How Do We Discuss Mental Health With Our Children?

‘Raising Resilient Kids: Mental Health Matters’ airs Tuesday, June 28, at 8 PM on Idaho Public Television.

“Are you okay? Why are you so sad? Can we talk?”

As parents, these are the moments that can break our hearts, when we see our children hurting. Join Idaho Public Television for a special discussion to learn how to have those difficult discussions with your children about their mental health. We know it can be a tough subject, but it is an important one that can truly save a life.

Raising Resilient Kids: Mental Health Matters (airing Tuesday, June 28, at 8 PM on Idaho Public Television) is a powerful hourlong special featuring some of Idaho’s top mental health experts (see list below). They will share their ideas on how to talk with kids about mental health, so parents and caregivers can be more effective in these critical conversations.

Learn what to do when your child is not okay, when to seek professional help, and how to help your kids be more resilient and hopeful, even when dealing with anxiety and stress. Hear some ideas about how to keep them healthy over the summer when school is out. Learn as a parent how you too can stay resilient, even when life is difficult. You can do this!

The panel discussion will be facilitated by Nicole Sanchez who also produced Resilient Idaho: Hope Lives Here. That award-winning documentary explores Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and shows how resilience is the antidote. It was made available nationwide to all PBS stations as Resilience: Hope Lives Here.

“We know there are young people in our communities who are really struggling. A lot of times it can be scary and hard to talk about mental health,” Sanchez says. “We want to take as much stress out of these conversations as possible. We hope to normalize these discussions and empower parents to help their children be more resilient and hopeful.”

Discussion Panelists

Dennis J. Woody, PhD – Dr. Dennis Woody is the Senior Clinical Program Consultant for Optum Idaho after serving as the Clinical Director since 2013 when Optum’s care management began in Idaho. Prior to joining Optum Idaho, Dr. Woody maintained a private pediatric neuropsychology practice focused on adolescents and children with brain injury sequelae, neurobehavioral problems, learning disabilities and neurodevelopmental issues. In tandem with his private practice, Dr. Woody consulted for the State of Idaho and the Meridian/West Ada and Boise school districts. He also has practiced at St. Luke’s Hospital, the Mountain States Tumor Institute (pediatrics) and Idaho Elk’s Rehabilitation Hospital for approximately 20 years before joining Optum Idaho. 

Noreen Womack, MD – Dr. Noreen Womack works in the St. Luke’s Children’s Mobile Care clinic. Her main goal is to help St. Luke’s reach children that are undergoing difficult circumstances and provide them with the quality, trauma-informed care they deserve. Dr. Womack graduated from medical school as Alpha Omega Alpha from University Texas Medical Center and completed her pediatric residency at Duke University Medical Center. She has served as the early childhood champion for the Idaho chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics for two decades, with special interest in adverse childhood experiences, resilience, and early literacy.

Keith Orchard, LCSW – From a wide range of positions, Keith Orchard has anchored his professional services to supporting the families, organizations, and systems that care for our community’s children. A licensed clinical social worker, Orchard serves as the Mental Health Coordinator for Coeur d’Alene Public Schools. He was formerly an environmental educator in the Peace Corps, wilderness therapy guide, senior clinician at Idaho Youth Ranch, clinical supervisor of the Family Advocate Program at the Marine Corps Base in Hawai’i, and a classroom teacher in Redmond, Washington.

Amber Leyba-Castle – In 2015, Amber Leyba-Castle began working with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in the Wood River Valley, Idaho. Together with local high school staff, NAMI-WRV staff, and the board of directors, she founded a peer support group called the “Bluebirds.” She started this group because she wanted to change the culture of her school and strive to be the person that she needed during a time of adversity. Leyba-Castle is now the NAMI Idaho Young & Well coordinator, and has a personal story to share, along with the ability to represent how NAMI’s signature programs can directly impact rural areas, youth, and college-aged Idahoans. She is currently working towards a social work degree at Idaho State University in Pocatello.

Gretchen Gudmundsen, PhD – Dr. Gretchen Gudmundsen oversees diagnostic assessment and therapeutic intervention for the St. Luke’s Children’s Day Treatment Center. She provides psychological evaluation and consultation to assist in diagnosis and intervention planning with children and adolescents with psychiatric conditions. Dr. Gudmundsen works with a broad range of youth with cognitive, emotional, and behavioral challenges, and has expertise in behavioral assessment and intervention with adolescents dealing with depression, bipolar disorder, and suicidal and self-harming tendencies.

