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.

Add The Words
Frankie Barnhill / For Boise State Public Radio

During the legislative session, dozens of people protested inside and outside the Idaho Capitol against discrimination. Monday is their chance to stand up in court and say why they did it.

photonut-mi / Flickr

The last few days have been scorchers, and the National Weather Service says the heat will continue at least into next week. Everyone is looking for ways to stay cool.

One spot that should always provide respite is your home. Idaho Power has these tips on how to keep your house cool, while saving a little money on air conditioning.

Greg Dusic / U.S. Forest Service

Fifty years ago, the Wilderness Act was signed into law, setting aside large areas of land in their natural state. Today, almost 110 million acres have been designated as wilderness by the U.S. Congress.

Idaho is celebrating the milestone with a lecture series in the shadow of the Sawtooth Wilderness Area, sandwiched between Atlanta and Stanley.

Allan / Flickr

More Idaho babies are being born outside of marriage than ever before, and the state's marriage rate is at a 60-year low, that's according to a recent report from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

The latest Vital Statistics Annual Report is for 2012 and it covers everything from births, population, marriages, and deaths.

Dave Bieter
Dave Bieter's Facebook Page / City of Boise

Boise Mayor David Bieter announced Friday that SkyWest Airlines is opening a maintenance facility at the Boise Airport.

During his annual State of the City speech, Bieter said the facility will use an existing hangar at the Jackson Jet Center. “While we’re not sure yet the total number of jobs, we do know they will be able to service three large planes every night,” Bieter says. “And the wages they will pay will serve a family well.”

Boise VA Medical Center

In the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' medical scandal that's forced patients to wait for care, a new audit shows Boise’s VA Medical Center scored well in some areas, and not so well in others.

Matthew Podolsky

For the last 35 years, Al Larson has been helping bluebirds thrive in Idaho. He loves bluebirds. He’s known around birding circles as Idaho’s “bluebird man.” “That’s what they call me. I haven’t sprouted wings yet,” Larson chuckles.

Ada County Highway District

This post was updated June 6 at 4:00 p.m.

The temporary bike lanes in downtown Boise are going away.  That's according to the Boise Weekly.  The Ada County Highway District met again this afternoon to reconsider a Wednesday vote that killed the bike lane project.

The Idaho Military Museum is back open for business after being closed since October 2013.  

The museum started at Gowen Field in the late 1980s and eventually moved off base into a nearby warehouse. 

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Most of the people who use the Boise Greenbelt have a college degree. And last year, more people used it on weekdays. Those are two big conclusions from two years’ worth of surveys on the 45-year-old trail system.

Jaap Vos is director of the Community and Regional Planning Program at Boise State University. BSU has done surveys on the Greenbelt two years in 2012 and 2013.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

In June 1944, Robert Haga was on board the USS Chickadee in the waters off of Normandy. Now, a Boise resident, Haga is one of the D-Day veterans featured in a new NOVA special on PBS, "D-Day’s Sunken Secrets."

In the program, a team of experts explores the sea beds along the coastline of Normandy from above and below the water, inviting veterans like Haga along for the journey.

Ada County Highway District

The results are neck-and-neck, but a slim majority of people who've responded to an Ada County Highway District survey want downtown Boise's temporary bike lanes gone.  

Those commuting downtown either love or hate the new lanes on Capitol, Main, and Idaho streets in Boise. Since the Ada County Highway District started the pilot project earlier in May, they’ve been collecting feedback from bikers and drivers.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Two Boise men have been indicted on federal hate crime charges for allegedly assaulting an African-American man last year. U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson says the victim, known in court documents as D.L., was severely beaten in October 2013 at the Torch 2 Lounge in Boise. Authorities are not releasing the victim's name or age to protect his privacy.

Jonathan Henery, 28, and Beau Hansen, 30, both of Boise, have been charged with a hate crime. Olson says the assault was racially motivated. She says her office, the FBI, and the Boise Police Department have been partners in this case.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

In a 2010 public policy survey by Boise State University, people were asked which level of government they most trust. The federal government lagged far behind state and local entities.

Steve Swanson / NASA

Tuesday morning, Boise State University students will speak with astronauts aboard the International Space Station. They’ll get to ask the crew 20 questions. It’s all part of BSU’s Space Symposium.

All semester, BSU Space Broncos have been engaging with NASA, chatting online and taking part in the space agency’s research and programs. That work is culminating with a live chat with NASA astronauts Steve Swanson and Rick Mastracchio.

Boise, Air Quality
Thomas Hawk / Flickr Creative Commons

An American Lung Associate report finds Idaho still has work to do when it comes to good air quality. The “State of the Air 2014” report shows Ada County has seen an increase in year-round particle pollution compared to last year’s report.

medical image
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho's health insurance exchange announced Monday that more than 76,000 Idahoans have signed up for coverage through the new online marketplace created through the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. 

“We are very, very pleased with the outcomes for our six months of the launch of Your Health Idaho,” said Executive Director Amy Dowd.

Dowd says the Congressional Budget Office wanted to have 40,000 Idahoans sign up through the exchange during the first six-month open-enrollment period. Your Health Idaho exceeded that target by more than 36,000 people.

Eviction
Phil Atlakson

In Cambodia, a group of women have started a movement to save their homes from destruction. For the past two years, Boise State University Theater Arts Professor Phil Atlakson and his son Garret have been filming their story.

Atlakson is the producer of the short film “Eviction.” His son is the director. It features the ongoing fight in Cambodia between homeowners and government-backed corporations who are demolishing villager’s homes to create new developments.

This post was updated on April 21. 

Filmmaker Karen Day says she made her Kickstarter goal, with 12 hours to spare. Day needed $26,000 to wrap up editing and finish up the documentary,Nell Shipman: The Girl From God's Country.” She beat that goal, by $360. 

Day says, “We made it! Now, onward to post production!”

Original story was posted April 18.

Call Center Job Fair
Molly Messick / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho's unemployment rate has dropped to its lowest point since August 2008.  It dropped a tenth of a percent in March to 5.2 percent. 

Bob Fick is with the Idaho Department of Labor. He says the March data continues a trend that started a year and a half ago.

“We’ve seen job creation at two percent to three percent over the last 18 months, while the national rate has been about 1.5, 1.6 every month, year over year," Fick says. "So we’re creating jobs at a significant pace."

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