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

Mayoral candidates Cole, Essmann win in primary

Judges

Bill Cole and Jeff Essmann will square off in the general election after topping a field of seven candidates running for Billings mayor in the Tuesday primary. “I think the results say that Billings does not want to be Everywhere, U.S.A.,” Cole said after the polls closed at 8 p.m. and results were posted on the website of the Yellowstone County Elections office. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Fire ecology prof: We’d better get used to this

Fire

As a follow-up to our recent story about “Land on Fire,” Gary Ferguson’s new book, here’s an interesting interview with Philip Higuera, a professor of fire ecology at the University of Montana. In no-nonsense terms, he talks about drought, the traditional role of fires in forest ecosystems, the advisability of tree-thinning to prevent fires, climate change and “good” and “bad” fires. Here’s one good example of his way of thinking, in response to the question of whether should be building houses in what as known as the wildland-urban interface:

“Every place on our planet has some natural phenomenon that is not friendly to humans. If you live on the East Coast, you are going to experience hurricanes. If you live in the Midwest, you are going to experience tornadoes. Continue Reading →

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City primary election attracts record number of voters

Ballots

It’s official. As of noon on Monday, a record number of voters had already cast their ballots in Billings’ primary election. Yellowstone County Elections Administrator Bret Rutherford said he had 21,246 mail-in ballots in hand at noon, beating the old record of 20,966 ballots cast in the primary election of 2009. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Prairie Lights: Church book sale now has bragging rights

Sale

The best things in life, I’m convinced, are completely unplanned. If they are meant to happen, they will, and if they are good they will continue and get better. So it has been with the twice-annual used-book sales at Central Christian Church, at 1221 16th St. W. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Red Lodge writer sees more fires in our future

Chelan

In this summer of brutal heat, smoke and ash, in the midst of what Gov. Steve Bullock has called an “unprecedented fire season,” Gary Ferguson’s new book couldn’t be more timely. In “Land on Fire: The New Reality of Wildfire in the West,” Ferguson deftly summarizes the grim situation we are all confronting. He explains the science of fires, the complicated mechanics of fighting them and what happens to the land in their wake.  (more…) Continue Reading →

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On the record, Ward 4: Two candidates vie for opening

Two candidates are competing to replace Al Swanson of Ward 4, who is not seeking re-election this year to the Billings City Council. The name of a third candidate, Rick McIntyre, will appear on the ballot, but McIntyre told Last Best News he has decided to withdraw from the race. Ballots were mailed out Aug. 25 for the primary election. For this mail-in-only election, all ballots must be mailed back to or brought into the Yellowstone County Elections Department by 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. Continue Reading →

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On the record, Ward 3: Open seat draws 4 candidates

Three candidates are vying to replace Rich McFadden of Ward 3, who is nearing the end of his second consecutive four-year term on the Billings City Council. The City Charter limits council members to two consecutive terms.

Ballots were mailed out Aug. 25 for the primary election. For this mail-in-only election, all ballots must be mailed back to or brought into the Yellowstone County Elections Department by 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 12. Continue Reading →

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On the record, Ward 2: Three seek open council seat

Three candidates are vying to replace Angela Cimmino of Ward 2, who is nearing the end of her second consecutive four-year term on the Billings City Council and is running for mayor. The City Charter limits council members to two consecutive terms.

Ballots were mailed out Aug. 25 for the primary election. For this mail-in-only election, all ballots must be mailed back to or brought into the Yellowstone County Elections Department by 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 12. Continue Reading →

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