Nicole Sanchez, Host – Award-winning journalist Nicole Sanchez is a television host, reporter, and producer. She is passionate about telling stories that connect with people and help to improve their lives. Sanchez is the producer, writer, and narrator for Resilience: Hope Lives Here. This documentary produced by Idaho Public Television has aired on more than 150 television stations across the country and recently received several honors including a regional Emmy nomination and Edward R. Murrow Award. Sanchez is also the host of the Idaho News 6 award program “Shine a Light” and is a host and reporter for the newsmagazine show CityStream, which airs on the Seattle Channel.  Nicole is honored to serve as the President of the NW Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, which produces the regional Emmys in Seattle.

In addition to the hourlong broadcast special, these five short videos for Raising Resilient Kids will be available on our Resilient Kids website:

Raising Resilient Kids: How to Talk about Mental Health

“What’s wrong? Are you OK?” We know it can be tough to talk about mental health with children, but it is incredibly important. In this short video, you can learn how to feel more confident having this discussion with your child about their struggles. Also learn the signs and symptoms of suicide and how you can support a child who needs help.

Raising Resilient Kids: How to Promote Hope & Resilience

We all want our kids to be resilient, but what exactly does that mean and how do we help them achieve that goal? In this short video, learn how to walk your child through adversity and why it’s not healthy to protect them from all problems and stress — otherwise they won’t have the opportunity to learn resilience. Learn how you can help them move forward after hardships in a healthy way.

Raising Resilient Kids: How to Help Kids with Big Feelings

“Calm down!” It might be something your parents yelled at you when you were upset. Or it might be something you recently said to your child. And it probably didn’t work out so well. In this short video, learn some better ways to help children regulate their emotions. This is a powerful tool that can help them not only be more resilient, but also be more successful in life and in their relationships.

Raising Resilient Kids: Help for Parents & Caregivers

Are you stressed out? Feel like you’re having a hard time taking care of your family? It might be that you need to find some intentional moments to also make sure you are taking care of yourself. You’ve heard it said every time you fly — put on the oxygen mask first and then assist others. That same advice applies to self-care. In this short video, learn how taking even just a few minutes for a break is not selfish, it’s actually really important. It can help you become a better parent.

Raising Resilient Kids: Staying Healthy over Summer

School’s out for summer! Most kids love to hear that, but it can cause some serious anxiety for parents. Now what do I do with them?! In this short video, learn some practical tips to keep kids healthy and active over the summer. No, you don’t have to throw out the gaming system, but limits are important. And learn why having a schedule can actually reduce anxiety in children and families.

Production of Raising Resilient Kids: Mental Health Matters was supported by grant NH75OT000105 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through the Idaho Resilience Project. Its contents are solely the responsibility of Idaho Public Television and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Department of Health and Human Services or CDC. Additional funding has been provided by the Friends of Idaho Public Television Endowment.

Wildflowers Bloom on ‘Outdoor Idaho’

‘Wildflowers’ airs on ‘Outdoor Idaho’ Thursday, June 16, at 8 PM and repeats Sunday, June 19, at 7 PM.

Here in Idaho, we have birders and hikers, snowmobilers and climbers — but have you ever met a wildflower-er? On June 16, Outdoor Idaho introduces viewers to a cast of characters with one passion in common: wildflowers. It’s a show that’s been years in the making thanks to videographer Jay Krajic shooting video of wildflowers in every nook and cranny across the state of Idaho. Between his eye for beauty and show producer Lauren Melink’s ear for a good story, Wildflowers will surely delight all your senses. 

In this documentary we’ll look at wildflowers through the eyes of their devotees, among them: a photographer with an unquenchable curiosity, a botanist recording the landscape for future generations, a blogger with a zest for weeds, a flower seed farmer, and an educator in ethnobotany. 

