Wanna Know Idaho

Whether you're a lifelong Gem Stater or a transplant just now settling in, chances are you've probably had a moment or two like this:

You're driving down Capitol Boulevard or camping along the Snake River and you've seen something that makes you wonder, What's up with that?

Maybe it's as simple as, "Why is there a huge cross up there?" Or, "Which hot springs are safe for soaking?"

Or maybe it's more complicated, like "Are we going to have a water supply issue if the state population keeps growing?"

No matter what you're wondering, we want to know: What questions do you have about the Gem State, Idaho culture or the people who call it home?

Wanna Know Idaho is a listener-focused series from Boise State Public Radio's newsroom that hinges on YOUR curiosity.

Here's how it works: You submit your questions to Wanna Know Idaho. After we collect questions, we'll let the public vote on the one they want us to answer most. Then, a KBSX reporter will investigate the winning question and we'll share what we find on air and on the web.

We want to know what you want to know.

So, let's get started! Share your questions below...

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Tom Michael / Boise State Public Radio

This spring, we asked you to share stories about how Idaho’s rapid growth is changing your life. Since then we’ve heard from dozens of you over social media, email, voicemail and through our website. We received memories about dairy farms on Federal Way in Boise, concerns about sprawl in Ada County, excitement about newcomers with new ideas and anxiety about a loss of beloved places.

In 2017, Boise's Greenbelt sustained massive damage as a result of a wet winter and subsequent flooding. So as spring settles in this time around, it's no wonder folks are recalling the events of last year.

Oregon Historical Society

Idaho: a lot of us live here, but how many of us know the origin of the word itself?

Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

Treefort Music Fest is taking over downtown Boise. More than 400 bands are scheduled to play over the five day festival. For this installment of Wanna Know Idaho, we take a look at how the selection process works.

Karen A. Demsey

The Snake River Canyon is an iconic landscape -- especially for people who live in central Idaho. And one of our listeners from Twin Falls was curious to know more about how it was formed.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Monday, February 12 would have been President Abraham Lincoln’s 209th birthday, which is a big deal for people like Dave Leroy. Leroy is Idaho’s unofficial Lincoln scholar, and has amassed quite a collection of artifacts connected to our 16th President over several decades.

James Dawson

Once you’re old enough to read, it’s hard not to notice the sign: “Welcome to Historic Lewiston, Idaho – Idaho’s First Territorial Capital.”

Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

The holiday season is replete with parties, get togethers and acts of generosity, but navigating it all can be difficult. For this seasonal installment of Wanna Know Idaho, we asked listeners about holiday etiquette.  

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Artist Pat Kilby is an oil painter.

“And I like to work in bright colors and kind of quirky perspective, little bit cartoonish I guess some people say,” says Kilby.

And he often would drive home on Fifth Street in downtown Boise and see the plain, white traffic box that controls the streetlight.

Kyle Green / Idaho Statesman

Marilyn Frazier pours freshly steeped tea at her kitchen table. Amid the cookies and bright tangerines she’s laid out, the retiree has a notebook full of concerns about a new military plane that could soon be based in Boise.

Thomas Hawk / Flickr

With four more months to go until the end of the year, the number of firearms found by TSA officials at the Boise Airport this year has already eclipsed the number found in all of 2016.


Katy Mersmann / NASA

In the latest installment of Wanna Know Idaho, we asked what you've been wondering about the August 21 solar eclipse in Idaho. We got a lot of great questions, and because this is a once-in-a-lifetime event, Samantha Wright decided to answer all 17 of them.

Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

We’ve been asking you for questions and you’ve been sending them our way. In the latest installment of our news experiment, we meet Jordan Harris. He works for one of the big hospitals in Boise managing a team of couriers. The roads are a major facet of his job, so it’s no surprise Jordan’s question has to do the freeways.

Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

Summer means barbecues, baseball and of course, bathing suits. When temperatures push a hundred degrees, there’s no better way to cool off than by jumping in a pool or pond. But this season, some of the ponds around Boise have dealt with outbreaks of E.coli. As part of our news experiment where we answer questions submitted by you, we went with a summer theme and explored this question from listener Alexi Balmuth: Who monitors harmful bacteria in public swimming areas and how is it done?

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

The Boise Depot is one of those places Boiseans take visitors to show off their town. The early 20th Century Spanish architecture stands out and is a great backdrop for weddings and parties.

But the one thing you haven’t found at the depot for 20 years? Passenger trains.

Colin Falconer has long wondered why that is. Falconer is originally from Seattle and used to take the Amtrak to northern Idaho to swim in lakes with friends when he was a kid. He loved being able to watch the scenery go by, and goof around in the aisles with his buddies.