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.

Montana redistricters advance nine proposed congressional maps

By: - October 5, 2021

Partisan members of the Montana Districting and Apportionment Commission advanced on Tuesday nine separate proposals for dividing Montana into two congressional districts,  a potentially significant step forward in shaping the state’s political future over the next decade. The proposed maps — four from the two Republican commissioners, and five from the two Democrats — are […]

GOP lawmakers want special election integrity committee

By: - October 1, 2021

This week, 86 of 98 Republicans in the Montana Legislature signed onto a letter to caucus leadership asking for a GOP-led special select committee to conduct hearings concerning election security. The letter, first reported by the Helena Independent Record, is authored primarily by Sen. Theresa Manzella, R-Hamilton, a vocal proponent of election fraud claims and […]

A town hall in Sidney — or not?

By: - September 30, 2021

Gov. Greg Gianforte’s tour of Montana’s 56 counties — often the only open opportunity for the public or press to ask questions of the governor — took him to Richland County this week, but not before his office requested that the editor of a local newspaper remove a Facebook post notifying the public of a […]

State panel recommends repairs to leaky sewers at state veterans’ home

By: - September 28, 2021

A state commission tasked with allocating federal COVID-19 relief funds voted on Tuesday to recommend more than $1 million in improvements at the state veterans’ home in Columbia Falls, including for repairs to an aging sewer system that’s been leaking gas into residential quarters for months, according to a report from state officials. The Health […]

Federal investigators begin probe of fatal Montana Amtrak crash

By: - September 27, 2021

Federal investigators studying a violent Amtrak derailment that killed three and injured dozens on Saturday near the small Hi-Line towns of Chester and Joplin have their work cut out for them. The National Transportation Safety Board, an independent federal oversight body that probes air and surface transportation crashes, took over the scene from local emergency […]

Fire conditions are improving, but Haystack and other destructive blazes still rage

By: - September 24, 2021

State fire officials are urging “continued vigilance” as the cooler temps and shorter days of autumn set in, taking the worst out of a severe fire season in Montana but doing little to remedy underlying conditions that leave much of the state at risk. In a briefing with Gov. Greg Gianforte this week, fire officials […]

New law ending Election-Day registration in Montana faces third court challenge

By: - September 22, 2021

A pair of labor unions and a disability rights advocacy organization are leading a legal charge against House Bill 176, a law passed in the most recent legislative session that effectively ended Election-Day voter registration in Montana. The Montana Federation of Public Employees, the state’s largest union, the state AFL-CIO, the Montana Association of Centers […]

Montana deploys 70 guardsmen to hospitals as COVID-19 cases climb

By: - September 21, 2021

Gov. Greg Gianforte on Tuesday announced a series of Montana National Guard deployments to hospitals across the state to address an overburdened nursing labor force and skyrocketing COVID-19 case numbers — Montana twice led the nation in per-capita COVID case count increase last week, and health officials are warning that the delta variant-driven pandemic is […]

Gov’s briefing: Fires slowing down, for now

By: - September 2, 2021

Changing weather patterns have begun to slow down the ferocious pace of wildfires, though Montana isn’t quite out of the (rather dry) woods yet. Gov. Greg Gianforte met with state fire officials for an update this Tuesday. There are 60 active fires in the state currently, and 18 are considered large incidents. The state saw […]

Montana seeks Medicaid reimbursement for short stays in mental institutions — even Warm Springs

By: - September 1, 2021

Montana is seeking a Medcaid program waiver from the federal government to allow reimbursement for short-term in patient stays at larger mental health institutions, a practice generally banned under the Social Security Act that state health officials say could help boost bed capacity in treatment facilities and fill gaps in the continuum of care. The […]

Montana is set to approve a $42 million boon to the childcare sector. But a deficit looms large

By: - August 31, 2021

Montana’s financially struggling childcare sector is set to get more than a $40 million boost, thanks to federal COVID-19 relief funds that a state panel provisionally authorized last week. State officials said the funds, made available by the feds through the existing Child Care and Development Block Grant, are a crucial tool to support Montana’s […]

MSU College of Nursing receives $101 million gift

By: - August 30, 2021

Montana State University on Monday announced a $101 million gift from a pair of insurance executives to significantly revamp MSU’s College of Nursing, which operates on five campuses throughout the state. The donation, from Texas-based Goosehead Insurance founders Robyn and Mark Jones, will go to new facilities at each campus, five endowed professorships, a scholarship […]