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Lady Cards Win National Cage Title

North Idaho College star Kama Griffitts scores two points against previously undefeated Pensacola earlier this weekend in the NJCAA national women's basketball tournament. Griffitts was named most valuable player as she led the Cardinals to the national NJCAA women's basketball tournament championship with a 90-81 win over Trinity Valley of Texas. (Photo: Max Iselin Photography, courtesy North Idaho College media athletics)

No. 5 seed NIC beat No. 3 Trinity Valley Community College of Texas in the championship game 90-81. Kama Griffitts, a 5-11 guard from Coeur d'Alene, led the Cardinals with 22 points. ShaKiana Edwards-Teasley, a 6-2 guard from Lapwai, added 17, and Tugce Canitez, a 6-2 forward/guard from Izmir, Turkey, finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds. The NIC Lady Cardinals won each of their first three games (No. 12 Georgia Perimeter in the first round, No. 4 State Fair in Round 2, and top-ranked Pensacola in the semifinals) by double digits before the championship round March 19. NIC ends the season with a 32-3 record and a national championship on their third straight trip to the NJCAA national tournament. Three sophomores on the NIC women's team earned All-Tournament honors, Griffitts, Canitez, and Camille Reynolds, a 5-5 guard from Rathdrum/North Idaho College Press Room. More here.

NIC Cheerleaders Win National Title

Sure, North Idaho College always has a great basketball team. And their wrestling team was a runner up at last week's national tournament in Spokane last week. But how about those cheerleaders? The NIC cheer squad won the 2-Year School national title over the weekend. The Cardinals were one of 20 teams to take part in the national competition in Anaheim, Calif. There were four other schools in their division. More here.

Question: Are you a fan of North Idaho College athletics?

Mmm, Mmm, Soup

Two-year-old Natalie Godfrey sipped her chicken noodle soup during lunch at North Idaho College Children's Center in Coeur d'Alene on Tuesday. Later this month, childcare providers from throughout North Idaho will gather to learn how to prepare tastier, healthier foods for children while keeping within a budget. Classes are being provided thanks to a University of Idaho Extension nutrition program and a statewide program that promotes quality childcare. Alison Boggs' SR story here. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

NIC In Hunt For National Wrestling Title

There’s no place like home. Region 18 wrestlers discovered that on the first day of the National Junior College Athletic Association national championships being contested at the Spokane Convention Center. A sizeable crowd watched as North Idaho secured five All-Americans, four of them semifinalists, and is in a spirited multi-team title challenge led by Region 18 rival Clackamas Community College. “It’s a typical national tournament,” said NIC coach Pat Whitcomb. “It’s a meat grinder, and (Friday) is a long, long day for the kids. All this does is set you up. (Today) is a new day.” Clackamas has five semifinalists, the most after one day of competition, and 68 points to the Cardinals’ 66.5. Last year’s top two finishers, Harper College from Illinois (61) and Iowa Central (63), are right behind and, like NIC, have four semifinalists/Mike Vlahovich, SR. More here. (SR photo/Colin Mulvany: In the 165 weight class, North Idaho College’s Jake Mason (in back) beat Lincoln’s Rick Goerke.)

Question: Were you aware that North Idaho College has won several national wrestling championships and has had a very good wrestling team for a long time?

Spencer & Co. Lose NIC Ruling

1st District Judge John Mitchell has dismissed a lawsuit filed against North Idaho College & the North Idaho College Foundation re: the purchase of the future education corridor, brought by Larry Spencer, Thomas R. Macy, and William McCrory. Mitchell ruled that the plaintiffs lacked standing to bring the lawsuit. Quoth Mitchell: "NIC correctly argues the general rule is taxpayers, such as plaintiffs, do not have standing to challenge government action. … An exception existed earlier in this litigation to allow the taxpayers, plaintiffs, to challenge whether the Lease Agreement was constitutional under Article VIII, § 3. Id. But the constitutionality of the Lease Agreement is now moot, as the lease ceases to exist. This 'repayment of the prepaid rent' now advanced by plaintiffs does not change the fact that the lease no longer exists. No sleight of hand argument by plaintiffs can resurrect the lease that was entirely paid off." You can read Mitchell's 25-page findings here.  (SR file photo/Jesse Tinsley, of Judge John Mitchell)


Bell: Soaring Enrollment, Falling $$$

Priscilla Bell, president of North Idaho College, is making her budget presentation to JFAC this morning, and her news is dramatic: Student enrollment, measured by total head count, has soared from about 3,500 when she started at the college in 2007, to some 6,700 this spring. “We've almost doubled our head-count in the four years I've been here,” Bell said. But at the same time, state funding for NIC has been dropping. Under the governor's proposed budget, “By fiscal year 2012 it will be at 2001 levels.” Because NIC is funded by local property taxes as well as student tuition and fees and state funds, the falling state support will impact both property taxes and student fees, on which, Bell said, “We have to rely more and more”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: How important is North Idaho College to you?

