Ed Kemmick

Ed Kemmick has been a newspaper reporter, editor and columnist since 1980. Except for four years in his home state of Minnesota, he has spent his entire journalism career in Montana, working in Missoula, Anaconda, Butte and Billings. "The Big Sky, By and By," a collection of some of his newspaper stories and columns, plus a few essays and one short story, was published in 2011.

Recent Posts

Prairie Lights: Quist dragged into unwinnable arms race

Gun

That ain’t no banjo, pilgrim. I was rooting for Rob Quist, I really was. And not just rooting. I was also praying. I’d get up in the morning, drop to my knees and I’d say, “Please, God, don’t let Rob Quist, in this truncated special-election season, give in to the temptation to shoot a gun in a television commercial.” (more…) Continue Reading →

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Independent staff weighs in on sale to Lee

Lee

As promised, the staff of the Missoula Independent has written extensively about the sale of the newspaper to Lee Enterprises, the national chain that owns the Missoulian and the Billings Gazette. The coverage includes news stories, a Q&A section with some damned hilarious segments, an editorial from publisher Matt Gibson and a damned hilarious column from Dan Brooks. (His column also highlights the chief danger of satire: I’m not absolutely sure he was joking about this being his last column.)

It’s all good stuff, even if a faint air of whistling in the graveyard hangs over the issue. Everyone involved wants desperately to believe that Lee will live up to its promise of hands-off ownership, wants to believe its assurances that the Indy’s tradition of hard-nosed reporting on the Missoulian is something that has to continue. There were more than a few signs of writers pushing the boundaries right out of the gate, to see what will be tolerated in the new era. Continue Reading →

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At Crow hand-game tourney, the spectacle is the thing

Other Meds

I was told by several people that the Crow hand game was difficult to explain, but that once I’d watched a few rounds it would start to make sense. I suppose it did, sort of in the way that the one cricket game I ever watched had begun to make some sense by the time it ended. The big difference is that at a cricket game, cricket is the main attraction. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Lots on the drawing board for downtown’s east end

Projects

Plans for further improvements in the far east end of downtown Billings were detailed Wednesday at the annual meeting of the Billings Industrial Revitalization District. Those plans include street, sidewalk and lighting upgrades in a nine-block area between north 10th and 13th streets and from First to Fourth Avenue North, with a total estimated price tag of just under $6 million. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Third candidate, Bill Cole, announces run for mayor

Cole

Billings lawyer Bill Cole is now the third announced candidate hoping to replace Mayor Tom Hanel in the city election this fall. He joins architect Randy Hafer and state legislator Jeff Essmann, both of whom announced their candidacies in the past couple of weeks. Hanel is nearing the end of his second term as mayor, and under the City Charter, the mayor and City Council members are limited to two consecutive terms. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Ulvestad to run for City Council again in Ward 5

DU

Dennis Ulvestad says he’s ready to make his fifth run for the Billings City Council. In a press release from Lori Johnson, described as his campaign and public relations manager, Ulvestad said he will be running again in Ward 5. He ran for the same seat unsuccessfully every two years between 2009 and 2015. Filing for city elections opens Thursday, with the mayoralty and five City Council seats up for grabs this year. Ulvestad was born in Glasgow and moved to Billings with his family in 1957, graduating from Billings West High School in 1968. Continue Reading →

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She’s fighting climate change from rural Montana

Mossett

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to converge on Washington, D.C., on April 29 for the Peoples Climate March. One of them will be Kandi Mossett, who lives between Rockvale and Joliet. But don’t assume she’ll be daunted by the cig city or the big crowds. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Federal suit filed over anti-Jewish ‘troll campaign’

Stormer

The Southern Poverty Law Center filed a federal lawsuit on Tuesday against the founder of a neo-Nazi website who led a campaign of harassment against a Jewish woman in Whitefish. Filed in U.S. District Court in Missoula, the lawsuit says Andrew Anglin coordinated a “repulsive, threatening campaign of anti-Semitic harassment directed at Tanya Gersh, a Jewish real estate agent living in Whitefish, Montana.”  (more…) Continue Reading →

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Interest already high in upcoming Billings city election

Paige

With three days to go before candidates can file to run in Billings municipal races, it’s already shaping up to be an unusually interesting election year. Architect Randy Hafer became the first person to throw his hat in the ring, announcing earlier this month that he intends to run for mayor. The mayor’s race is wide open because Tom Hanel, having served two consecutive terms, can’t run again this year. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Prairie Lights: A big loss for independent news in Montana

Funder

Even if you live in Eastern Montana and have never heard of, much less read, the Missoula Independent, you ought to be worried about the fate of that alternative weekly newspaper. The Indy, which has been around for more than 25 years, has had its ups and downs, but generally speaking it was a worthy successor to the underground and alternative newspapers that came before it, and which made Missoula the only city in Montana with a real tradition of that sort of journalism. (more…) Continue Reading →

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