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.

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.

Henry Whiting II

Nestled in the Hagerman Valley sits the only structure in Idaho designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Known as Teater’s Knoll, this artist retreat was built in 1952.

Bart / Flickr

Families living in a mobile home park in Nampa will get a knock on the door Thursday from city officials, telling them their homes are unsafe. Seventeen homeowners will face an order that says they have seven days to find another place to live.

KBOI TV first reported this week the problems at the Rushmore Mobile Home Park. The park has a private - and now faulty - sewer system. The owner has a temporary fix in place that leaves homeowners without running toilets and with access to tap water just one hour a day.

aliengearholsters.com / Flickr

Idaho lawmakers passed a bill Monday to allow people 21 years old and up to carry concealed, loaded guns without permits or training.

Currently, Idaho allows people to carry a gun openly without a permit. A majority of the 22 people who testified were in favor of the bill.

Boise Police Chief Bill Bones testified against the bill Monday.

Boise State University

Update: March 18, 2016

Our original story said that Leroy was up for adoption. Sadly, Leroy took a turn for the worst and passed away on Thursday.

Leroy suffered from abuse and neglect before he was rescued by Boise Bully Breed Rescue. On their Facebook page, the group said Leroy took a turn for the worst after the last few days. The group says Leroy spent the last four months with a better quality of life and a chance to “be a happy dog again.”

Boise State Public Radio

Voters have until the end of the day Friday to change their party registration with their county clerk. After that, they’re stuck with that party when the state primary rolls around on May 17.

Voters who took part in Tuesday's GOP Presidential Primary could decide at the polls to become a Republican. But that’s not how it works for this spring's state primary. Voters have to choose now whether to list themselves as Republican, Democrat or anything else.

Bureau of Land Management

The Gateway West Power Line is one step closer to becoming a reality. Friday the Bureau of Land Management released a research document called a draft supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, or EIS, for the last two segments of the transmission line.

Boise River
Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

The morning of February 4, 2015, Boiseans woke up to a river with almost no water in it. After making some calls, KBSX reporter Frankie Barnhill learned the Barber Dam was to blame. An overnight power outage tripped the 100-year-old hydroplant offline, causing the river to back up behind it for hours. Barnhill contacted the company that leases the Barber Dam from Ada County, asking for an explanation of what happened – and what was being done to fix it. Enel Green Power is an international firm with energy holdings in a number of American cities.

Screenshot / Wild Lens Vimeo

A new film festival to celebrate the conservation community in Idaho and around the globe will be held Saturday night in Boise. The goal is to inspire viewers to get outside and help the land.

A film from a high school student in Victor, Idaho and a local film about ranchers making room for sage grouse are just some of the stories in the Les Bois Film Festival. Viewers will also see conservation films from Borneo and Singapore.

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