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

Last year’s massive Soda Fire burned more than 400 square miles of rangeland in southwest Idaho and eastern Oregon. That includes the food source for the area's three wild horse herds.

U.S. Navy

It’s Navy Week in Boise, an event designed to bring the Navy to places that don’t have a port and don’t get a lot of contact with this segment of the Armed Forces.

Every year since 2005, the Navy has picked a small number of cities for Navy Week. This year, fifteen cities have the honor, including Dayton, Des Moines and Boise.

Sailors are in town to show off their skills. That includes sailors from the city’s namesake, the USS Boise.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Three-time gold medal Olympian Kristin Armstrong arrived to a heroine's welcome at the Boise airport Monday afternoon. Since then, the Idaho native says she's been going nonstop.

Since she won the cycling event of time trial, she says she’s been constantly stopped by people calling out “congratulations,” and asking to pose for pictures.

Ian Robertson / Boise State University

A small, flowering plant that grows only in southwest Idaho is about to go back on the Endangered Species List. Slickspot Peppergrass has been there before, in 2009, but its status as “threatened” was challenged by Governor Butch Otter.

After years of legal wrangling, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to put it back on the list next month.

Slickspot Peppergrass is a hairy green plant with white flowers, and is found in just a few areas of southwest Idaho.

Polymorphic Games Studio / University of Idaho

Students at the University of Idaho are using biology to create a new kind of video game. It uses evolutionary principals to make enemies smarter as they reproduce.

It was a summer project for students in the Polymorphic Games studio: Build a video game based on the biology of evolution. The goal was to make a better video game that teaches biology in the background.

CREDIT CANYON COUNTY SHERIFF'S WEBSITE

A special prosecutor has cleared Canyon County’s sheriff of any wrongdoing after a year-long investigation.

KTVB-TV reports that Sheriff Kieran Donahue was accused of misusing public funds.

Special prosecutor Daniel Norris, the Malheur County District Attorney, announced his decision Friday.

Norris said allegations that Donahue used county resources inappropriately for personal benefit were without merit and he broke no laws.

University of Idaho

University of Idaho students and volunteers have finished a three-week dig in front of Officer’s Row on the site of the historical Fort Boise.

U of I teamed up with the Boise Veterans Administration Medical Center to dig into the site’s history. Anthropology professor Mark Warner says they uncovered a variety of small items, including buttons off uniforms and bullets and shell casings.

National Interagency Fire Center/Facebook

When fire activity goes up, MAFFS (Modular Airborne Firefighting Systems) go into action. Right now, two DoD C-130 planes, equipped with this unique fire suppression system, are flying out of Boise.

The planes were called up by the National Interagency Fire Center. You may have seen the giant planes launching over Boise or video from an air drop over a wildfire. We found video of another side of MAFFS: Cleaning out the pipes before bringing on another load of retardant.

Mike McMillan / inciweb.gov

Update Monday at 8:02 a.m.: An evacuation notice for  the town of Lowman that was downgraded yesterday has been raised back up.

The Boise County Sheriff yesterday evening re-implemented a level two evacuation for Lowman after having lowered it to a level one one earlier in the day. Level two is still a voluntary evacuation. The heightened alert comes after winds pushed the Pioneer fire further north.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Rhodes Skateboard Park in downtown Boise officially opens Saturday. The park has been around since the early 90’s, created by Glenn Rhodes, a former Ada County Highway commissioner.

The park recently got an upgrade, paid for by the Albertson Family Foundation and the City of Boise. It’s been open to skateboarders for a while and is packed full of kids every day.

gray wolf, wolves
U.S. Fish & Wildlife

A Boise State academic is studying what it takes for humans and large carnivores to live together in the same environment.

Neil Carter is an assistant professor at Boise State. His study tries to figure out how humans can successfully coexist with large carnivores, like bears, wolves and tigers.

He found that humans are already adapting to living with animals, as we encroach on their territory. But he also found that the animals are adapting, too, to changes brought by people.

Simon Engel / Flickr

Last week, an Idaho environmental group accused a plastic bag producer of violating federal laws on reporting toxic waste.

Now the Idaho Conservation League says it was mistaken in its initial assessment. ICL says Novolex’s Jerome facility is in compliance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“We are pleased to say that Novolex has demonstrated to us that its Jerome facility was in compliance with EPA emission reporting requirements,” said Austin Hopkins, Conservation Assistant for the ICL.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

The University of Idaho is inviting people to the Boise VA Medical Center to get their hands dirty with history. Students will be digging for the next three weeks on the site of historical Fort Boise and need volunteers to help them out.

Return to Snake River Facebook Page Screenshot

A jump across the Snake River Canyon is back on, this time with Hollywood stuntman Eddie Braun.

The Twin Falls Times News says Braun will ride a rocket across the canyon in September.

The last attempt to jump the canyon came in 1974 when Evel Knievel tried and failed to make it across.

Braun will launch from private property in Jerome County and land on private property in Twin Falls County.

Office of Idaho Senator Mike Crapo

An Idaho judge has been confirmed by a U.S. Senate Committee. Now David Nye faces the full Senate. The Spokesman Review’s Eye on Boise Blog reports Nye got unanimous support from the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday for the job of Idaho’s next U.S. district judge.

Gordon Bowen Collection / Boise City Department of Arts and History

It’s 25 miles long and stretches from Eagle to Lucky Peak. The Greenbelt is Boise’s premiere biking and walking path. But how did dozens of separate chunks of riverside pathway eventually end up as one long greenbelt?

Using city documents, interviews with Greenbelt pioneers and historical research, Author David Proctor tells the story in his new book, “Pathway of Dreams: Building the Boise Greenbelt.”

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The Director of Boise's zoo announced today that they will give $100,000 to replant native vegetation in the area burned by the Table Rock Fire in the Boise Foothills.

Zoo Director Steve Burns says the money will come from the Zoo Boise Conservation Fund.

Over the last nine years, zoo visitors have generated about $2 million in the fund for wildlife conservation. A portion of each zoo entry fee goes into the fund.

Charles Peterson / Flickr Creative Commons

A wildlife drama, involving a problem bear, played itself out over the Fourth of July weekend near the eastern Idaho/western Wyoming border. Campers had to leave while officials tracked down the troublemaker.

The Forest Service decided to close the Teton Canyon area east of Driggs after a problem bear tried to enter tents, charged at people and displayed what officials called “bold, unnatural behavior.”

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The Boise Fire Department says it will only respond to life-threatening emergencies in the Foothills where houses are sliding down a hillside.

Officials say the creeping landslide at Alto Via Court has created dangerous conditions. BFD wants Foothills users and curious onlookers to stay away from the site.

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

The Ada County Sheriff says in less than 24 hours over the Fourth of July holiday, his dispatch office received 235 fireworks complaints and 33 reports of grass fires.

Boise Fire Chief Dennis Doan says at least 12 fires in Boise were likely caused by fireworks over the Monday holiday. And the Table Rock Fire in the Boise Foothills last week, which burned a home, was caused by illegal fireworks. The Nampa Fire Marshal says illegal fireworks likely burned down a home Tuesday morning.

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