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.

Adelpha Photography/Flickr

Idaho’s Hispanic population is growing. That’s according to the Idaho Department of Labor.

Using Census Bureau numbers, the department found that the Hispanic population grew 2.9 percent between mid-2014 and mid-2015. That’s an increase of 5,696.

Janell Hyer is a research analyst at the Labor Department. She says Idaho’s Hispanic population went up 15.1 percent since the 2010 census.

“We added over 26,000 Hispanics to our community and living in this area you’re seeing more and more commercial businesses that are targeting Hispanics.”

Tom Jefferson

An Idaho filmmaker is part of a desperate battle to help save the world’s smallest cetacean.

Last June, we first told you about Matthew Podolsky and his documentary on an Idaho man who's spent 35 years helping the state's bluebirds. But lately, Podolsky has been filming a short documentary in Mexico, trying to save what’s often called “the Panda of the Sea.”

National Weather Service Boise/Bogus Basin

Spring in Boise means all types of weather, from sunny and hot - it was 101-degrees last Wednesday - to snow. Winter made a brief comeback Thursday at Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area with clouds, fog, and some light snow.

The National Weather Service in Boise posted a time-lapse video of the winter weather on its Twitter account. 

NWS also posted photos from Brundage Mountain Resort, which got snow all day on Thursday. 

Zoo Boise

Teenagers volunteering at Zoo Boise are helping to try and save one of the world’s most endangered mammals.

The teens are using an information booth to raise money for the Saola - a forest mammal that lives in Vietnam. The animal rocked the scientific world when, in 1992, scientists first discovered what turned out to be not just a brand new species, but a whole new genus.

These antelope-type creatures have two long curing horns on their heads and white spots on their faces. They are remarkably shy and gentle, and have never been seen alive in the wild by scientists.

Matt Leidecker

It’s been almost a year since President Obama signed a bill establishing three new Wilderness areas in Idaho’s Boulder-White Cloud Mountains. With the designation comes tourism, and one writer wants to help more people explore the landscape.

Matt Leidecker has written five guidebooks, including one on Sun Valley and one on the Sawtooths. His fifth book, “Exploring the Boulder-White Clouds - A Comprehensive Guide,” comes out this month.

Boise Police Department / Cold Case

Boise Police are trying to crack a murder case that’s 39 years old. Despite the passing of time, they’re hoping for new leads in a Cold Case that happened back in 1977.

The Crime: It was April 20, 1977. Oney Leiby, 62, was a night watchman at Thriftway Lumber in Boise. He was murdered in the middle of the night while on duty, leaving behind a wife and two grown sons.

Central District Health Department

A second cat in Elmore County has likely died of plague. This cat lived outside the plague area boundary drawn by health officials.

This is the second cat death in a week. The Central District Health Department reports this cat lived two miles from Mountain Home and lived both indoors and outdoors. It had contact with ground squirrels before it died. Members of both families, along with the rest of their pets, are being monitored to make sure the cats did not spread the plague.

Final lab results on the animals will come in next week.

Karen Day

A new “commercial hybrid” film takes viewers on a visual journey of Idaho, covering hundreds of miles of landscape and history. “Destination Idaho” will be shown for free Tuesday night in Boise.

Idaho filmmaker Karen Day says her 65 minute travelogue took her all over the state, from Boise to Wallace to Priest Lake.

She funded the film with public and private partners, from Shore Lodge to the National Park Service, to the Boise Convention and Visitors Bureau. Her plan was to use history and visuals to inspire people to visit the Gem State.

Ron Crane, Deborah Silver
Courtesy Idaho Public Television

Questions about Idaho’s role in securities lending and how it affected taxpayers, are the focus of a new investigative report.

In the article published in the latest edition of Boise State's Blue Review, writer Eric Hayes unravels Idaho’s 15-year history of securities lending.

Mary Hallock Foote

It was an Idaho controversy more than one hundred years in the making. And one playwright is bringing the story to the stage Saturday in Boise.

