Arren Kimbel-Sannit

Arren Kimbel-Sannit

Arren Kimbel-Sannit is an Arizona-bred journalist who has covered politics, policy and power building at every level of government. Before getting his dose of northern exposure, Arren worked as a reporter in all manner of Arizona newsrooms, for the Dallas Morning News and for POLITICO in Washington, D.C. He has a special interest in how land-use decisions affect working-class people, which he displayed through reporting on the epidemic of pedestrian deaths in the U.S. for the Los Angeles Times and PBS Newshour. He's also covered housing, agriculture, the Trump presidency and more.

Report: Montana tourism rebounds in 2021 to near pre-pandemic levels

By: - May 20, 2022

Montana’s tourism industry continued to bounce back in 2021, according to a new report from researchers at the University of Montana, with non-resident spending surpassing pre-pandemic levels and visitation numbers nearly reaching their former heights. Around 12.5 million tourists spent $5.15 billion in the state last year, contributing roughly $387 million in state and local […]

DEQ: Numeric nutrient criteria will remain in effect for now

By: - May 19, 2022

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality is delaying implementation of revised water quality standards following a letter from federal regulators warning that some of the changes violate the U.S. Clean Water Act, state officials said this week. In the mean time, Montana’s existing numeric standards for nitrogen and phosphorous pollution in the state’s wadeable streams […]

Montana SupCo reinstates election restrictions ahead of June primary

By: - May 17, 2022

The Montana Supreme Court on Tuesday voted to stay a lower court order blocking implementation of a series of GOP-backed voting restrictions, ensuring that provisions of two bills passed in 2021 will be in effect for the June 7 primary despite an ongoing legal challenge. The court’s ruling restores, for now, sections of House Bill […]

Daily Empire Builder service returns next week

By: - May 16, 2022

Daily service on the Empire Builder, the only Amtrak line that traverses Montana, will resume May 23, the federally funded passenger rail service announced last week. The rail agency said that the hiring of an additional 1,500 employees and increased demand for travel has enabled the restoration of daily service to four long distance lines […]

EPA stymies Montana effort to overhaul nutrient standards for streams and rivers

By: - May 11, 2022

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ruled that several changes to Montana’s water quality standards passed in the 2021 legislative session do not comply with the federal Clean Water Act, asserting in a letter sent to state officials this week that previously approved standards are on the books until the feds say otherwise. The changes […]

Commission finalizes legislative redistricting timeline

By: - May 10, 2022

The Montana Districting and Apportionment Commission has finalized its schedule for drawing new state legislative districts to govern the next 10 years of elections, voting last week to begin soliciting maps from the public in June now that important prep work is nearing its completion. By then, population data adjusted by the commission during the […]

Secretary of State appeals to Supreme Court to salvage voter ID laws struck down by district court

By: - May 6, 2022

With school board races now in the rear window, the Montana Secretary of State’s Office is still seeking to reinstate elements of election and voter identification laws passed in the 2021 legislative session ahead of the June primaries following an injunction issued by a district court judge last month. A spokesperson for Secretary Christi Jacobsen […]

Montana 2022 fire season likely better than ’21, but high firefighter vacancies among challenges

By: - May 3, 2022

Montanans should expect another worse-than-average wildfire season this year, state fire managers and officials told Gov. Greg Gianforte at his annual fire briefing this week, though likely not as bad as the drought-aggravated 2021 season. That’s if you still choose to think of fire season as a season. Officials told the governor, as they did […]

GOP fundraising still strong in Montana congressional races

By: - April 26, 2022

Well-known Republicans running for both of Montana’s congressional districts continue to out-raise the pack, amassing – and spending — millions as the June primaries wind nearer, according to quarterly filings due to the Federal Election Commission this month. Ryan Zinke, a former congressman and Donald Trump-era U.S. Secretary of the Interior, has led the candidates […]

Montana pot industry sees strongest month yet in March

By: - April 6, 2022

Montana medical and recreational marijuana sales are approaching ambitious projections from legalization supporters through the first quarter of 2022, the first year in which recreational dispensaries have been legally allowed to operate in the state, industry supporters say. The two halves of the marijuana sector have totaled $72.9 million in sales from January 1, the […]

Lake County jail inmates allege constitutional violations

By: - March 31, 2022

A group of people incarcerated at a jail in Polson are taking Lake County to federal court in Missoula over alleged civil rights violations in the facility, attorneys for the plaintiffs said this week. Inmates at the Lake County jail — who are overwhelmingly Native American — are crowded together beyond the facility’s capacity, lack […]

Montana group sues over public records related to wolf hunting

By: - March 30, 2022

An environmental nonprofit focused on preserving wolf populations in the northern Rockies is suing Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks as part of a public records dispute, the organization said. Attorneys for Wolves of the Rockies wrote in a complaint filed in Lewis and Clark County last week that FWP has failed to respond to a […]