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Hammond To Apply For NIC Prez Job

Sen. Jim Hammond, R-Coeur d'Alene, says the main reason he won't seek a fourth term in the Senate is that he wants to stop spending so much time away from his wife, kids and grandkids. “I'm missing my grandkids' plays and baseball games,” he said. “Five years from now, nobody's going to remember what I did here, but my grandkids will remember that I was there.” Hammond said he plans to apply for the upcoming opening for president at North Idaho College, as well as looking at other options that will keep him closer to home and family. “I have not applied, but I intend to,” he said/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here. (Courtesy photo of current NIC president Priscilla Bell)

  • DFO: I was a Hammond fan until he signed on w/Nonini & Goedde to ride the U.S.S. Luna education reforms. Also concerned that he might share anti-Education Corridor sentiment as other Post Falls area legislator, Nonini & Henderson. Seems as though he's been putting partisan politics ahead of education for awhile.

Question: Would Jim Hammond be a good North Idaho College president?

Prez: Jim Hammond For NIC Prez

Priscilla Bell will retire as North Idaho College president this summer. Jay Lee, NIC's vice president for instruction and one of the most qualified candidates on hand to replace Bell, has accepted the top job elsewhere. In six weeks, Lee will take the helm at Northeastern Junior College in Colorado. We wish Lee well. His tenure in Coeur d'Alene might have been short, just under four years, but he bolstered NIC's instructional quality during one of the most challenging periods in the college's history, with expansive student growth met head-on by funding challenges. But this editorial is not an ode to a good man going elsewhere. It's an introduction of a good man who has been here all along, who just might be the best person to lead North Idaho College/Mike Patrick, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Would Jim Hammond be a good pick to replace Priscilla Bell as North Idaho College president?

His name is Jim Hammond. Yes, that Jim Hammond.

NIC’s Lee Takes Colorado Job

North Idaho College Vice President for Instruction Jay Lee announced Thursday his plans to resign from NIC after accepting the presidency at Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, Colo., a junior college with approximately 2,400 students. NJC is part of the Colorado Community College System, which includes 13 state community colleges that serve more than 162,000 students annually. Lee will begin as president at NJC March 12/Stacy Hudson, NIC Press Room. More here.

NIC’s Bell Warns Of Cost Shift

North Idaho College has seen its funding burden shift more and more to its students, college President Priscilla Bell told Idaho lawmakers today. “As with most higher education institutions, NIC has experienced significant growth in enrollment over the past four years,” she said, even as state funding has dropped. NIC's for-credit student population has increased by 45 percent in four years; professional-technical education enrollment has grown “by a whopping 68 percent,” Bell told the Legislature's joint budget committee. Now, both student tuition and fees and local property taxes exceed state funding as a portion of NIC's budget/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: How important is it for Idaho to keep community colleges affordable?

NIC president warns cost burden is ‘shifting to our students’

North Idaho College has seen its funding burden shift more and more to its students, college President Priscilla Bell told Idaho lawmakers today. “As with most higher education institutions, NIC has experienced significant growth in enrollment over the past four years,” she said, even as state funding has dropped. NIC's for-credit student population has increased by 45 percent in four years; professional-technical education enrollment has grown “by a whopping 68 percent,” Bell told the Legislature's joint budget committee. Now, both student tuition and fees and local property taxes exceed state funding as a portion of NIC's budget.

“More and more, the funding burden is shifting to our students,” Bell said. “This is also reflected in our students taking on more debt. … We're very worried about the amount of debt our students are incurring, which on average, over the last few years, has doubled.” Bell said the typical NIC student now leaves the two-year community college with $3,200 in debt. “It is alarming,” she said. Her budget pitch to lawmakers today came as all three of the state's community colleges made their budget appeals; you can read my full story here at spokesman.com.

Noon: Nazis Don’t Want Media Stories?

