Monthly Archives: November 2015

Next Steps Toward College in Idaho

Idaho has tried something new this year to get more high school graduates to go on to college– a Direct Admissions Plan, which proactively admitted high school seniors to the state’s public colleges and universities. But it’s just one step in the process. Idaho Public Radio’s Glenn Mosley reports. (1:10 )

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In early November, the Idaho State Board of Education announced that more than 20,000 high school seniors had been sent acceptance letters to the state’s public colleges and universities for the Fall 2016 semester. The State Board also said that congratulatory letters had been sent to each student’s parents or guardians.

It’s part of an ongoing effort in Idaho to increase the number of Idaho high school graduates who pursue further education.

This ‘Direct Admissions Plan’ idea came from University of Idaho President Chuck Staben, and Staben says he’s optimistic the plan will make a difference. But he says there’s more to do:

Chuck Staben: “We need to work on how students finance their educations, and how they understand the benefit of going to college, and what their support system is when they’re at college, so there’s a lot of other steps, but this is a step, and I think it’s important to kind of celebrate something like that.”

The acceptance letter tells students to visit, which provides more information.

Idaho has set a goal that by 2020, 60%  of Idahoans ages 25-34 will have a post- secondary certificate or degree.

I’m Glenn Mosley.

Posted November 24, 2015

On the web:

Previous coverage from November 17, 2015–

Next Steps Idaho–

Posted November 24, 2015





“It has to come from within you”

Amy Pence-Brown said she was there for anyone who struggles with self-esteem. She stood on a crowded Boise street in a bikini. The story from Idaho Public Radio’s Alyssa Charlston (3:20).

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It was a busy Saturday at the Capital City Public Market in Boise on August 29th, as a 39 year old woman stripped down to nothing but her bikini.

Not what you expected, right? Neither was the case for hundreds of onlookers, as they passed and read the sign at her feet that addressed the issue of body image, and prompted any supporters to draw a heart on her exposed skin.

The skin of Amy Pence-Brown, an Idaho alum who spoke on campus November 17th as part of a brown-bag open forum this week, is a self-proclaimed “fat feminist mother” who became famous after posting a video of her radical social self-love experiment. She was inspired by a similar experiment conducted with a younger, thinner woman in London.

Popular online News outlets like the Huffington Post and Buzzfeed reposted the video, and it went viral, helping Pence-Brown’s message reach over 200 million views.

And it’s not just the popularity of the video that was surprising. She says the warm manner in which her message was received shocked her as well.

Amy Pence- Brown: “I wasn’t intending it to go viral, but people picked that up, all across the world, and I think that they picked that up, too, that the kindness, that we as people, are kind, if we see each other face to face, and people are ready to be educated, or they’re ready to be kind to one another if you give each other the chance.”

Though most would agree wearing a bikini in a public place, submitting yourself to harsh criticism, is brave, Pence-Brown says the most braved part of her outfit was the black blindfold she stared into for the hour-long trial.

Amy Pence-Brown: “But I couldn’t tell that much. I had no idea if it was little girls were writing on me, I had no idea if it was men, unless they talked, and so it was overwhelmingly warm, and I tried to stay so focused on that moment, because that’s all I had were those stories, and that feeling, that physical feeling.”

Speaking to a room of about 20 people at the University of Idaho Commons, Pence-Brown’s story drew tears from just about every eye, whether it was because of her shocking boldness, or the physical, supportive responses from random bystanders.

Perhaps the fact that people are so pleasantly surprised by the kind reaction Pence-brown’s body experiment received  is part of her motivation to increase self-love in today’s society.

She believes impossible standards set through social media and online anonymity for mean comments are strong factors in low self-esteem. But, there are solutions.

Amy Pence-Brown: “Nobody can do it for you, that’s the hard thing.  It’s hard work, and it’s just you. And it has to come from within you, and it takes a lot of work sometimes, for some people it’s a harder struggle and every day can be a struggle. I really do think that education and following people on Instagram, and doing small things every day, like getting rid of that scale, putting it in the garage, or buying clothes you love, something that makes you feel good about yourself.”

