Author

Darrell Ehrlick

Darrell Ehrlick

Darrell Ehrlick is the editor-in-chief of the Daily Montanan, after leading his native state’s largest paper, The Billings Gazette. He is an award-winning journalist, author, historian and teacher, whose career has taken him to North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Utah, and Wyoming. With Darrell at the helm, the Gazette staff took Montana’s top newspaper award six times in seven years. Darrell's books include writing the historical chapters of “Billings Memories” Volumes I-III, and “It Happened in Minnesota.” He has taught journalism at Winona State University and Montana State University-Billings, and has served on the student publications board of the University of Wyoming.

What’s it worth: Lawmakers question tax breaks and benefits from Montana’s nonprofit hospitals

By: - October 5, 2022

Montana nonprofit hospitals can choose what they consider charitable or community care, and assign whatever dollar amount they believe is reasonable, to justify their tax-exempt status in Montana, according to a legislative audit meeting Tuesday. Not only that, but recommendations made more than two years ago that suggested the state’s Department of Public Health and […]

Federal judge halts expansion of coal mine near Colstrip

By: - October 3, 2022

A federal judge has halted a large coal mining project that would be used to keep the coal-fired Colstrip plant in Rosebud operational, saying the Federal Office of Surface Mining had approved the expansion without considering the impact to the environment and the Yellowstone River. The project, known as “Area F,” would have allowed Westmoreland […]

Hazmat crews continue to work on trail derailment, gasoline spill in Carbon County

By: - October 3, 2022

Between 28,000 and 30,000 gallons of gasoline spilled late Friday evening when a BNSF freight train derailed and 15 cars went off the rail tracks in southern Montana, about a half-mile from Bridger in Carbon County. Crews may have been helped, in part by rain falling, which lessened the danger of an explosion. Four residences […]

Public records lawsuit says county commissioner used personal phone to help arrange bid

By: - October 3, 2022

Editor’s note: This story has been update to reflect while the request for bidding process has opened, the county has not accepted bids. A pair of lawsuits filed by a Billings attorney asks a district court to invalidate any bid by a private management company for the MetraPark, a Yellowstone County owned events facility, and […]

Yearly fraud and waste audit turns up unapproved wedding, misuse of state vehicle

By: - October 2, 2022

A yearly report by the Montana Legislative Audit Division on waste, fraud and abuse within the state government saw an increased number of calls to the hotline and 15 instances of theft or suspect theft within Fiscal Year 2022, including one case in which employees of Montana’s Fish, Wildlife and Parks threw a private party […]

Judge strikes down three Montana voting laws as unconstitutional

By: - September 30, 2022

In a sweeping 199-page ruling, Yellowstone County District Court Judge Michael G. Moses struck down three laws passed by the 2021 Legislature that would have changed voter identification laws, prohibited paid ballot collection and eliminated Election Day registration. The decision means that unless the case is appealed or stayed by the Montana Supreme Court, Election […]

Audit raises concerns about how FWP manages vehicles, aircraft

By: - September 30, 2022

A legislative audit report found that Montana’s Fish, Wildlife and Parks division may not be setting aside enough money for its aircraft, and that it may not be approving fleet vehicle purchases properly. Auditors also found that it could not determine whether a grant that helped fund an auditor within the division was accounted for […]

COMMENTARY

A simple word change, or a larger scheme to undercut public education in Montana?

By: - September 29, 2022

Montanans can be forgiven for not being outraged at the fight brewing within the Montana Board of Education. The difference between the use of the word “equality” and “equity” seems like a semantic parlor game. And while the concepts are related, important and deeply rooted in our lexicon of what it means to be an […]

Attorney General’s office discriminated in hiring, Montana human rights investigation concludes

By: - September 28, 2022

The Montana Human Rights Bureau found reasonable cause to believe the Attorney General’s Office engaged in unlawful discrimination during the hiring process following an investigation into the Montana Department of Justice. The investigator with the bureau determined that the office did not hire attorney Andres Haladay because of his political beliefs, even though a hiring […]

Racicot: Stand up for the Constitution and place principles over politics

By: - September 26, 2022

The former leader of the National Republican Party who was also the longtime governor of Montana spoke to a crowd of businesses leaders downtown in Billings on Monday, warning them without a return to common-sense solutions, respect for government institutions, and fidelity to the state and federal constitutions, regardless of political party, the country risks […]

Meet ‘Montana’s Mayor,’ Willard E. Fraser of Billings immortalized in new book

By: - September 26, 2022

Most folks, even in Billings, don’t know the name Willard E. Fraser. In a state with colorful characters and larger-than-life locations, like Butte or Virginia City — places synonymous with Montana — few may guess one of the most consequential, colorful and visionary leaders was a Democrat from Billings. However, Willard Fraser often referred to […]

COMMENTARY

As DeSantis tries to rob immigrants of their humanity, he manages to lose his own

By: - September 22, 2022

“America this is quite serious. America this is the impression I get from looking in the television set.    America is this correct?” — “America” By Allen Ginsberg   It’s fitting that the Statue of Liberty has her back turned to Martha’s Vineyard. Or maybe it’s just as fitting that the metal where her eyes should […]