We’ll also introduce viewers to a few of Idaho’s special wildflowers — visuals that just might inspire hobbyists to track these beauties down themselves. From Indian paintbrush to beargrass, syringa to bitterroot, Wildflowers is a lesson in appreciation. And for producer Lauren Melink, that was always the goal. “There’s just so much beauty in nature and some of it happens to be quite small. This show is about getting down on your hands and knees and appreciating the true magnificence of our Idaho landscape,” Melink says.

Wildflowers premieres Thursday, June 16, at 8 PM and repeats Sunday, June 19, at 7 PM on Idaho Public Television. IdahoPTV Passport members can stream it early beginning June 9.

Meet the Staff Mondays – Andy Lawless

We thought our readers/viewers might like to learn about some of the folks that work at IdahoPTV. Because there are so many people who work behind the scenes, you may have seen some of them, or maybe only heard about them. Today we would like to introduce Director/Videographer Andy Lawless.

IdahoPTV’s Carol Beres chatted with Andy, who also produces for the station. “I started in 2014, working with Marcia (Franklin) on Dialogue. And that was kind of a part-time thing for a few years. I did a little bit of Outdoor Idaho. And then, American Graduate: Getting to Work came along. So they hired me full-time to manage all of that content. So I produced all of the American Graduate pieces.” Those are short programs that “…illuminate pathways to post-secondary education.”

Andy was born in Georgia, but grew up in Idaho. “My family moved out here in the ‘70s so that my dad could distribute Schlitz Beer…which was going bankrupt at the time.” Andy attended college at Pacific Conservatory for the Performing Arts, in Santa Maria, California. “I studied theater down there and then I kind of roamed around a little bit…I started out really wanting to be an actor. And I soon realized that my interests were more in storytelling, camera work and film work. I figured acting is a good background to play any role,” Andy laughs. “When I worked in San Francisco, I started out sweeping stages, basically. And then I just watched what other people were doing and learned how to build sets, learned how to paint and then I started working with the camera department, learning how to load cameras. Slowly but surely, I learned how to be a photographer,” Andy remembers. “I ended up…working for a company called Colossal Pictures that did MTV interstitials (short programs), Pillsbury Doughboy commercials, special effects for Top Gun and The Right Stuff, Bram Stoker’s Dracula. And then I spent about a year being a camera guy for James and the Giant Peach.” That particular movie is stop motion animation, and Andy says, “you could start a shot in July and finish it around Thanksgiving…thirty seconds of film.” Then he found work in a galaxy far, far away. “I did a stint on Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace. Then I traveled to Indonesia and eventually found my way back to Boise.”

While he will do free-lance work occasionally, coming to Idaho Public Television has given him another way to tell stories. “It was an opportunity to collaborate. I’m a fan of the long-form stories that we get to tell. Idaho Experience and Outdoor Idaho are great avenues for that. And with the American Graduate series, they gave me a lot of freedom to go out and find the stories and tell them on my own, which was great.”

Andy plies the waters in his free time. “I’m into boating. I have a small Laser dinghy. It’s 14 feet. They’re very fast. It’s like a go-kart on the water. I take it up to Lucky Peak or Lake Alturas. I have a buddy in Seattle who has a ‘real’ boat. I go over there when I’ve got time and go sailing with him. We spent time in Indonesia together. We have a love of boats. That and cycling.” And when it comes to his favorite places in Idaho, it’s hard to pin him down. “The whole state is beautiful. I love Sandpoint. I love Stanley. My wife’s family has a place down on the Snake River, down near Hagerman. That’s beautiful,” Andy says. “The Thousand Springs area is gorgeous…you see the springs come down off the cliffs, beautiful water and you can paddle around if you’re into that sort of thing.” And a cute monkey is Andy’s go-to for favorite PBS Kids character. “I’ve always been a fan of Curious George. I like the trouble he gets into. I can relate.” When it comes to a favorite snack, he goes with an American favorite. “I like peanuts. It’s probably because I’m from Georgia originally. Me and Jimmy Carter. We like our peanuts.” 

Meet the Staff Mondays – Janna DeLange

We thought our readers/viewers might like to learn about some of the folks that work at IdahoPTV. Because there are so many people who work behind the scenes, you may have seen some of them, or maybe only heard about them. Today we would like to introduce Janna DeLange, IdahoPTV’s web content researcher and writer for our Science Trek website.