At the end of Pence-Brown’s video, a quote reads across the screen :”In a society that profits from your self-doubt, liking yourself is a rebellious act.”

You can be sure that Amy Pence-Brown believes rebellion looks riveting on everyone.

This is Alyssa Charlston, reporting.

Posted November 21, 2015

Alyssa Charlston on Twitter: @Alyssacharlston

Amy Pence-Brown on Twitter: @IdahoAmy


Idaho Fish & Game Approves New Fishing Rules

New rules approved by the Idaho Fish and Game Commission for the 2016-18 season take effect January 1, 2016.


The new possession limit will be three times the daily bag limit after the second day of the season.

Free Fishing Day will be on June 11, 2016; June 10, 2017 and June 9, 2018.

Other changes impacting north Idaho:
Panhandle Region
– Lake Pend Oreille – The Rainbow Trout daily bag limit will be reduced from 6 to 2; only 1 over 20 inches.

– Clark Fork River – Trout limit is 0 from December 1 – Friday before Memorial Day weekend. Remove the 6 Kokanee bag limit, which reverts it to the regional bag limit of 15 Kokanee).

– Clark Fork River tributaries and Pack River and tributaries – No bait will be allowed during the existing catch-and-release season which is December 1 through the Friday before Memorial Day weekend.

– Spirit Lake – The Kokanee daily bag limit will be raised from 15 to 25 fish.

– Hayden Lake – Minimum length on largemouth bass that can be harvested will increase from 16 inches to 20 inches.

Clearwater Region
– Mann Lake – Daily bag limit on bass will change from general (6) to 2 bass; none under 16 inches.

– Deyo Reservoir- Daily bag limit on bass will change from general (6) to 2 bass; none under 16 inches.

– Spring Valley Reservoir – Daily bag limit on bass will change from general (6) to 2 bass; none under 16 inches.

– Dworshak Reservoir – From Grandad Bridge upstream to end-of-flat-water; bait will now be allowed year-around.

– Clearwater River, South Fork – Rainbow Trout limit will change from 6 adipose fin-clipped fish to a daily bag limit of 2 Rainbow Trout with or without an adipose fin.

– Palouse River and tributaries – Daily bag limit for trout will be reduced from 6 to 2.

– Clearwater River, North Fork – Steelhead season; eliminate the July 1 catch-and-release season and open a harvest season for steelhead from September 1 through December 31.

Students Ask: “Can I Be Successful?”

Only about half of Idaho’s high school graduates go on to a post-secondary education of some kind. Various programs are being tried to improve that figure. More from Idaho Public Radio’s Alyssa Charlston. (:53 )

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Last week the University of Idaho held ‘Enroll Idaho’ events at 43 locations in the state to meet students and their parents in person and share information.

One of the locations was Grangeville, where high school Principal Steve Higgins says students from both large and small high schools have the same concerns:

Steve Higgins: “The kids are all the same. they have the same questions, they have the same concerns. They have the question on ‘can I be successful?'”

Higgins says part of the challenge is how to get students over the stumbling blocks that might prevent them from furthering their education after high school.

Other initiatives are also being tried. Last week 70 high schools across Idaho took part in College Application Week, a nationwide program designed to help students apply for college.

And the Idaho State Board of Education has established a Direct Admissions Program. Under that initiative, more than 20,000 Idaho high school students received initial acceptance letters to the state’s colleges and universities.

This is Alyssa Charlston reporting.

Posted November 17, 2015


Refugee Dispute Comes to NW

Following Friday’s attacks in Paris, the Governors of Washington and Idaho disagree on a U.S. refugee resettlement program. Idaho Public Radio’s Glenn Mosley reports. (1:30 )

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Around the country, governors are expressing security concerns about a federal plan to relocate Syrian refugees to the United States.

