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.


6:04 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Update: Hilltop Fire Near Boise Contained At 990 Acres

A view of the Hilltop fire from SE Boise.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

UPDATE 11:05 a.m.: The Bureau of Land Management says the Hilltop fire burning southeast of Boise off Highway 21 was fully contained by 10:00 a.m. Wednesday morning.

Fire managers say hotspots prevented them from reaching containment overnight, as they originally expected.

The BLM says the perimeter of the fire hasn't grown, but thanks to better mapping, acres burned is now estimated at 990.

UPDATE 9:00 p.m.: The Bureau of Land Management expects the Hilltop fire to be fully contained within the next two hours.

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New Hires
4:00 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

New Hires In Idaho Land On A High Note For July

People wait in line at a Idaho Department of Labor job fair earlier this year.
Credit Molly Messick / Boise State Public Radio/ StateImpact Idaho

Idaho employers reported hiring 23,400 workers in July.  That’s the highest number of new monthly hires since the Great Recession started according to the Idaho Department of Labor. 

The monthly report based on employer filings of newly hired workers within 20 days of their hiring showed July’s total exceeded July 2007 by 500.

The report features the number of people hired to fill new jobs as well as existing jobs that are filled because workers retired, died, quit or were fired. ~Idaho Department of Labor

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6:00 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Idaho StoryCorps: A Wildfire Changes One Woman’s Life Forever

Nancy Suiter and her daughter Josie Newton
Credit StoryCorps

When wildfire hits the Foothills of the Treasure Valley, everyone who lives there goes on alert.  Three years ago, Nancy Suiter felt that fear when lightning struck the ground near Highway 16. 

A wildfire started in the Eagle foothills and the home Suiter and her husband had built 32 years before was in the path of the flames.  Her daughter Josie Newton took her mother to the StoryCorps booth in Boise to talk about that day.

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6:00 am
Wed July 24, 2013

Idaho StoryCorps: An Adopted Daughter Finds Her Biological Mother

Charmagne and Sherry meet for the very first time. This picture was taken in the kitchen in Sherry’s house. Charmagne says the house they live in is very similar to the house she created in her head as a little girl.
Credit Charmagne Westcott

Each year, thousands of children are adopted into new families.  When those children grow up, some seek out their biological parents.  That’s what Charmagne Westcott did when she hired a private detective to try and find her birth mother. She sat down in the StoryCorps booth in Boise to remember how she found her biological mother, Sherry Jurd.

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6:00 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Idaho StoryCorps: Neither Rain, Nor Mud, Nor Goose Poop Will Stop One Marriage Proposal

Brian Thom and Ardele Hanson on the Snake River after he proposed.
Credit Brian Thom and Ardele Hanson

Four years ago, Brian Thom, the Episcopal Bishop of Idaho, came up with a plan to ask Ardele Hanson to marry him.  He wanted to recreate a special moment by kayaking up the Snake River to a lush, green island they had visited that summer. 

In his pocket was an engagement gift, a heart-shaped necklace.  The couple sat down in the StoryCorps booth in Boise to talk about that day.

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Nasa Rover
12:01 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

New NASA-Built Rover Back At Boise State After It Survives Greenland Test

BSU grad students Gabriel Trisca and Mark Robertson spent a month with Grover in Greenland
Gabriel Trisca and Mark Robertson

A roving robot recently returned from a trip to Greenland.  In the cold (-22 Fahrenheit) and windy (30 mph gusts) environment, the tough little rover was put through its paces. 

Two Boise State graduate students, Gabriel Trisca, computer science, and Mark Robertson, geophysics, spent a month with the rover on the frozen landscape.  The robot, which is as tall as a person, uses a radar system, developed by Boise State geosciences assistant professor Hans-Peter Marshall.

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6:00 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Idaho StoryCorps: Living With Another Man's Heart

Larry McCauley had his heart transplant on October 8, 1986.
Credit StoryCorps

It was just over 45 years ago when the first human heart transplant was performed in South Africa. Now, about 2,000 transplant surgeries happen every year in the United States.

Larry McCauley of Idaho is part of that statistic.  He's now 67, but on October 8, 1986, he had a heart transplant. Since then, McCauley has led a full life and works part time.

His friend Elise Daniel recently brought him to the StoryCorps booth in Boise to talk about his surgery and how it affected him.

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Road Construction
6:06 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

The Messy Business Of Chipsealing Ada County Roads Gets Underway

Chipsealing begins Wednesday in Ada County and goes through the fall.
Credit Courtesy of ACHD

Starting Wednesday the Ada County Highway District starts it's summer chipsealing program.

The process helps seal the road surface, putting down an armor coat for skid and weather resistance. The District says chipsealing slows the deterioration of roads caused by sun and weather.

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6:00 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Idaho StoryCorps: World War II Minesweepers Recall Life At Sea

The USS Medrick minesweeper patrolled in the Pacific during World War II
John Burns Crew members of the USS Medrick AMc 203

Life aboard a minesweeper in World War II was dangerous duty. The boats swept harbors and coastline for the deadly underwater mines planted by Germany and Japan.  Two men, who now live in Idaho, were part of the U.S. Navy’s minesweeping fleet.