The story begins in the 1880’s. Mary Hallock Foote lived in Boise with her husband as he tried to build a canal system. She later wrote about her time in Idaho and the West in letters and prose. Almost 100 years later, a famous author used her words and her story, without giving her any recognition. That sparked a controversy over what constitutes plagiarism that lingers to this day.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/USGS/Cornell

Mars is making its closest approach to Earth in over a decade, and one scientist says it’s a great time to learn more about the red planet. Boise State University will hold an astronomical viewing party to celebrate Mars Tuesday night.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

One Meridian high school student will be spending Memorial Day researching a World War II soldier from Idaho. He’s looking for help from the community to remember a soldier who died in Normandy.

Josh White is a sophomore at Renaissance High School. He and his teacher Janelle Gilson are taking part in a national program designed to teach students about World War II.

White is researching the life of Army Technician Fourth Grade Ray O. Coffey. He’s learned a few things from census and military records, but can’t find a lot about Coffey’s life in Boise.

J. Stephen Conn / Flickr

If you’re getting in the car and traveling this weekend, you won’t be alone. AAA Idaho expects 176,000 Idahoans will be driving somewhere over Memorial Day.

Add in other forms of travel, and AAA expects 200,000 Idahoans to travel at least 50 miles over the holiday.

Kristina Anderson

A woman who survived the mass shooting at Virginia Tech nine years ago is bringing her message of safety to Boise State University.

Kristina Anderson was in French class on April 16, 2007 when another student walked into her building, chained the doors shut, and started shooting at teachers and students. Anderson was shot three times. The gunman killed 32 people and wounded 17 others before taking his own life.

Now, Anderson travels the country telling her story and encouraging people to talk about safety in schools, businesses and public spaces.

Dr. Clinton Shock

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell Tuesday will visit the sagebrush burned in last year’s massive Soda Fire in southwest Idaho and eastern Oregon. The Bureau of Land Management is working to recover the area, but a group of private scientists are concerned about the way the recovery is being handled. Specifically, that the agency is hurrying through the recovery without following its own concepts for adaptive management. The BLM though, says the project is being handled correctly.

1905 photo courtesy of the Idaho State Archives & Library

A group of dedicated historians and preservationists are working to educate people and protect downtown Boise’s historic architecture, one weekend at a time.

The non-profit group Preservation Idaho has started up weekly tours of the city, called WalkAbout Boise.

capitol, statehouse, idaho
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Tuesday’s primary election in Idaho saw seven incumbent lawmakers lose their positions in the Legislature. It also whittled down the candidates vying for a seat on Idaho’s Supreme Court.

Many match-ups featured moderate Republicans against candidates from the far right wing of the party.

Reporter Betsy Russell of the Spokane Spokesman-Review writes the “Eye on Boise” blog and was among those watching the election closely.

Craig Bennett / Flickr

The U.S. Postal Service is using new technology to try to keep the number of dog bites down on postal routes.

Two new safety measures will help alert postal carriers about dogs. Dan Corral is the Postmaster of Boise. He says when customers sign up to use USPS.com’s package pickup application, they’ll be asked if they have a dog. And starting later this month, the Post Office will use special package scanners to warn of problem dogs at specific residences.

Idaho Department of Agriculture

Idaho officials intercepted a boat Tuesday on U.S. Highway 93 that was carrying a potentially harmful invasive species.

The boat was moored in Lake Mead, Nevada, which is infested with quagga and zebra mussels. When it entered Idaho, the owners were required to stop at one of the state’s 16 inspection stations to ensure none of the invasive species were brought into the state.

But Lloyd Knight, with Idaho’s Department of Agriculture, said that’s not what happened.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

A group of Boise State University students got glowing reviews after the tool they built for NASA was put through its paces last month.

The tool, known as the Zero Operable Interplanetary Delivery Based Ergonomics Grabber, is called Zoidberg 2.0 for short. Zoidberg is a character on the cartoon Futurama.

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