What do you want to know about the Gem State and the people who live here?

Has Idaho ever made you ask “why,” left you scratching your head or simply utter, “huh?” Our new reader-driven project will help. You ask the questions, we answer.

Whether you’re a newcomer or a lifelong Idahoan, we think you’ll learn something new. That’s because this project, Curious Idaho, lets you suggest stories to our reporters through questions.

We want to work with you — and for you — by investigating your queries about the Treasure Valley and the state. You’ll be an important part of the story selection process, sparking ideas and casting votes.

Here’s how Curious Idaho works:

  • In the box below, leave your Idaho-related question. It can be about anything — nature, history, politics, oddities — so long as there’s a connection to the Gem State.
  • Here are some examples to get you started: How did the cross get on Table Rock and what does it mean? What is the average salary of high school teachers in the state? Why does Idaho label its license plates by county?
  • When we have enough questions, we’ll begin a voting round. That means you can choose from three questions and cast your vote for the one a reporter should tackle first.
  • Our reporters will track down the answers and check in with the reader who submitted the winning question.
  • Finally, we’ll publish an article sharing what we found. You can read the story online, through social media and in print.

We’re excited to hear from you. So ask away!

Here are some your Curious Idaho questions answered:

You asked: Why is the panhandle not part of Washington or Montana? Here’s the answer

Idaho Wallace map.JPG
William H. Wallace’s proposed boundaries for the new Idaho Territory, above, won out in 1863, defeating the proposal of his rival, John Mullan. Both men wanted to be the governor of the new territory, which would see even more changes to its borders before Idaho became a state in 1890.

You asked: Who does Idaho send to prison? And what if we sent fewer people?

1003 prison rider program
Curious Idaho reporter Nicole Blanchard examined data about the state’s prison population and explored the question of how sentencing practices leads to our overcrowding problem.
Darin Oswald Idaho Statesman file

Why are Five Mile and Ten Mile roads six miles apart?

Foote map.JPG
This hand-drawn survey map for the New York Canal system by A. D. Foote shows both Five-mile and Ten-mile creeks near its center. This replica of that map from 1887, was published in the Idaho Sunday Statesman in 1929. The canal, built with investments from New Yorkers, opened in 1900.
Idaho Statesman file



Why did the Federal government choose Idaho for Idaho National Laboratory?

inl 3.jpg
On Dec. 20, 1951, the Experimental Breeder Reactor No. 1 produced enough electricity to light up a string of four light bulbs. It was the first time a nuclear reactor had produced a usable amount of electricity.
Provided by Idaho National Laboratory

Idaho bicycle stop law; desert gardens; herd districts.

0408 Bike Ped Drivers Test (5)
Bikers and cars make their way up North 8th Street in Downtown Boise. There has long been tension between cyclists and drivers on Boise streets.
Idaho Statesman file