

Reporter Betsy Russell of the Spokane Spokesman-Review writes the “Eye on Boise” blog and was among those watching the election closely.

Craig Bennett / Flickr

The U.S. Postal Service is using new technology to try to keep the number of dog bites down on postal routes.

Two new safety measures will help alert postal carriers about dogs. Dan Corral is the Postmaster of Boise. He says when customers sign up to use USPS.com’s package pickup application, they’ll be asked if they have a dog. And starting later this month, the Post Office will use special package scanners to warn of problem dogs at specific residences.

Idaho Department of Agriculture

Idaho officials intercepted a boat Tuesday on U.S. Highway 93 that was carrying a potentially harmful invasive species.

The boat was moored in Lake Mead, Nevada, which is infested with quagga and zebra mussels. When it entered Idaho, the owners were required to stop at one of the state’s 16 inspection stations to ensure none of the invasive species were brought into the state.

But Lloyd Knight, with Idaho’s Department of Agriculture, said that’s not what happened.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

A group of Boise State University students got glowing reviews after the tool they built for NASA was put through its paces last month.

The tool, known as the Zero Operable Interplanetary Delivery Based Ergonomics Grabber, is called Zoidberg 2.0 for short. Zoidberg is a character on the cartoon Futurama.

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center

Mercury is passing between the Earth and the sun Monday, an event known as a planet transit. It’s an event important to scientists that anyone with a special telescope can watch.

The Physics department at Boise State University is setting up filtered telescopes to watch the event.

Professor Brian Jackson says during the transit, the Earth will be in Mercury’s shadow.

phone, office
Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

A new phone scam has hit the area, according to the Boise Police Department.

Scammers are able to manipulate the caller ID so the phone call appears to be from a BPD phone number. They claim Boise Police have a warrant out for their arrest on an unpaid payday type loan. The scammers say officers will arrest them unless the money is paid over the phone.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

A group of Boise State students has built a tool for NASA that one day might go into space. The Microgravity team is in NASA in Houston this week, where it will be tested by experts. If it does well, NASA may use the design on a mission to study asteroids.

“It’s kind of heavy. This is last year’s tool, if it wants to cooperate,” Boise State University student Chris Ruby is holding what looks like a weird, oversized pistol with boxes on one end. Everyone on the Microgravity team calls it “The Tool.”

Dave Thomas / Flickr Creative Commons

After the deadly white-nose syndrome was found in a bat in the state of Washington, Idaho is stepping up protections against the fungus.

Idaho Fish and Game says it’s working to prevent the fungus from coming here, while at the same time, making preparations in case it does show up, like creating an inter-agency response plan for Idaho.

The Department says there are 14 bat species living in the state. At least half hibernate here. White-nose syndrome is known to kill hibernating bats.

Idaho Transportation Department

He’s the record-holder in Idaho for state service; 57 years at the Idaho Transportation Department. And Terry Jacobsen says he’s planning to break that record. He wants to keep going until he hits his Diamond anniversary; 60 years working for the state of Idaho.

“I was a greenhorn when I started,” Jacobsen says. That was April 14, 1959. They didn’t even have calculators then, so he had to use a slide rule, or “slip stick,” as he calls them. He’s watched so many things change and advance over the years.  "It boggles my mind to think about them,” he says.

m br / Flickr

The Boise Police Department says there were two reports of sexual assault that were recanted in the past few weeks. But officers want to make sure anyone who has been the victim of a crime is not afraid to make a report. The Department also works hard to prevent crimes, like rape and sexual assault, before they happen.

Roadsidepictures / Flickr

Boise Police recently investigated two cases of sexual assault. One was reported near the Boise River and the other in west Boise. But in both cases, the women who said they were assaulted later recanted their stories.

Police issued a statement after the second case, saying they don’t want such incidents to keep other women from reporting sexual assaults.

Angie Munson is a detective in the Special Victims Unit at BPD. She’s been an officer for 27 years and has worked on over 2,000 cases, most of them sex crimes.

Joel Franusic / Flickr

The price at the pump is the lowest it has been in Idaho on this date since 2009. That's despite the cost of gas going up for more than a month.

Gas prices have risen for 36 of the past 41 days, says AAA Idaho. Despite that, Idaho's average price for a gallon of gas is just $2.07. It hasn't been that low on April 5 since 2009, when it hit $1.97 a gallon. In 2012, we were paying $3.78 for gas in early April.

Nicholas D. / Flickr

In 50 years, the Treasure Valley will need three times the water it currently uses. That’s according to a new study commissioned by the Idaho Water Resource Board.

The board is looking at how to meet current and future water needs in the valley.

Brian Patton is chief of the board’s Planning Bureau. He says the population is likely to grow from 600,000 people to 1.57 million, and all those people will need more water.

Lawrence Wasden
Idaho Public Television

The Idaho Attorney General says two Tennessee-based cancer charities labeled "shams" by the Federal Trade Commission have settled a fraud case.

The joint action by the FTC and all 50 states says James Reynolds, Sr. and others spent donations meant for cancer patients on six-figure salaries and luxury vacations.

The settlement with Reynolds, Cancer Fund of America and Cancer Support Services was filed Wednesday in federal court in Arizona. It must be signed by the judge before it takes effect.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho finished picking candidates for the Presidential election last week. Now politics watchers are turning their eyes to the state’s May 17 primary election.

The filing deadline for candidates for the Idaho Legislature came and went two weeks ago.

Gary Moncrief is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Boise State, and studies legislatures across the country. Moncrief is the co-author the book “Why States Matter.”

Kyle Green / Idaho Statesman

People stood for hours Tuesday in a line that snaked around several blocks of downtown Boise for a chance to take part in the Idaho Democratic Caucuses. In Bannock County, party faithfuls stood outside in a snowstorm, waiting for their chance. In many parts of Idaho, the caucus system was overwhelmed by an enthusiastic turnout.

Caucuses across the state were expected to close the doors at 7 p.m. Mountain Time. But the line in downtown Boise had already wrapped around three city blocks an hour before the event was supposed to begin, forcing the delay.

Nampa Police Department

Last night, the Nampa Police Department turned into baseball players to show kids a good time.

The Department got a call from a gentleman who said the neighbor kids were playing baseball in a yard with a metal ball and bat. He was worried about property damage and wanted the police to respond.

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