Stambersky, North, Gaines earn top post-season cage honors

Led by the selection of Valerie Stambersky, right, as Jayhawk East Co-Coach of the Year, Kansas City Kansas Community swept post-season honors as (from left) freshman Cheyenne North was named to both the All-Jayhawk and All-Region VI first teams; Cierra Gaines was named the MVP of Region VI and a second team All-Jayhawk selection; and Cassidy Harbert earned honorable mention after becoming KCKCC’s all-time leader in assists. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)
Led by the selection of Valerie Stambersky, right, as Jayhawk East Co-Coach of the Year, Kansas City Kansas Community swept post-season honors as, from left, freshman Cheyenne North was named to both the All-Jayhawk and All-Region VI first teams; Cierra Gaines was named the MVP of Region VI and a second team All-Jayhawk selection; and Cassidy Harbert earned honorable mention after becoming KCKCC’s all-time leader in assists. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

The co-coach of the year, the Region VI most valuable player, an All-Jayhawk – All-Region selection and the all-time leader in assists led the way as Kansas City Kansas Community College made a sweep of women’s post-season basketball honors.

Valerie Stambersky is the Jayhawk East Co-Coach of the Year and freshman forward Cheyenne North a first team All-Jayhawk East selection while sophomore guard Cierra Gaines was named the Most Valuable Player on the NJCAA Region VI Division II team.

North and Gaines were both named to the All-Region team while Gaines was named to the second All-Jayhawk team and Cassidy Harbert, KCKCC’s all-time career leader in assists, to the honor roll.

Stambersky, who led KCKCC to a 28-4 record, shared Coach of the Year honors with Emily
Washburn, who led Coffeyville to the Jayhawk East championship at 12-1.

It is the first Coach of the Year honors for Stambersky, whose Lady Blue Devils came within one win of gaining the NJCAA Division II national tournament. The second most wins in a season in KCKCC history, the Blue Devils shared regular season Division II conference honors with national champion Johnson County at 11-1 and finished in a tie for second with JCCC (11-2) in the Jayhawk East behind Coffeyville (12-1).

Gaines, a 5-7 guard from Glen Carbon, Ill., led the Blue Devils in scoring with a 14.1-point average. She also led KCKCC in three-point goals with 51 and was second in assists (2.5).

A freshman from Gallatin, Tenn., the 5-11 North led the Blue Devils in rebounding (7.9) and blocked shots (2.0) and was second in scoring at 11.5 points per game. Shooting 52.5 percent from the field, North was also third in assists (2.2).

Second in assists in a single season with 197 as a freshman, Harbert added 162 more this season and vaulted to No. 1 on the all-time assist list with 359, eclipsing the old record of 352 established by All-American Aneta Kausaite in 1994-1996. A sophomore from Wichita Northwest, Harbert was also second in rebounding (5.2) and fourth in scoring (8.1).

Alan Hoskins is the sports information director for KCKCC.

Justice Department settles lawsuit alleging discrimination at apartment complex

The Justice Department announced today that Brisben Chimney Hills Limited Partnership and JRK Residential America LLC, the owners and the former manager of the Reserve apartment complex in Lenexa, Kan., together with their named partner and agents, have agreed to pay $170,000 to settle a lawsuit alleging violations of the Fair Housing Act.

The lawsuit alleged that defendants instituted policies at the Reserve and at other properties in Kansas and Missouri that discriminated against families with children. The lawsuit also alleged that a family was forced to leave the Reserve after they complained to management about the overly-restrictive policies.

Under the proposed consent decree, which must still be approved by the U.S. District Court of Kansas, the defendants will pay $60,000 to the family that initiated the original complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, $100,000 into a victim fund to compensate other aggrieved families and $10,000 to the United States as a civil penalty. In addition, the proposed consent decree prohibits the defendants from discriminating in the future against families with children and requires the defendants to receive training on the requirements of the FHA.

“For over 25 years, the Fair Housing Act has prohibited housing providers from discriminating against families with children,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta of the Civil Rights Division. “Many parents are already struggling to find affordable housing for their families, and they should not also have to face discrimination because they have children.”

“Kansas families with children deserve the right to live where they choose and to be free from housing discrimination,” said U.S. Attorney Barry R. Grissom of the District of Kansas.

The lawsuit, also filed today, arose from a complaint filed with HUD by a family that was living at the Reserve apartments. The owners and operators of the Reserve instituted a policy that discriminated against families with children because it unreasonably restricted the activities of children, including a policy that required that anyone under the age of 16 be physically accompanied by an adult at all times, the Justice Department stated.

After the family complained about the policy, their lease was not renewed and they were forced to leave the Reserve. After HUD investigated the complaint, it issued a charge of discrimination and the matter was referred to the Justice Department. The United States’ complaint alleges that the defendants violated the family’s rights, that the restrictive policies discriminated against other families with children and that the defendants engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination or denied rights protected by the FHA to a group of persons.

“Overly restrictive housing policies for families with children are illegal, and prevent them from fully enjoying the place they call home,” said HUD Assistant Secretary Gustavo Velasquez of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “HUD will continue to work with the Department of Justice to take action against property owners and landlords whose policies violate the Fair Housing Act.”

Fighting illegal housing discrimination is a top priority of the Justice Department. The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin and disability.

More information about the Civil Rights Division and the laws it enforces is available at www.usdoj.gov/crt. Individuals who believe that they have been victims of housing discrimination can call the Housing Discrimination Tip Line at 1-800-896-7743, email the Justice Department at fairhousing@usdoj.gov, or contact HUD at 1-800-669-9777. More information about the Fair Housing Act can also be found at www.usdoj.gov/crt/housing or www.hud.gov/fairhousing.