Author

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.

Missoula Democratic Sen. Bryce Bennett resigns

By: - July 22, 2021

Missoula Senator Bryce Bennett, a fixture of the state Democratic politics for the last decade, is resigning his seat to work for a civics organization in Washington, D.C., he announced Thursday. Bennett has represented the 50th Senate District since 2019. Prior, he represented two Missoula-area House districts from 2011 to 2019. “Even though I’m leaving […]

Suit alleges discrimination and harassment by state contractor

By: and - July 21, 2021

Three former employees of a medical non-profit that contracts with the state filed complaints with a government investigator alleging a years-long pattern of gender-based harassment, discrimination and retaliation by the organization’s director, behavior the complainants say has seeped into the program’s treatment of its participants. The complaints, filed March 17 with the Montana Department of […]

Legislative leader charged with traffic violations, obstructing a peace officer

By: - July 20, 2021

Senate President Pro Tempore Jason Ellsworth was charged with three misdemeanors resulting from a May traffic stop in Broadwater County and will appear in court in August, according to charging documents shared with the Daily Montanan. Ellsworth, R-Hamilton, was charged with speeding in a construction zone, reckless driving and obstructing a peace officer, according to […]

Official: Fire season stretching resources thin

By: - July 15, 2021

Montana’s firefighting resources are stretched thin as the state faces down a possibly historic fire season and some of the worst drought on record, state officials testified in a meeting of the Water Policy Interim Commission on Thursday. The state, the rest of the Northern Rockies region and then the country as a whole entered […]

Unanimous Supreme Court rules pair of legislative subpoenas are improper

By: - July 14, 2021

The Montana Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that a series of legislative subpoenas seeking judicial emails in the heat of an inter-branch conflict in April were overbroad and issued without proper legislative purpose, permanently quashing the document requests and ordering lawmakers to return any subpoenaed material they’ve already received. In a unanimous opinion, the court […]

Dem primary for new Montana congressional district heats up

By: - July 13, 2021

A third Democrat has entered the race for Montana’s newly created congressional district, raising the stakes for an election that could represent the party’s best chance of nabbing a seat in the U.S. House in years. Cora Neumann, a former U.S. Senate candidate from Bozeman with a history of running non-profit issue-advocacy organizations in the […]

Federal transportation bill holds promise for left-behind rural rail

By: - July 11, 2021

Language added in a recent markup to the U.S. Senate’s Surface Transportation Investment Act has brought some hope to passenger rail advocates in the state that long-abandoned rail service through Livingston, Helena and beyond could be on track to return. Montana Democratic Sen. Jon Tester’s amendment, passed on a bipartisan vote in June, appropriates $15 […]

Democratic attorney and PSC candidate launches Congressional bid

By: - July 7, 2021

The Democratic primary for Montana’s newly created U.S. House seat is now competitive. Monica Tranel, an attorney based in Missoula and former Olympic rower who mounted a run for the Montana Public Service Commission in 2020, announced Wednesday that she’s entering the race for the seat, joining state Rep. Laurie Bishop on the Democratic side. […]

Fire chief: July 4th holiday and dry conditions ‘can easily overwhelm’ fire departments

By: - July 2, 2021

A growing coalition of more than 150 fire scientists — including dozens from Montana universities — are warning against the use of fireworks this 4th of July weekend, citing widespread drought, unprecedented heatwaves and bone-dry fuels. In an op-ed published in the Conversation this week, the scientists, including University of Montana natural resource social scientist […]

Livingston Democrat launches Congressional bid

By: - July 1, 2021

State Rep. Laurie Bishop announced her candidacy for Montana’s newly created congressional district on Thursday, making her the first Democrat to formally enter the field at a unique moment in the state’s political history. For the first time in decades, two lawmakers will represent Montana in Congress’ lower chamber, a function of rapid population growth […]

Advisory group suggests two candidates for Cascade County judgeship

By: - June 30, 2021

The advisory council that Gov. Greg Gianforte appointed to review applicants to fill the vacancy in Montana’s Eighth Judicial District will suggest two candidates for the commission, it decided in its first meeting Wednesday. David Grubich, who currently serves as standing master in the Eighth District, which is centered around Cascade County, emerged as the […]

Gianforte snubbed as Biden announces wildfire initiatives

By: - June 30, 2021

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte didn’t get the invite to attend a meeting of western state governors at the White House on Wednesday to discuss a worsening forest fire threat across the region, which is once again set to experience a costly and severe fire season amid record-high temperatures, widespread drought and a weather system that’s […]