IdahoPTV’s Carol Beres chatted with Janna. “I do research and writing for the Science Trek website to accompany the Science Trek videos that Joan Cartan-Hansen does…The idea is to help make science content more accessible for both kids and teachers, with the goal to spark excitement and engagement and further investigation on the part of young people.”

Originally from Walnut Creek, California, Janna attended BYU and earned her bachelor’s degree in education. Then she went to the University of Washington for her master’s degree. After completing her master’s, Janna moved to Boise 38 years ago, “before it was cool,” she says. Janna and her husband raised their five kids in Idaho. She worked for the Boise School District as a resource teacher and special ed teacher for many years. “I worked with kids of all ages, with different kinds of learning challenges,” Janna says. She retired from teaching in 2016 and began working for Idaho Public Television in 2017.

For six seasons, Janna has really enjoyed working on Science Trek. “It’s been a really good fit for me, because it combines my passions for science and education and writing…all things that I love and that are important to me.” Her research varies depending on each season. “We usually do nine topics for each new season. Sometimes we’re updating old topics, and sometimes we’re starting new topics. So that part is fun for me. I get to research everything I can about a topic and then I get to write about it.”  Janna does research on the internet, in books, and “…sometimes I contact a content specialist. I know a lot of people in the Boise School District, so sometimes I will contact a science specialist in the district. And Joan has a wide network of contacts that she uses in the videos.”  In addition, Janna sometimes helps out our IdahoPTV education department when they have community events as well.

Janna remembers her kids grew up watching Mr. Rogers, Reading Rainbow, Wishbone and Arthur. “It’s fun now, when they get together, they quote the shows that they loved. When the kids were young, they didn’t really know any other TV. Idaho Public Television has always been really important to our family.”

In her downtime, Janna likes to explore the beautiful Idaho outdoors. “My husband and I like to go hiking and camping and kayaking whenever possible. The Sawtooths are probably my absolute favorite, but I love anywhere I can get out into the mountains.” She also likes gardening, reading and volunteering with our growing community. “I volunteer with the refugee center and I teach English to refugees who have come to Idaho.”

When it comes to satisfying snack cravings, Janna confesses to a sweet tooth. “I have a weakness for homemade cookies.” And as for her favorite PBS Kids show, “Mr. Rogers will always be the best…but now the grandkids like Daniel Tiger, Dinosaur Train, and other things.” As for her work with Science Trek, “My hope is that for the kids and the teachers who use it, it will lead to more questions and more curiosity and more investigations. That’s my goal: to make the website as engaging as possible and as accessible as possible. It is widely used throughout the United States and throughout the world.”

Boise Cook Will Compete in ‘The Great American Recipe’

Boise home cook Nikki Tomiano-Allemand has been selected as one of ten contestants who will compete in the upcoming PBS series The Great American Recipe, which begins airing Friday, June 24, on Idaho Public Television.

PBS recently announced the ten talented home cooks who will showcase their culinary expertise in this eight-part uplifting competition series that celebrates the multiculturalism that makes American food so vibrant and unique. With a range of culinary styles infused by their backgrounds — from Syrian to Hungarian, Vietnamese to Mexican, Italian to Puerto Rican, Southern soul food to Filipino — the ten contestants represent the delicious diversity of American home cooking.

Local contestant Nikki Tomiano-Allemand was raised in the Seattle area but now lives in Boise with her husband and two sons, where she runs her own meal prep delivery service for other busy parents. Her cooking combines her family’s Italian roots with her Pacific Northwest upbringing. Her most cherished recipes are those passed down from her relatives, including her grandfather, who taught her many of his favorite dishes. Nikki’s love of world travel has inspired her to infuse a variety of international influences in her cooking.

To give back to the Boise community, Nikki hosts an annual Thanksgiving dinner for families in need and works with a program that helps local youth receive culinary and life skills training and job placement in the food industry. Nikki’s signature dish is baccala, a salted cod stew that kicks off the traditional Feast of the Seven Fishes in Italy, a recipe brought over by her family when they emigrated to the U.S.

Get to know all ten contestants here.

Hosted by Alejandra Ramos, each episode of The Great American Recipe gives the cooks an opportunity to showcase two of their beloved signature dishes as they compete to win the national search for “The Great American Recipe.” Judges Leah Cohen, Tiffany Derry and Graham Elliot bring their professional insights and deep culinary knowledge to encourage and support the contestants along the way.

