Idaho Matters


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A townhall meeting in Nampa got a bit fiery on Monday as critics of a property tax increase verbally sparred with supporters of a new jail for Canyon County. Idaho Matters looks at the need for more detention beds with Ysabel Bilbao, spokeswoman for the effort to approve a bond for a new jail.

Ada County Paramedics/Facebook

It's National EMS Week and Idaho Matters talks with Dr. Britani Hill, a trauma surgeon with Saint Alphonsus and Steve Boyenger, Deputy Chief of the Ada County Paramedics about collaborating to create efficient and effective emergency health care.

  • A Canyon County townhall gets intense over jail bond vote.
  • First responders and medical facilities collaborate to maximize trauma care.

Photo: Don Day/BoiseDev

Host Gemma Gaudette leads a round table discussion of the week's headlines with the region's top journalists. This week, Idaho Matters speaks with Seth Ogilvie of IPTV's Idaho Reports, Don Day of BoiseDev and Scott McIntosh from the Idaho Press.

Idaho Statesman/DARIN OSWALD

The National Institute for Civil Discourse was established in 2011 following the shooting in Tucson that killed six and injured 13, including former U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Today, the Institute is creating 50 advisory boards to be positioned in each state.

  • Our syndicate of reporters breaks down the week's headlines.
  • Idaho hosts the first state advisory board for the National Institute for Civil Discourse.


Idaho Education News reporter Kevin Richert stops by Idaho Matters to catch us up on the latest education stories in the state. $53.9 million in bond issues and levies are being requested by 17 rural Idaho school districts. We look at the May 21 election on the issuance, a new K-12 education task force and an increase in school bullying.

Bjorn Knetsch/Wikimedia Commons

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month and Idaho Matters looks at ways to detect and treat pediatric hearing loss with Dr. Jess Stich-Hennen, a pediatric audiologist at St. Luke's, Susie Jones, a speech pathologist with St. Luke's and parent Gretchen Fors.

Boise State Public Radio

For 180 years, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul has worked with low income and homeless people across the country, trying to provide avenues to head off homelessness before it occurs. Nearly 700 people volunteer with St. Vincent de Paul Southwest Idaho to serve tens of thousands of Idahoans. We talk with executive director Ralph May about the society's service and the upcoming "Fun and Food Tapas for a Cause" event.

Boise State University/Patrick Sweeny

The Boise State Geophysics Club is taking part in a truly unusual school activity: They are looking for dead bodies. Dead prisoners, to be exact, 55 buried on the grounds of the Old Idaho PenitentiaryIdaho Matters talks with Amber Beierle, Historic Sites Administrator with the Idaho State Historical Society and Dylan Mikesell, a Boise State geosciences assistant professor and advisor to the club.

  • Kevin Richert of Idaho Education News discusses school bonds, bullying and more.
  • May is Better Hearing and Speech Month.
  • The Society of St. Vincent de Paul works to prevent homelessness before it happens.
  • Boise State students use advanced technology to find dead bodies at the Old Idaho Pen.

Idaho Statesman

Last summer, cities throughout Idaho and the nation saw people protesting the Trump administration's immigration policies. In April, Ryan Devereaux, reporting for The Intercept, wrote about a private cyber security company in Virginia gleaned data from social media about protests in more than 600 cities and gave the information to the Department of Homeland Security. This included data on gatherings in Boise, Pocatello, Idaho Falls and five other Idaho cities. 


Summer is approaching and owners of boats of all types are preparing to go on the water. This is perfect for zebra and quagga mussels, bivalves that travel between bodies of water by adhering to boat hulls. Idaho Matters talks with Nick Zurfluh, Invasive Species Section Manager with the Idaho State Department of Agriculture, about why these invasive species are detrimental to the balance of Idaho's water habitats.

