James Dawson


James Dawson serves as a reporter for Boise State Public Radio's award-winning news department. 

Most recently, he covered state politics and government for Delaware Public Media since the station first began broadcasting in 2012 as the country's newest NPR affiliate. Those reports spanned two governors, three sessions of the Delaware General Assembly, and three consequential elections. His work has been featured on Morning Edition, All Things Considered and NPR's newscast division. 

An Idaho native from north of the time zone bridge, James previously served as the public affairs reporter and interim news director for the commercial radio network Inland Northwest Broadcasting. His reporting experience included state and local government, arts and culture, crime, and agriculture.

He's a proud University of Idaho graduate with a bachelor's degree in Broadcasting and Digital Media. When he's not in the office, you can find James fly fishing, buffing up on his photography or watching the Seattle Mariners' latest rebuilding season.

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

Counties could end up paying for a significant part of Idaho’s voter-approved Medicaid expansion after it’s rolled out next year.

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

With the values of houses – and property taxes – in cities across Idaho skyrocketing, state lawmakers say they want to look at options to bring some relief to homeowners.

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

When states challenge the federal government over things like public land rights or same-sex marriage rights, taxpayers are on the hook for that.

Idaho is one of at least two states that has a separate bank account to pay for legal fees and settlements in these cases, though critics say it’s giving state legislators more license to pass laws courts have found to be unconstitutional.  

Marcia O'Connor / Flickr

Three truck drivers hauling hemp through Idaho won’t face any further jail time after reaching a plea deal with Ada County prosecutors.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

The lock system at the Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River is closed for repairs – meaning barges hauling grain from Idaho and the Inland Northwest are in a holding pattern for an indefinite amount of time.

Katy Moeller/ Idaho Statesman

A refugee garden that was raided for produce last month now has a new fence to guard the tomatoes and other vegetables.

James Dawson

The group behind Idaho’s successful Medicaid expansion ballot initiative is filing another one – this time to boost education spending.

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

As Idaho lawmakers continue to debate how the state should pay for its voter-approved Medicaid expansion, hundreds of studies have shown many benefits to the program.

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

Federal officials have rejected Idaho’s request to allow people eligible for Medicaid expansion to instead stay on the state’s health insurance exchange. 

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

Four candidates for Boise mayor tried to win over an environmentally-conscious crowd Wednesday night during the race’s first debate hosted by Conservation Voters for Idaho.

Updated at 4:34 p.m. ET

Editor's note: This story includes accounts of self-harm.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the state of Idaho must provide gender confirmation surgery to inmate Adree Edmo.

The panel of judges agreed with U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill's ruling in Edmo's favor last December, writing that his findings were "logical and well-supported" and that "responsible prison officials were deliberately indifferent to Edmo's gender dysphoria, in violation of the Eighth Amendment."

Black and Pink / Facebook

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the state of Idaho must provide sex reassignment surgery to inmate Adree Edmo.

Cooper Court, a former tent city in Boise
Kyle Green / Idaho Statesman

The city of Boise has officially filed its appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court over its controversial anti-camping ordinance.

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

Marlene Tromp didn’t shy away from controversy in her first campus address as president of Boise State University Wednesday morning.

Ada County Courthouse Law Court Plaza
Lacey Daley / Boise State Public Radio

Ada County employees will now have protection against harassment and employment discrimination when it comes to their sexual orientation or gender identity.

City of Boise

Boise is pulling back the reins on its new library proposal and an advisory vote that was scheduled for later this year. 

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho officials are focusing their attention on the state’s growing opioids and substance abuse problems.

Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP

Native American tribal courts can indeed turn to federal courts when it comes to considering rulings against non-tribal members.

Roger Phillips / Idaho Department of Fish and Game

It’s official – Idaho Fish and Game will be getting a new headquarters.

Courtesy of Sen. Risch

Idaho’s junior senator will seek a third term in Congress.

Idaho Capitol Dome
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

In order to foot the bill for Idaho’s upcoming Medicaid expansion, one House Republican leader wants to cut the amount of sales tax money doled out to the state’s 44 counties.

Ada County Sheriff's Office


Former Idaho GOP Chair Jonathan Parker is back in jail again and being held without bond after he turned himself in Wednesday night to the Ada County Sheriff’s Office on a contempt of court charge.


Terry Gawlik, University of Idaho,
University of Idaho

Terry Gawlik will become University of Idaho’s first female athletic director when she takes over the job Sept. 1. The move comes nearly a year after former Athletic Director Rob Spear was fired for improperly reporting sexual assault allegations.

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

Former Vice President Joe Biden capped off a two-day trip to Idaho Tuesday with a fundraiser at the home of a prominent Boise family.

Boise Hawks Memorial Stadium Hawkstown
Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Baseball fans will get a chance to see some of the sport’s rising stars Tuesday night as Boise hosts the 2019 All Star Game between the Northwest and Pioneer leagues.