The Great American Recipe blends food, family and fun, highlighting the amazing variety of tastes and traditions found across the U.S., while capturing the roots of America’s diverse cuisine. From family favorites passed down through generations, to internationally influenced recipes that are quickly becoming mainstays of American cuisine, the series mixes camaraderie with competition, revealing rich personal stories and the inspiration behind the contestants’ favorite recipes. The series will culminate in a finale that features the finalists preparing an entire meal for the judges to make their ultimate decision. One of the winner’s dishes will grace the cover of The Great American Recipe Cookbook, which will also feature recipes from all of the contestants and the show’s host and judges.

The Great American Recipe airs Fridays at 9 PM beginning June 24 on Idaho Public Television and will be available for streaming at and through the PBS Video app.

Local broadcast of The Great American Recipe is made possible by support from AARP.

Meet the Staff Mondays – Jim Alpaugh

We thought our readers/viewers might like to learn about some of the folks that work at IdahoPTV. Because there are so many people who work behind the scenes, you may have seen some of them, or maybe only heard about them. Today we would like to introduce Master Control Operator Jim Alpaugh.

Master control operators are the folks who keep us on the air. “I monitor all of our incoming and outgoing signals and make sure we have clean audio and video.” Our master control operators not only monitor our many channel feeds, but they check the shows that are fed to Idaho Public Television to be aired later. “We gotta review all the shows that are streaming down (to us), so we can make sure before they get aired that they’re good.” Now that’s multi-tasking!

Jim was born in Miami, Florida, on Christmas Day in 1942. “I’m almost 80 now,” he laughs. “I grew up in Hialeah, during the 1950s, which was the best decade in the whole 20th century, as far as I’m concerned. The ‘50s were fabulous. I loved it.” His dad worked for Eastern Airlines as chief mechanic, and he remembers going for lots of test flights. “Any time there was a major problem that occurred with a plane and something had to be fixed, it would have to be signed off on. He would have to go up in the plane with the chief pilot and they would go out over the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic Ocean and just fly around and do several maneuvers, test everything out, make sure the plane was airworthy and sign off.” Sometimes, Jim’s dad would call home and see if he could come join him. “I couldn’t get to the airport fast enough…I’d be in the cockpit in the jump seat. Back then, you could do all this stuff.” And sometimes, the chief pilot would let Jim fly the plane. No passengers, of course, and the chief pilot had his hands on the controls also. “I was a 12- or 13-year-old kid. I would take the controls and maneuver the plane. People were envious.”

After Jim graduated from high school, he joined the Air Force. “I spent 26 years in the Air Force. I served mainly here in the United States.” His first year was spent in Alaska, but Jim had a lot of temporary duty posts all around the country, along with three tours of Vietnam. His last post was right here in Idaho. “Right after I retired (from the Air Force), I got a job with Hewlett Packard.” Jim was an engineering technician. “I worked for Hewlett Packard for 15 years, until they closed the laser jet printer division down, which is where I was working at, and they sent the job overseas.” He had plans to retire at the age of 62, but the division shut down when he was 61. “They paid me a year’s severance pay… I sat at home for three or four months and I said, I gotta do something.” So Jim went to the job services office and they asked him what he wanted to do. “I said I like videography…something with broadcasting.” He entered the Broadcast Engineering program at Boise State. Jim was required to get a part-time job during the program, as part of the schooling, and Idaho Public Television was looking for master control operators. Jim was hired, and he’s been doing it ever since for almost 20 years.

One of Jim’s hobbies is traveling. “My wife and I, we travel all over the globe. We’ve been around the world about three times…to about 80 countries.” They’ve been to all seven continents, including Antarctica; and they’ve been there twice. “Antarctica is my favorite place. The air is so clean down there, it’s unbelievable. You wouldn’t think Antarctica has a lot of wildlife, but they do. We saw five different kinds of penguins, I don’t know how many kinds of seals, whales and countless kinds of birds. The scenery is beautiful.” One thing he knows for sure, America is the best country to come home to. “I’ve been to a lot of places and I wouldn’t live any other place.” He loves all the outdoor recreation in the Gem State. “White water rafting, hiking, fishing. The only thing I haven’t done is skiing. I’m not a skier.”  And he’s been married to his wife, Nancy, for 59 years!

