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.

Screenshot / Wild Lens Vimeo

A new film festival to celebrate the conservation community in Idaho and around the globe will be held Saturday night in Boise. The goal is to inspire viewers to get outside and help the land. A film from a high school student in Victor, Idaho and a local film about ranchers making room for sage grouse are just some of the stories in the Les Bois Film Festival . Viewers will also see conservation films from Borneo and Singapore. Matthew Podolsky is with Wild Lens , a Boise-based non-profit...

Zoo Boise

Zoo Boise says that one of its two tigers was euthanized this week. Tundra was 18 years old and had been in ill health. Tundra and his brother Taiga came to Zoo Boise in 1999 from the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. The head of Zoo Boise says all of its staff members are sad about Tundra’s passing. “An entire generation of children in the Treasure Valley grew up seeing him and marveling at his beauty and majesty,” said Steve Burns, Director of Zoo Boise. “He was part of our family and we will...

Brad Smith / Flickr

Honeybees are dying off at an alarming rate. For several years, scientists have been looking at a number of factors that may be influencing their survival. Now, a University of Idaho scientist has found a working model that may explain why honeybee colonies collapse. UI professor Brian Dennis built a mathematical model that shows the size of the beehive may be the critical factor in colony collapse disorder. That’s when too many bees in a hive die or disappear and the hive falls apart. Dennis...

Idaho Transportation Department

The people who live in Elk City are still trapped in their tiny Idaho County town, after a massive mud and tree slide wiped out the only road, Idaho Highway 14. Since Thursday, only mail and medicine has made it into town, via snowmobile. But the Idaho Transportation Department says help is coming. The slide took out both sides of the highway and ITD hasn’t said how long it will take to clear the mountain of mud and debris ten miles west of Elk City. So Tuesday they plan to open an old Forest...

L.J. Krumenacker

New research shows that horse-sized, T-Rex-like dinosaurs roamed southern Idaho 100 million years ago. This discovery shows Idaho was home to more types of dinosaurs than previously thought. Paleontologist L.J. Krumenacker has been digging up dinosaurs in Idaho for more than a decade. But in the past, scientists have mostly found small burrowing dinosaurs. Working with a team of Montana State University paleontologists, Krumenacker found the teeth and small bones of three types of theropods,...

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

The Idaho House has voted to ban cities from hiking the minimum wage. The bill prohibits local governments from instituting ordinances to raise the minimum wage. It also bans doing it through ballot initiatives. Supporters of the bill, including Rep. Luke Malek, R-Coeur d’Alene, say it’s not about wages, it’s about keeping laws uniform across the state. “When it comes to minimum wage, a patchwork approach is bad policy. Wages in Idaho can’t be resolved adequately by a heavy-handed approach...

Lacey Daley / Boise State Public Radio

The Warhawk Air Museum in Nampa has been recording the stories of Idaho veterans for more than a decade. It’s part of the Library of Congress and its Veterans History Project. Each veteran tells their story on video as a way to preserve the history of their service in their own words. Now the museum has gone a step further, with a new book that captures those stories in pictures and print. Bob Sobba helped record the veterans and came up with the idea of a book. He helped take 61 of the 900...

Ada County Statehouse Capitol Building Secretary of State Denney
Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho’s Secretary of State says he won’t put up billboards advertising the state’s Democratic caucus on March 22. Lawerence Denney came under fire this week from the Idaho Democratic Party, which objects to 22 state-funded billboards that advertise the state’s presidential primary on March 8. The primary is solely for the Republican and Constitution parties, after Democrats chose to hold their event at a later time. The Democrats say the billboards are misleading and unfair because they don’t...

Jeff Youngstrom / Flickr

In the span of a week, lawmakers in the Idaho House voted to ban cities and counties from banning plastic grocery bags and took up a bill that could ban cities from increasing the minimum wage. That’s after Hailey residents voted five years ago on a bag ban, and McCall residents voted last year on a higher minimum wage. Supporters of both pieces of legislation say they're business friendly bills that would keep laws the same across the state. Gary Moncrief is a Distinguished Professor...

Jeffrey Johnson

There’s a volcano in Guatemala that erupts on a regular basis, so regular that some scientists call it the “Old Faithful” of volcanoes. That makes it very popular with people who study volcanoes, like Boise State Professor Jeffrey Johnson. Thanks to a grant from the National Science Foundation, Johnson recently led 60 researchers from Mexico, France, Italy and the United Kingdom to conduct different studies on the volcano. He returned last month and says the work being done in Guatemala could...

