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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Unemployment
1:46 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Idaho Jobless Rate Lowest In Five And A Half Years

Idaho's unemployment rate has dropped to its lowest point since August 2008.  It dropped a tenth of a percent in March to 5.2 percent. 

Bob Fick is with the Idaho Department of Labor.  He says the March data continues a trend that started a year and a half ago.

“We’ve seen job creation at two percent to three percent over the last 18 months, while the national rate has been about 1.5, 1.6 every month, year over year," Fick says. "So we’re creating jobs at a significant pace."

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Film
6:00 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Idaho Film Pioneer Returns To The Screen In Documentary About Her Life

Nell Shipman

Nell Shipman was already a star of silent films when she abandoned Hollywood in 1922.  She packed up her own zoo of 70 animal actors, including bobcats, bears, elk, eagles, and sled dogs, and moved to Idaho's Priest Lake to write, direct and star in her own movies.  Idaho filmmaker Karen Day is telling her story.

“Nell Shipman was the very first animal activist in Hollywood and the first action/adventure heroine in silent film," says Day.

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History
3:12 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

A Plan To Save Boise's Historic Fowler House Hits A Roadblock

Samantha Martin wants to save the Fowler House and turn into an arts collective.
Credit Idaho State Historical Society

An effort to save and restore a 120-year-old downtown Boise mansion hit a snag at auction Friday.

Samantha Martin has been working with Preservation Idaho to prevent the Fowler house from being demolished. Her original plan was to raise enough cash buy the land across the street from the house at 5th and Myrtle and relocate it there.

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Books
2:07 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Two Authors Bring Minimalism Message To Boise

Joshua Fields Millburn (left) and Ryan Nicodemus
Credit Adam Dressler

Do you sometimes feel like you have too much stuff cluttering up your life?  Can 20 pairs of shoes really make you happy? Two Northwest authors say maybe not. 

Joshua Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus are childhood best friends who had normal, 20-something lives.  They had good jobs, homes, cars, clothes, and gadgets. But one day they figured out all that stuff wasn’t making them happy. So they got rid of it. Now they live simply in Montana, and travel the country spreading the word of Minimalism.

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Recreation
1:37 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Boise National Forest Officials Ask Drivers To Stay Off Snow-Covered Roads

Boise National Forest
Credit Jeff Myers / Flickr

Boise National Forest officials are warning drivers to stay off snow-covered forest roads.

Boise National Forest spokesman David Olson says drivers are finding lower elevations are clear, until they start climbing higher into the forest.

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Water
2:09 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Two Idaho Rivers Make Most Endangered In America List

The Lochsa River flows through Idaho's Clearwater National Forest along scenic Highway 12.
Credit Keith Ewing | Idaho Fish and Game / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho's Clearwater and Lochsa rivers have made it on a list of top 10 most endangered rivers in America. The list is put out every year by American Rivers, an advocacy group that works to protect and restore rivers in the U.S.

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History
7:00 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Why One Woman Wants To Preserve A 120 Year Old Boise Mansion

The Fowler house.
Credit Idaho State Historical Society

Parts of downtown Boise were once covered with stately homes and mansions full of history. Slowly, those homes have disappeared, and have been replaced with new development. One woman is working to save one of those remaining historic homes, the Fowler house at 5th and Myrtle, from demolition.

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Boise Foothills
6:45 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Tracking Dog Poop, A Sticky Problem In the Boise Foothills

Sam Roberts and his dog Sunny hike the Foothills several times a week. Roberts says he sees too much dog waste along the trail.
Credit Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

If you've hiked around Boise's foothills, you've likely come across a pile or two of dog poop. In February, there were 104 piles of waste at the Table Rock trailhead. Data show (yes, it's being tracked) those piles fluctuate from year to year, but the problem persists.

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Wages
4:45 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Idaho's Average Hourly Wage Ticks Up, Doesn't Keep Up With National Growth

Credit 401(K)2013 / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho's average wage increased by almost 20 cents last year. But wage growth isn't keeping up with the national average. 

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Employment Survey finds Idaho's average hourly wage for all jobs was $18.67 last year, that's up 19 cents from 2012. Still, Idaho's average wage was almost 84 percent of the national average, which is $22.33 an hour.  

The survey also found that half of Idaho's hourly employees earned $14.68 or less in 2013. That's a 10 cent increase from 2012. 

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St. Luke's Lawsuit
4:35 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

St. Luke's Gets $10 Million Bill After Failed Lawsuit

Credit St. Luke's Health System

St. Luke's Health System has been handed a $10 million bill for a lawsuit the hospital lost, according to the Idaho Statesman.  

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Film
12:33 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Idaho Documentarian Profiles Harvard Students Saving Lives in Uganda

Uganda children enrolled in the Initiative to End Child Malnutrition
Credit Karen Day

Idaho filmmaker Karen Day has a new documentary, featuring college students making a difference in the world. 