When the urge for a snack strikes, Jim will drive a long way to get his favorite. “Lobster. That’s it. I’ll travel all the way to Maine to get a good lobster.” When they drive through the fall leaves back east, he makes a special stop in Maine at some fave lobster shacks. “When lobster season is open, they’ve got a line two blocks long just to get a lobster roll. And it’s not filled with a whole bunch of fillers.” And when it comes to relaxing at home, he’ll turn to his favorite station. “I mostly watch our station. I like all the documentaries they do. That special on Ben Franklin, that was nice.”

Idaho Public TV Productions Honored With Idaho Press Club Awards

The Idaho Press Club has announced its “Best of 2021” awards. Here are the Idaho Public Television productions and production team members honored by these annual awards.


Division A

1st – Lauren Melink, Jay Krajic, Kris Millgate, Bruce Reichert, Marcia Franklin – Idaho Public Television – Outdoor Idaho: Off the Beaten Path


1st – Bill Manny, Eric Westrom, Jay Krajic, Lauren Melink, Dexter Sear – Idaho Public Television – Idaho Experience: Idaho’s Hemingway


2nd – Ruth Brown, Morgan McCollum – Idaho Public Television – Idaho Reports: Access to Youth Mental Health Care


1st – Bill Manny, Troy Shreve, Ruth Brown – Idaho Public Television – Idaho Experience: Nothing But the Truth


2nd – Marcia Franklin, Logan Finney, Troy Shreve, Morgan McCollum, Andy Lawless, Hank Nystrom – Idaho Public Television – Dialogue: Historian Tom Ikeda


1st – Bruce Reichert, Pat Metzler, Forrest Burger, Aaron Kunz, Jay Krajic, Hank Nystrom – Idaho Public Television – Outdoor Idaho: Salmon Reckoning


1st – Marcia Franklin, Andy Lawless – Idaho Public Television – Idaho Experience: Caxton: An American Press
3rd – Nicole Sanchez, Pat Metzler, Hank Nystrom – Idaho Public Television – Resilience: Hope Lives Here


1st – Melissa Davlin – Idaho Public Television – Idaho Reports Special: A Statewide Disaster


1st – Joan Cartan-Hansen – Idaho Public Television – Science Trek
2nd – Forrest Burger – Idaho Public Television – Outdoor Idaho: Barns of Idaho
3rd – Lauren Melink – Idaho Public Television – Outdoor Idaho: Off the Beaten Path


2nd – Andy Lawless – Idaho Public Television – Idaho Experience: Caxton: An American Press

3rd – Outdoor Idaho staff – Idaho Public Television – Outdoor Idaho: Salmon Reckoning


1st – Cassandra Groll – Idaho Public Television – Science Trek: Skin


3rd – Joan Cartan-Hansen, Al Hagenlock, Cassandra Groll, Troy Shreve, Jenessa Carson – Idaho Public Television – Science Trek: Animal Adaptation: Crawfish or Crawdad?


1st – Bruce Reichert, Lauren Melink, Emily Brunell, Cassandra Groll, Forrest Burger, Bill Manny – Idaho Public Television – Outdoor Idaho


2nd – Stephanie Dickey, Robin Barclay – Idaho Public Television –


1st – Stephanie Dickey, Robin Barclay, Joan Cartan-Hansen, Janna DeLange, Krystal Goodman – Idaho Public Television – Science Trek


1st – Melissa Davlin – Idaho Public TV – Idaho Reports Blog – The Surprise Factor Sets McGeachin Apart from 1987’s Lt. Gov. Otter

3rd – Logan Finney – Idaho Public TV – Idaho Reports Blog – Idaho Reports: Senate Moved Methodically on COVID Legislation


1st – Melissa Davlin – Idaho Public Television – Idaho Reports Blog – “It’s Such a Traumatic Experience.” Nampa Toddler Recovering After COVID Nearly Causes Liver Failure

3rd – Melissa Davlin – Idaho Public Television – Idaho Reports Blog – Families Struggle to Find Local Care as Idaho Hospitals Hit Crisis


2nd – Jim Hadley – Idaho Public Television – Channels: Salmon Reckoning

Meet the Staff Mondays – Derek Begg

We thought our readers/viewers might like to learn about some of the folks that work at IdahoPTV. Because there are so many people who work behind the scenes, you may have seen some of them, or maybe only heard about them. Today we would like to introduce Broadcast Engineer Derek Begg.

