Rural

St. Luke's

St. Luke's Health System is investing $3.4 million in a virtual care center - a "high tech hub" with a medical team available to provide assistance 24/7. The center will be able to connect doctors with rural Idahoans and those with mobility issues. Idaho Matters discusses this new trend in health care with St. Luke's and how this could be a game changer for underserved rural communities.

  • Idaho parents are given the option to refuse children's vaccinations.
  • Voter demographics in Idaho are shifting ahead of the mid-term elections.
  • A Boise State University program addresses student addiction.

Credit Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

We hear the fourth installment of 'Our Changing Idaho' and talk to BSPR reporter Matt Guilham about a small Idaho town that is neither growing like many Idaho cities, nor shrinking like many American small towns.

SAMANTHA WRIGHT / BOISE STATE PUBLIC RADIO

Boise State Public Radio is rolling out a series looking at the growth in Idaho and the various social, economic and environmental impacts on the people and institutions of the state. The first installment of Our Changing Idaho airs on Monday's Idaho Matters.

MOLLY MESSICK / STATEIMPACT IDAHO

A study by the Association of American Medical Colleges found that only 53% of medical residents stay in the Gem State to practice medicine at the conclusion of their residency. While this is above the national average for in-state retention of doctors, this still makes it difficult to lure licensed medical professionals to Idaho's rural communities. Idaho Matters speaks with State Representative Mat Erpelding about ways to keep doctors in-state and provide quality health care for the state's rural residents.

Mike Vogt / AP Images/Idaho Press Tribune

Idaho’s doing better than in previous years when it comes to emergency preparedness. That's according to a new national study from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. 


Tim Albano / Flickr Creative Commons

You’ve likely heard of food deserts — maybe you've even heard of news deserts. But classical music deserts? The New York City-based Piatigorsky Foundation has made it their mission to bring classical music to underserved communities, including in rural Idaho.

Carolyn Kaster / AP Images

Tuesday, President Trump unveiled his long-awaited $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan. But in order to streamline these projects, the administration is proposing changes to the way they are reviewed for environmental impact.

The National Environmental Policy Act was enacted in 1970. Called NEPA for short, the law was created after the construction of the Interstate Highways System damaged delicate ecosystems around the country.

learning elementary student teacher
Alvin Trusty / Flickr Creative Commons

A number of rural Idaho school districts are struggling to lure licensed teachers to classrooms causing the districts to hire more unlicensed educators.

The Times-News reported on Sunday that the Twin Falls School District hired 20 unlicensed educators this year as other nearby districts are also hiring more unlicensed teachers.

Dave Harbison / Idaho Education Association

Teachers around the state are ready with lesson plans as a new school year gets under way. But in one tiny school district in rural Idaho, salary negotiations are making this hectic time of year a little more stressful.


Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

It’s hard not to pick up a hammer and start working when you see the nearly destroyed Atlanta Club up-close. Built in the 1940s by a Yugoslavian bootlegger, the club has survived wildfires and the collapse of the mining industry in this tiny town northeast of Boise.

But this year's record winter was devastating for the building; after an unlucky mix of conditions the old roof couldn’t take it anymore. It collapsed one day, emitting a cloud of dust so thick it looked like smoke.

Jimmy Emerson / Flickr Creative Commons

The Idaho Department of Labor says between 2015 and 2025, the state is expected to grow by 15 percent.

Using a new model to project these changes, the agency says the state’s pace is about three times higher than the nation’s when it comes to population.

So where is this boost coming from? The trend of older people moving to the state for retirement continues to lead the way. The department predicts the 65 and older crowd will grow by about 36 percent.

Screengrab / Feeding America

A new report shows the number of people dealing with hunger in Idaho has dropped overall. But children in some parts of the state are still struggling to get enough to eat.

The annual study by Feeding America – a national network of food banks – shows that overall food insecurity in the state has decreased incrementally.

Screengrab / Senate Natural Resources Committee

Sunday night, Congress negotiated a budget bill to fund the government for the next six months. One provision not included was a reauthorization of the Secure Rural Schools Act, or SRS.

Rural schools, Idaho County, bus
Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Skip Hall has been a teacher at Grangeville High School for 31 years. His early American history class with freshmen and sophomores will be one of his last: he’s retiring at the end of the school year.

As Hall’s class works together on projects, he takes a moment to reflect on the state of education in his district.

“The biggest thing I see is lack of choice for the students," Hall says.

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