USGS

Just ten miles from downtown Boise, scientists are studying golden eagle migration in southwest Idaho. And they’re using roadkill to do it. Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey, Boise State University and Idaho Fish and Game created a series of motion-sensitive camera traps. They drag a 250-pound road-killed elk through the snow to the trap and leave. The cameras do the work, snapping pictures of whatever scavenger comes by for a snack. This site, and hundreds of others put up by the...

Bureau of Land Management

The Bureau of Land Management says it’s close to releasing its Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, or EIS, on the last two segments of the Gateway West Project . That means the creation of the 990 mile long power line across Idaho and Wyoming is one step closer to construction. The power line would run from Glenrock , Wyoming to Melba, southwest of Boise. The project, put together by Idaho Power and Rocky Mountain Power, has been in the works for several years. The companies...

Wildlife Conservation Society

The future of grizzly bears could change this year, if the animals who frequent Yellowstone National Park are taken off the Endangered Species List. As more animals move outside the park, groups like the Wildlife Conservation Society, or WCS , are looking at where the bears go. A new study looks at how black and grizzly bears are expanding into habitat in Idaho outside of Yellowstone National Park and how they may interact with humans. WCS hopes the study will provide data to land managers...

Courtesy of American Center for Law and Justice

Update, 3:42: Naghmeh Abedini filed court documents to legally separate from him the same day he returned home to Idaho.

An American pastor who was imprisoned for nearly four years in Iran returned home to Boise on Tuesday. And his wife has filed legal papers to keep her children in Idaho. KBOI-TV reports that Saeed Abedini landed around 4:40 p.m. on a private plane. The 35-year-old Abedini spent the last five days with his parents and sister at a secluded retreat in Asheville,...

Ryan Zehm / NurFace Games

It’s a rags to riches story, starring a Boise man who lost it all, then found his way back through video games. Now Ryan Zehm owns and operates a thriving gaming company called NurFace Games . A few years ago, Zehm went from working at a top tech company to living at a Boise homeless shelter. Now, he’s telling his story of how his perseverance and a little help from the Boise Public Library brought him back from the brink. Zehm’s story starts at Hewlett Packard in Boise where he had a good...

Rich Brown

One of the signature events of the annual McCall Winter Carnival is the giant images carved in blocks of snow. But many people don’t know that the Carnival hosts two separate snow sculpting competitions. One is sponsored by local businesses and teams can use power tools and chicken wire to build their masterpieces. The other contest is the Idaho State Snow Sculpting Championship. This contest is more rigid: no power tools or wire, and the competition can get quite intense. Sculptor Rich Brown...

Courtesy of University of Idaho Photographic Services

Exercise is something we often talk about in January, usually in the context of getting healthier. But here in Idaho, biologists and engineers are looking for ways to get fish more exercise. Specifically - trout, salmon, and steelhead raised in hatcheries. The idea is to force fish to work out so they're in better shape - and more likely to live - once they're released. Right now, hatchery fish are raised in long, rectangular tanks called raceways. The tanks are hard to clean and sweeping out...

Idaho Transportation Department

From the streets around the Broadway Bridge replacement project in Boise, you can just catch a glimpse of a construction vehicle or a crane. The Idaho Transportation Departmen t has given us a different view, right over the top of the construction site. The bridge was oringally built back in 1892. It was replaced in 1956. Fifty years later, ITD says the bridge is showing wear and tear and it's time to remove and replace it. The new bridge will have more traffic lanes, along with bike lanes...

Idaho Transportation Department

Replacing the Broadway Bridge is about to get very noisy. The Idaho Transportation Department says crews will start pile driving Wednesday morning. Pile driving is when steel beams are mounted on a crane and driven into the ground. Each pile is 65-feet long. A total of 168 piles will be hammered deep into the river bed to support the bridge foundation. ITD says drivers and neighbors will hear a lot of noise over the next four to six weeks. Crews will drill the piles into the ground seven days...

Bryce W. Robinson

What can the world’s largest falcon tell us about climate change? That’s the question one Boise researcher is asking in an article published this month in Audubon Magazine . Bryce Robinson is a Gyrfalcon field researcher and a graduate student at Boise State University. Working with the Peregrine Fund, he’s been studying Gyrfalcons in western Alaska for two years. Robinson studied the birds for his Master’s thesis. If the conditions are right, these giant birds have been known to spend some...

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