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.

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Service Dog
6:00 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Service Dog: An Idaho Army Veteran Works To Help Others Find Therapy Dogs

Awescar the service dog
Samantha Wright Boise State Public Radio

This week we've been bringing you the story of Idaho Army veteran Dan Sperry and his service dog Awescar.  This large labradoodle has had a major role in helping Dan cope with post traumatic stress disorder.

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Service Dog
6:00 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Service Dog: How A Labradoodle Is Helping One Idaho Veteran Cope With PTSD

Awescar the Service Dog
Credit Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Awescar is normally an obedient dog.

“It’s okay buddy, okay, I guess you’re going to sit up here. What is it?” asks Dan Sperry.

This 70 pound white labradoodle is supposed to sit on the floor until Dan says it’s okay to jump up into his lap.  But today Awescar won’t leave Dan alone.  “You’re a good boy! He definitely wants to come and lay down on your lap.”

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Service Dog
7:46 am
Tue May 28, 2013

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

Dan and Angie Sperry
Credit Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

This week we are bringing you the story of Dan Sperry. He's a U.S. Army veteran from Idaho and for the last two decades he's lived with post traumatic stress disorder or P.T.S.D.  We met Dan in 2010 and began to record his story of how he's found a new life by using a service dog

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IRS
1:27 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Idaho Senator Crapo Weighs In On IRS Scandal

Credit Courtesy of Sen. Mike Crapo's office

Congress held another hearing today on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) scandal.  The IRS has revealed it subjected Tea Party and other conservative groups seeking non-profit status to extra scrutiny from 2010 to 2012.

Idaho Senator Mike Crapo sat in on two hearings yesterday where the matter was discussed.  He says in 2010 the IRS had created a BOLO or 'Be On the Lookout' list, instructing Internal Revenue agents to identify Tea Party case files. 

He says the abuse by the IRS is very serious.

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Native Fish
10:46 am
Mon May 20, 2013

A New Guidebook Highlights Idaho’s Native Fish

From the book "Native Fishes of Idaho"

You can pick up a number of different Audubon-style guides if you're a bird watcher.  But it’s a different story when it comes to fish.  Many Idaho fish haven’t been studied.

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Drug Crime
12:14 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Idaho "Spice" Smuggling Operation Stopped

Federal authorities say a "spice" smuggling operation has been taken down in Boise.

A federal grand jury in Boise has indicted five Boise and Meridian residents on a laundry list of charges. They include conspiracy to smuggle goods into the U.S., conspiracy to sell and transport drug paraphernalia, and conspiracy to launder money.

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Wildfires
2:03 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Budget Cuts, High Fire Potential Could Mean Tough Wildfire Season In the West

The Springs Fire burned more than 6,000 acres near Garden Valley, Idaho last summer
Credit Kari Greer / Boise National Forest

The Secretaries of Agriculture and the Interior came to Boise today to talk about the upcoming fire season.  They said above normal fire potential and less money in the budget will make for a difficult fire season in the West.
 

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack described the wildfire outlook this way:  “We’re going to be faced with a difficult fire season, make no mistake about that.”

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Zoo Boise
8:06 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Zoo Boise Helps Restore Wildlife Park In Africa

Elephants roam in Gorongosa.
Jean Paul Vermeulen

A wildlife park in Mozambique and Zoo Boise have teamed up to preserve some of the most pristine land and wildlife in Africa.

Gorongosa National Park, in southeast Africa, is home to diverse landscape and wildlife.  “It’s a natural jewel of my country when it comes to natural parks and tourism attractions,” says Mateus Mutemba, the park administrator.

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Immigration
1:37 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Sen. Crapo: Americans Should Get First Pick Of Guest Worker Jobs

Credit Courtesy of Sen. Mike Crapo's office

Democratic and Republican senators have filed hundreds of amendments to an immigration bill in the U.S. Senate.  Many amendments filed by Republicans aim to boost border security and add employment enforcement provisions. Supporters say in some cases the real intent is to kill the legislation.

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Zoo Boise
6:00 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Southern Idaho Ground Squirrels Get Some Help To Survive

Southern Idaho Ground Squirrels are bred at Zoo Boise to be trans-located in the wild.
Samantha Wright Boise State Public Radio

Zoo Boise isn’t just a place to go to look at animals.  It also helps animals in the wild. The zoo donates money to several conservation projects around the world.  One of those projects is right in our backyard, near Horseshoe Bend.  The zoo, and a scientist from the College of Idaho, are trying to save a small ground squirrel that's struggling to survive.