I need to set the record straight on an issue that seems to be being misunderstood by many. Never once did I or any members of White Knights ask for media at our events. We do not need the liberal misguiding media to send our message. As a matter of fact I would like to thank the varios media outlets that chose to not cover stories about us. I find it better for community members that see us out at demonstrations to be able to come right up to us and get solid facts right from us rather than hearing it through the media that only seems to print what they want to about a particular issue. So I ask the media to please continue to not cover our demonstrations so we can continue to get facts out to the communtiy/Shaun Winkler, White Knights of Ku Klux Klan, Spirit Lake. More here. (2001 SR file photo of Shaun Winkler, background, leaving Kootenai County Courthouse with Richard Butler in Aryan Nations bankruptcy civil trial)

Question: Do you believe Winkler when he says he doesn't want media coverage?

NIC Cancels Classes, Trustee Meeting

North Idaho College offices will close at 4 p.m. today due to heavy snow accumulations and hazardous driving conditions. All classes that begin after 4 o'clock are canceled. This includes classes at all off-campus sites and outreach centers, including the NIC Bonners Ferry Center, Silver Valley Center, Ponderay Center, Adult Basic Education Center, and Workforce Training Center.  The January NIC Board of Trustees meeting scheduled for 6 tonight in the SUB has been canceled and Lewis-Clark State College-Coeur d’Alene has officially closed for the day.  A decision will be made regarding the campus’ open/closed status by 6 a.m. tomorrow morning.

Question: Any other cancellations going on out there?

Mic: NIC Heard Boo-birds, Too

Mic Armon: I also would like to commend all of the city council for their dilligent effort, but in particular to Mike, Woody, Deanna & Sandi for taking the right and proper course on this issue. I can attest as a current Trustee in a hottly discussed topic (NIC’s purchase of the Ed. Corridor) that you hear comments from both sides on an issue when it is being decided. I did hear from those that thought it was wrong for NIC to make the purchase, and they often had strong arguments to support their view. But now that the purchase has been completed and the infrastructure is in place(Thank you, LCDC). I have heard nothing but raves and compliments on the NIC Board’s proper decision. I can only hope that sometime in the near future Sandi and the city councilman can have the same success. Vision and change are sometimes difficult, but necessary.

Question: Have you changed your mind re: the Education Corridor after seeing the impressive infrastructure work off Northwest Boulevard?

Foe Describes Aryan Protest Standoff

RE: Aryan Alert/HucksOnline

Harlem Renaissance (Rachel Dolezal) gives details of counter-demonstration to supremacist protest: Winkler and crew had KKK flags, signs that included “MLK was a (expletive deleted) terrorist” … amongst others. And Winkler was in military garb packing a gun on his belt. I (Rachel Dolezal) posted across the street with an African American Flag (red/green/black) and a sign that said, “Malcolm X is my hero.” Winkler hurled plenty of assaults at me directly, calling me out by name. I said nothing to them the entire time. I was there alone for maybe 20 minutes, and eventually around 25 people showed up, some with signs and flags some with voices. We were black, white, hispanic, gay, straight, male, female, young, and old. Some white male college students stood on the KKK side with signs reading: 'I’m NOT with Stupid' that had arrows pointing at the KKK individuals. Some students had GSA rainbow banners. One guy had a sign that said, 'Not everyone in Idaho is racist.' A veteran came by and said he’s ashamed to have fought for the racists across the street…” (Kathy Plonka 2008 SR file photo of Rachel Dolezal during her tenure as a Human Rights Education Institute educator)

Group working on Stevens Peak winter backcountry plan eyes Lookout Pass expansion

WINTER SPORTS — The Stevens Peak Backcountry Coalition has posted an updated map showing a proposed Stevens Peak Backcountry Winter Non-Motorized Area. The proposal is geared to maintaining a sanctuary of peacefulness among the expansion plans for the Lookout Pass Ski Area as well as the expanding range of snowmobiles.

The group also is addressing some scrutiny to the location of a yurt proposed by North Idaho College.

The SPBC is working to preserve a winter non-motorized recreation area of about 6,500 acres in the Idaho Panhandle and Lolo national forests near Lookout Pass.