Two Idaho filmmakers sought to make a film that bridges the divide between the way people with disabilities are portrayed in film and who they are in real life. Gregory Bayne and Doug Cole created Making Sensea film that moves actors with disabilities into starring roles. We talk with Bayne about this film and using the senses to explore the fears and triumphs that go with living with a disability.

Epic Idaho is a video series showcasing all the Gem State has to offer - from hiking the Cascade Mountains to dining in BoDo, filmmakers Jonathan Conti and Chad Case captured the essence of Idaho for the state's Visit Idaho! campaign. Idaho Matters talks with Conti and Case about filming the series.

  • Private security company monitors immigration protests in Idaho, gives data to DHS.
  • An Idaho-made film puts actors with disabilities in lead roles.

Rick Ardinger/Courtesy of Red House Records

Boise-born Rosalie Sorrels made a name for herself on the folk singer circuit of the late 1950s. Her first major gig was at the 1966 Newport Folk Festival and she has been featured on more than 30 albums. Sorrels passed away in 2017 and today, Rosalie's son, Kevin, is crowdsourcing funds to put on The First Rosalie Sorrels Annual Memorial Festival. Kevin Sorrels joins Idaho Matters to talk about his mother's legacy and how she was influenced by Idaho, the state she called home.

U.S. Pacific Fleet / Flickr

Bariatric surgery allows people to lose weight by altering the size and shape of their stomach. On Tuesday's Idaho Matters, we talk to St. Luke's bariatric surgeon, Dr. Robert Korn and patients Andrea Dadsetan and Cody Morrison.

Idaho State Police

A Colorado company is fighting drug trafficking charges in Idaho after one of its drivers was caught transporting nearly 7,000 pounds of non-pyschoactive hemp. A petition is currently making the rounds to drop the charges against the shipping company and the driver of the truck. Idaho Matters looks into this case and efforts to absolve some of the players with Idaho State Representative Ilana Rubel (D-Boise) and Tracy Olson, a concerned citizen.

boise co-op

The Boise Co-Op has hired Chef Jin Yang to serve as its culinary director. Yang comes from Portland with nearly 10 years experience as a corporate executive chef, a 2015 Portland Iron Chef win and the distinction of being named one of the country's most sustainable chefs. Jin Yang joins Idaho Matters to talk about upcoming food trends and what we can expect to see at the Boise Co-op this summer.

  • A petition is circulating in Idaho to drop charges in Big Sky Scientific hemp case.
  • Boise music festival will memorialize folk singer Rosalie Sorrels.
  • Losing weight with surgery.
  • Boise Co-op cements sustainability with a new executive chef.

images: Boise Convention & Visitors Bureau

The Boise Convention & Visitors Bureau would like to increase the number of visitors to the City of Trees this summer. Idaho Matters speaks with Carrie Westergard, executive director of the Bureau about the difference between courting visitors and attracting residents. 

Fanny Schertzer/wikimedia

In each year since 2007, the Davis Project for Peace awards funds to college students around the world who propose "peace projects" that facilitate education, clean resources, agricultural assistance and medical aid for developing communities. Students from the College of Idaho have won this honor 12 years in a row. This year's recipient is Anniella Kabitso, who will be returning to her home country of Burundi for the summer to work on her project, “Book, Dialogue, and the Clean Light that Lasts: Burundi.” 

medical image
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Shingles are painful rashes that can be accompanied by fevers, headaches and nausea. It is virally transmitted with the chicken pox virus and can lie dormant in the body for years. The latest CDC-approved shingles vaccine is in short supply throughout the nation and on Idaho Matters, we speak with Laura McGeorge, a doctor of internal medicine with St. Luke's about an infection that impacts one in three Americans.

A program called Dog T.A.G.S. teaches veterans with PTSD how to train their own dogs to become service dogs. The dogs are trained to help their masters move in public with more confidence, and in specific tasks such as awakening them from night terrors and turning on lights. Training and bonding with the dogs becomes a way for the veterans to cope with many of the issues of the disorder. We present this report produced by member station WITF in Harrisburg.