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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Medicaid
2:22 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Who Would Be Eligible Under An Expanded Idaho Medicaid Program?

IMAGEngineforAutism Flickr

Between 97,000 and 111,000 additional Idahoans would be eligible for Medicaid if the state chooses to expand eligibility.  But where would those people come from?  Close to half would migrate from four other state programs already in place to help low-income residents with medical needs.

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Election 2012
6:00 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Absentee Voting Picks Up In Idaho's Largest County

Early in person voting in Ada County begins October 16.
Samantha Wright Boise State Public Radio

Last Friday was a big day for county clerks in Idaho.  They mailed out the first round of absentee ballots for the November general election. 

In Ada County, 9,274 absentee ballots were mailed to voters last week.  Chief Deputy Clerk Phil McGrane calls it the kickoff to the November election.  “We’ve received close to 500 absentee requests each day in the recent days, absentee ballots are pushing themselves pretty hard for this election.”

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Wildfires
6:02 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Residents Near Karney Fire Were Well Prepared For Wildfire

Boise National Forest

The Karney Fire has burned more than 400 acres 10 miles northeast of Boise.  Many in the Wilderness Ranch subdivision have been advised to evacuate their homes as the fire gets closer.  Residents there live close to nature, close enough that wildfires are a threat they try to guard against. 

Wilderness Ranch bills itself as the best of both worlds. Mother Nature in the back yard. The city, in this case Boise, a short drive away.  But living in nature means living with the risk of wildfires. 

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Wildfires
11:59 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Firefighters Make Progress On Karney Fire

Boise National Forest

Firefighters say they made good progress on the Karney fire last night.  The 300 acre fire is burning in the Robie Creek area between Boise and Idaho City. 

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Middle East
2:33 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Idaho Senator Condemns Attacks On U.S. Embassies

Idaho Senator Mike Crapo says U-S security is being threatened by the ongoing attacks on American embassies in the Middle East and around the world. 

The Republican condemned the violence during a conference call with reporters this morning. “The attacks heighten and give emphasis to the fact that the United States must continue to maintain its defense posture and its intelligence system in a way that will help us to defend our national security interests abroad.” 

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Election 2012
6:00 am
Mon September 17, 2012

Idaho Election Officials Gear Up For Early Voting

Ben Ysursa
Secretary of State

Even though it’s several weeks away, voting officials are gearing up for the November 6 election.  Today  marks the last day for county clerks to print absentee ballots.  Soon, they’ll be in the mail for anyone who wants to vote early. 

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Wildfires
4:34 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Burned Idaho Bear Headed Back To The Woods

Boo Boo
Idaho Department of Fish and Game

Boo Boo the bear has been moved to a rehabilitation area outside McCall. The Snowdon Wildlife Sanctuary takes care of injured and orphaned wildlife.

Boo Boo made headlines last month when he was found by firefighters working on the Mustang Fire north of Salmon. He was alone, hiding up a tree, with second degree burns on all four paws.

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Mental Illness
6:49 am
Thu September 13, 2012

Idaho Man Writes History Of The De-institutionalization Of The Mentally Ill

Samantha Wright Boise State Public Radio

In the 1960’s, America began to take the mentally ill out of institutions. This led to consequences, especially for those who weren't ready or able to be de-institutionalized. 

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September 11 Terror Attacks
3:29 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

Idaho Governor, Others Remember September 11 Attacks

Idaho First Lady Lori Otter (right) and Gov. Butch Otter (center) recite the names of Idaho's 62 fallen soldiers during the Idaho Fallen Soldier memorial service at the Idaho Fallen Soldier Memorial in downtown Boise on Tuesday morning, Sept. 11 2012
Joe Jaszewski Idaho Statesman

While family members gathered at Ground Zero in New York this morning to remember the September 11 terror attacks in 2001, another group gathered in Boise at the new Idaho Fallen Soldier Memorial.

Medicaid
3:42 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

Lawmakers Discuss Whether To Expand Idaho’s Medicaid Program

nooccar Flickr

Who will be eligible for Medicaid if Idaho expands its program under the Affordable Care Act?  That’s the question lawmakers asked Monday of state Health & Welfare Director Dick Armstrong.  He’s part of a 15 member panel studying the option. 

Armstrong says the panel has gathered a lot of information so far.  But he says the federal government has not set some of the guidelines that will determine who would get to sign up for the expanded plan.  That means officials are left to guess how many residents would eligible.  

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Wildfires
4:07 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

Idaho Black Bear Recovering From Wildfire

The cub black bear rests quietly after having its burned feet bandaged.
Evin Oneale Idaho Department of Fish and Game

The black bear cub - known as Boo Boo - is expected to make a full recovery. The bear was burned in the Mustang Fire north of Salmon. 

Boo Boo could be ready to leave the Idaho Humane Society, where he’s been recovering from his burns, in as little as two weeks.  The three-to-four month old cub has 2nd degree burns on all four of his paws. 