As one of our broadcast engineers, Derek, maintains and services all broadcast equipment for our station. Not only does he work on equipment in our building, but he works out in the field as well. “I’ll work on the main transmitter at Bogus (Basin) and…in Twin Falls.”

Derek grew up in California. “I grew up on the Central Coast in California, in a city called Santa Maria.” He joined the Coast Guard when he turned 18. “I went to boot camp. And you get this thing, it’s called a wish list; basically, you choose places you would really wish to go for your unit.  And I just put the West Coast. I totally forgot about Alaska. I was thinking Hawaii, California, Oregon and Washington.” He ended up serving in Alaska for several years, then returned to California. After leaving the military and after a series of jobs, he got married. With the high cost of living in California, Derek and his wife decided to move to Idaho, where his wife is from, and start a family. Their daughter was born in the Gem State.

Derek is known around the station for his love of music. “When I was seven years old, I picked up the drums. I wasn’t really good at making other sounds. I tried the trumpet. I tried the saxophone…my elementary-school band teacher told me, ‘What’s wrong with you? Does your dad work in the toilet paper factory?’ But the drums have stuck with me ever since. I played all the way through junior high in the marching band and school jazz band…I played with punk rock bands and metal bands in high school. When I went up to Alaska I couldn’t take my drums with me, so I ended up picking up a guitar up there and that’s when I actually got into guitar.”

He’s a fan of many genres of music as well. “People would be surprised at how large a breadth of music I enjoy. A lot of people see me as just a ‘metal head’. I used to really like listening to Sinatra. All music is just expression of the soul…like Indian music, instead of doing the 12 note tempered scale (in Western music), they break it up into way more semitones.” Derek studied music production before he became an engineer. And while living in California, he performed with a few bands and recorded other bands that were cutting demos. He’s a Certified Audio Engineer, as well. “That’s one of the things that helped me get the job here.”  

Derek is a fan of Idaho as well. He’s been to Brundage Mountain to help out with a transmitter there. “That was really cool. I’d never actually been out in the wilderness there, or anywhere here, besides going up to Bogus (Basin). And that just blew my mind, because there was just so much to see like just the trees, being up on top of the mountain, looking down into the valley there, seeing the lake, everything is just beautiful up there. McCall, the whole drive up, is just absolutely beautiful. Garden Valley is beautiful…and that river that runs through there, it’s just amazing. It’s all very beautiful up there and I wish I had more time (to spend there).” That’s what he appreciates about living in the Treasure Valley. “You can live in a city, and just a couple of miles away see beautiful stuff.”

When it comes to snacking, he goes for an old standby. “My thing is peanut butter. I absolutely love peanut butter. I don’t care if it’s peanut butter on a spoon, peanut butter with chocolate, peanut butter in a smoothie, ice cream, whatever.” And his favorite PBS Kids character is Mr. Rogers. “I could not get enough of him. Just the fact that he was always on the kids’ level, trying to show people what life’s like. You get a glimpse of life through Mr. Rogers and a lot of other things, too, that you wouldn’t normally get. He’s always been my favorite.” And he’s thankful to be working at IdahoPTV. “I’m definitely honored to work for PBS…I never thought I’d be working for PBS at this point in my life.”

Congrats to Our Production Team for 2022 Emmy Nominations

The Northwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS Northwest) recently announced its 2022 Northwest Regional Emmy Award nominations. We’re proud to announce that Idaho Public Television was nominated for 13 awards. Here are the honors for which our producers, filmmakers and station were nominated. Winners will be announced during a ceremony on Saturday, June 4, at Fremont Studios in Seattle.