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Gateway West
6:00 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Friday Is Last Day To Comment On Idaho’s Massive Gateway West Power Line

Credit Bureau of Land Management

Today is the last day you can comment on the final environmental impact statement for a 1,000 mile long power line. 

Idaho Power and Rocky Mountain Power want to build what's called the Gateway West Transmission Line to add power capacity. The project would cross most of southern Idaho.  The Bureau of Land Management released the Final Environmental Impact Statement, or EIS two months ago.  It’s been taking comments ever since.

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10:32 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Idaho Republican Party Executive Director Steps Down

The head of the Idaho Republican Party is stepping down. 

Joshua Whitworth took over the role about a year ago when then Executive Director Jonathan Parker left to work at the law firm of Holland and Hart. Whitworth came to the Republican party as a former Idaho State University football player and a cattle rancher. He took on the role in July of 2012.

Wednesday the party announced Whitworth was leaving to take a job with the Idaho State Controller's Office.

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Zoo Boise
11:55 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Baby Snow Leopards Born At Zoo Boise

Baby Snow Leopards at Zoo Boise
Credit Zoo Boise

You can now catch glimpses of two baby snow leopards born at Zoo Boise.  The cubs, one male and one female, were born May 23 to parents Kabita and Tashi.  These are the first snow leopards to be born at the zoo.

Kabita and Tashi were paired as part of the Species Survival Plan (SSP). The conservation program of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums helps breed endangered or threatened species. 

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10:24 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Idaho StoryCorps: One Woman's Life With Polio

Marcia Franklin and Marilyn Shuler talk about growing up with Polio in the 1950s.
Credit StoryCorps

Marilyn Shuler is perhaps best known for her work as the director of the Idaho Human Rights Commission from 1978 to 1998.  She fought against the Aryan Nations and pushed for basic human rights in the Gem State. 

But what many people don’t know is that at the age of 10, Shuler was diagnosed with polio while she was living in Salem, Oregon.  She sat down in the StoryCorps booth in Boise to talk about how it felt growing up in the 1950s with the illness.

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11:55 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Idaho Senator Crapo Predicts Future Of Immigration, Farm Bills

Credit Courtesy of Sen. Mike Crapo's office

Supporters of the Senate immigration bill got a boost today from the Congressional Budget Office.  The CBO report says the bill would boost the economy and reduce federal deficits.  But last night, the House approved an immigration bill increasing criminal penalties against anyone in the U.S. illegally. 

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Zoo Boise
10:51 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Baby Monkey Born At Zoo Boise

Mom Betty and her baby mangabey monkey who hasn't been named.
Monte Stiles Zoo Boise

Zoo Boise has a new addition, a baby black-crested mangabey monkey.  The male monkey was born earlier this month to his parents Murphy and Betty.  This is the first mangabey monkey to be born at Zoo Boise.

Mom Betty carries the baby upside down, which is normal for mangabey mothers.  She turns the baby right side up when he nurses.  The baby clings to mom’s belly until he gets older, then he’ll ride on mom’s back.

5:00 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Why Military-Style Drones Are Searching for Prime Idaho Sagebrush

Pygmy Rabbit
Credit Carrie Quinney / Boise State University

The Associated Press reports that scientists in Idaho will fly military-style drone aircraft over the sagebrush, "not in a bid to find terrorists but to locate the best habitat for one of West's smallest mammals, the pygmy rabbit."

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Gas Taxes
5:21 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Former Governor Batt Says Idaho Should Raise Gas Taxes

Credit Idaho Transportation Department

Idaho has named the highway department headquarters in Boise after former Governor Phil Batt. 

At a ceremony Thursday, Batt told the crowd the building is over 50 years old. “They been hunting for the oldest person to name it after.  I’m 86. They found me," Batt joked. "Of course I’m highly honored, there are many more deserving people than I, I have only one thing to say to them, tough luck it’s mine.” 

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Food Stamps
3:18 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

What A $955 Billion Farm Bill Means For Idaho

SNAP card
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

The U.S. Senate passed a $955 billion Farm Bill Monday.  It covers everything from crop insurance to conservation, to commodity programs. 

But by far the largest part of the bill is for food stamps known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP.  States receive $760 billion for  those in need.  Right now, Idaho gets $29 million a month from the federal government for SNAP benefits.

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6:00 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Five Years Later, An Idaho Couple Remembers Their StoryCorps Experience

Jeff and Brenda Wilson
Credit Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

The national recording project known as StoryCorps returns to Boise today.

It was May 16, 2008 when Jeff Wilson brought his wife Brenda to the mobile recording booth - an Airstream trailer - outside Boise City Hall.  He wanted to talk about his son, also named Jeff, who was born with Down syndrome.  He talked about the 25-year journey they had taken, since their son was first diagnosed:

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10:08 am
Sat June 8, 2013

StoryCorps' Mobile Recording Trailer Returns To Idaho's Capital City

Inside the Storycorps mobile recording booth
Credit Storycorps

StoryCorps, the national oral history project, opens its mobile recording booth in Boise Monday.  For the next month, Idahoans will step into the Airstream trailer parked at Boise City Hall and record their stories.

What it's like to travel the country with StoryCorps...

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