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.

Karen Day

Idaho filmmaker Karen Day has a new documentary, featuring college students making a difference in the world. 

cans
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

The chemical BPA, or bisphenol A, is commonly found in plastics, soup cans, and store receipts. Scientists continue to study how the chemical affects people. New research from the University of Idaho may sound a cautionary note for humans. 

Gordon Murdoch is an associate professor of physiology at the University of Idaho. He focused on fetal heart development in rhesus monkeys.

For the study, pregnant monkeys were fed fruit containing BPA. “Our question was did it affect the genes in the fetal heart?” he asked, “And to our surprise and dismay, it did.”

Casey Greene / Adventure Cycling Association

Soaking in an Idaho hot springs may be the perfect way to wrap up a challenging mountain bike ride. The Adventure Cycling Association has combined the two activities into one, with the “Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route.” It’s a two-map set that takes bikers through 518 miles and 50 hot springs in central Idaho.

Toby Hemenway
Toby Hemenway

Home gardeners are often frustrated by Idaho’s dry climate. Finding the plants best suited for your garden is not always easy. Toby Hemenway is an author who teaches and writes about permaculture and sustainable gardens and he’s coming to Boise.

“Rather than try to learn permaculture from a theoretical point of view, or try to understand it all, it’s a lot easier to just get involved in one aspect of it,” Hemenway says.

He says water conservation is an easy, gateway into learning permaculture.

avalanche, map
Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center

An avalanche in the Sawtooth National Forest killed one man and injured a woman Sunday afternoon at a popular snowmobile site in the Smiley Creek area north of Ketchum. The avalanche west of Galena Summit buried four snowmobilers early in the afternoon.

The Blaine County Sheriff's Office says 64-year-old George Gilbert Martin Jr. of Bellevue, Idaho died on the scene.

Sawtooth Avalanche Center director Simon Trautman says the four snowmobilers were in a meadow which they thought was safe.

Idaho Department of Fish and Game

Idaho Fish and Game officers and Garden City police tracked down and killed a mountain lion in Garden City Thursday.  The animal was shot along the Boise River Greenbelt in the Riverside subdivision around 5:30 p.m.

An eyewitness says the cougar was under his front porch. It ran from that location and the chase began.  Police, conservation officers and a houndsman tracked the animal through backyards and common areas in the subdivision.  They say they were hoping to tree the animal, tranquilize it and then move it to another location.

Idaho Transportation Department

“Avalanche Alley” will close at 6:00 p.m. Friday as a safety precaution. That’s the 12-mile stretch of Idaho 21 between Grandjean Junction and Banner Summit.  

The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) reports the area received eight inches of snow Friday morning and more snowfall is expected Friday night and Saturday.

The area averages more than 250 inches of snow which brings 45-50 slides each year. About 90 percent of avalanches that affect Idaho highways happen on "Avalanche Alley."

Bogus Basin

Snow is coming to southern Idaho, lots of it. The National Weather Service says a “significant snowfall event” will start Thursday night and last through Saturday.

The snow comes from a combination of moisture from the Pacific and an upper level low pressure system from Alaska. It will bring prolonged snowfall, which could mean substantial snow totals in the mountains.  NWS has issued a Winter Weather Advisory from the Oregon border East to Twin Falls, Idaho.

Here are the latest projected snow totals from the National Weather Service:

Service Dog Series

Feb 5, 2014
service dog, awescar
Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Service Dog: An Idaho Army Veteran Struggles With Post Traumatic Stress

Neil Paprocki

People in Idaho are seeing more raptors because golden eagles and red-tailed hawks aren't flying as far south for winter. That's according to a new study from Boise State University. The study authors say the change in migration habits means fewer of the birds of prey are being spotted in southern states.

Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

Republican gubernatorial candidate Russ Fulcher released his latest campaign finance report Friday. The report shows Fulcher raised $251,642 last year, $100,000 of which he personally loaned to his campaign.

Fulcher is currently a state senator in the Idaho Legislature. He's running against fellow Republican Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter in the May primary.

bread, food, foodbank
Emily Carlin / Flickr Creative Commons

Local musicians and their lyrical Christmas creations brought more than good cheer to Idaho last year.
In December, we told you about a special musical collection aimed at raising money for The Idaho Foodbank. Now, we know  just how much the album raised.

The fourth IdaHo Ho Ho Christmas CD raised enough cash to pay for 23,465 meals for those in need.

Nordic Focus / US Biathlon

Sara Studebaker is a Boise native. She graduated from Boise High School and has been a biathlon competitor since 2003. She represented the U.S. in biathlon during the Vancouver Winter Olympics. Since then, she’s been training hard, ready to take another shot, this time in Sochi, Russia.

SARA STUDEBAKER

Hometown: Boise, ID

Sport: Biathlon

Birthday: Oct. 7, 1984

Stethescope, Health Care, Doctor, Medical
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

A federal judge says a Boise-area hospital violated federal antitrust laws when it purchased Idaho's largest independent physicians' practice.

U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill made the ruling Friday, ordering St. Luke's Health System to undo its buyout of the Nampa-based Saltzer Medical Group.

Nordic Focus / US Biathlon

Idaho native Sara Studebaker is two weeks away from skiing and shooting in her second Olympic Games. Studebaker, a Boise High School graduate, has been competing in the biathlon since 2003. Now, at 29-years-old, Studebaker says she's ready for Sochi.

“The second time, you feel a little more seasoned," Studebaker says. "You feel like you know what’s going on and I think it gives me a great opportunity to have some really good results and hopefully do better than I did in Vancouver. So I’m really excited for the possibilities.”

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

A legislative House committee Tuesday approved a rule that will make it more complicated for married same-sex couples in Idaho to file their taxes. It’s a rule designed to try and appease state law, which does not acknowledge same-sex marriage, and the federal Internal Revenue Service, which does. It was a rare chance for gay Idahoans to speak their mind before lawmakers.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

A legislative committee Tuesday will hear testimony on a rule that would forbid same-sex couples who are legally married in other states from filing joint Idaho income tax returns.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

The 2014 Idaho legislative session started just last week, but there are already people watching the calendar to see when lawmakers will go home. That matters to taxpayers because each day of the session costs roughly $30,000. 

Lawmakers aren't just thinking about the money, but they're gearing up for the primary election this May. 

Joe Jaszewski / Idaho Statesman

Update 3:15 p.m.: The Idaho State Police (ISP) report the westbound lanes of I-84 reopened at about 2:00 p.m. That’s after a 46-car-accident caused a five-hour delay.

An ISP spokesperson says a swerving logging truck caused a chain reaction of accidents. Tow trucks, another logging truck, and a boom had to be brought in to clear vehicles and logs from the road.

Idaho Capitol, statehouse
Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

The 2014 Idaho Legislature kicks off Monday with Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter’s annual State of the State speech. 

Lawmakers will look at a variety of issues this year, from the budget to education, all through the lens of primary elections, which come up in May.

Boise State University Political Science professor Gary Moncrief says lawmakers will look closely at a couple of issues: healthcare and education.

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