Christie: Bullet Points Aren’t Discussion

Christie Wood (re: Frank: I did too contact NIC): Frank (Henderson) and I have a different defintion of what is a discussion. I made my post on Wed. during the day responding to the on-line story. John told the Board that night at the board meeting that he had been provided with some bullet points he would share with us. I am not sure who he got them from, but bullet points are not my idea of a conversation. It is a good starting point though. The media in southern Idaho had already done a story on his ideas before our board was aware of his proposal. I would have preferred Frank mentioned his ideas to us at the legislative reception we hosted for our local legislators in November. That was the perfect opportunity to tell us his thoughts and obtain feedback. Nevertheless we will study his proposal and provide him with our thoughts and input. I will be in Boise later this week and hope to run into him to discuss this further. (See: Henderson's bill would create trustee districts)

Question: Should Rep. Frank Henderson move ahead with his proposal to split college districts into subdistricts without a long conversation with the North Idaho College Board of Trustees?

This day in history

I know this isn't our typical post here at SportsLink Central, but I found this fun little item in the Tri-City Herald this moring.

On this date in history, Jan. 23, 1974, Columbia Basin College wrestler Greg Williams, at 450 pounds, pinned North Idaho Junior College's 360-pound "strongboy," Ray King of Stanfield, Ore., in "the battle of the behemouths" at the Pasco High School gym, but the Hawks still lost 31-9 in the dual meet.

Now that's some weight flopping around. I thought John Owen, the current West Valley coach, was coaching at NIC then. Turns out he wasn't. But he remembers Ray King.  I just got this e-mail reply from Owen:

"I was not their yet.  It (the match) even made the front cover of Amateur Wrestling News which I looked at
while a high school coach in Oregon.  It is believed to be the two largest opponents in amateur
wrestling history.  Ray went on to win a national title that year."

Anyway, for what it's worth.

Hucks Poll: No To Ed Corridor Launch

  • Thursday Poll: 80 of 148 respondents (54%) were against constructing a boat launch in the North Idaho College Education Corridor to replace the popular one at the end of 3rd Street. 62 of 148 supported the project. 6 respondents were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Do you support the legalization of medical marijuana in Idaho?

NIC To Host New Boat Launch?

In the Coeur d'Alene Press this morning, reporter Maureen Dolan tells of a proposal to use three of the 17 acres in the Education Corridor owned by North Idaho College for a new boat launch. Parks Director Doug Eastwood presented the plan to the Board of Trustees Wednesday. He was asking for conceptual approval, so planners go develop a plan to possibly replace the Third Street boat launch. In a proposal unveiled earlier this month to upgrade McEuen Field, Team McEuen planned to close the Third Street launch to expand green space. To do so, city leaders would need to find an alternative site that could handle the strong boat traffic that now uses the popular downtown Coeur d'Alene launch.

Question: What do you think of the idea of moving the boat launch to the Education Corridor site?

NIC POST Academy Graduates 17

A total of 17 graduates recently completed the Peace Officers Standards Training (POST) Academy at North Idaho College. For the first time, the class included self-sponsored students in addition to the students sent to the academy by the law enforcement agencies they are employed by. You can find the identities of the 17 graduates above and read the rest of the story here.

Question: Do you have any police officers in your family?

Don: Artist Joe Jonas Will Be Missed

Re: North Idaho College schedules memorial for Joe Jonas/Hucks Online

Don Sausser: Joe, so humble, simply produced uncontroversial art that everyone could digest with great delight. From the piano near Schuler autitorium to the massive brass & ocopper pieces covering Christiansen Gymnasium and Boswell Hall, Joe has blessed North Idaho College for generations of future visitors. I used to visit him in his garage studio/workshop and marvel at his clay workups for larger pieces. They in themselves were works of art. RIP Joe.

Question: What’s your favorite piece of public art in the greater Coeur d’Alene area?

NIC To Pay Off Mill Site 22 Months Early

Item: NIC to make mill site payoff: Trustees vote to make $4.1 million payment 22 months early/Maureen Dolan, Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: Increased revenue from the surge in enrollment at North Idaho College has made it possible for trustees to complete the purchase of the former DeArmond mill site property 22 months ahead of schedule. At their regular meeting Wednesday, trustees agreed by vote to revise the college’s budget for this year, and use a combination of “budgeted and un-budgeted” fund balances to pay the $4.1 million balance due on the college’s lease agreement with the North Idaho College Foundation.

