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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Ballet Idaho

Ballet Idaho and the Boise Philharmonic are bringing live music back to the Christmastime favorite “The Nutcracker.

Ballet Idaho’s Artistic Director Peter Anastos is also the choreographer of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker." He says the two organizations have worked together in the past, but a financial crunch last year meant Ballet Idaho had to use a CD for the performance.

Bogus Basin

Bogus Basin will open Friday despite anemic snow accumulation on the mountain north of Boise.

The ski resort plans to open limited terrain to skiers and snowboarders. Bogus reports 13 inches of snow at its base.

"We’re ready and very excited to welcome the community up the mountain to have fun enjoying early-season skiing and boarding,” says Bogus General Manager Alan Moore.

USFWS

The future of the greater sage grouse, already uncertain, may get even murkier because Congress is considering delaying protections for the Western bird.

Congress is considering a $1.1 trillion spending bill that would keep the federal government from shutting down. A legislative rider in the bill would put the brakes on protecting the bird.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

One grizzly bear's incredible 5,000-mile journey across Montana and Idaho has scientists re-thinking what they know about the animals.

Ethyl the grizzly bear walked from Kalispell, Mont. west toward Coeur d’Alene and back east toward Missoula. She covered thousands of miles of mountainous terrain in just two years, and scientists are still trying to figure out why.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service grizzly bear recovery coordinator Chris Servheen says Ethyl's story began when she was first captured in 2006 east of Kalispell, Mont.

Mike / Flickr

So far, Boise State has sold just over 22,000 tickets for Saturday's Mountain West Championship football game with Fresno State. That’s about 14,000 short of a sellout.

Max Corbett works in the university's sports information office. He says that’s fewer ticket sales than he’d like. But Corbett says it’s the first time the school has hosted a championship game with just one week’s notice.

Bruce Reichert / Idaho Public Television

Idaho Public Television is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act with a sweeping hour-long look at Idaho's wild places. The program Outdoor Idaho traveled to all seven of Idaho’s wilderness areas -- and two proposed wilderness areas -- to tell the story of the state's protected places.

mor gnar / Flickr

An Idaho charity is giving a million-dollar makeover to a skate park in downtown Boise.

The J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation is donating $1.25 million for the renovation of the Rhodes Skateboard Park. The park is underneath the connector that joins I-84 to downtown Boise.

Over the summer, a group of homeless people began camping out across the street from the concrete skating area. Boise has tried repeatedly to move the campers out of the makeshift camp.

City spokesman Mike Journee says the camp had no bearing on the gift from the foundation.

swedennewyork / Flickr

A new scam is targeting women in eastern Idaho and the attorney general is warning people not to get involved.

There are reports of two “Women’s Wisdom Circles,” one in Preston and one in Ammon. They're also known as "gifting circles." Deputy Attorney General Brett DeLange says women are recruited to pay, or gift, up to $5,000, with the promise of advancing to the top of the pyramid by recruiting others into the circle. Participants get payments from the people coming into the scheme under them.

Big Ed Beckley's Facebook page

Despite setbacks this year, two different men say they still plan to jump the Snake River Canyon.

Texas stuntman "Big Ed" Beckley tells the Times-News he still plans to make the jump.

WCN 24/7 / Flickr

Tis the season when Idahoans will be getting their Christmas trees. For some, that means a trip to the Boise or Payette National Forest; a holiday tradition in some families.

Permits to cut down Christmas trees in Idaho forests went on sale this weekend.

Aaron Brown / Flickr

More people around the country, including in Idaho, will be traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday this week. AAA projects that 4.2 percent more Americans will travel 50 miles or more this week compared to last year.

Dave Carlson, with AAA Idaho, says it will be a busy time on the roads and at the airport.

“We are expecting overall 237,000 Idahoans will be traveling," Carlson says. "That represents about 14 to 15 percent of the population and about 204,000 of those will be doing so by motor vehicle.”

Washington Fish and Game

After giving the OK to a wolf hunting competition on Idaho public land, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has reversed its decision.

Torch Magazine / Flickr

After two years of planning, a snow park will open Saturday for tubing and snowboarding in Eagle.

The City of Eagle and the park’s developer, Ryan Neptune, had been trying to get the park underway for two years. But they clashed with Ada County, which owned the land and said a commercial operation wasn’t allowed under the lease agreement.

The city finally bought the property from the county earlier this year, and gave the green light to the operation.

elections, voting, vote booth
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

This story was updated Nov. 21, 2014 

Idaho's voter participation in this year's general election was the lowest ever.

Secretary of State Ben Ysursa tells the Spokesman Review that nearly 37 percent of Idaho's voting-age population cast a ballot Nov. 4.

Ysursa described the results as "abysmal," and urged the need to turn the number around.

Mia Gant / Flickr

This week's very cold weather in the Treasure Valley hasn't caused a lot of problems when it comes to frozen pipes.

That’s despite Boise setting another record low this morning of 4 degrees, breaking the old record of 7 set back in 1985. It's the third-straight morning of record cold.

United Water Idaho's Mark Snider says the company has had 10 calls from people without water.

US CPSC / Flickr

Idaho's Department of Health and Welfare says more calls are coming in about children being poisoned by bright and colorful laundry detergent packets this year compared to last. Children can mistake the plastic soap tabs for candy.

So far this year, 69 Idaho children in Idaho have been exposed to the packets by eating them or getting the soap in their eyes and nose. That compares to 45 kids during the same time frame last year.

This year, 40 kids went to the emergency room and five of those children ended up being hospitalized.

firetruck, boise, firefighters
Nicholas D. / Flickr Creative Commons

The City of Boise and the Firefighters Union are negotiating a new labor contract. At issue is how much firefighters should be paid.

Last year, the average department employee made $85,000, plus another $50,000 for insurance and retirement, according to the Idaho Statesman. That’s up 24 percent from a decade ago. However, two years ago, firefighters refused a contractual raise.

map, weather
National Weather Service

The first major winter storm of the season is headed for Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, bringing with it the season's first hard freeze and snowfall to the Treasure Valley.

There’s a good chance of snow on Thursday in the Boise area.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Les Colin says an arctic air mass is coming in from central Canada.

“There was a typhoon whose remnants went up into the Bering Sea,” Colin says, “and it created an intense storm there and the consequences spread into North America and then down south into Canada and into the United States.”

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho's legislative races are not very competitive, at least that's the opinion of Gary Moncrief, professor emeritus at Boise State University, who studies state legislatures.

While all 105 seats in the Legislature are up for grabs this year, Moncrief sees only five districts where the races could be close.

“In Idaho, usually somewhere between 40 and 50 percent of the seats are not contested,” says Moncrief.

stonebraker
University of Idaho Library

William Allen Stonebraker worked and played in the rugged central Idaho wilderness at the turn of the 20th century and he's left behind a unique legacy of photographs to tell his story. That photo collection has just been released by the University of Idaho Library.

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