Overall Excellence – Idaho Public Television – Jeff Tucker, General Manager

Business/Consumer – Short and Long Form ContentOutdoor Idaho “Spud Country” – Lauren Melink, Producer

Health/Medical – Long Form Content “Resilience: Hope Lives Here” – Pat Metzler, Producer/Editor; Hank Nystrom, Producer/Photographer/Editor; Nicole Sanchez, Producer/Writer/Narrator

Historical/Cultural – Long Form ContentIdaho Experience “Idaho’s Hemingway” – Bill Manny, Producer

Documentary – Topical Idaho Experience “Caxton: An American Press” – Marcia Franklin, Producer; Andy Lawless, Director

Interview/Discussion Dialogue “Author Catherine Grace Katz” – Marcia Franklin, Producer/Host; Logan Finney, Associate Producer; Troy Shreve, Director

Children/Youth/Teens Science Trek “Animal Adaptation: How to Survive” – Joan Cartan-Hansen, Producer; Al Hagenlock, Director; Cassandra Groll, Graphic Artist

Informational/Instructional – Long Form ContentOutdoor Idaho “Off the Beaten Path” – Lauren Melink, Producer; Bruce Reichert, Producer/Host; Marcia Franklin, Producer; Kris Millgate, Producer

and Outdoor Idaho “Women Who Hunt” – Lauren Melink, Producer

Writer – Non-news (Short/Long Form Content) – Bill Manny and Lauren Melink

Photographer – Short Form or Long Form Content – Jay Krajic

Graphic Arts – Cassandra Groll

Meet the Staff Mondays – Krystal Goodman

We thought our readers/viewers might like to learn about some of the folks that work at IdahoPTV. Because there are so many people who work behind the scenes, you may have seen some of them, or maybe only heard about them. Today we would like to introduce IT Ops & Support Analyst I Krystal Goodman.

IdahoPTV’s Carol Beres gets to know Krystal, one of our computer tech gurus who provides general tech support for computers, phones, and software. Plus, Krystal helps the communications department with keeping track of our internet traffic. “I’ve been building a dashboard on our intranet site to try and centralize all of the numbers we’ve been tracking.”

Krystal grew up in Albion, Idaho, in the Magic Valley. When she was younger, she enjoyed skiing at Pomerelle Mountain Resort. “I stuck to the easier slopes, because I just enjoyed the ride down. I guess I was a “cruiser” as a skier. One year my knees just hurt looking at a ski run, so I stopped. Mary (another Idaho PublicTV employee) almost has me talked back into it. With the changes in equipment, I might try it again next year.”

She attended Boise State University, with a year’s detour to South Carolina. “I stumbled across Winthrop University. It was beautiful out there. I got into my major out there, so I graduated with a degree in chemistry.” But the school’s historic vibe came with something a little darker. “They were growing quickly at the time. They didn’t really have anywhere to expand. So they took over an old hotel (that I moved into). And I was pretty sure a murder had been committed in my room.” Luckily, Krystal was able to move to another room. On the bright side, she had a close encounter with a movie that was filmed there at the time. “They filmed ‘The Patriot’ while I was there. The plantation that was nearby was where they filmed all the plantation scenes.”

Krystal eventually decided to come back to Idaho and finish up her degree at Boise State. “I realized my last semester that I didn’t want to be trapped in a lab, all day, every day. All through high school, I helped my brother build computers. I was the unofficial tech support all the way through college, for whatever office I worked in. I have an aptitude for that. I went out and got a few certifications. And then I got my first tech position at the help desk at SuperValu.” Krystal held a few jobs in between that one and coming to Idaho Public Television.

She’s glad to be here, helping with the mission of bringing high quality television and internet resources to the entire state. “I remember watching it as a little kid, I had to be about 3 or 4, so this was in 1982 or 1983…my parents called in and made a donation. And then they announced my name on Festival! And I still remember that to this day.” Krystal’s favorite PBS Kids characters are Cookie Monster and Oscar the Grouch. “It’s the sarcasm.”

 Speaking of favorites, Krystal’s favorite snacks are a little outside the usual fare. “Peanut butter and cheese. I don’t eat them together, but one right after another. Either way around. And my guilty pleasure is Cheetos.” Her favorite part of the Gem State is near Salmon. “That part of the state is really beautiful.” And taking in the beauty of the state is her way to unwind. “I like to hike. And I discovered paddle boarding last summer. And I have a dog, a little miniature schnauzer that’s game to go anywhere. He loves to hike with me.”