Question: Anyone still think the purchase of the mill property by NIC was a bad idea?

Still Pining For Fort Sherman Institute

Free of NIC trustee control and manipulation from the president’s office, Fort Sherman Institute became immediately profitable and is a national leader in its field. The program could be buying a lot of test tubes for NIC chemistry classes and paying instructors of English and math. It could also be a flagship program that would separate NIC from everyone else. Instead, it is making David Dose a wealthy man, in part because he continued to lean on Dr. Ketchum for advice/Mike Patrick, Coeur d’Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.

DFO: I’ve received a coupla inquiries re: this odd editorial in the Coeur d’Alene Press Sunday. Fort Sherman Institute was a colossal flop under the college auspices, sucking more than $800,000 from college coffers. Mebbe the editorial was a means to soft sell Robert Ketchum’s defeat at the hands of incumbent Christie Wood. Who knows?

Question: What do you make of this odd editorial?

NIC Wins Region 18 Volleyball Tourney

After winning the first two sets in the Region 18 Tournament championship match, North Idaho College volleyball coach Colleen Frohlich warned her team that Salt Lake wouldn’t go down without a fight. Sure enough, the second-seeded Bruins rallied to take the next two sets. In a tense, back-and-forth fifth set, No. 1 NIC fought back, winning six of the last seven points to cap a 25-21, 25-16, 19-25, 19-25, 15-11 victory Saturday at Christianson Gym. Both teams had already secured spots in the national tournament, which begins Nov. 18 in West Plains, Mo., but they put on a show anyway/Jim Meehan, SR. More here.

Howard Didn’t Lose Sleep re: Election

In a Coeur d’Alene Press story, Maureen Dolan reports that Ken Howard slept well Election Night, although he went to bed not knowing the outcome of his North Idaho College trustee race with Ron Nilson. Howard, according to the story, “was in bed before midnight, when his opponent Ron Nilson still had a slight edge.” Quoth: “I’ve waited for too many juries to come in,” laughed Howard, a longtime Coeur d’Alene trial attorney. I didn’t get to bed until 2 hours later. Mebbe Howard slept well because he read this comment of mine at 11:46 p.m. Election Night: “Nilson’s in trouble. The absentees should have put him over the top b/c they tend to be heavy Republican. Which would favor Nilson. Howard has erased most of that deficit — and should continue to gain ground.”

Question: Can you sleep easy when big decisions, outcomes, or events are waiting for you in the morning?

Christie: Grateful For Voter Support

Christie: Today has been a very busy work day. I would have loved to have spent some time on-line here at Hucks nation. I want to let people know how grateful I am for the chance to continue to be in a leadership position at NIC. We have much to be proud of at the college as well as many more challenges and opportunities ahead. This campaign unlike my others in the past was the most daunting. For candidates one minute your up because someone sent you a nice note and a contribution, and then the next minute your down after you read a nasty letter to the editor. Fun stuff!!! But I think all candidates gain from the experience so it is worth it.

Question: Any suggestions for Christie, newby Ken Howard, the other NIC trustees re: what they need to do to keep the college moving ahead?

Wood, Howard Snag NIC Seats

Vote for 1
Kenneth B. Howard. . . . . . . . 16,221 51.61
Ronald D. Nilson . . . . . . . . 15,211 48.39
Total . . . . . . . . . 31,432

Vote for 1
Robert G. Ketchum. . . . . . . . 13,637 40.70
Christie Wood . . . . . . . . . 19,870 59.30
Total . . . . . . . . . 33,507

NIC Trustee Q-and-A Has Hart Query

I just returned from the noon luncheon of the Kootenai County Democratic Club for NIC trustee candidates, where Norm Gissel asked about a hypothetical situation that was disallowed by moderator Mary Lou Reed. Who didn’t think it was relevant to the trustee races. But candidate Ron Nilson answered it anyway. In the hypothetical, Norm asked the 4 candidates what they would do about an individual who stole trees that supported children’s education. Nilson said: “No way should anyone enter public land & take timber that belongs to our kids.” Rep. Phil Hart’s name wasn’t mentioned once. But everyone knew who Norm & Ron were talking about.

Phaedrus: Bulldozer To Replace Logo

Phaedrus: I’m at a loss to figure out why the voc-tech crowd wants to replace Christie Wood. Herb, it’s personal. Robert Ketchum was let go by NIC, the Trustees approved of that action. Ron Nilson’s vo-tech gravy train was disrupted and Ron Nilson belongs to the “My way or the Highway” school of thinking, he is unwilling (perhaps incapable) of seeing another point of view. So he recruits (sponsors?) Ketchum to run. And despite leading the governing board of KTEC he also wants to have input into the governing board of NIC. If Nilson wins, I hear that NIC’s new colors will be yellow and black and the Cardinal logo will be replaced by a bulldozer.

