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.

Betsy Russell

When voters in Idaho go to the polls on November 8 they'll be asked to change the state's constitution. H.J.R. 5 comes from legislators, who want to take a power they already have and make it stronger, by enshrining it into the constitutional framework.

St. Luke's

When you think of Giant Sequoia trees, you may think California before you think Boise. But Idaho’s largest Giant Sequoia, with its complicated history, is about to be moved from behind St. Luke’s Hospital downtown.

The 98-foot-tall tree is more than 20 feet around. The tree began life as a tiny cutting given to Dr. Fred Pittenger and planted next to his house around 1912.

It grew, and grew, as St. Luke’s and the city grew too. But it almost perished in the 1980s, smothered by the holiday spirit of the community.

Nat Tung / Flickr Creative Commons

It’s almost that time of year, where you give out handfuls of candy to young trick or treaters. But what kind of candy is the most popular?

Turns out, Idaho’s number one Halloween candy is … candy corn. Apparently it’s a big hit according to

Yes, there is a place on the internet where you can buy pounds of candy for Halloween, or any other occasion. has been around since 2007.

Diane Simmons

A new book chronicles the bizarre true story of a Boise woman who became the victim of a bigamist who traveled around the West after World War II. The man, it seems, had a penchant for marrying, and then leaving, young women.

J. Stephen Conn / Flickr

The Treasure Valley Food Coalition this week is asking the question, “why should we save farmland in Idaho?” As growth and development spread across the Treasure Valley, the coalition is starting a conversation about preserving farmland in places like Canyon County.


A new University of Idaho study says human-caused climate change is the reason more of the forest is burning each year in the West.

Researchers at U of I and Columbia University found that, because of climate change, the amount of land burned in Western forest fires has nearly doubled in the last 30 years.

Bureau of Land Management

A nearly 1,000 mile long power line, which would stretch across Wyoming and Southern Idaho, is one step closer to reality.

Idaho Power and Rocky Mountain Power have been trying to build the Gateway West Transmission Line since 2007. The line would extend from a substation near Glenrock, Wyoming to another one near Melba, southwest of Boise.

Preservation Idaho

Boise is known as the City of Trees, and one man had a lot to do with that title. Walter Pierce planted 7,000 trees in Boise. One of the neighborhoods he built, and some of his trees, will be part of a tour this weekend.

Walter Pierce was a land locator and surveyor in the late 1800s. When he started a business in Boise in 1890 he platted several Boise neighborhoods, including Elm Grove Park west of Harrison Boulevard in the North End.

Copyright James Castle Collection and Archive, L.P.

The City of Boise is working to preserve the property where Idaho artist James Castle lived and worked.

Castle is known worldwide for his drawings, many of which he created in Boise from the 1930s until his death in 1977. He was deaf and used his homegrown art to communicate.

Deb Newman

An Idaho artist, who spends much of the year in an RV showing his work, is vying for a $200,000 dollar award in a competition in Michigan.

Ken Newman, his wife Debbie and their dog leave the town of Cambridge every year to travel the U.S. showing off Ken’s art. While on the road, they attend art shows and venues, and Ken spends time creating new works in bronze and wood.

For the last 17 years, the Newman’s have been on the road.

National Weather Service

With rain in the forecast, the National Weather Service in Boise is warning of the possibility of flash flooding and mudslides in the 294 square miles burned by the Pioneer Fire.

A low pressure system could bring up to a half inch of rain Thursday to parts of the Boise National Forest that were burned by the Pioneer Fire. While that could slow the still-burning blaze down, it could also bring flash flooding.

Boise Parks and Recreation

Friday, Boise opened the last section of the Boise Greenbelt. It comes nearly fifty years after the city started gathering up land to create the iconic foot-and-bike-path.

The new .9-mile section is on the south side of the Boise River between Americana Boulevard and Garden City. With this section, Boise says the Greenbelt is complete within city limits. The footpath stretches nearly 26 miles along both sides of the river.

Idaho Department of Water Resources

It’s no secret that Eastern Idaho has a water problem. There is too much demand and too little water in the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer to go around. But how did we get to this point? That’s what this chart is all about.

About 100 years ago, there was roughly 4,000 cubic feet per second of water coming out of the aquifer at Thousand Springs. It’s important to note that’s not how much water was in the aquifer, just how much was flowing out.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

It’s 60 miles across, mostly hidden from view and vital to the economy of Idaho. Much of the time, the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer gets little attention, even from people who rely on it every day. Without it, farmland would disappear and cities from Twin Falls to Rexburg would dry up. As we begin our series on water in Idaho, we take a closer look at the state’s largest “body” of water, hidden underneath the Snake River Plain.

Screenshot from video by Jason Urry / St. Lukes

Last month we told you the story of a Twin Falls doctor, who was once paralyzed, but was able to climb Idaho's tallest mountain. Now you can watch a video of his inspiring climb.

Jonathon Myers broke his neck ten years ago in a car accident. Paralyzed from the neck down, he fought back and learned how to walk again. He went to medical school and specialized in rehabilitation.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

The woman known as Mother Teresa was recognized as a saint by the Catholic Church on Sunday. More than 100,000 people filled St. Peter's Square for the ceremony honoring a person who'd spent much of her life in India, helping the poor, the sick and the dying.

A Boise man who met Mother Teresa and spent time in her ministry says he knew this day would come. Rick Harvey is a local jeweler who also serves as an Archdeacon in the Episcopal Diocese.

Boise National Forest

The Pioneer Fire grew dramatically this week, shooting its way through the Boise National Forest. In just two days, it burned more than 70 square miles. So far it has burned 281 square miles.

Despite more than 1,000 people working the fire, it's only 52 percent contained. And officials say it won't be under control until a major rain or snow event, probably sometime in October.

Why is it burning so fast? And so much? And why can't firefighters surround it? This video, from the Boise National Forest, gives a pretty good snapshot of what crews are facing on this megafire:

ESO/M. Kornmesser

Late last month, scientists announced they had found an Earth-like planet around a nearby star. Faraway planets, known as exoplanets, have been found before but this one is relatively close to our sun and is in what’s called the habitable zone around its own star. A researcher from Washington says that means it could be in a position to support life.

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.