James Dawson

James Dawson joined Boise State Public Radio as the organization's News Director in 2017. He oversees the station'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 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.

The U.S. Supreme Court has officially declined to take up the case of a transgender inmate in Idaho who sued state officials to get sex reassignment surgery.


Updated at 3:52 p.m. ET

In Boise, the first day of Idaho's special legislative session erupted into chaos before it began. Dozens of unmasked protesters, some of them armed, shoved their way past state troopers to pack the gallery overlooking the state's House of Representatives.

Two new laws went into effect in Idaho this week that target transgender residents. The enactment comes on the heels of a major U.S. Supreme Court decision in June, which greatly expanded LGBTQ rights.

One of the laws bans transgender people from changing the sex on their birth certificates while the other bars transgender girls and women from playing on sports teams that align with their gender identity.

In a 7-2 ruling, the United States Supreme Court has denied Idaho’s appeal to halt the sex reassignment surgery of a transgender inmate.

Updated April 6 at 12:49 p.m. ET

The sounds of signature gatherers walking door-to-door in many states would normally be just on the horizon as spring comes into bloom.

As the coronavirus began spreading in Washington state in late February, Linda Larson, a volunteer organizer across the border in Idaho for one effort to get on the ballot, decided to take precautions to protect her group and the public.

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


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."

A group of wildlife advocates is suing the federal government, saying they need to have more of a role in helping to prevent grizzly bear deaths on national forest land in Idaho and Wyoming.


In the 2018 midterms voters in the deeply conservative states of Idaho and Utah went against their Republican controlled legislatures on healthcare. They both voted yes on initiatives to expand Medicaid under Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

But it didn’t end there. Republicans in both Capitols pushed back.


Winter is when the federal government starts spending dollars to prepare for the wildfire season, but the ongoing shutdown has put some of this preparation in limbo.

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that could restore tribal hunting rights in Wyoming, which could affect tribes throughout our region.


There's no doubt skiing can be a very expensive sport, and now there's a concern that mergers and acquisitions could make it even more pricey. So is it increasingly a sport for the wealthy?


On Thursday, Democrats take back control of the House. Among several priorities is reviving a popular bipartisan conservation program that’s been dead for months.

The second round of payments to farmers affected by President Trump’s trade war with China will soon get sent out. The application deadline for growers is Jan. 15.

But the bulk of that money is largely skipping our region.


Researchers at University of Idaho say they have been able to track bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics – something that’s a new development in combating antibiotic resistance.


Parts of the Mountain West have been tangled up in long-term drought and it doesn’t look like it’s lifting anytime soon.


According to a new survey pet ownership is on the rise across the country with around 60 percent of households having some sort of animal at home. And our region is especially pet-friendly.

The U.S. Olympic Committee could decide this week which Mountain West city could host the 2030 Winter Games. But both cities have a complicated history when it comes to the Olympics.

The number of uninsured children across the country has increased for the first time in more than a decade.


After more than a century at the forefront on public lands protections, a new report finds the U.S. is being edged out by its neighbors to the north and the south.


Federal lawmakers are pushing to bankroll the Secure Rural Schools Act before Congress gavels out for the year. That money can be a lifeline for districts across our region that are surrounded by untaxable public land.

Cyanide bombs largely targeting nuisance predators like coyotes can stay on public lands – for now.


Hate crimes across the country were up 17 percent last year, according to the latest data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation out this week.


Salt Lake City and Denver are the last two American cities vying for the 2030 Winter Olympic Games.


A federal appeals court is siding with several homeless people in Boise who have sued the city for prosecuting them for sleeping outside.