Question: Do you think North Idaho College has a good balance between academic classes and vo-tech/pro-tech ones?

3 NIC Teams Ranked In Top 10

All three of North Idaho College’s winter teams are ranked in the top 10 by the National Junior College Athletic Association. Wrestling is ranked No. 2, men’s basketball is ranked No. 3 and women’s basketball is ranked No. 6 in the NJCAA pre-season polls that came out this week. “This is the first time all three of those teams have been in the pre-season top 10,” said NIC Athletics Director Al Williams. “This should be a tremendous season for all the players and fans.”

Question: When did you last see a North Idaho College sports event?

McGruber: Students Are Customers

McGruber: Watch the forum unfiltered like I did for a better feel for the exchanges. And why is it odd to refer to the students as customers of the college? They determine what courses have value by what courses they pay to study. Doesn’t that make them customers? And isn’t a career or job the ultimate goal of getting higher education? Unless of course you’re going to be a perennial student or aspire to a career in acedemia.

Question: What do you make of the concept that college students are customers?


NIC Trustee Debates: Howard Vs. Nilson

  • Ken Howard will be debating Ron Nilson first tonight; Luke Malek will be moderator of Kootenai County Young Professionals.
  • Ron Nilson has on dark gray suit & red power tie; Ken Howard has on lighter gray shirt and earth-tone green tie. 40 people present at Post Falls City Hall. Program will run again of public access Channel 13 at 8 p.m. Wednesday and 3 p.m. Sunday. Or be available on demand at city of Post Falls Web site. Questioners will be Maureen Dolan/Press, Taryn Hecker-Thompson/former SReporter/Inlander free-lancer, and Fatima Madrid/NIC VP.
  • Opening statement: Nilson has a habit of referring to himself in 3rd person and asking himself questions to which he responds. Says he’s running for “students and ALL taxpayers of North Idaho.” He points out that he’s the leader of a consortium of 47 businesses and considers jobs the biggest issue b/c good jobs begin with education.
  • Opening statement: Howard considers the college to be the heartbeat of the community.
  •  1st Q (which capital project is needed next): Nilson: 1. cleanup of expanded property, and 2. parking. He launches into criticism re: lack of plan for Education Corridor. He points out that the college partners for NIC haven’t offered any money to help build capital projects. Howard: We have had 37% increase in student populations in recent years. We need to be nimble and react to growing needs of students.
  • 2nd Q: (What would you do to put “community” back into community college?): Howard: Not sure the community isn’t there now. (BTW, this is one of Nilson’s favorite mantras for campaign.) Nilson: Sez he was NIC’s No. 1 customer in 4 of last 5 years. I’m not the only one saying there’s a disconnect. 47 other CEOs are saying that, too. Questions starting classes that have no practical relevance to the community.
  • 3rd Q (If forced to choose between pro-tech program and one in drama, which would you cut?): Nilson: North Idaho ranks last among 3 community colleges in state in pro-tech programs. I have to make decision on present jobs that are going unfilled. Howard: My instinct is to say I’d favor professional technical. Drama seems to be superfluous. But that’s too superficial (of an assessment). There are many factors involved. It’s not just about job opportunities but job opportunities that offer decent wage.
  • More below

North Idahoans Stand Against Hate

Large crowds of counter-demonstrators turned out in the early morning darkness in Coeur d’Alene today to answer the small group of protesters from Westboro Baptist Church that plans a second day of denouncing gays, soldiers, Jews, the United States, and private and public colleges and schools. The seven members of the extremist group from Topeka, Kan., were out holding signs at the corner of Fourth and Dalton streets, next to Coeur d’Alene High School, by 6 a.m., while at least 50 counter-demonstrators met them with messages of their own. “I don’t like the way they treat veterans at the funerals,” said Greg Prado of Hayden, a Marine who served in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Prado attended with his son Cade, 6, and wife Amy/Alison Boggs, SR. More here. (SR Photo: Kathy Plonka: Scott and Michelle Hoagland, of Coeur d’Alene, give free hugs during the protest of the Westboro Baptist Church at North Idaho College on Friday.)

Question: What is the best way to demonstrate against hate?

