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.


2:46 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Sequester Hits Mountain Home Air Force Base

An F-15E Strike Eagle from the 391st Fighter Squadron.
Credit Official U.S. Air Force

The federal budget cuts, known as sequestration, have hit Mountain Home Air Force Base.  Officials announced today that one of their fighter squadrons will curtail flying operations.

The 391st Squadron, known as the Bold Tigers, stopped flying their planes yesterday.  The stand down will remain in effect through the end of the fiscal year in September. 

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12:49 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Water Main Flushing Starts Next Week In Boise

Credit hatrick / Flickr

United Water Idaho plans to flush its pipes, starting next week.  Workers will flush water through more than 1,200 miles of water mains in and around Boise. 

Spokesman Mark Snider says it happens every year. “The purpose is to scour out the water mains, remove any iron or manganese that may have deposited in the mains over the winter months,” says Snider.  “It’s just a way to clear out the system and ensure that during our peak demand in the Spring and Summer, there’s no build-up in the pipes.”

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Idaho History
6:00 am
Tue April 9, 2013

New Book Highlights History Of Treasure Valley Trolley

Credit John Aguirre

Five years ago Boise Mayor David Bieter proposed a $60 million trolley for downtown Boise.  When federal funds for the project didn't come through, the project was put on indefinite hold. 

The Treasure Valley actually had an electric railway that linked Boise, Meridian, Eagle, Nampa, Caldwell, and Middleton many years ago. That story unfolds in a new pictorial history book called the “Treasure Valley’s Electric Railway.” Barbara Perry Bauer is one of the authors and she says the trolley started more than 100 years ago.

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Alzheimer's Disease
3:38 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Idaho Lawmakers Asked To Consider Statewide Alzheimer’s Plan

Boise State University professor Troy Rohn is a member of the Idaho Alzheimer's Planning Group
Credit Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Last year, we told you about a group of stakeholders working together to create a state plan to help Alzheimer’s patients and their families.  The Idaho Alzheimer's Planning Group has now released that plan. 

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Amanda Knox Trial
4:11 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Idaho DNA Expert Shocked That Amanda Knox Faces A New Trial

Amanda Knox reacts at the announce of the verdict of her appeal trial in the Meredith Kercher' murder on October 3, 2011at Perugia's court.
Credit TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images / Flickr

Italy's highest criminal court Tuesday overturned Amanda Knox’s acquittal in the slaying of her British roommate and ordered a new trial.  An appeals court in Florence must re-hear the case against the American student and her Italian ex-boyfriend Raffaelle Sollecito for the murder of Meredith Kercher. 

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6:00 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Spray Now To Reduce Highway Fires This Summer In Idaho

Wildfire along I-84 in July of last year.
Credit Idaho Transportation Department

A new program to spray along Interstate 84 ahead of wildfire season is aimed at reducing fires and costs.

Last year, 16 fires started along I-84 between milepost 60 and 110.  Those fires burned more than 5,000 acres. The Bureau of Land Management spent more than $280,000 to fight them.  That doesn’t include what other agencies spent helping to put those fires out.

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Republican Party
12:56 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Idaho Senator Crapo Says GOP Needs To Reach Out To Hispanics

Idaho Senator Mike Crapo
Credit Courtesy of Sen. Mike Crapo's office

After months of self-examination following last year's election losses, the Republican National Committee released a self-assessment this week.  The R-N-C issued a 100-page report that outlines dozens of recommendations to make the GOP a more welcoming and inclusive party.

The report says Republicans "must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform," and reach out to Hispanics.

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Hunger In Idaho
6:00 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Idaho Foodbank Classes Help Stretch Food Dollars

Instructor Jessyca Tyler gets ready for her Cooking Matters class.
Samantha Wright Boise State Public Radio

As of January, more than 231,000 people in Idaho were on food stamps, now known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP.  The average Idaho recipient receives about $128 per month.  For many, that’s not enough, and they rely on food pantries and family members for help.  The Idaho Foodbank has a program designed to teach nutrition and food budgeting to those on limited incomes.

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Food Stamps
7:00 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Mapping Food Insecurity And Food Stamp Use In Idaho

In January, 231,647 people in Idaho were on food stamps.  The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, helps low-income families.  But in Idaho, 17 percent of people are food insecure.  The hunger relief charity Feeding America says they don’t have access to enough food for an active, healthy life. 

Click on a county to find out how many people are on food stamps, and how many are food insecure.

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4:57 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Mobile Pantry Helps Bridge The Food Gap In Idaho Towns

The Idaho Foodbank's Chico McKinney loads 8,000 pounds of food into the truck headed for Weiser.
Samantha Wright Boise State Public Radio

In Idaho, 17 percent of people don’t have access to enough food for an active, healthy life.  That’s according to the hunger relief charity Feeding America.  The Idaho Foodbank tries to help by partnering with food pantries around the state.  But when there’s no pantry available, residents are left unserved.  That's where the Foodbank's mobile service comes in. 