$3.6M Ed Corridor Project Finished

Getting around near North Idaho College goteasier on Tuesday after completion of an education corridor infrastructure project. The changes include a second entrance into the North Idaho College campus and Fort Grounds neighborhood. Alison Boggs' SR story here. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

The transformation of a former lumber mill site into landscaped roadways and a new intersection was celebrated Tuesday as the first step toward a long-envisioned education corridor in Coeur d’Alene. “In 10 to 20 years, I don’t think we’ll believe what this place will look like,” Mayor Sandi Bloem said. “It will be a legacy for the future.” Work crews broke ground on the $3.6 million project in June. They created a new intersection with traffic signals at Hubbard and Northwest boulevards, providing an additional entrance to North Idaho College and the Fort Grounds neighborhood. They also built three roundabouts to ease traffic flow and added sidewalks, curbs and landscaping/Alison Boggs, SR. More here.

Question: Can we agree that the Education Corridor is going to be a rousing success?

Ed Board’s Browning Named NIC VP

Mark Browning, the chief communications and legislative officer for the Idaho State Board of Education, has been named the new vice president for community relations and marketing at North Idaho College. He was selected after a nationwide search, to replace retiring Vice President John Martin. Browning has been with the state board since 2007; prior to that, he was news director for KBCI CBS 2 News Boise, where he supervised a staff of 40; he also worked at other news organizations in southern Idaho and is a former president of the Idaho Press Club/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

DFO: Eye on Boise bud Betsy Russell gave Mark Browning two thumbs in a brief chat with HucksOnline a few minutes ago. Sez she'll miss him in Boise. And his social media savvy. Big time.

Browning to leave Ed Board, become new VP at North Idaho College in CdA

Mark Browning, the chief communications and legislative officer for the Idaho State Board of Education, has been named the new vice president for community relations and marketing at North Idaho College. He was selected after a nationwide search, to replace retiring Vice President John Martin. Browning has been with the state board since 2007; prior to that, he was news director for KBCI CBS 2 News Boise, where he supervised a staff of 40; he also worked at other news organizations in southern Idaho and is a former president of the Idaho Press Club.

NIC President Priscilla Bell said Browning will serve as a “liaison between the college and the counties we serve,” and added, “His extensive experience in government relations will no doubt reinforce NIC's legislative efforts as well.” Browning said, “This is a tremendous opportunity for me professionally and for my family. And I'm looking forward to becoming a part of the NIC family.” He'll start his new job on Jan. 2.

Mountain bikers offer trail building class in CdA

TRAILSInternational Mountain Biking Association trail crew experts are offering a Trail Building Class, Saturday, Oct. 1,  8 a.m.-4 p.m.  starting at McLain Hall, North Idaho College,  followed by a field session at Blue Creek Bay.

Experts train locals in techniques to help boost area trail systems.

Dress for a day of work in the woods and bring plenty of water and snacks.

  • Who: Anyone interested in developing mountain biking in our area
  • Cost: FREE – lunch is provided

Sponsored by North Idaho College Outdoor Pursuits, Lake City Trail Builders Association, International Mountain Biking Association, Bicycle Sales and Service, Two Wheeler Dealer, Bureau of Land Management.

Contacts: Jon Totten: jon_totten@nic.edu (208) 769-7809, Lake City Trail Builders: lctba83814@hotmail.com

PM: Opera CdA Offers ‘Faust’

Good and evil battle it out, as an internationally acclaimed cast bring Gunoud’s Faust to the stage at North Idaho College, for Opera Coeur d’Alene, at 7:30 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Faust’s love songs soar on Vale Rideout’s (right) majestic high C’s.  Shana Blake Hill (left) is the beautiful Marguerite. Jamie Offenbach (above) the chilling Méphistophélès. Jason Detwiler is Valentin. Michele Detwileris Siebel. The opera will be in French with English translations projected over the stage.  Visit operacda.com or call 769 7780 for tickets.

NIC Tab For Mill Lawsuit $152,000

North Idaho College paid more than $152,000 to successfully fight that lawsuit filed against the DeArmond Mill Site purchase by Larry Spencer, Tom Macy (picured), and Bill McCrory. Huckleberries Online has obtained the breakdown of the payments to the North Idaho College Foundation and the attorney firm of Ramsden & Lyons for their legal work in defense of the lawsuit. In their unsuccessful suit, Spencer, Macy, and McCrory alleged unsuccessfully that the original lease agreement for the eventual purchase of the mill site violated Idaho Constitution's restriction of the debt local taxing districts may take on. The men contend that public entities must first win two-thirds voter approval or authorization by a judge before they may legally incur long-term debt. In February, District Judge John Mitchell ruled that the plaintiffs lacked standing to bring the lawsuit. Legal expense breakdown here.

