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 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.

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – A 21-year-old soldier from Boise has pleaded guilty to unpremeditated murder of an unarmed Afghan civilian. Private First Class Andrew Holmes entered his plea Thursday as part of an agreement with prosecutors. The deal spares him a possible mandatory life sentence. In an interview with correspondent Austin Jenkins, Holmes expressed remorse for his involvement in the killing of a young Afghan non-combatant in January of 2010.

BOISE, Id – The Boise VA Medical Center received a top national honor Friday.  The award comes from the Joint Commission, a non-profit group that accredits and certifies more than 19-thousand health care organizations in the U-S.  The Boise VA was one of only twenty VA Medical Centers that received the award.  Grant Ragsdale is the Associate Medical Center Director.


BOISE, Id – Three hundred forty three firefighters died at the World Trade Center on September 11th.  That’s a number firefighters anywhere around the country are familiar with.  The number 343 came up often during Samantha Wright’s recent visit to Boise’s Fire Station 7 near the airport.  We hear from local firefighters who remember that day ten years ago.

Copyright 2011 BSPR


BOISE, Id – This week we’re looking at how the ten year anniversary of September 11th changed Idaho. One of those changes has been on the law enforcement front especially when it comes to training people how to handle terrorism events.  In fact, 9-11 was the catalyst for one Idaho man to launch a private company that does just that.  Chadd Harbough is the President of the Eagle-based Government Training Institute.He told Samantha Wright he got the idea for the company while he was a police officer in Garden City.


BOISE, Id – More Idaho soldiers are preparing to head to Afghanistan just as the last of the 116th Cavalry Brigade trickles home from a year-long stint in Iraq.  Sixty National Guard soldiers from the 168th will support ongoing operations in Afghanistan.  Colonel Tim Marsano is with the Idaho National Guard.