Westboro Arrives On CdA Campuses

A crowd turned out in the early morning darkness in Coeur d’Alene today to counter the small group of protesters from Westboro Baptist Church that plans a second day of denouncing gays, soldiers, Jews, the United States, and private and public colleges and schools. The eight members of the extremist group from Topeka, Kan., were out holding signs at the corner of Fourth and Dalton streets, next to Coeur d’Alene High School, by 6 a.m., while at least 50 counter-demonstrators met them with messages of their own. “I don’t like the way they treat veterans at the funerals,” said Greg Prado of Hayden, a Marine who served in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Prado attended with his son Cade, 6, and wife Amy/Alison Boggs, SR. More here.

  • Nic: And they’re at Lake City HS with counter-protests across the street (both to the north and to the east). Oddly, a local is on the Westboro side with the Support Obama/vote Minnick sing. And he’s next to the “God hates boobies/gay people/America” people so it looks like he’s one of them.

Question: Am I the only one who feels sorry for the kids that Fred Phelps & his horrible family have drawn into their web of hate?

Westboro Targets NIC Play Twice

(Westboro Baptist Church) will be picketing “The Laramie Project” 8 -8:30 a.m. Friday outside Boswell Hall. According to WBC, their reasoning for this picket is “to preach some truth to the audience and cast of this fag propaganda play of lies.” … WBC will also picket outside Boswell Hall closing night of “The Laramie Project,” Oct. 30 from 6:45-7:30 p.m. “I was really surprised,” Jacoby said in regards to finding out that the WBC would be picketing the production. “We had hardly even started publicity. How we managed to land on their radar was my first biggest question. We’re in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, pretty well off the beaten path. We’re a two-year school. I was sure this was not going to fall on their radar, but somehow they did. They must’ve seen the audition notice in the last week of August”/Shauna DeMerritt, North Idaho College Sentinel. More here. (AP File Photo of Fred Phelps, dark glasses, and family)

Question: Have you ever seen the play, ‘The Laramie Project’? Do you plan to do so some day?

NIC Plans Counter-Protest Vigil

North Idaho College students will be holding a candlelight vigil from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30, on the field between the Sherman and Hedlund buildings on campus. The vigil will occur during the same time the Westboro Baptist Church has announced plans to demonstrate the NIC Theatre Department’s production of “The Laramie Project.” The college intends for a quiet gathering. Students, faculty, staff and the school’s administration ask that community members do not confront Westboro church members. Community members who wish to participate in a solemn celebration are welcome to join the candlelight vigil in the spirit of solidarity and acceptance/Tom Greene, NIC Press Room. More here.

Question: Is this a good approach to combat the planned protest by the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan.?

CW: Nilson Ad Hypocritical, Inflames

Christie Wood (re: Coeur d’Alene Press ad by Ron Nilson today): Interestingly enough Ron (Nilson) is the same guy that led the campaign for a levy in three school districts this year to pay for KTEC that raised everyone’s taxes by at least $30 a year. I supported that as well because I believe both the Ed. Corridor and KTEC programs are vital to our community. I can’t help but wonder if he were elected what programs would he want to cut? With a 37% increase in enrollment and a $4 million dollar state holdback taking the allowed 3% increase in property taxes was necessary to the continued operation of the college. His ad is hypocritical and meant to inflame our constituents. How about you mention the tax increase you rallied for and won Ron? Full comment here.

Question: Are you happy with the current leadership of the North Idaho College Board of Trustees?

NIC Students Set Trustee Forum

Associated Students of North Idaho College is hosting a board of trustees candidate forum at noon on Tuesday, Oct. 19, in the Edminster Student Union Building Lake Coeur d’Alene Room. The one-hour forum will consist of timed answers to questions gathered from student input followed by some questions from the audience. All four candidates have confirmed that they will attend. Robert Ketchum is running against incumbent Christie Wood for Seat B. Ken Howard is running against Ron Nilson for Seat A, which is currently held by Rolly Williams who is retiring.

DFO: I have a question that should be posed to Ron Nilson (pictured) during this forum or some other. In mid-November 2008, he attended a Education Corridor forum as an observer. I kept a note that Jay Baldwin sent me the next day in which Jay told me that Nilson was upset about professional technical education at the college. At one point during the night, Baldwin quotes Nilson as saying re: news that Idaho ranked 47th of 50 states in the number of citizens per capita with a 4-year degree ” … maybe being 47th in the country [in terms of the number of college graduates per capita in the state] is a good thing. Maybe Idaho doesn’t need people with 4 and 6 year degrees.” In his note Nov. 13, 2008, Baldwin said, “I almost fell out of my chair.” My question for Nilson: Do you still feel that a four-year degree isn’t that important? BTW, I contacted Baldwin today, and he stands behind the note that he sent me.