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

In Wyola, a little school is making big plans

Garious

WYOLA — It’s 9 a.m., the start of the day in Dorcella Plain Bull’s fourth-grade classroom at Wyola School. A drumbeat is playing over the PA and all of Plain Bull’s students are standing up and singing the Wyola district song, singing in the Apsaalooke language of the Crow Indians. They sing it every morning before reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Each of the six districts of the Crow Nation has its own song. The Wyola district song was written in the early 1960s by the father of Levi Yellowmule, the school’s athletic director. Continue Reading →

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Prairie Lights: Memories of Montana’s ‘best’ bookstore

Book

On Pure Wow, a website I’d never seen before, I came across a list naming the best bookstore in every state in the union. The winner in Montana? The Montana Valley Book Store in Alberton, just off I-90 about 30 miles west of Missoula. The store was described like this:

“It doesn’t get any more charming than a lovingly tended book collection, run by a mother and son, out of a turn-of-the century former butcher shop in a tiny railroad town (population: 420).” I won’t argue with that. Continue Reading →

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Bozeman to host far-right ‘Red Pill Expo’

GE

We received a press release yesterday from the Montana Human Rights Network about a truly epic gathering scheduled for this weekend in Bozeman. I have been traveling way too much lately so I can’t be in Bozeman this weekend, but let’s hope the Bozeman Chronicle does as much thorough coverage as its reporters can stand. Meanwhile, it seems pointless to try condensing the network’s lengthy, well-researched press release, so we’ll just give it in full: (more…) Continue Reading →

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Absarokee woman unearths mother’s story of survival

Postcard

Before her mother’s death in 1995, Angelica Osborne knew only a few things about her mother’s life in World War II-era Germany, before she married an American soldier and came to the United States. She knew that her mother, Margit Chinkes, had spent time in two Nazi concentration camps as a teenager. Her mother had also talked about how she might have died of starvation if the commander of one camp, whose office she cleaned, had not left her a slice of bread in his desk drawer every day. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Big gift from BNSF marks start of Crow Native Days

Gifts

CROW AGENCY — Crow Native Days got off to a good start on a beautiful summer solstice morning Wednesday, with several hundred people attending a prayer breakfast in the Crow Tribe’s multipurpose building. The morning got even better when representatives of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway presented a $75,000 check to the tribe—with a promise of another $75,000 to come—toward the building of a new dance arbor. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Rare Ghost Dance artifacts on display at county museum

Bull

The centerpiece of a new exhibit at the Yellowstone County Museum is a Ghost Dance shirt made for a son of Sitting Bull, but Kathy Barton’s favorite piece in the exhibit is a pair of Arapaho moccasins. Barton, the museum’s curator, said the soles of the moccasins are clearly marked with a series of horizontal scratches, vivid testimony to the side-to-side shuffling motion that marked Ghost Dance ceremonies. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Update: Last-minute filings make for crowded city election

Hall

Update: Seven more candidates filed Monday afternoon to run for the Billings City Council, making this the most crowded city election in nearly 20 years, maybe longer. With the filing officially closed as of 5 p.m., there are now 26 candidates vying for the mayor’s position and five open seats on the City Council. According to records on the Yellowstone County Elections Office website, that eclipses the number of candidates in any city race going back to 1999, the earliest year for which results are posted. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Red Lodge Songwriters Festival enters 2nd year with expansion

Weiters

Mike Booth and Cory Johnson started the Red Lodge Songwriters Festival last year, hoping it would become an annual event that got bigger every year. It looks like they’re on the right track. The second annual festival starts next Thursday, June 22, and this year will feature two members of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, with 12 shows at six Red Lodge venues scheduled during the three-day event. (more…) Continue Reading →

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With clock ticking, Korean War vet to finally get his Jeep

Jeep

Jerry Scherer, a veteran of Korea and Vietnam who retired from the Marine Corps as a master sergeant in 1968, turns 87 next week. He was a mechanic all his life, and a couple of years after his wife died nearly 20 years ago, he bought a 1945 Willys Army Jeep from a friend, thinking he could keep busy restoring it. (more…) Continue Reading →

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