Our Staff

Nate Eaton

Nate Eaton

News Director

Nate Eaton began his journalism career reporting and anchoring at KIDK in Idaho Falls.

He moved to WRIC in Richmond, Virginia, where he covered prominent stories including the execution of the D.C. sniper, the Virginia Tech shooting massacre, the brutal murder of UVA student Yeardley Love and the disappearance of Hannah Graham.

Nate has provided extensive coverage of numerous presidential visits and has interviewed several presidential candidates. He has reported in multiple hurricanes, a large earthquake, floods, tornadoes and is known to measure snow using Kit-Kat bars.

Nate is a four-time recipient of the prestigious Edward R. Murrow award and has been recognized with nearly two dozen other awards. He has been nominated for an Emmy and the Virginia Associated Press named him “Outstanding Reporter of the Year” four times.

Nate has appeared on CNN, FOX News, ABC, CBS, NBC, “Dr. Phil,” “Nancy Grace,” “The Doctors,” “The Today Show,” “Good Morning America” and other national and international programs.

Nate graduated from Brigham Young University-Idaho and served a two-year Mormon mission in Australia. He has completed courses at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies.

In 2015, Nate moved back to Idaho Falls and helped launch EastIdahoNews.com. The innovative website provides exceptional local news coverage and continually produces compelling content seen around the world.

In less than a year, EastIdahoNews.com received an Edward R. Murrow award for the best news website in a five-state region. The Idaho Press Club also awarded EastIdahoNews.com first place in the General Excellence online category.

Nate and his wife, Erica, are the happy parents of Emerson and Everett. The world watched the Eatons announce their second pregnancy with a Taylor Swift parody music video that quickly went viral and appeared on “Good Morning America,” “TODAY” and dozens of other programs.

Nate may be the only person in the world who’s been a contestant on “The Price is Right” and “Let’s Make a Deal.” Dressed as a banana and sock monkey, he and Erica won the “Big Deal” by picking curtain No. 3.

When Nate’s not updating EastIdahoNews.com, he stays busy chasing his two toddlers and spending time with wife. They are avid bargain hunters and run a small eBay business on the side.

Nate is an active runner and has completed the Richmond marathon twice. He loves the beach, rocky road ice cream, a good book and warm Idaho summer nights.

Nate Sunderland

Nate Sunderland

Managing Editor

Nate Sunderland is a longtime investigative journalist and web developer who loves to tell stories. He’s reported in newspapers, radio and television and loves bringing those formats together online to tell the very best narratives.

He’s won numerous awards for journalism and web development, including the C.B. Blethen Memorial Award for investigative reporting and was an honorable mention for the Ted Natt First Amendment Award. Nate previously owned a small media company, where he doubled as a syndicated entertainment columnist, radio show host and media commentator.

A techie at heart, Nate has a degree in broadcast communication from BYU-Idaho and a degree in web development from Eastern Idaho Technical College. He enjoys writing JavaScript and PHP almost as much he enjoys writing news.

Nate lives in Rexburg, Idaho, with his beautiful wife, Amy, and three young sons.

Stephan Rockefeller

Reporter

Stephan Rockefeller, born and raised in Idaho Falls, studied business administration at Lewis-Clark State College prior to starting his first career as an offset pressman

Stephan started working for EastIdahoNews.com as a freelance photographer in May 2015. His charm and good looks got the better of the staff, so he joined the team full time in January 2016.

Stephan’s work has appeared on national television and publications world wide.

Stephan has also worked on Emmy nominated stories while with EastIdahoNews.com.

Meeting new people and building relationships with those in the community is Stephan’s favorite part of his job.

Stephan is happily married, he knows because… his wife told him so. He managed to charm his way into the heart of a super awesome, beautiful, smart, funny, athletic and charming wife in July 2015.

Stephan’s hobbies include boy projects (i.e. fixing stuff, breaking stuff and fixing stuff he breaks), photography, flying his drone, frog hunting and making messes.

Natalia Hepworth

Natalia Hepworth

Reporter

Natalia Hepworth recently graduated from Brigham Young University-Idaho with a degree in communication and an emphasis in visual communication.

