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.

Gary Lane / Wapiti River Guides

This picture has been popping up on social media. It’s an unusual phenomenon known as an “ice circle.” And this one was spotted by an Idaho river guide who snapped this picture while heading out for a hunting trip several years ago.

Gary Lane is a river guide and photographer. He and his wife Barb run Wapiti River Guides out of Riggins. He took the photo in 2009.

“I was driving up the road along the Salmon River above Riggins and I saw that ice circle, so of course I had to get out and take a picture of it,” Lane says.

Jerry Mathes

A writer from Idaho has won a North American Book Award. Author Jerry Mathes won the best memoir award for his book “Ahead of the Flaming Front: A Life on Fire.”

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

The little known Land and Water Conservation Fund turns 50 this year. The federal program has dispersed $17 billion over its lifetime. But now its future, and its mission of conserving open space in places like Idaho, is in limbo. Congress has let the fund lapse, and lawmakers are proposing some major changes.

JUMP

It has been called a creative center and a community gathering place. Now primary construction is complete and JUMP is about to open its doors to the Boise community.

JUMP, or Jack’s Urban Meeting Place, was built by the J. R. Simplot Foundation in honor of Jack Simplot. He died in 2008, and since then the foundation and the Simplot family have been working to get JUMP built near the connector in downtown Boise.

Roger Phillips / Idaho Department of Fish and Game

It was a bad year for endangered sockeye salmon making their way home on the Columbia River. Unusually warm water in Northwest Rivers this summer killed off most of the returning fish. But quick action by fish managers means the few that survived could produce a record number of smolts.

This year was supposed to be a record run, with 4,000 fish headed home to Idaho from the Pacific Ocean. But in early July, water temperatures heated up in the Columbia system and the fish started to die off.

Idaho Transportation Department

The Broadway Bridge is the preferred route for thousands of cars each day. But commuters will have to find a different route once the bridge closes down January 4.

"Idaho Microbes"

They’re in craft beer made in McCall, mountain streams in the Idaho back country and dairy farms near Twin Falls. Microbes are all over the state of Idaho and they’re the focus of a new book on the tiny, single-celled organisms.

The book “Idaho Microbes” takes readers on a journey around the state to learn how different microbes affect day-to-day life in Idaho.

Idaho author Steve Stuebner teamed up with Boise State University scientists to write the book. He says it looks at microbes that everyone in Idaho needs to know about.

National Weather Service Boise

The first big winter storm of the season is headed for southern Idaho. The National Weather Service in Boise says a storm is moving in from the Pacific and will bring rain first and then snow.

Josh Smith is a meteorologist in Boise. He says the rain will start Tuesday night in the Treasure Valley. “And then that will be switching to snow probably around 7 or 8 a.m., maybe a little bit later than that, and then we’ll see up to an inch of snow in the Boise Metro area,” Smith says.

Most of the snow will hit Wednesday.

jah / Flickr

The District that keeps irrigation water flowing to Ada and Canyon County has sent out a final warning to 83 people to pay up or face losing their homes.

The Nampa and Meridian Irrigation District (NMID) provides irrigation water to 69,000 acres of farmland, homes and commercial property. Every year, it charges property owners a tax, to pay for upkeep on the canals, laterals, drains and dams in the water system. Many owners don’t realize they owe the tax, even if they don’t use the irrigation water.

The Nature Conservancy

Since Congress let the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) expire in September, conservationists have been trying to get it re-authorized.

Idaho Capitol, statehouse
Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Supporters of refugees in Idaho are holding a rally Saturday, in response to the attacks in Paris and to send a message to state lawmakers.

The group's Facebook page, the Rally For Solidarity With Refugees in Idaho, says it “is simply a meeting for Idahoans to express their solidarity with refugees from Syria and the rest of the world.”

Daniel X. O'Eneil / Flickr

The Boise Bench needs more green spaces and more places for people to gather and connect. Those are two findings in a new study of the area, conducted by Utah State University. Researchers from the university will present their findings Friday at Boise City Hall.

Working with the city, a team from Utah State has been studying the Bench and mapping a future plan for growth.

For the past few months, students from the university have been talking to stakeholders in the area. They’re working on a 30-year plan to make the Bench more of a community.

Idaho State Historical Society

When you think of Boise, what names come to mind? That’s the question two local historians asked themselves as they wrote a book about Boise's highest profile people.

J.R. Simplot, Julia Davis, Joe Albertson, Curtis Stigers and Kristin Armstrong are just some of those profiled in the new book, “Legendary Locals of Boise.”

Historians Elizabeth Jacox and Barbara Perry Bauer own TAG Historical Research and Consulting. Jacox says their book covers a wide variety of people.

Friends and family of Idaho folksinger Rosalie Sorrels are raising money for a tribute album to honor her work as a musician.

“This album will be a tribute to her and her long career in folk music,” says Rick Ardinger, the Director of the Idaho Humanities Council and friend of Sorrels.

Sorrels spent more than six decades keeping folk music alive. Ardinger says he first saw her perform in the 1970s when he was a student at Idaho State University and she played in a coffeehouse.

Jeremy Brooks / Flickr

AAA Idaho says check your trunk – you may not have a spare tire. A relatively new trend by car manufacturers leaves the spare and the jack by the roadside, as it were, in an effort to get better gas mileage.

Over the last ten years, car makers have been getting rid of the 30-pound spare tire to help meet tougher federal fuel standards. A new study by AAA says more than one in three cars being made today simply don't have a spare.

Craig Gehrke / The Wilderness Society

Back on August 7th, President Obama signed a bill that turned 275,000 acres of the Boulder-White Cloud Mountains into wilderness.

The law creates three wilderness areas in Blaine and Custer counties. Conservationists like Craig Gehrke, director of the Idaho office of the Wilderness Society, says the wilderness designation was a long time coming.

Land Trust of the Treasure Valley

A group of volunteers will be out in force Saturday to give the Boise Foothills a collective hug. That’s what the YMCA and the Land Trust of the Treasure Valley are calling trail restoration in Harrison Hollow.

“Now and then it just needs some tender loving care, and that’s what we’re doing, we’re lending a hand for the land,” says Rich Jarvis with the YMCA Togetherhood program. He says maintaining trails in the Foothills is no easy task.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho is more than 82 percent white. Just 12 percent of the state is Hispanic or Latino, and less than one percent of residents are African American.

The U.S. Census numbers also say, when it comes to business, the state lacks diversity. Hispanic-owned businesses make up just 2.6 percent of firms in Idaho. African American-owned businesses are at just .2 percent.

Boise Parks and Recreation Department

This year, the Boise Train Depot turned 90-years-old. The city has been holding tours to highlight the history of the depot. Two tours are set for this Sunday.

Eriks Garsvo is a walking history of the depot. He’s a Boise history and train buff who works with the Boise Parks and Recreation Department. He leads the Boise Depot tours and dresses in a full conductor’s uniform to get into the spirit of the time period.

Boise State University Special Collections and Archives

It was 65 years ago, deep in the Idaho wilderness, when one woman took poetry, turned it into music, and recorded it. Her collection of songs and poems lives on to this day, thanks in part to one dogged researcher and a librarian, both of whom wanted to share this special music with the world.

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