Monthly Archives: December 2016

Idaho Women’s Tennis Preps for Spring Play

by Agueda Trujillo-Fernandez

Idaho Public Radio

The Idaho Vandals women´s tennis team closed out its fall season in November and now players are getting ready for conference games.

The Vandals played their last fall matches at two tournaments at Gonzaga University in Spokane, the Gonzaga Bulldog Invitational the weekend of November 4-6, and the Gonzaga Invitational the weekend of November 11-13.

At the Gonzaga Bulldog Invitational, the Vandals swept the doubles titles, with sophomore Marianna Petrei going 6-0 in singles and doubles to win both A flights. Idaho also captured the tournament’s two other doubles championships, completing the sweep. Petrei and Lucia Badillos played well in the doubles competition  and won the A flight doubles championship.

Sophomore Maria Tavares was a combined  5-1 on the weekend, advancing to the finals of the singles B flight. Tavares and Ana Batiri paired up in B flight doubles and won the title.

At the Gonzaga Invitational, the Vandals recorded seven singles and three doubles wins during the tournament.

“We had a very competitive weekend playing against a tough field from the Pac 12 and West Coast Conference,” said Idaho interim coach Abid Akbar“Everyone showed improvements in both singles and doubles. As a team we are not playing to our potential yet. We have a long way to go, but we will work hard and be ready for the spring.”

Petrei continued to lead the Vandals on the court throughout the tournament, finishing second at the Gonzaga Invitational. Earlier in October, the sophomore also earned the invite to the elite Oracle/ITA Masters after going 11-0 in conference play as a freshman last year.

“Marianna continued to show us that she can compete with the best in the nation,” Akbar said.


(Marianna Petrei photo courtesy Vandal Athletics)

Also at the Gonzaga Invitational, Tavares closed the weekend seventh overall with a +13 differential, finishing the weekend 2-1 overall with wins over Portland and Gonzaga.

Petrei and Badillos finished 2-1 in doubles action with a +2 differential, fifth overall.

Idaho now has a break from matches until January 28 when the team will take on the University of Wyoming in Moscow. This will be the first home match since last April.

The Vandals will play their first Big Sky Conference game against Portland State on February 4th in Portland. Idaho dominated 6 to 1 against Portland State last spring.

Idaho finished with a 19-9 overall record last year making it to the first round of the NCAA tournament.

The Big Sky tournament will be hosted in Sacramento this year, from April 28th to April 30th, and the Vandals will look to win their fourth conference title in five years.

Posted December 15, 2016


Water/Ways Exhibit in Moscow

by Agueda Trujillo-Fernandez

Idaho Public Radio

The Smithsonian Institution’s ‘Museum on Main Street’ Traveling Exhibit ‘Water/Ways” will be at the Moscow City Hall Third Street Gallery through January 21.


The “Water/Ways” exhibit, the Smithsonian says on its website, “dives into water–essential component of life on our planet, environmentally, culturally, and historically.”

The exhibit features photography, audio, and video displays to demonstrate the many ways water impacts our lives. Themes include the availability of water, water as a critical resource, climate and water, pollution, “Harnessing the Power of Water,” and steps the public can take to understand and protect water.


“Water/Ways” will also be on display at the Burley Public Library in Burley, Idaho, from late January until March 12, 2017.

In addition to the Smithsonian displays, a local component has been added to the Moscow stop, one focusing specifically on the water history of the Latah County region. That’s on the top floor at Moscow City Hall.

The exhibit is the culmination of a series of events held in Moscow since the summer, all around the theme of water and what it means in our lives.

“WaterWordsMoscow” was one of the events. It was a collaborative project between the Moscow Arts Department, Moscow Public Library and the Latah County Historical Society, and was designed to create awareness of the “Water/Ways” exhibit.

The project used a waterproofing agent to create sidewalk art. The art was revealed after a rain shower because the pavement had been covered with a substance that remained dry while the rest of the pavement changed color with the rain.

Other events this year included lectures, presentations, poetry reading and writing, a film, a bus tour of northern Latah County focusing on water history, and the Palouse Basin Water Summit in October.

The Palouse Basin Water Summit featured Maude Barlow as the keynote speaker. Here’s a link to our previous coverage of the October summit:


The Latah County Historical Society´s purpose is to preserve the heritage of Latah County and put together events, exhibits, educational programs and more for the benefit of the community.


Latah County Historical Society

Smithsonian Institution

Posted December 14, 2016







“They Were Flipping Me Off”– Lack of Civility in Public Discourse

Citizens are angry and frustrated and find lots of ways to let politicians know it . That’s true here in Idaho, too, as Idaho Public Radio’s Glenn Mosley explains. (1:02 )

Listen here:

Idaho District 5 State Representative Caroline Nilsson Troy opened a December 7 legislative preview forum in Moscow with a story.

She told the League of Women Voters about a day on the campaign trail this year when an older couple drove by:

Rep. Caroline Troy: “And as they went around the corner, the entire way around the corner, they were flipping me off. And I was so shocked and ashamed of my community for that.”

Troy said these are not easy jobs for either party. Idaho has a citizen legislature, she said. Lawmakers eat in restaurants and shop in the grocery store, and she said things like this are hurtful.

Latah County Commissioner Tom Lamar spoke and said he’s experienced the same kind of thing when standing out on the corner campaigning and “it’s not fun,” he said.

Troy said civility is really starting to be lost within the political realm, and she thanked the members of the League of Women Voters in Moscow for their kindness, even though, she said, they don’t always agree on the issues.

I’m Glenn Mosley.