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West Nile
5:09 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

West Nile Cases On The Rise In Idaho

jon.hayes Flickr

West Nile cases are on the rise in Idaho.  The state now has eight human cases of West Nile and five additional reports of the mosquito-borne illness are under investigation. 

Niki Forbing-Orr with Idaho’s Health and Welfare Department says the state is doing better than other states, like Texas. “So far the CDC is reporting 888 human cases there.  All 48 states of the mainland United States have reported west nile activity and nationally 87 people have died," she says.  "We’ve not had any deaths in Idaho yet, so we’re crossing our fingers that we don’t.”

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Mining
2:40 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Why A Canadian Company Is Told To Hold Off Drilling Near Idaho City

Bird's eye view of the Thompson Creek mine near Challis. The ultimate goal of the CuMo project is to create this type of open pit mine.
Adam Cotterell Boise State Public Radio

A judge has ordered the U.S. Forest Service to take another look at plans to expand exploratory drilling in the mountains near Idaho City.  U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge issued a ruling Thursday that essentially vacates the environmental assessment produced by the agency on the CuMo Mine project.

Lodge concluded the agency acted arbitrarily in determining that expanded drilling would not significantly impact groundwater sources.

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Wildfires
4:13 pm
Wed August 29, 2012

Mustang Fire Threatens Homes Along Highway 93

Mustang Fire Evacuation Map
inciweb

The Lemhi County Sheriff today warned homeowners near Butcherknife Ridge to be prepared to evacuate if the Mustang Complex Fire gets closer.  The 181,000 acre fire is threatening homes in the Highway 93 corridor north of North Fork. 

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Politics/Policy
12:37 pm
Wed August 29, 2012

Delegate Status A Reward For Idahoans At GOP Convention

Ginger Howard, delegate from Georgia, claps during the opening night of the Republican National Convention on August 28.
Mallory Benedict/PBS Newshour Flickr

Thirty-two Idaho delegates are in Tampa this week for the Republican National Convention.  The list includes some well-known names, like Governor Butch Otter, U.S. Senator Jim Risch and former State Republican Party Chairman Norm Semanko.  Delegates are hosted at parties and attend special meals put on by interest groups.  But it’s not all fun and games.  David Adler directs the Andrus Center for Public Policy at Boise State.

Samantha Wright asked Adler about what it means to be selected as a delegate.

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Wildfires
1:30 pm
Tue August 28, 2012

Bear Cub Injured In Idaho Wildfire

Boo Boo is examined by the state veterinarian
Boise National Forest

Update: August 29, 2012

The Idaho state veterinarian, Mark Drew, says the injured bear cub needs more help than previously thought.  The cub, nicknamed Boo Boo, was burned in the Mustang Fire near Salmon.  All four of his paws were severely burned. 

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Wildfires
11:10 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Wildfire Near Salmon Forces Mandatory Evacuations

The Mustang Complex is made up of five wildfires that merged into one. Mandatory evacuations are in place as the fire moves closer to homes.
inciweb.org

Updated August 24, 2012 at 1:41 p.m.:

The Mustang Complex Fire near Salmon grew dramatically Thursday.  That prompted an evacuation order for Spring Creek and Indian Creek residents.  In fact, it grew so fast that firefighters had to leave their posts around 11 p.m. last night. 

“The fire was growing too hot and too erratic and so we pulled the firefighters off,” says fire spokeswoman Lisa Radosevich-Craig.  She blames it on gusty winds.  She says the crews were back on the fire line this morning, but it could flare up again this afternoon.

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Arts & Culture
3:38 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Idaho Rare Books Reveal Literary Connections Through The Ages

Palm leaf manuscript book from the 17th century, in a scroll box carved from a single piece of oak. This book and its box formerly belonged to the estate of publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst.
Amaura Mitchell

An exhibition of rare books and objects opens August 24 at Boise State University.  “Chapters from the History of the Book,” features 31 books and artifacts from different time periods from all over the world.  Stephanie Bacon directs the Idaho Center for the Book.  She curated the exhibit.

Wildfires
12:21 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Crews Light New Fires To Protect Featherville

The Trinity Ridge Fire has burned for nearly three weeks. Officials say weather conditions are now favorable for controlled burns designed to help protect the town of Featherville.
Boise National Forest

Firefighters took advantage Wednesday night of what they said were favorable weather conditions for burn operations to help reduce the threat of the Trinity Ridge Fire burning through Featherville. 

Crews started fires on a ridge above the town.  The goal was to have those fires burn slowly downhill, towards Featherville.  In the process, they'd reduce available fuel and create a buffer for the town. 

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Boise State University
5:00 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

Kustra Optimistic In Face Of State Budget Cuts

Credit Boise State University

Boise State President Bob Kustra says times are changing for colleges and universities, including his own.  In his tenth annual State of the University Address, Kustra reflected on recent funding cuts, and how the university has responded.  

He told a room full of faculty and staff that he’s as challenged and scared as they are. “These are challenging times, they’re scary times, there’s no question about it.” 

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