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Idaho History
3:36 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Hells Canyon Mail Boats Give Insight Into Idaho's Past

Mail Boat on the Snake River
Credit From the Kyle McGrady collection, courtesy of Bob McGrady

Early in the last century, people living in Hells Canyon didn't have much contact with the outside world.  Their lifeline were  the mail boats that braved the challenging Snake River.  Former Lewis Clark State College professor Carole Simon-Smolinski has been studying Hells Canyon. She'll talk about the mail boat tradition tonight in Boise.  She says the boats started running around 100 years ago.

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1:52 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

At High Profile CPAC, Labrador Lays Out Immigration Plan

Raul Labrador

Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador joined the GOP's biggest stars Thursday morning as thousands of conservatives and tea party activists gather near Washington DC.

The Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, offers Republican leaders a high-profile stage to talk about issues, including immigration.

Labrador told CPAC members that conservatives need a grander vision for immigration reform.  He laid out a three-point plan.

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Catholic Church
2:30 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Boise Diocese Confident New Pope Can Guide The Church

St. Peter's Square
Credit ell brown / Flickr

Argentine Jorge Bergoglio has been elected pope, the first ever from the Americas and the first from outside Europe in more than a millennium. He chose the name Pope Francis.

After announcing "Habemus Papum" — "We have a pope!" — a cardinal standing on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica on Wednesday revealed the identity of the new pontiff, using his Latin name.

Bergoglio had reportedly finished second in the 2005 conclave that produced Benedict XVI — who last month became the first pope to resign in 600 years.

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8:00 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Nampa Man Publishes E-Book For His Daughter

Randy Jamison and his daughter Jubilee
Credit Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

A Nampa man has taken his skills with computers and turned a children’s bedtime story into a new interactive e-book.  The work is a labor of love, literally.  The book is a legacy for his daughter who was the inspiration for the main character.

Randy Jamison reads the interactive e-book “Jubitron: The Girl Robot” with his nine-year-old daughter Jubilee.  “Isn’t this your favorite page?” asks Jamison.  “Yeah, it’s another one of my favorites,” says Jubilee.

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5:32 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Republican Lawmaker Wants To Expand Medicaid In Idaho

Thomas F. Loertscher
Credit State of Idaho

A Republican lawmaker says he will bring forward a bill to expand Idaho's Medicaid program this week. That's after Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter said lawmakers should wait on the issue.

Rep. Tom Loertscher (R-Bone) plans to introduce two bills on Thursday.

One would dissolve Idaho's Catastrophic Health Care Program. That's the program that helps medically indigent Idahoans who don't qualify for state or federal health care aid.

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1:43 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Sequester Imminent, Otter Says Federal Spending Is Dangerous

Credit State of Idaho

The White House says automatic spending reductions will be put off until late this evening.  President Obama must issue the order for $85 billion in cuts sometime today.  And White House press secretary Jay Carney says that means midnight, because Obama remains "ever hopeful." 

Idaho Governor Butch Otter weighed in on the cuts known as the sequester yesterday.  He was on the east coast, speaking to a meeting of Farmers Insurance officials.

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6:00 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Fellowship And Tradition Go Into Pie Making For Lent In Boise

Alan Terrill and Lois Boulware roll out pie crusts in the Tuttle House kitchen
Samantha Wright Boise State Public Radio

The season of Lent often means abstaining from an indulgence, a time of doing without.  But for the pie makers at St. Michael’s Episcopal Cathedral in Boise and their Lenten Lunch, it’s a time of fellowship and tradition.  Using recipes that have been handed down for almost 40 years, the pies are a favorite at the Friday event.

Sally Terrill rolls out pie crusts. “This will be either a coconut cream or a chocolate pie.”

Alongside Sally is her husband, Alan. “Oh, I’ve been here, how many years?”

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12:03 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Crapo Says Senate Will Try And Fail To Stop Sequestration Today

Credit Mike Crapo

Sequestration is looming, with the across-the-board $85 billion federal budget cuts now less than a day away.  Among those watching closely to see what happens is Idaho Senator Mike Crapo.

As the deadline gets closer, Crapo expects several attempts to hold off sequestration.  He’s heard of at least three bills that will come up for a vote. “One will be on the President’s proposal to avoid the sequestration by raising taxes and setting off some of the sequestration by agreeing not to do it.” 

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2013 Legislature
4:34 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

Idaho Legislature Could Take Up Hot Topics This Week Including Ed Funding

It's a busy week for lawmakers under the Rotunda in the Idaho Statehouse.
Credit Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho lawmakers have been in session for nearly three months and there's still a lot to get done before legislators can go home. The Governor’s health insurance exchange survived a vote in the Senate. Now the House will consider the state-based exchange this week. There are also several education and gun bills that are working their way through the legislative process.  

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2013 Legislature
4:19 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Idaho Lawmakers Take Up Gun Rights, Education, State Employee Pay This Week

Credit Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho lawmakers didn’t stop for President’s Day Monday. Gun rights, education and state employee paychecks  are all issues that will come up this week.  Betsy Russell writes the Eye on Boise blog for the Spokesman Review. We caught up with Russell to get her take on how this week will play out at the statehouse. Russell says she's watching the debate over raises for state employees today.

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