Posted December 12, 2016


Suicide Prevention in Idaho

Idaho District 5 State Representative Caroline Nilsson Troy recently joined the Idaho Council on Suicide Prevention, and spoke about the public health issue this week at a forum in Moscow. Idaho Public Radio’s Glenn Mosley has more. (:50)

Listen here:

The numbers on suicide in Idaho are alarming. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare says Idaho consistently ranks in the top 10 for overall suicides and for teen suicides. The Suicide Prevention Action Network of Idaho says that in 2014 Idaho had the 9th highest suicide rate, 46% higher than the national average.

Idaho District 5 State Representative Caroline Nilsson Troy is now serving on the Idaho Council on Suicide Prevention, and she spoke to the League of Women Voters of Moscow on December 7th:

Rep. Caroline Nilsson Troy: “One of the biggest areas of suicide is adult men, over 55, between 55 and 70, and those who are in rural areas, and who are in natural resources based industries.”

Troy said she met recently with representatives of Idaho’s agriculture industry and they’re discussing ways to get the word out about available support, and she also said the suicide prevention council itself is being re-invigorated.

I’m Glenn Mosley.


Idaho Department of Health and Welfare

Suicide Prevention Action Network of Idaho

Copyright 2016 Idaho Public Radio

Posted December 8, 2016


It’s Evolutionary: “Darwin’s Demons”

by Agueda Trujillo-Fernandez

Idaho Public Radio

Students from across many academic disciplines at the University of Idaho in Moscow developed a new, evolutionary, video game.

The video game is called “Darwin’s Demons,” and it started as an idea a couple of years ago between Computer Science professor Terry Soule and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology professor Barrie Robison, but the project didn’t take off until this year.


(In “Darwin’s Demons,” the aliens are evolving and attacking and must be stopped. Photo credit: Polymorphic Games and University of Idaho)

Professors Robison and Soule started recruiting students, who worked full time on the video game after classes were over in May 2016. “Darwin’s Demons” brought U-Idaho faculty and students from across the campus to work together creating what would be the first video game from Polymorphic Games, the university’s video game design studio.

“We had faculty collaborators from the music department, art and architecture, business, education, theatre, journalism and mass media and many more,” Professor Robison said. “It was an application process. We picked the students that had a certain set of skills that we needed and that means you usually get the most senior students but we had a few that were younger.”

Their philosophy is to use evolutionary science to make better video games where users can experience and observe evolution.

“I like video games,” Robison said. “I am an evolutionary biologist and I kept thinking, there has to be a way that you can put evolution in video games and then we would make them better because the enemies would adapt and evolve to whatever the player did, and I knew that Terrie was doing that to an extent in computer science so we went for it.”

The project was supported by grants along the way, including a $55,000 award from the National Science Foundation’s BEACON Center for Evolution in Action, and $65,000 from the University of Idaho’s Vandal Ideas Project.

According to the studio’s web site, the game features include use of accurate evolutionary models for enemy evolution; unique play-through every time (no two play-throughs will be the same); and the rich lore and backstory behind the game.

Robison and Soule are looking ahead for a summer 2017 project, and they hope to use profits from future games to help pay for an ongoing summer studio experience.

More information on ‘Darwin’s Demons’ is available at

Posted December 6, 2016


AUDIO: Immigration Impacts of the Election

What might federal immigration policy look like under President-Elect Donald Trump? That was one of the topics at a ‘Campus Conversations’ forum Dec. 1 at the University of Idaho in Moscow.

Kate Evans, Director of the Immigration Clinic and Associate Professor at the University of Idaho College of Law, says members of the immigration and refugee communities have a range of questions, but the first one often is “Are we about to get deported?”



You can find more information at the University of Idaho College of Law Immigration Clinic online:

Posted December 2, 2016




From Refugee to Idahoan


The total number of refugees who have settled in Idaho in recent years is as follows: 920 in 2013; 978 in 2014; 935 in 2015; and 1.135 in 2016.

Those numbers were among the discussion points Wednesday, November 30, when the League of Women Voters of Moscow hosted a panel discussion called “From Refugee to Idahoan: When People at Risk Come to Idaho.”

The panelists for the discussion at Moscow’s 1912 Center were from the University of Idaho: Dr. Kristin Haltinner, assistant professor of sociology; Dr. Florian Justwan, assistant professor of political science; and Dr. Bill Smith, director of the Martin Institute and chair of International Studies.


(Dr. Haltinner, Dr. Smith {standing, rear} and Dr. Justwan {sitting, right})

Other numbers presented at the panel discussion:

  • 65.3 million “forcibly displaced people in the world,” the same population size of the United Kingdom;
  • 40.8 million people internationally displaced;
  • 21.3 million refugees;
  • 5 million people in 2015 from Syria became refugees.


Related news– A November 2016 report from the U-Idaho McClure Center said  that, “In the past five years, Idaho has resettled refugees from many countries including Iraq, Afghanistan, Eritrea, Bhutan, Burma, and Congo.”

The report said that in 2015, “Idaho received approximately $10 million to support refugees through grants, cash assistance, and related programs. Idaho does not appropriate general fund dollars specifically to support refugees.”

Idaho has been involved with the resettlement of refugees since 1975.

Before refugees resettle in Idaho and other states, they are processed and screened through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, “to determine their eligibility for resettlement in this country. The process can take up to three years,” according to the McClure Center report.


UI McClure Center report:

Idaho Office for Refugees:

Office of Refugee Resettlement:

Idaho Public Radio’s Madison Campos contributed to this report.

Posted November 30, 2016