Frankie Barnhill

Reporter/Community Engagement Manager

Frankie Barnhill wears several hats at Boise State Public Radio, including Reporter and Community Engagement Manager. She is the host and producer of Wanna Know Idaho, Idaho's people-powered podcast. She also coordinates the newsroom's college internship program and is always looking for the next generation of public radio to bring on the team! (Drop her a line if you're interested in learning more about interning.)

Frankie's work has appeared on NPR's Morning Edition and Weekend Edition. The award-winning journalist has received national accolades from the Public Radio News Directors Incorporated for breaking news reporting, as well as regional Edward R. Murrow awards for both hard news and features. She co-hosted Boise State Public Radio's first podcast, Speaking of Serial, which won an Idaho Press Club award. 

She earned her production chops at American Public Media, where she interned for Marketplace Tech Report and American RadioWorks. Frankie was also a researcher in Minnesota Public Radio's newsroom for an investigative report on bullying.

As a freelance reporter in 2014, Frankie won a grant to profile five emerging artists for Boise State Public Radio's audience. The project, entitled "Artist Statement," was an exploration of Boise's burgeoning artistic scene.

Frankie was a fellow with the Institute for Journalism & Natural Resources in 2013 and again in 2015 and 2018, where she began to hone her environmental reporting skills.

Frankie graduated from the College of St. Catherine with a degree in English literature. The Missoula native spends most of her free time dreaming about owning a dog someday, going to concerts and serving on the board of Story Story Night.

Steve Conner / AP Images

The Boise State Broncos are set to host their third consecutive Mountain West Championship after beating Fresno State in 2017 and losing to them in 2018. This year, the Broncos will face Hawaii who Boise State defeated on the blue in October. But despite their 19th place ranking and winning record, they might get shut out of the Cotton Bowl. We catch up with reporter Dave Southorn of The Athletic about their bowl chances, several months after we talked with him about the team's early season prospects. 

Joel Wayne / Boise State Public Radio


Looking for a new holiday tradition? We have a recommendation for you: the Old Boise Model Train Club. Boise State Public Radio’s “You Know The Place” podcast recently visited the club. Take a listen to this special presentation on Idaho Matters.

Katherine Jones / Idaho Statesman

Lauren McLean is set to become the next mayor of Boise after soundly beating incumbent Mayor Dave Bieter by 31% of the vote. He'll leave the post after 16 years in Boise's top job. We analyze the results with Jasper LiCalzi of the College of Idaho, along with reporters Madelyn Beck of the Mountain West News Bureau and Heath Druzin of Boise State Public Radio. 

Ballet Idaho

After a successful "arts crawl" last spring featuring four of Boise's most prominent arts organizations, organizers are planning a similar event -- this time featuring youth artists. Next Tuesday (Dec. 10), Boise Contemporary Theater, Boise Philharmonic, Ballet Idaho and Opera Idaho will host a four-part event to highlight the artistic prowess of the community's young people. Idaho Matters talks with organizers to learn more about the Youth Art Crawl. 

Roger Phillips


There’s a symbiotic relationship between hunting and conservation, and we’re not just talking about a romantic notion of our hunter-gatherer roots. But with the number of hunters on the decline nationally, stakeholders are banding together to attract a different type of hunter. We get a firsthand account from Boise State Public Radio's Heath Druzin, who recently took a trek into the wilderness for this story.


Idaho Matters logo
Boise State Public Radio

  • Runoff preview in Caldwell and Boise.
  • Movement to value-based healthcare.
  • Raising money for birds through song. 
  • North End holiday tour. 

Boise Co-op


With Thanksgiving now just a couple of days away, we have something special for you: a visit inside one of the busiest bakeries in Idaho. George Prentice takes us along on a trip to the Boise Co-op where his tour guide was the head baker, who was preparing for the hundreds of pies the store would sell before the holiday feast.

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

Brigham Young University-Idaho in Rexburg is apologizing and reversing a policy that would have barred students from using Medicaid to meet the school’s requirement for health coverage to enroll. Low-income students complained that they’d have to go into debt to buy health insurance that complied with school policy. Idaho Matters talks with Boise State Public Radio's James Dawson, who broke the initial story last week.

Idaho Matters logo
Boise State Public Radio

  • BYU-Idaho Medicaid kerfuffle.
  • Thanksgiving pie from a popular bakery.
  • Women in entrepreneurship. 
  • T-Rex exhibit. 

Surel's Place / via Facebook


The Treasure Valley is growing quickly, with many newcomers flocking to the area. Maybe you yourself moved here in the last 10 years. Do you remember your first impressions of the community after you moved here? What were the sights or sounds that stood out? Today, Idaho Matters is happy to premiere an audio piece by Croatian radio producer and artist Tomica Skavina. She’s spent the last several weeks as the artist-in-residence at Surel’s Place in Garden City, and with her fresh ears, she produced a piece called “The Treasure of Boise.” 