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Research
7:30 am
Mon March 10, 2014

University Of Idaho Researchers Find Common Chemical Changes Fetal Monkey Genes

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

The chemical BPA, or bisphenol A, is commonly found in plastics, soup cans, and store receipts. Scientists continue to study how the chemical affects people. New research from the University of Idaho may sound a cautionary note for humans. 

Gordon Murdoch is an associate professor of physiology at the University of Idaho. He focused on fetal heart development in rhesus monkeys.

For the study, pregnant monkeys were fed fruit containing BPA. “Our question was did it affect the genes in the fetal heart?” he asked, “And to our surprise and dismay, it did.”

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Recreation
12:28 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Bike And Soak: Maps Take Riders On Hot Springs Tour Of Central Idaho

Riding alongside Castle Peak in the White Cloud Mountains.
Casey Greene Adventure Cycling Association

Soaking in an Idaho hot springs may be the perfect way to wrap up a challenging mountain bike ride. The Adventure Cycling Association has combined the two activities into one, with the “Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route.” It’s a two-map set that takes bikers through 518 miles and 50 hot springs in central Idaho.

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Gardening
4:15 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Author To Offer Tips On Creating Sustainable Gardens In A Dry Climate

Credit Toby Hemenway

Home gardeners are often frustrated by Idaho’s dry climate. Finding the plants best suited for your garden is not always easy. Toby Hemenway is an author who teaches and writes about permaculture and sustainable gardens and he’s coming to Boise.

“Rather than try to learn permaculture from a theoretical point of view, or try to understand it all, it’s a lot easier to just get involved in one aspect of it,” Hemenway says.

He says water conservation is an easy, gateway into learning permaculture.

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Avalanche
2:20 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Blaine County Identifies Snowmobiler Killed In Idaho Avalanche

This map shows current avalanche conditions in southern Idaho, western Montana and northern Utah.
Credit Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center

An avalanche in the Sawtooth National Forest killed one man and injured a woman Sunday afternoon at a popular snowmobile site in the Smiley Creek area north of Ketchum. The avalanche west of Galena Summit buried four snowmobilers early in the afternoon.

The Blaine County Sheriff's Office says 64-year-old George Gilbert Martin Jr. of Bellevue, Idaho died on the scene.

Sawtooth Avalanche Center director Simon Trautman says the four snowmobilers were in a meadow which they thought was safe.

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Wildlife
1:25 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Mountain Lion Killed In Garden City

Fish and Game veterinarian Dr. Mark Drew (left) and Fish and Game conservation officer Bill London with the lion killed in the Riverside Subdivision on February 6.
Credit Idaho Department of Fish and Game

Idaho Fish and Game officers and Garden City police tracked down and killed a mountain lion in Garden City Thursday.  The animal was shot along the Boise River Greenbelt in the Riverside subdivision around 5:30 p.m.

An eyewitness says the cougar was under his front porch. It ran from that location and the chase began.  Police, conservation officers and a houndsman tracked the animal through backyards and common areas in the subdivision.  They say they were hoping to tree the animal, tranquilize it and then move it to another location.

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Weather
11:41 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Highway 21, Idaho's 'Avalanche Alley' Closes Due To Slide Danger

Here's a look at Idaho 21 between I-84 and Robie Creek Road Friday morning from the ITD webcam.
Credit Idaho Transportation Department

“Avalanche Alley” will close at 6:00 p.m. Friday as a safety precaution. That’s the 12-mile stretch of Idaho 21 between Grandjean Junction and Banner Summit.  

The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) reports the area received eight inches of snow Friday morning and more snowfall is expected Friday night and Saturday.

The area averages more than 250 inches of snow which brings 45-50 slides each year. About 90 percent of avalanches that affect Idaho highways happen on "Avalanche Alley."

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Weather
12:41 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Dust Off That Snow Shovel, Up To 5 Inches Expected In The Treasure Valley

A shot of the Bogus Basin Ski Resort webcam, before the snow event begins.
Credit Bogus Basin

Snow is coming to southern Idaho, lots of it. The National Weather Service says a “significant snowfall event” will start Thursday night and last through Saturday.

The snow comes from a combination of moisture from the Pacific and an upper level low pressure system from Alaska. It will bring prolonged snowfall, which could mean substantial snow totals in the mountains.  NWS has issued a Winter Weather Advisory from the Oregon border East to Twin Falls, Idaho.

Here are the latest projected snow totals from the National Weather Service:

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News Contest Entries
11:45 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Service Dog Series

Awescar the service dog
Credit Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Service Dog: An Idaho Army Veteran Struggles With Post Traumatic Stress

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Wildlife
8:00 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Study: Climate Change Means More Raptors Are Wintering In Idaho

The American Kestrel was one of six raptors whose winter range is changing. The others are golden eagles, Northern harriers, prairie falcons, red-tailed hawks, and rough-legged hawks.
Credit Neil Paprocki

People in Idaho are seeing more raptors because golden eagles and red-tailed hawks aren't flying as far south for winter. That's according to a new study from Boise State University. The study authors say the change in migration habits means fewer of the birds of prey are being spotted in southern states.

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