Scott Graf

News Director

Scott comes to BSPR from WFAE in Charlotte, N.C., where he served as local host of NPR’s “Morning Edition” for the past eight years. He began his new position as Morning Edition Host/Senior Editor for BSPR in 2012.

Scott is a multi-award winning host and reporter who was named the North Carolina Journalist of the Year in 2007. He has produced several feature stories for NPR news magazines and he contributes to WBUR's “Only a Game” sports program.

A federal official who helps oversee refugee resettlement in the U.S. says despite an effort to do away with a program in Twin Falls, he still thinks the city is a viable option for refugees.


The head of the Federal Aviation Administration was in Boise Monday. Director Michael Huerta spoke to the National Association of State Aviation Officials convention at the Boise Center. Prior to his comments there, Huerta visited the National Interagency Fire Center. 

The FAA and officials at NIFC have worked together to try and curb the issue of drones flying too close to aerial firefighting operations. Numerous times this year, air tankers and helicopters flying over wildfires had to be grounded because drones were discovered nearby.

Boise National Forest

Dozens of large wildfires are burning uncontained this week across several Western states. With so many fires, there are not nearly enough resources to go around.  Now, military personnel are being brought in to help fight fires.

Boise National Forest/USFS

The National Interagency Fire Center is calling on 200 active-duty military troops to help fight roughly 95 wildfires burning across the West.

Officials with the Boise-based agency made the announcement Monday. The troops will begin training Wednesday and are expected to be ready for action Sunday. They will be mobilized for a month. NIFC officials say previous call-ups have included more soldiers, but that the smaller force will be ready sooner. 

This is the first time NIFC has mobilized active duty military members for fire suppression efforts since 2006.

Idaho Democratic Party

Leaders of Idaho’s Democratic Party picked their next chairman Saturday. Bert Marley of McCammon replaces Larry Kenck, who resigned earlier this year for health reasons.

Marley, 67, is a former teacher and state lawmaker. He lost the lieutenant governor’s race last fall by 30 percentage points.  Democrats, in fact, lost all five statewide races. 

Marley spoke to KBSX’s Scott Graf Wednesday.  

Q: Considering the party’s recent struggles, what interested you in this job?

TheJesse / Flickr Creative Commons

Conservationists in Idaho continue to celebrate the designation of nearly 300,000 acres of wilderness area in the central part of the state. The U.S. Senate voted Tuesday to approve a bill that would designate large sections of the region as federally protected.

The vote was the second on the proposal in eight days.  The House passed the bill last week and President Obama is expected to sign it into law.

Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

After two years without one, Boise will soon have its next ombudsman in place.

Mayor David Bieter announced Friday that attorney Natalie Camacho Mendoza will assume the role on August 3, pending city council approval.  Council members are expected to approve the selection at their meeting Tuesday.

Camacho Mendoza is originally from Pocatello.  She’s been in Boise for 20 years and has practiced law for 26.  Her experience includes work as a defense attorney and prosecutor. 

Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho Power officials say a key part of the company's plan for supplying a growing number of customers in southern Idaho and eastern Oregon over the next two decades is maintaining 17 hydroelectric projects.

The company last week submitted its updated Integrated Resource Plan to the public utility commissions in both states, predicting an increase from 516,000 customers to 711,000 in 20 years.

Construction Worker
Molly Messick / StateImpact Idaho

Idaho workers saw the largest per capita income increase in the country in 2013, according to data recently released by the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis. The 2.4 percent increase was substantially higher than 0.1 percent increase seen nationally.

U.S. Forest Service

Drones are a growing concern for those who fight the nation’s wildfires, and the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) in Boise is again asking those who fly drones to keep them away from fires.

Twice last week, aerial firefights on the San Bernardino National Forest in southern California had to be suspended because of nearby Unmanned Aircraft Systems, or UAS.   

Mark Coyle is leaving Boise State for Syracuse.

The Iowa native who moved to Boise after stints and Minnesota and Kentucky, will be formally announced in his new role in New York Monday. 

Coyle took over the top athletic position at Boise State in late 2011. He replaced Gene Bleymaier, who was fired following compliance infractions that landed the university on NCAA probation. Syracuse is facing five years' probation. 

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

Historic Idaho City is dealing with the loss of five businesses just as its lucrative summer tourism season was getting underway. Officials say a fire started in Calamity Jane’s restaurant on Main Street sometime before 3 a.m. Friday. By the time firefighters extinguished the flames, most of a city block was ruined along with four other businesses. 

Wikimedia commons

 The eastern Idaho resident who wasn’t sure anyone would even bid on his 1988 Nobel Prize medal has seen his prize sell for $765,000.


Idaho’s Democratic Party will soon be under new leadership. The party announced Tuesday that Chairman Larry Kenck will resign effective May 29.  Kenck says health issues are forcing him to leave his post two years before his term expires.

The party’s vice chair, Jeanne Buell, will take over as acting chair until June 13.  The state central committee will then select a new chair to serve the remainder of Kenck’s term. The party says Buell will oversee the search for Kenck’s replacement.

The Boise Police Department is looking for a man officers say was driving recklessly and nearly injured pedestrians in downtown Boise early Sunday morning.

Police announced the investigation in a release sent Sunday evening.

Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

In the Olympics, it’s called beach volleyball.  In college athletics, it’s sand volleyball.  No matter its name, the sport has seen unprecedented growth in the last decade. So much so,  it's now spread to places not known for their beaches. Places like Boise.

Sand volleyball's popularity has spiked ever since August 2004. The Olympics were in Athens and a young, athletic duo from California dominated their beach-volleyball competition.

Two Boise State University professors have received a $15,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to study the relationship between three western universities and their local arts scenes.

delta, atlanta, airport
Courtesy: Delta Airlines

The number of flights in and out of the Boise airport increases Friday. Airport officials say Delta will begin flying new routes to and from Seattle as part of the airline’s west coast expansion. But there’s one route that continues to elude Boise travelers – a direct flight to a major east coast hub. 

Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

Congressman Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, is lashing out at fellow Congressman Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, over what Labrador perceives as criticism from Simpson.

Tyler Garcia / Treefort Music Fest

When Boise's fourth-annual Treefort Music Fest gets underway Wednesday, around 200 writers, bloggers and reporters will be covering the event. 

Kymm Cornelison is the festival’s publicity director.  She says music news outlets from places like Portland, Seattle, Denver, San Francisco and Los Angeles are among those represented.   

More media will cover Treefort in 2015 than ever before. The number of credentials has doubled since the festival's first year. As coverage has grown, so has the festival.