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.

Charles (Chuck) Peterson / Flickr

Tuesday’s snowfall was just a preview of events to come. Another storm is moving into the Treasure Valley, which could disrupt traffic Thursday afternoon.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Elizabeth Padian  says there’s a warm front moving in from the Pacific Coast.

“With the cold air that we had this morning and today trapped here in the Valley and the Snake River Plain, that’s going to allow that warm air from the warm front to override over that colder air, produce precipitation and it will be in the form of snow here in the Valley,” says Padian.

Tom Kelly/Flickr

The Idaho State Police and other law enforcement agencies are pushing for new rules for 911 and emergency dispatchers.

Idaho does not currently require training or hiring standards for 911 dispatchers.

ISP, the Idaho Sheriff’s Association and the Idaho Chiefs of Police want to change that. They’ve drafted legislation that would require a week of either academy or online training in the field of emergency dispatching.

Dispatchers would also have to take a minimum of 40 hours of continuing education classes every two years.

Parolan Harahap / Flickr

The Environmental Protection Agency says it plans to require mining companies to show they have the financial wherewithal to clean up their pollution so taxpayers aren't stuck footing the bill.

Friday's announcement follows a 2015 court order for the agency to enforce a long-ignored provision in the 1980 federal Superfund law.

The requirement would apply to hard rock mining, which includes mines for precious metals and other ores.

NASA’s Solar Dynamic Observatory

Next August, eclipse-chasers will converge in Idaho and a handful of other states to watch the first total solar eclipse to cross the continental United States in 38 years. The Boise State Physics Department is getting ready with a special talk Friday.

The last total solar eclipse that crossed the continental U.S. was in 1979 and it crossed over Northern Idaho. This time, the path for best eclipse viewing will travel through the middle of Idaho, just north of Boise.

Yellowstone National Park, Bison, Lamar Valley
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Yellowstone National Park biologists say more than 900 wild bison would need to be killed or removed this winter to begin reducing the size of herds that spill into neighboring Montana.

The park has an estimated 5,500 bison, the highest number since at least 2000.

Park officials meet Thursday with state, tribal and U.S. Agriculture Department representatives to discuss options for managing the animals.

Biologists say 900 would need to be removed just to stabilize population growth.

Zoo Boise

Zoo Boise’s male lion is sick. The Zoo says Jabari has lymphoma and probably won’t be in his exhibit very often while he’s getting treatment.

Officials say he had not been acting normally and went in for a check up with zoo veterinarian Dr. Holly Holman, who found the lymphoma.

Jabari has been at Zoo Boise since 2008. He arrived just in time for the opening of the African Plains Exhibit. He’s 14 years old. He spends his time with his pride, two other female lions.

Jim and Holly Akenson

The Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area is a step back in time. The area is rough and rugged and few people actually live in this part of central Idaho’s backcountry.

But tucked into the middle of these sprawling public lands is the University of Idaho’s wilderness research station, known as Taylor Ranch. From there, researchers conduct surveys on everything from wolves to bears to cougars to wildfires.

Joan Marcus / Beautiful - The Carole King Musical

Idahoans have an affinity for singer/songwriter Carole King. She owned a ranch in Stanley for more than 30 years and spent much of her time in the Gem State. But she’s not originally from Idaho, as audiences found out in a musical that’s been burning up stages from Broadway to London. The touring company of “Beautiful,” the Carole King story, is in Boise this week.

Arts Saginaw Facebook Site

In September, we told you the story of traveling Idaho artist Ken Newman and his wife Debbie, who tour the country each year, showcasing Ken’s art. When last we left them, the Newmans were in Grand Rapids, Michigan at ArtPrize8 with the bronze sculpture titled “The Last Whistle.”

Boise Bike Project

The Boise Bicycle Project is looking for kids to who want their own dream bike. It’s the nonprofit group’s 10th Annual Kid’s Bike Giveaway.

The goal is to give away over 400 bikes to kids who may not otherwise have access to a bicycle. They’ll also get a helmet, lock and safety lesson from the Boise Police Department.

The Project refurbishes donated bicycles and gives them away in the community.

Boise Police Department

Boise Police K-9 Jardo, who was injured in a firefight last week on the Boise Bench, has died.

Boise Police Chief Bill Bones said Jardo died due to complications from the wounds he received during the manhunt. Two police officers, Corporal Chris Davis and Corporal Kevin Holtry were both injured, along with Jardo. Davis is recovering at home and Holtry remains at St. Alphonsus. Parolee Marco Romero was killed.

Photo provided by family via Richard Bennett

On this Veterans Day, veterans of World War II are disappearing at a rapid rate. Many veterans of that era never talked about their wartime experiences and came back from the war to live otherwise ordinary lives.

Richard Bennett is a freelance writer who grew up in Mountain Home after World War II. What he didn’t know then was how many of the men who lived in his small town had gone off to war. It wasn’t until much later, as he began to research their history, that he learned about the contributions they had made during that period.

As part of Veterans Day, the Warhawk Air Museum in Nampa is holding a symposium Saturday on women in the military.

2016 is the Year of the Woman for Idaho’s military, both currently serving and veterans. Last week's Veterans Day parade in Boise was dedicated to woman.

Amethyst Keaten is a Senior Master Sergeant in the Idaho Air National Guard. She says women don’t make up a large percentage of her branch, the Air Force, but they have a big impact.

All of Idaho’s legislative seats were up for grabs in Tuesday's election. The Legislature already leans heavily Republican and after votes were counted, it became even more so.

A handful of Democratic seats turned Republican. In some of those, long-time Democratic incumbents lost their seats. Other, formerly Democratic seats that were open, turned GOP.

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center

Imagine if Jupiter drifted so close to the sun its atmosphere was burned away and the rocky core that was left orbited our star every three or four hours. Boise State University is leading a group of researchers looking at scenarios like this one in other solar systems.

Using a $166,000 grant from NASA, scientists led by BSU will try to figure out where these exoplanets, which closely hug their host stars, come from.

More than 100 of these ultra-short-period planets have been found, but it’s not clear how they got so close to their stars.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Election Day is next week and all 35 seats in the Idaho Senate and all 70 seats in the Idaho House are on the ballot. That means opportunity for change in the body that makes state policy.

But how much variation will we actually see? And how competitive are this year's races? Those are questions Boise State University Political Science Professor Emeritus Gary Moncrief has been considering. Moncrief says many of the state's legislative races just aren’t that competitive this year.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

A Halloween activity growing in popularity is that of cemetery tours. These guided tours are designed not only to provide a little scare, but usually include a lot of history about the cemetery and the people buried there.

Preservation Idaho, which works to preserve historic sites in the state, is hosting a tour Sunday of Boise's Cloverdale Cemetery. It’s known for its resident swans and a group of reindeer which live on the premises.

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 CandyStore.com.

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

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