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.

Jerry Mathes

The August 21 total solar eclipse is less than three weeks away. Towns around Idaho are expecting big crowds of people coming from all over the world to watch the moon cross in front of the sun. Unofficial estimates run as high as 250,000 visitors flooding into the Gem State.

The two-minute blackout is an event that appeals to people for many reasons. Some are coming to be part of a once in a lifetime event. Others are interested in astronomy. What is it about the eclipse that could motivate a quarter million people to come here?

Office of Idaho Senator Mike Crapo

Idaho’s newest federal district court judge was sworn in Tuesday after more than a year of delays. He’ll step right up to the bench and start taking cases.

President Donald Trump signed Judge David Nye’s commission letter Tuesday. That clears the way for Idaho’s first new federal district judge in over 22 years.

Idaho Department of Fish and Game

So you came all the way to Idaho to watch the total solar eclipse on August 21. Now that the two-minute event is over, what do you do next?

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game suggests why not go fishing?

You've seen plenty of maps of the path the eclipse will take over Idaho. This new map from IDFG shows the best places to see the eclipse, and the 60 closest fishing spots nearby. The map covers the path of totality, the line of complete blockage of the sun by the moon.

Health insurance premiums in Idaho will go up in 2018, between 6 and 81 percent depending on the plan you choose.  That's according to proposed increases to the price of your health care plan.

Each year, insurance companies operating in Idaho send their planned price hikes to the Department of Insurance. The proposed increases were released Monday for 2018.

The proposed average overall statewide rate increase is 38 percent. The average price for Bronze, Silver, and Gold plans are all going up, with Silver plans averaging a 50 percent increase.

Otto Kitsinger / Associated Press

Idaho continues to try and keep invasive mussels out of its waterways with a new agreement with Utah.

Idaho has been trying to keep quagga and zebra mussels out of lakes and reservoirs since 2009. The state operates inspection stations along its borders to track down boats that may be contaminated with the invasive species and keep them out of Idaho waters.

Cathleen Allison / AP Photo

Congressional Republicans are moving forward with legislation to roll back the Endangered Species Act, amid complaints that the landmark 44-year-old law hinders drilling, logging and other activities.

At simultaneous hearings Wednesday, House and Senate committees considered bills to revise the law and limit lengthy and costly litigation associated with it.

Elizabeth Smith / Vimeo

It's the 20th anniversary of the Snake River Stampeders Night Light Drill Team, an all-volunteer group of precision riding horsewomen who perform in the dark, covered with colored lights, every year at the annual Nampa rodeo.

The Snake River Stampede has been around for 102 years in Nampa and features all the rodeo favorites of roping and riding.

Gary Kramer / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Gray wolves killed a record number of livestock in Wyoming last year, and wildlife managers responded by killing a record number of wolves that were responsible, according to a new federal report.

The report released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found that wolves killed 243 livestock, including 154 cattle, 88 sheep and one horse, in 2016. In 2015, 134 livestock deaths attributed to wolves were recorded.

Last year's livestock losses in Wyoming exceeded the previous record of 222 in 2009.

Metro Community Services

Last December, we told you about nine high school students who were building a tiny house for charity, while learning skills in construction. Now the project is complete and it’s time to raffle off the house to help seniors and others in need.

Meridian Canine Rescue

Staff and volunteers at a Treasure Valley dog rescue center will spend 24 hours inside kennels with dogs up for adoption. The idea is to show people what it’s like behind the kennel door.

The event is called “Through Their Eyes,” and is the brainchild of Jessica Ewing, Executive Director at Meridian Canine Rescue.

“So we’ll start to kind of see, through the dogs' eyes so to speak, what a day looks like for them,” says Ewing.

Jeffrey Johnson

He’s studied volcanoes in Chile and Guatemala. Now this Boise State University volcanologist is studying a lava lake in central Africa, hoping it can help scientists better understand when volcanoes are going to erupt.

Rebecca Boone / AP Photo

A county commissioner says he’s frustrated at having to pay the bill for a third trial in a murder case.

Idaho County Commissioner Skip Brandt says he’d be inclined to let a two-time convicted murderer go free, rather than have to pony up the cost of a third trial.

Brandt says Idaho County shouldn’t have to pay the bill for Mark H. Lankford’s third trial.

Lankford was convicted and sentenced to death in 1984 for beating a Texas Marine Captain and his wife to death at a campsite near Grangeville. That conviction was overturned by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

AP

The panel that disciplines judges in Idaho has exonerated a southern Idaho judge who sentenced a teen to probation for assaulting a football teammate in a controversial case earlier this year.

The Idaho Judicial Council announced Monday that an investigation into Fifth District Judge Randy Stoker found no misconduct.

Ken Cole / Western Watersheds Project

An environmental group and the U.S. Forest Service have agreed to a deal to help fish in the Salmon River.

Amanda Romney / American Red Cross

Across the country, the American Red Cross received 61,000 fewer blood donations than usual over the last two months. That means the agency had to use some of its blood supply reserves and says the situation now is critical.

The region that covers Idaho suffered from the shortage as well. Idaho is part of an area that includes 120 hospitals here and in Utah, Nevada, and Montana. That region fell short by 2,200 donations over the past two months.

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