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.

Major Chris Borders / Idaho National Guard

The Idaho National Guard will hold a memorial for the four people who died in a cabin fire last Friday.

Adjutant General Major General Gary L. Sayler says the Guard will hold the memorial for Lt. Col. James E. Harper III and his son JJ, and 1st Sgt. Erin R. Smith and daughter Autumn. 

“It is with great sadness that I extend our deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of those suffering from this recent and tragic loss,” Sayler said.

Julio Cortez / AP Photo

After controversy over legal vs illegal fireworks in Idaho in the run up to the July Fourth holiday, the Boise Fire Department reports they did respond to fires over the long weekend caused by fireworks.

BFD reports 13 fires on July 4 and July 5. Four were started by fireworks, and five are still under investigation. That is a drop from last year when ten fires were started by fireworks.

gray wolf, wolves
U.S. Fish & Wildlife

Idaho Fish and Game is thinking about changing the rules for some kinds of hunting in the Gem State.

In what's known as a "negotiated rule making process," Fish and Game is giving the public a chance to weigh in on the six proposed changes.

One change would allow hunters to use bait when hunting wolves. If the rule is implemented, specific times and uses of bait would be outlined.

Wild Lens

Local filmmakers, who are making a movie about the plight of a critically endangered sea mammal, say there are now likely less than 25 of the animals left in the Gulf of California.

Boise filmmaker Matthew Podolsky started documenting the story of the small, dolphin-like vaquita over two years ago. Since he learned the animals were dying in gill nets he’s been telling their story in short films. He’s watched the number of remaining vaquita continue to drop each year.

Boise Parks and Recreation Department

It’s been a year since last June’s Table Rock Fire in the Boise Foothills destroyed 2,500 acres of wildlife habitat. Sparked by illegal fireworks, the blaze burned and blackened the sagebrush-covered landscape. Over the last 12 months, a group of people and agencies have worked to restore the area.

Martha Brabec says she’s seeing progress when she travels through the burn area. As Boise Parks and Recreation’s Foothills Restoration Specialist, she’s on the front lines of the fire recovery effort.

Gary O. Grimm / Flickr Creative Commons

The gymnasium at Park School in Weiser is full of third, fourth and fifth-grade students. Standing next to the stage, Principal Angela Halvorson introduces Assistant Professor Brian Jackson from Boise State University.

“And he is going to talk to us all about this cool thing that’s coming, the total solar eclipse. Can you please give him a round of applause . . . "

Jackson is traveling around Idaho this summer to talk to kids and adults about the eclipse.

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

In the latest twist over legal fireworks, an opinion from the Idaho Attorney General's office says aerial fireworks can only be sold to someone with a permit for a public display or event. The controversy over sales of bottle rockets and Roman candles heated up after last year’s Table Rock Fire in the Boise Foothills.

 

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Before the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area became a backcountry paradise for outdoor adventures, families up and down the Snake River called it home.

Plucky families, including Lem and Doris Wilson, made a go of sheep ranching in a very primitive environment that had no electricity, no refrigerators and no modern conveniences. In 1951 the family of four moved onto a 4,000 acre ranch in the canyon, several miles away from Grangeville, with 1,200 sheep for company.

The Exploratorium / NASA

Most hotels and campgrounds in Idaho along the path of the total solar eclipse this August have been sold out for months if not years. But one group still has campsites available near Stanley. They plan to stream the eclipse to those who can’t make it into the backcountry.

Jim Urquhart / AP Photo

Protections that have been in place for more than 40 years for grizzly bears in the Yellowstone National Park area will be lifted this summer after U.S. government officials ruled Thursday that the population is no longer threatened.

Boise Police Department

An Ada County Grand Jury has handed down an indictment in the case of a Boise State University student who was raped, kidnapped and murdered last year.

Sierra Bush disappeared last September. Her body was found a month later, south of Idaho City. Police narrowed down their search for a suspect to a man who had rented a home from Bush’s father before her death.

In November, Bruce Marchant was found in a Veterans Affairs hospital in Manhattan. He told reporters then that he wasn’t guilty of rape or murder.

Ada County Highway District

A new online map is giving Boise bicyclists a break during a time when many of their preferred pathways are closed.

Bikers have faced challenges since much of the Boise Greenbelt closed down due to the flooded Boise River. Though the water is receding, many parts of the 25-mile pathway were damaged by extensive flooding and remain closed.

Finding alternate routes around the handy bike path has been tough, but the Ada County Highway District has a new online map to help.

Adam Pearl / AP Photo

A pet squirrel named Joey who gained fame as a crime fighter might be more of the lover type.

Joey, who police credited with scaring off a burglar trying to break into his home's gun safe, made his long goodbyes earlier this month, then scampered up a backyard apple tree at his Meridian, Idaho home and hasn't been seen since.

"If I had to guess, he found a girlfriend and they're off doing their squirrel thing," said Adam Pearl, who raised Joey in his home for about 10 months.

A University of Idaho scientist said that's probably right for Joey.

The Exploratorium / NASA

Tens of thousands of people will watch the total solar eclipse in Idaho on August 21, and some of them will be taking part in a citizen science experiment.

The Citizen Continental-America Telescope Eclipse Experiment, or CATE for short, is a project by the National Solar Observatory. Using special telescopes, the plan is to record the eclipse at more than 68 different sites, including three in Idaho.

Rebecca Boone / AP Photo

The Idaho Supreme Court heard arguments Thursday on a case that could decide the future of a 6 percent sales tax on groceries.

The Idaho Legislature passed a bill this year removing the tax. They adjourned and went home. Governor Butch Otter vetoed the bill, 11 days after adjournment. And that’s where the controversy started.

Some GOP lawmakers filed suit, arguing the Idaho Constitution says a governor has ten days to veto a bill after adjournment. But in 1978, the Idaho Supreme Court ruled the governor has ten days, starting when he gets the bill.

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