Idaho Matters logo
Boise State Public Radio

  • Saving African vultures.
  • "Empty Bowls."
  • An interfaith Thanksgiving.
  • From Croatia to Boise.

vote, election
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

Anna Wiese loves politics and history, so it was a shock when the 11-year-old girl found an important exhibit lost in a corner of the Idaho Capital. The showcase on Idaho's women legislators was recently moved into a more acceptable location due to the efforts of the Hailey native. Reporter James Dawson talks to Idaho Matters about his experience meeting the bright and driven young woman.

Martha Irvine / AP Images

Becoming a parent is often associated with the most joyful parts of a person’s life. But many mothers experience anxiety and other mental health issues within the first few weeks after the birth of the child. Postpartum depression -- as it is often called -- can result in various symptoms such as mood swings, anger and hopelessness. A counselor at Saint Alphonsus Hospital in Boise created a program geared to alleviate these symptoms, and she explains how they are treating these moms. 

Lisa Marie Pane / AP Images

Idaho has one of the highest suicide rates in the country, with a majority of these deaths coming from firearms. However, little research has gone into this issue because of a ban on using federal funds to advocate for gun control. Despite this restriction, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has figured out a way to move forward with new research in ten states, including Idaho. Guns & America reporter Heath Druzin talks to Idaho Matters about this important new study.


Idaho Fish and Game officials say despite national trends showing a decline in hunting, the Gem State's numbers are steady. But most people will never participate in the sport, and some see it as morally wrong. We learn more about hunting and the culture surrounding it, which is a significant source of revenue for the department's conservation efforts. 

Boise City Hall Brick Building Logo
Lacey Daley / Boise State Public Radio

Monday, incumbent Boise Mayor Dave Bieter accused City Council President Lauren McLean of raising "dark money" in an interview with Idaho Matters. McLean responded by defending her company and involvement by saying that her company worked to "support organizations that seek to stem the tide of out-of-state dark money." But what actually is "dark money"? To shed some light on the subject, we talk with a political scientist to better understand what the term means when it comes to money in politics. 


The American Legion is designed to help those who have served active duty in the U.S. military, and the organization has several posts across the country. On this Veterans Day, Idaho Matters take a special visit to an VFW post -- behind bars. Boise State Public Radio's George Prentice reports this story from the Idaho State Correctional Center.

Washington State University Press

Niels Sparre Nokkentved spent decades as an environmental reporter, mostly in Idaho. Now in retirement, he's turning his attention away from daily stories in a fast-paced news cycle to longer form writing. His newest book asks readers to consider the longterm consequences of ecological decisions we make today. He joins Idaho Matters to discuss "To Think Like A Mountain."

via Facebook


Money in politics is not new to statewide and federal elections in Idaho. But what is unusual is the amount of  money we’ve seen poured into Boise’s mayoral race from a variety of political action committees. After this week’s historic mayoral election leading to a runoff on December 3, Idaho Matters is taking a closer look at one of those groups -- Conservation Voters for Idaho -- which has endorsed and is supporting candidate Lauren McLean.  

Correction: In the original version of this story we incorrectly quoted the amount of money CVI has spent on McLean's campaign. The group has spent $130,000 on the candidate. 

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

With no candidate receiving a majority of votes, Boise is planning its first mayoral runoff election. How will it work? What do you need to know to vote? How much will it cost, and who will pay for it? Idaho Matters talks with Ada County Clerk Phil McGrane to get answers to these questions, and gets his take on the county's remarkable turnout numbers from the November 5 election.

Christopher Smith / AP Images

Although Mayor Tammy de Weerd will no longer lead the City of Meridian come January, her policies could largely live on in the winner of the November 5 election. Robert Simison will take the job in January, after serving as de Weerd's longtime chief of staff. Idaho Matters talks with de Weerd, along with Boise State Public Radio reporter Rachel Cohen about Twin Falls and Blaine County elections. Finally, we connect with Valley County Commissioner Sherry Maupin to find out what a failed levy means for the counties deteriorating roads.  

Boise City Hall Brick Building Logo
Lacey Daley / Boise State Public Radio

There will be two new faces on Boise's City Council. Jimmy Hallyburton and Patrick Bageant will join the council in January, while incumbent councilwoman Elaine Clegg retained her seat. We analyze these races, along with the results of two Boise ballot initiatives. The initiatives were passed by a significant margin, asking voters whether the city should require voter approval on funding for library and stadium proposals.  

Lauren McLean for Boise Mayor

In a surprising turn of events, incumbent Boise Mayor Dave Bieter took just 30% of the vote in Tuesday's election, while City Council President Lauren McLean took 46%. Since neither gained a majority, Boise is preparing for its first mayoral runoff on December 3. We talk with McLean to find out what her next steps will be. 

Note: Idaho Matters reached out to Mayor Bieter for an interview. He declined our initial request but says he will join the show next week. 

Joel Wayne / Boise State Public Radio

Boise State Public Radio's You Know The Place podcast explores some of the lesser known businesses and locations in Idaho. In the most recent episode, hosts Lacey and Joel visit Steele Apiaries, a bee farm in Eagle. Idaho Matters presents a special broadcast of the podcast, which you can find wherever you find your streaming audio.