Samantha Wright

News Reporter/Show Producer

Samantha Wright is a news reporter and the host for Boise State Public Radio's new weekly podcast, "Legislative Breakdown".

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.

BOISE, ID –Idaho ranks in the top five for growth in the U.S. in the last decade. That’s according to Census data.  That growth brings an increasing demand for power not just here but around the country.  Transmission lines are needed to handle additional electricity. So some power companies want to build new lines through the Gem state including Idaho Power and Wyoming- based Rocky Mountain Power.

WWI Comes to Boise

Oct 21, 2011


BOISE, ID – World War I comes to Boise in the back of a semi-truck.  The “Honoring Our History” traveling exhibition rolls into Boise Sunday.  It’s part of a 75 city tour put on by a financial planning company.   Bryan Scamman is with Waddell and Reed.  He says the company has close ties to the first World War.


BOISE, Id – Zoo Boise’s sloth bear is the catalyst for helping bear conservation efforts in India.  That’s where sloth bears struggle to survive.

Zoo Boise is renovating its Sloth bear exhibit.  That means better surroundings for Paji, the seven year old female at the Zoo.  But the renovation will also help her wild cousins in India.  Steve Burns is the Director of Zoo Boise.

BOISE, Id – Idaho’s last major earthquake happened in 1983.  The Borah Peak Quake killed two children and caused millions of dollars in damage.  But safety officials say many Idahoans are not prepared for the next big quake.  Thursday, thousands will take part in an earthquake drill.

At 10:20 Thursday morning, people in Idaho, Oregon, Nevada, and California, will hear this message on some radio and television stations.

BOISE, Id – Idaho has new political lines for legislative and congressional districts.  The redistricting commission wrapped up business Monday with the congressional map. Redistricting happens every ten years after a census.  It’s meant to make sure population numbers are equal in each district. Samantha Wright talked with Boise State University Political Science Professor Gary Moncrief.  He''s been following this process of re-drawing the state''s political boundaries.  Moncrief says this commission, unlike the first one, got the job done quickly.

Testing Cantaloupe

Oct 13, 2011

BOISE, Id – As of this week, there are 109 reported cases of Listeria from cantaloupe.  21 people have died during the nationwide outbreak.  Cantaloupe’s rough skin can gather all kinds of bacteria.  But identifying contaminated fruit before it gets to your table isn’t easy.  University of Idaho students may have a solution.

Boise K9 Retires

Oct 6, 2011

BOISE, Id – One of Boise’s finest officially retired Thursday.

Patricia Braddock “This is a bittersweet day here at the Boise Police Department.”

That’s Deputy Chief Patricia Braddock.

Patricia Braddock “Today we retire and honor one of the most if not the best accomplished police service dog in the history of the Boise Police Department.”

Braddock’s talking about Blek, a ten year old black and tan German Shepherd.  Blek’s handler is Officer Mike Nance.  He says when Blek isn’t chasing down suspects, he sniffs out illegal drugs.

BOISE, Id – Idaho’s new Medicaid processing system is getting better.  That’s the word Tuesday from the Department of Health and Welfare to a group of lawmakers.  The company that handles the system has worked to improve its track record, after a bumpy start last year.

BOISE, Id – The Second Idaho Redistricting Commission was sworn in Wednesday.  Its job is to draw Idaho’s new political maps.  The First Commission couldn’t get this done in its three-month window.  The New Commission got underway with some words of wisdom.

Ben Ysursa “Welcome, and it is a very serious task, you have a daunting task in front of you.”

Secretary of State Ben Ysursa had that warning for the New Commissioners, before he swore them into office. [start hot, fade under quickly]


BOISE, Id – A group of lawmakers got together Thursday to consider what would happen if Idaho set up a health insurance exchange.  The Federal Health Care act requires states to implement some sort of exchange program by 2014.

The definition of a health insurance exchange was first up for the House Health and Welfare Committee.  Matthew Ellsworth looks at it this way.

BOISE, Id – Today the Second Idaho Redistricting Commission will be sworn in.  The group will work to redraw the state’s political boundaries.  The first Commission failed to do this in its allotted ninety days.  But Idaho isn’t the only Western state running behind.

It’s round two for the Idaho Redistricting Commission.  New commissioners were sworn in on Wednesday, September 28th.

SHAUNEEN GRANGE-D has worked in Idaho politics in the state, county, and municipal levels. She was part of the staff of the 2001 Redistricting Commission. She has served as the Chief of Staff for the House Minority Leader, as Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Boise, and as Field Director for the effort that resulted in the College of Western Idaho.

The final large group of the 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team touched down in Idaho today.  120 soldiers came back to Boise, Twin Falls, and Idaho Falls from Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) in Washington.  In addition, about 40 Idahoans remain at JBLM in the U.S. Army’s Warrior Transition Unit.  Those soldiers will stay there attending to medical needs for as long as necessary, although most should be back in their Idaho homes in the coming weeks.  The soldiers spent nine months in Iraq.

BOISE, Id – While Republican and Democratic officials have been picking names for a brand new Redistricting Commission, the old Commission has been working behind the scenes.  Monday the Old Commissioners stepped forward and submitted a plan to redraw Idaho’s political boundaries.  But it turns out the old Commission’s power ran out when its term of office did.

BOISE, Id –Saturday marks the 24th Annual Idaho Veterans Olympics.  Every year, veterans and more than 700 volunteers take over the grounds of the Veterans Home off Fort Street.  Phil Hawkins is the Volunteer Activities Coordinator at the Idaho State Veterans Home.  And he’s chairing the Olympics.   Hawkins says the day starts with a Parade of Athletes and the lighting of the torch.