Question: It'd be interesting to tabulate how much money has been wasted by local governments in Kootenai County fighting lawsuits brought by so-called conservatives fighting their myriad causes?

NIC seeking climbers to spruce up Q’emiln Park

Who:  For local climbers and outdoors enthusiasts, organized by North Idaho College Outdoor Pursuits

What: Adopt a Crag climbing area cleanup

When: 7:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 10

Where: Q’emiln Riverside Park in Post Falls.

How: Free and open to the public. Call to sign up. (208) 769-7809.

Red-And-White Sails Looking Sharp

“During this morning's (KVNI) show,” begins Kerri Thoreson, on her Facebook wall, “I was telling Joe about how many sailboats were out on the lake this weekend and that North Idaho College's Outdoor Pursuits sailboats had what looked like new crimson and white sails. So I mused that if Erna Rhinehart was listening, she could confirm by texting me.”

Woman’s Luck Changes w/House Win

An Ephrata woman's luck has turned around for the better.  On Wednesday she won a brand new $250,000 home in the North Idaho College Really Big Raffle drawing. Before her number was picked, her home was burglarized earlier this month and her car stolen.  The month wasn't going well for 72-year-old Donna Wallar. “They dumped boxes, and dumped all my jewelry boxes, dump everything that they could find to dump,” said Wallar. Wallar said she walked into her home on the 4th of July weekend to discover it had been ransacked.  The thief was still on her property/KREM. More here.

Question: How would you describe your run of luck of late?

NIC: Really BIG Raffle Sells Out

The North Idaho College Foundation’s Really BIG Raffle has sold out for the 18th year in a row. The last of the raffle’s 5,000 tickets were sold around midday Tuesday. …  All ticket holders and community members are invited to attend the Really BIG Raffle drawing at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Fort Sherman Park on NIC’s main campus. The event will include live music and various door prize giveaways. Ticket holders need not be present to win the $250,000 grand prize house, the first prize $20,000 car, a second prize $10,000 boat, a third prize $3,500 travel package, fourth prize $2,000 shopping spree or early bird prizes (a $500 gift card to Super 1 Foods or a North Idaho Bed and Breakfast Association weekend getaway).

Question: Have you ever bought a ticket for NIC's Really BIG Raffle?

Martin Retiring As NIC Spokesman

North Idaho College Vice President for Community Relations and Marketing John Martin announced his retirement at the June 22 NIC Board of Trustees meeting after more than three years in the position. It will be effective Dec. 31. Martin was appointed to the position in August 2008 on temporary assignment to fill the position vacated by former vice president Kent Propst when he accepted another position at Peru State College in Nebraska. Martin was selected to fill the position in January 2009 after a national search for a permanent replacement/Stacy Hudson, NIC Press Room. More here.

Education Corridor Work Under Way

Construction is well underway on Phase 1-A of the Education Corridor project. Currently River Avenue is closed while pavement and sidewalk removal takes place to allow for underground utility work. The entrance to campus via Park Drive off of Northwest Boulevard is still open and guides drivers along the detour path. Drivers needing access to Rosenberry Drive (the dike road), are routed through the main North Idaho College campus along Garden Avenue and College Drive/Stacy Hudson, NIC Press Room. More here. (North Idaho College photo)

Question: Does this mean that the usual suspects will quit fighting the Education Corridor?

NIC’s challenging adventure race June 18

ADVENTURE RACING — The seventh annual NIChallenge adventure sprint race is coming up to challnge teams of two or four to a 3-5 hour workout that involves paddling, trail running and mountain biking, special challenges and navigation trials.

When:  9 a.m., June 18

Where:  At a yet-to-be-announced location North Idaho.

How:   Register online by June 13.  Cost: $80 a person.

Information: (208) 769-7809 or contact NIC Outdoor Pursuits

Read on for more details.