Originally from Jamaica, she has lived in Rexburg for 15 years. She is the oldest of seven children and takes partial responsibility for raising her rambunctious siblings. She enjoys meeting new people, and connecting with those in her community.

Natalia was in a marching band in high school, and was a member of nationally renowned jump rope team, Pro-Form Airborne. Although from Idaho, she is not an outdoorsy person. She likes to refer to herself as a “house cat.” Having fun is still her strong suit, but she doesn’t play in dirt.

She’s also a super-fan of the MTV series “Teen Wolf.” Natalia loves to laugh, and will never turn down a hearty meal.

Adam Forsgren

The Art of Nerding Out

Adam Forsgren grew up in the nether regions of east Idaho, raised on a steady diet of beef, potatoes and heavy metal. Our Protagonist attended film classes at the University of Utah, graduating with a degree in film studies. That means people still think he’s dopey for thinking “Iron Man” was better than “The Dark Knight.” (Doctors don’t have to put up with this kind of stuff.)

When not at the movies, Our Protagonist likes loudly playing loud guitar riffs, writing silly sci-fi novels, and nursing his addiction to Food Network shows. His favorite films include “The Blues Brothers,” the original “Star Wars” trilogy, “Clerks,” “Fight Club” and anything starring Humphrey Bogart. If you like looking at the stars, long walks in the country, and Asian cuisine – hey, wait! This ain’t that kind of bio …

Adam publishes his weekly column, The Art of Nerding Out, every Friday.

Bill Schiess

Living the Wild Life

Bill Schiess has been an outdoor enthusiast since he was a young boy growing up near Victor on a family farm that bordered U.S. Forest land with a stream running past the family home.

Professionally he was a teacher, coach, writer and fishing guide. “Fishing Henrys Lake” is a how-to-guide book he authored about the world famous lake while guiding fishermen there. He still maintains a fly-tying business that produces flies for lake fishing. He retired from Madison School District in December 2014 after 19 years.

Now he tries to spend several days each week out in the great outdoors, birding, fishing, hunting, hiking and hunting rocks. He tries to document all of his activities with photographs and writing while working for numerous newspapers over the years.

Schiess resides near Rexburg with his wife and enjoys his activities with his daughters, sons-in-law, but mostly his wife and grandchildren.

Robert Patten

Robert Patten

Web Developer/Creative Tech

Robert Patten is a web developer with 10 years of journalism experience. He has two bachelor degrees: English and information technology specializing in software.

Before coming to EastIdahoNews.com, he managed the websites of two other east Idaho news organizations.

In addition to coding for the website and app, Robert also writes Creative Tech.

In his spare time, he likes to work on various programming projects, compose music on Garageband, write fiction and play old computer games (with or without his Apple IIc).

Above all, he enjoys spending time with his wife and children at their home in Hibbard.

Cory McHugh

Cory McHugh

Web Manager

Cory McHugh has been shaking his fist and swearing at computers for fun and profit for most of his adult life. His career began with designing databases, websites, and mobile applications. Currently, his role expands on these concepts to include obsessively checking page load times, optimizing content, bending JavaScript to his dark will, and providing free bottled water to his co-workers.

While browsing EastIdahoNews.com, chances are you will come across some of Cory’s handiwork. He also loves to run (or at the very least shuffle with earnest intent), be with his darling family and custom build mineral oil cooled computers.

Ronda-Hobbs

Ronda Hobbs

Digital Sales Account Executive

Ronda Joy Hobbs graduated from BYU-Idaho in July 2015, where she earned the distinguished Gordon B. Hinckley Communicator award. She began her career in digital platforms as an intern during her last semester at BYU-Idaho.

Ronda is an east Idaho native who calls Pocatello her old stomping grounds but Idaho Falls home. Ronda spent the better part of 25 years in the beauty industry as owner and operator of a hair salon. Her love for people and business along with her strong desire to reach for the stars landed her back in school to pursue a college degree in communication with an emphasis in public relations.

Ronda loves running, horseback riding, hiking, camping, and working in her yard. She has successfully completed two marathons and a number of half-marathons and 10ks – only to help her keep up with a husband, six kids and a handful of grandkids who are her greatest pleasure.