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.

AP

Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter has created a new health care panel for Idaho, and appointed the retiring head of the Health and Welfare Department to lead it.

It’s called the Governor’s Health Care Advisory Panel, or HCAP, and Otter created it last week by executive order. The group’s main job will be to review new federal or state health care initiatives and report to the governor and the Idaho Legislature.

The panel will provide research and guidance on health care policies. Members will also fine-tune the state's strategy for health care policy.

Zoo Boise

Zoo Boise is worried about the safety of its animals, as flood waters continue to rise along the Boise River. The city, which owns the zoo, is building a "Muscle Wall" to keep the water back. The flood barrier will be 2,000-feet-long and two-to-four feet tall.

City engineers say it will be similar to the flood barrier that was built to protect a gravel pit near Eagle Island.

Diana Landa

An Idaho woman said she discovered a Nazi explosive as she was helping her parents clean out their shed.

Diana Landa identified the artifact by a Nazi insignia and the year 1938 etched on the bottom of it. It still had a propellant on it, she said.

Landa's parents have lived in their Meridian home for 25 years. They said they hardly used the old shed they cleaned out last week. They have no idea where the explosive came from and how it got there.

Boise Police Department

The Boise River is rising again, to what officials say will be the highest levels so far this year.

Flows from the Lucky Peak Dam will go up Friday morning. An additional 500 cubic feet per second of water will be released. That will bring the flow to 9,300 cfs at the Glenwood Bridge gauge. That’s the highest flow this Spring since officials started pushing more and more water through the river to make room for melting snow in the mountains above Boise.

Idaho Governor's Office

Idaho Governor Butch Otter announced Wednesday he has picked a new head of the state’s Health and Welfare Department.

Otter is appointing Russ Barron to head the agency. Barron is deputy director and a longtime administrator at Health and Welfare.

AP Photo

Last week, Terry Branstad of Iowa stepped down, ending more than 22 years in the Governor’s chair. Yes, we said Iowa, not Idaho, but that means Idaho’s governor moved up on a short list of the longest-serving heads of states.

The website Smart Politics keeps track of just how long top leaders in each state have been in office. Branstad takes the top spot, with 8,169 days as Governor.

Mark Davis

As the weather turns toward summer, bee colonies in Idaho are starting to expand. Every year, old colonies split away from the hive and go looking for a new home. It’s called Honey Bee Swarming and it happens from March through August.

Mark Davis says this year’s swarming is getting a late start, because of all the wet weather. Known as Treasure Valley’s “Bee Man,” Davis is the founder of the nonprofit, family-based Treasure Valley Bee Rescue, a group that will relocate swarms rather than exterminating them.

Mary Esch / AP Photo

A new statewide Community Assessment has some dramatic findings, especially for Idaho kids.

The United Way of Treasure Valley released their latest Community Assessment Thursday. Conducted every three years, the research is a snapshot of local issues, from health to education to financial stability.

Bureau of Land Management

President Donald Trump’s budget request, released this week, includes a provision changing how the Bureau of Land Management manages wild mustangs in the West.

Both the BLM and its detractors agree there are too many wild horses on the landscape. Erin Curtis is the Deputy State Director of Communications for BLM Idaho.

“We cannot keep up with what’s happening out on the range and overpopulation,” says Curtis.

Don Ryan / AP Photo

Tucked into President Donald Trump’s new budget, which was released Tuesday, is a proposal for the government to sell off power lines that deliver electricity to Idaho.

The budget summary says the government could make $4.9 billion by selling the Bonneville Power Administration’s transmission assets over a 10-year period. Around $1.8 billion of that could come in two years.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

A group of researchers, led by Boise State University, picked up $1.7 million Monday to study how climate change affects birds.

The grant comes from the Department of Defense. Led by BSU biological sciences professor Julie Heath, the team will use some of the money to study how climate change is affecting the migration of American kestrels, North America’s smallest falcon species.

Tom Michael / Boise State Public Radio

Memorial Day means holiday travel, and AAA Idaho says the number of trips in the state, and the country, are going up. Here's a preview of what to expect.

This Memorial Day weekend, more people will be traveling, especially driving. Some of the reasons are a lower unemployment rate, relatively low gas prices and the fact that the economic recession is in the rear-view mirror.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife / Associated Press

Oregon’s Fish and Wildlife Department is holding a second hearing on a wolf plan Friday in Portland. The plan is unpopular with ranchers and wolf supporters alike.

Oregon didn’t have documented wolves before 2005. Since then, thanks to the animals crossing over the border from Idaho, Oregon now has 11 packs, totaling at least 112 wolves. Twelve years ago, the state adopted a plan to manage the wolves but wants to revise it now that the population is growing.

AP Photo

Idaho authorities have charged a Boise man with two felonies after they say he checked his two young kids out of school and fled to the Nevada mountains, leaving a burnt-out vehicle and scattered personal belongings along the way, authorities said Tuesday.

Nevada's Eureka County Sheriff Keith Logan said 29-year-old Joshua Dundon was being held in Nevada for lack of $5 million bail.

Roger Phillips / Idaho Department of Fish and Game

It’s that time of year, when the quiet Nampa Fish Hatchery starts delivering thousands of mostly rainbow trout around the state for anglers to catch. But high water means some of that prime fishing will have to wait.

Each year, Idaho Fish and Game stocks more than 22 million fish from 12 different hatcheries into lakes, reservoirs and ponds. Most of the 18 species of fish are rainbow trout and kokanee salmon.

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