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Conservation
6:00 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Zoo Boise Raises $1 Million For Wildlife Conservation

Zoo Farm snacks raise money for conservation.
Credit Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Inside Zoo Boise, there’s an exhibit called the Zoo Farm.  You put a quarter in what looks like a gumball machine. Out comes  food pellets so you can feed the goats and sheep. 

All those quarters go to conservation to protect animals in the wild.  Since 2007, Zoo Boise has made wildlife conservation part of its mission, raising $1 million dollars for conservation projects. The Zoo celebrates this milestone Saturday at Boise State University. 

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Idaho Non-Profits
5:30 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Over 500 Idaho Non-Profits Ask For Your Donation Today

More than 500 non-profit groups are taking part in the first ever “Idaho Gives” day today.  You can help out birds, dogs, rats, kids, museums, fine arts, the environment and more, during the 24 hour event. 

The goal is simple.  Get everyone to donate online to their favorite Idaho non-profit by midnight tonight.  Lynn Hoffmann is the Executive Director of the Idaho Nonprofit Center.  She calls today’s event a “giving frenzy.”

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2013 Legislature
6:00 am
Sat April 27, 2013

2013 Idaho Legislature: By The Numbers

Credit Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

The 2013 Idaho Legislature adjourned on April 4. Legislators debated everything from health care to public education funding.  We brought you the major stories from the 62nd regular session, including the creation of a state-based health insurance exchange.  Now it’s time to do the numbers, with a little help from the recently released end of session report:

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Kestrels
2:06 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Kestrels Return To Boise Nest Box: Research Project Grows Dramatically

Last year's kestrel family grew to 7, with five chicks
Credit The Peregrine Fund

The Peregrine Fund’s American Kestrel Partnership launched its 2013 KestrelCams today.  Already the breeding pair has laid one egg. 

Last year, we told you about the project's kickoff in Boise to sign up citizen scientists to build nest boxes for these dwindling birds.  

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Gateway West
6:00 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Gateway West Power Line Takes Another Step Forward

Credit Bureau of Land Management

Today marks the next step in a 1,000 mile proposed power line that would cross most of southern Idaho.  Idaho Power and Rocky Mountain Power want to build the Gateway West Transmission Line to add power capacity.

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Sequester
3:12 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Idaho Senator Says Internet Tax Bill Could Provide State Tax Relief

Credit Courtesy of Sen. Mike Crapo's office

Tax-free shopping on the Internet could come to an end under a bill making its way through the U-S Senate.

The bill would allow states to require online retailers to collect state and local sales taxes for purchases made over the Internet. The sales taxes would be sent to the states where a shopper lives.

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Construction Zones
6:00 am
Tue April 16, 2013

Officials Urge Caution Around Road Construction Sites

Credit pberry / Flickr

Spring is a time when road construction projects kick off in earnest.  The Idaho Transportation Department is asking Idaho drivers to slow down and use caution around highway construction zones. 

This is National Work Zone Awareness Week, a time set aside to draw attention to safety around construction zones.   

Nationwide in 2010, 576 people died in work zone crashes.   

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Women In Leadership
4:05 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Women Leaders Gather To Inspire Others In Boise

Tabby Biddle gives the opening speech at the Go Lead Idaho conference in Boise Saturday.
Credit Courtesy of Tabby Biddle

There’s been a lot of attention lately on women in leadership roles especially since the release of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg's book Lean In. Saturday, more than 150 women will gather in Boise for the annual Go Lead Idaho Conference. It's meant to help engage women in leadership and civic participation.  

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Sequester
4:15 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Sequester Grounds One Mountain Home AFB Fighter Squadron

Credit Official U.S. Air Force

More than 70 airmen and 30 planes will remain on the ground through the fall at Mountain Home Air Force Base.  That's because of federal budget cuts, known as the sequester.  

Colonel Chris Short commands the 366th Fighter Wing.  His wing includes the 391st Squadron, known as the Bold Tigers.  They’re a flying combat unit.  “Typically they fly every day during a work week, we give them a certain number of hours during a month, to maintain their combat readiness, and what we’ve done is by standing them down, they will not fly at all.” 

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Sequester
2:46 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Sequester Hits Mountain Home Air Force Base

An F-15E Strike Eagle from the 391st Fighter Squadron.
Credit Official U.S. Air Force

The federal budget cuts, known as sequestration, have hit Mountain Home Air Force Base.  Officials announced today that one of their fighter squadrons will curtail flying operations.

The 391st Squadron, known as the Bold Tigers, stopped flying their planes yesterday.  The stand down will remain in effect through the end of the fiscal year in September. 

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