NIC Hikes Property Taxes 2%

Item: The cost of learning: NIC approves 2 percent tax increase on budget/Maureen Dolan, Press

More Info: North Idaho College trustees approved a $40.8 million general fund operating budget for the next fiscal year. The budget, passed after the second reading at Wednesday's monthly board meeting, is $3.2 million more than the current year's budget. The gap will be filled with new revenue from a 4 percent tuition hike approved by the board at its April meeting, and a 2 percent property tax increase.

Question: A 2% property tax hike in these bad economic times seems like a big deal. But is it, when you consider the actual amount to be $2.91 per year for theowner of a $200,000 home?

Bell To Retire After 2011-12 Year

North Idaho College President Priscilla Bell announced Wednesday she will retire in June 2012 at the end of her current contract. Bell was hired in February 2007 as an interim president after then-president Michael Burke stepped down, according to an NIC news release. Bell was selected in July 2007 to permanently fill the position. Bell led the college during a time of unprecedented enrollment growth and declining state revenue support, the news release said. She also led the college during the purchase of the former DeArmond Mill site and land on the Rathdrum Prairie for professional-technical expansion/Chelsea Bannach, SR. More here. (And: Official North Idaho College press release/Stacy Hudson, Press Room.

Question: What will be President Priscilla Bell's legacy at North Idaho College?

North Idaho College Graduates 900

About 900 graduated this morning with their Associate of Arts /Associate of Science/Associate of Applied Science degrees from North Idaho College in Coeur d'Alene. Here, graduates celebrate by tossing their graduation caps in the air. (NIC Press Room photo: Stacy Hudson)

Question: Did you attend a community college?

NIC Mulls ‘Free Speech Zone’

Members of North Idaho College's board of trustees are considering creating a “free speech zone” at the school's campus, limiting potentially disruptive picketing, leafleting and other free speech activities to the designated zone. NIC Vice President for Student Services Sheldon Nord says that if approved, the policy would place limits on the time, place and manner of free speech activities. He says similar restrictions have been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court/Associated Press. More here.

Question: What do you make of the proposed “free speech zone” at North Idaho College?

NIC Awarded 2014 Wrestling Event

North Idaho College, in conjunction with the Spokane Regional Sports Commission, has been awarded the rights to host the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Wrestling National Championships in 2014. The bid was approved by the NJCAA Championship Events Committee and Board of Directors and announced at the NJCAA annual legislative meetings on March 29. NIC was the host college for the NJCAA wrestling national tournament hosted February 2011 at the Spokane Convention Center/NIC Press Room. More here.

Teen on track against the odds

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho — Born addicted to crack and raised in a meth house, a North Idaho teen faced an uncertain future. But today, Samantha Jernstrom is proving that despite the odds she has what it takes to succeed.

“It's definitely been a tough road. My mind frame that I'm set in is just do it. Make something of myself,” Jernstrom said, while waiting for a class to start at North Idaho College on Wednesday.

 Twice a week, she carts around a heavy backpack filled with books on the Coeur d'Alene college campus. At first glance, the 17-year-old looks like your typical student.”My first semester I can honestly tell you was so hard. I took chemistry, walking in blindfolded is how I can describe it,” she joked about her decision to take college classes as a high school junior as part of NIC's dual degree program. KXLY  Full Story.

Why do some kids with rough backgrounds beat the odds and succeed while others with far more advantages flounder?

H/T Sam Crawford

Roundup from Gonzaga’s win over Iowa

It was quite a Saturday of NCAA Basketball Tournament - women's style - at McCarthey Athletic Center.

Of course the highlight was Gonzaga's high-octane upset of Iowa that had the sellout crowd in a frenzy. 

The on the opposite end of the spectrum UCLA held off Montana's upset bid in a defensive struggle

We have a notebook and outstanding slide shows to go with both stories … including 33 of Gonzaga (Kayla Standish pictured here) … from Chris Anderson and Jesse Tinsley. Take a look and guess which one is going to be the big picture in your Sunday paper.

We interrupt this NCAA report to announce the North Idaho women won the Junior College national championship. Congratulations to Chris (and Cary) Carlson and the Cardinals.

Back to the NCAA's, there's the Cedar Rapids Gazette story, the Des Moines Register story and the Associated Press story.

Stanford had no problem with UC Davis but Heidi Heintz (Central Valley) had 11 points in her only NCAA Tournament appearance.

We have more, read on.