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: Underwhelmed by a supposed Montana classic

There are some books you hear about so often that you begin to think, wrongly, that you might have read them. Such was the case with John R. Barrows’ “U-Bet: A Greenhorn in Old Montana.” When I came across another reference to it recently, I told myself I’d read it, but then I started to wonder. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Expert’s opinion on Zinke’s equine skills: He’s a dude


I don’t know the first thing about riding a horse, but Brenda Wahler evidently does, and she was not impressed with Ryan Zinke’s horsemanship. I had never heard of Wahler until today, but she is, according to her blog, an attorney and equine consultant who lives in Helena. In a blog post published on Sunday, Wahler closely analyzed several photos of Zinke riding a horse to his first day on the job as the new Interior secretary. The whole thing is worth reading—including the conclusion, where she also analyzes a photo of Zinke out fly-fishing—but here’s the gist of her argument:

“Being a Montanan doesn’t always mean you are born on horseback, and Zinke is a self-admitted son of a plumber. I don’t expect championship equitation from a casual outdoorsman, but Zinke looks like the guy who hires an outfitter once a year to take him into the mountains. More to the point, the guy who is packed onto the biggest, most unflappable horse in the string is the dude who doesn’t know which end to face, won’t take advice, and needs a horse who is wiser than the passenger.” Continue Reading →

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Free Verse project gives a voice to kids in detention centers


Sarah Kahn has been running the Free Verse Writing Project for almost three years, taking creative writing programs to youth detention centers in Montana. The aim of the project is not just to give the young detainees a chance to express themselves, but also a reason to hope. Kahn remembers one boy in particular, “an incredibly talented kid” who was being held at the Pine Hills Youth Correctional Facility in Miles City. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Kurth brothers team up for new music festival in Billings


Editor’s note: This article has been updated to include a correction. Brian Kurth wanted to do something to help support the Billings Al Bedoo Shriners and he wanted to throw a party on his property a little west of town. The two desires will come together this summer in what he’s calling the Annual Elk River Reunion-Legends of Country Rock Festival. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Still-amazing Grace, almost given up on, now on the mend

Grace again

Barely a month ago, Debbi Purvis had resigned herself to the necessity of putting down Grace, the badly injured horse that was rescued last summer after spending two months alone in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness. The leg wound Grace suffered in the wilderness would not heal, despite five surgeries, casts, splints, stem-cell replacements and other procedures. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Judge clears way for ex-worker’s suit against St. Vincent

St. V

A federal judge has cleared the way for Billings woman’s wrongful termination lawsuit against St. Vincent Healthcare. In ruling issued Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Watters granted one motion for summary judgment filed by St. Vincent but denied all its other claims, allowing Roxanna Jackson’s lawsuit against the hospital to proceed to trial. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Last Best News readers invited to take survey


Dear readers: If you’ve got a few minutes, we invite you to take part in a survey about Last Best News. The survey is being conducted by the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Kansas, which is trying to better understand, in the words printed on the survey disclaimer, “who reads local news websites and about their readership and social habits.” (more…) Continue Reading →

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Prairie Lights: Some consoling news from inner space


I was still trying to get my head around the news of the dwarf star and its seven planets when I made an amazing discovery about our own planet. I suppose “discovery” isn’t quite the right word, since the fact was already out there and I merely stumbled upon it in the course of poking around the internet in search of something else. (more…) Continue Reading →

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