Idaho Governor Butch Otter on Monday said he was calling upon President Obama to halt the  U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program until the vetting process for all foreigners crossing U.S. borders is fully reviewed and state concerns about the program are addressed.

Otter said that while he understands that immigration and refugee resettlement are authorized under federal law, he says he will use any legal means available to him to protect the citizens he serves.

Some experts say the Governors lack any legal authority to halt the program.

But, Dr. Bill Smith, director of the Martin Institute and the International Studies Program at the University of Idaho, says there is legal authority and then there is practical authority:

Bill Smith: “So the practical authority is that the federal refugee resettlement program doesn’t fully fund itself. So, it relies on local, city, county, state resources to really support the refugee population. So, he has some practical authority in controlling some purse strings in  having political allies who could also cut strings who are at county levels, and city levels, and local levels. There’s some practical power here.”

In Washington, Governor Jay Inslee said that Washington will continue to be a state that welcomes those seeking refuge from persecution, regardless of where they come from or the religion they practice.


I’m Glenn Mosley.

On the web

Governor Otter’s statement:

Governor Inslee’s statement:

Posted November 16, 2015


Changing Idaho’s College Going Culture

70 high schools throughout Idaho are taking time this week to help seniors think about going on to college and helping them complete admission applications. 21 high schools took part in 2013 and  41 in 2014. It’s one way the state is trying to convince more of its high school graduates to go on to college or certificate program of some kind.

For University of Idaho President Chuck Staben, it meant a return to Grangeville Tuesday to talk to high school seniors there. Idaho Public Radio’s Glenn Mosley reports. (1:05 )

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It was a moment back in 2013 that led to Chuck Staben being back in Grangeville this week:

Chuck Staben: “My wife and I were traveling through Grangeville on October 31, 2013 during my interview process, stopped for lunch. Spoke to a waiter in a local cafe, a young man, a senior at Grangeville High, and he sort of was saying, ‘Well no, I really don’t think I’m going to college, I don’t have a plan, I haven’t thought about it, not so sure, most of my friends aren’t going, etc. And then I have spent a lot of the time that I’ve been in Idaho thinking how do we change that? How do we change that college going culture in Idaho?”

On Tuesday, the students asked Staben questions about choosing a major, about cost, about housing, internships, and work study. Grangeville High School Principal Steve Higgins said the visit was one way to get students to feel more comfortable about college.

The State Board of Education announced this week that more than 20,000 high school seniors were sent acceptance letters for the Fall 2016 semester, part of the Board’s new ‘Direct Admissions’ initiative to proactively admit qualified seniors to the state’s public colleges and universities.

I’m Glenn Mosley.

On the web

Next Steps Idaho:

Posted November 10, 2015


Perseverance, Teamwork: Sophie Milam’s Message

Last year we told you about Sophie Milam, who was part of a five person team that spent eight months in a dome as part of a NASA program designed to simulate the experience of living on Mars. The University of Idaho mechanical engineering alumna was back on campus in Moscow Friday. Idaho Public Radio’s Glenn Mosley reports. (:55 )

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Being part of the Mars simulation at the University of Hawaii was challenging– it’s a long time away from family and friends, for one thing, and there was a lot of work to be done gathering data on the team’s responses to the isolation created by living inside that small dome.

That’s why perseverance, teamwork, and leadership, were all part of the message Sophie Milam delivered to about 100 high school students at the University of Idaho on November 6th:

Sophie Milam:  “You have to be open to new possibilities and willing to take risks. None of us would have been able to do anything of this if we hadn’t had those two traits.”

Milam was recently featured in the ’30 Under 30′ feature by Forbes magazine. Her address to the students was the keynote of “Women in Engineering Day,” a one day workshop for female high school students from across the region designed to encourage the students to think about careers in science and engineering.

I’m Glenn Mosley.

On the web:

Sophie Milam

Women in Engineering Day

Posted November 9, 2015