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.

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."

Idaho State Historical Society

An effort to save and restore a 120-year-old downtown Boise mansion hit a snag at auction Friday.

Samantha Martin has been working with Preservation Idaho to prevent the Fowler house from being demolished. Her original plan was to raise enough cash buy the land across the street from the house at 5th and Myrtle and relocate it there.

Adam Dressler

Do you sometimes feel like you have too much stuff cluttering up your life?  Can 20 pairs of shoes really make you happy? Two Northwest authors say maybe not. 

Joshua Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus are childhood best friends who had normal, 20-something lives.  They had good jobs, homes, cars, clothes, and gadgets. But one day they figured out all that stuff wasn’t making them happy. So they got rid of it. Now they live simply in Montana, and travel the country spreading the word of Minimalism.

Jeff Myers / Flickr

Boise National Forest officials are warning drivers to stay off snow-covered forest roads.

Boise National Forest spokesman David Olson says drivers are finding lower elevations are clear, until they start climbing higher into the forest.

Lochsa River, water, Idaho
Keith Ewing | Idaho Fish and Game / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho's Clearwater and Lochsa rivers have made it on a list of top 10 most endangered rivers in America. The list is put out every year by American Rivers, an advocacy group that works to protect and restore rivers in the U.S.

Idaho State Historical Society

Parts of downtown Boise were once covered with stately homes and mansions full of history. Slowly, those homes have disappeared, and have been replaced with new development. One woman is working to save one of those remaining historic homes, the Fowler house at 5th and Myrtle, from demolition.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

If you've hiked around Boise's foothills, you've likely come across a pile or two of dog poop. In February, there were 104 piles of waste at the Table Rock trailhead. Data show (yes, it's being tracked) those piles fluctuate from year to year, but the problem persists.

money, dollars, wages
401(K)2013 / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho's average wage increased by almost 20 cents last year. But wage growth isn't keeping up with the national average. 

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Employment Survey finds Idaho's average hourly wage for all jobs was $18.67 last year, that's up 19 cents from 2012. Still, Idaho's average wage was almost 84 percent of the national average, which is $22.33 an hour.  

The survey also found that half of Idaho's hourly employees earned $14.68 or less in 2013. That's a 10 cent increase from 2012. 

St. Luke's Health System

St. Luke's Health System has been handed a $10 million bill for a lawsuit the hospital lost, according to the Idaho Statesman.  

Karen Day

Idaho filmmaker Karen Day has a new documentary, featuring college students making a difference in the world. 

cans
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

The chemical BPA, or bisphenol A, is commonly found in plastics, soup cans, and store receipts. Scientists continue to study how the chemical affects people. New research from the University of Idaho may sound a cautionary note for humans. 

Gordon Murdoch is an associate professor of physiology at the University of Idaho. He focused on fetal heart development in rhesus monkeys.

For the study, pregnant monkeys were fed fruit containing BPA. “Our question was did it affect the genes in the fetal heart?” he asked, “And to our surprise and dismay, it did.”

Casey Greene / Adventure Cycling Association

Soaking in an Idaho hot springs may be the perfect way to wrap up a challenging mountain bike ride. The Adventure Cycling Association has combined the two activities into one, with the “Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route.” It’s a two-map set that takes bikers through 518 miles and 50 hot springs in central Idaho.

Toby Hemenway
Toby Hemenway

Home gardeners are often frustrated by Idaho’s dry climate. Finding the plants best suited for your garden is not always easy. Toby Hemenway is an author who teaches and writes about permaculture and sustainable gardens and he’s coming to Boise.

“Rather than try to learn permaculture from a theoretical point of view, or try to understand it all, it’s a lot easier to just get involved in one aspect of it,” Hemenway says.

He says water conservation is an easy, gateway into learning permaculture.

avalanche, map
Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center

An avalanche in the Sawtooth National Forest killed one man and injured a woman Sunday afternoon at a popular snowmobile site in the Smiley Creek area north of Ketchum. The avalanche west of Galena Summit buried four snowmobilers early in the afternoon.

The Blaine County Sheriff's Office says 64-year-old George Gilbert Martin Jr. of Bellevue, Idaho died on the scene.

Sawtooth Avalanche Center director Simon Trautman says the four snowmobilers were in a meadow which they thought was safe.

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