Valley Center Stories

No medical miracle in Valley Center

Robert Young, not a physician, accused of fake cancer cures

On November 5, Robert Oldham Young of Valley Center was ordered to face six felony charges, including practicing medicine without a license and grand theft by fraud at the end of a three-week preliminary hearing. ...

Abundant evidence of the Kumeyaay

Hike Kumeyaay Trail through oak woodlands and chaparral strewn with boulders and beautiful views of Lake Wohlford.

Ways to beat the late-September doldrums

Top events and things to do in San Diego this week, September 25-October 1

This autumn event offers tractor hayrides, a straw maze, petting corral, pony rides, kettle corn, food trucks, and live entertainment from noon to 3 p.m. Grab a wheelbarrow and pick from a variety of pumpkins: ...

Justice for mom found dead in bed

Conservatorship required for young man accused of matricide

After a court hearing on September 19, it was concluded that 29-year-old David Leroy Lucero, arrested on suspicion of killing his mother more than four years ago, should be confined to a psychiatric hospital. “The ...

Pumpkin patch blooms at Bates

Free family fun in Valley Center

There are many bright blooms and small, pale pumpkins underneath the broad leaves of the pumpkin plants on the 100-acre Bates Nut Farm in August. On a recent weekend, a man who identified himself as ...

Harrah’s flush with craft beer

Velvety local imperial stout unearthed at Valley Center resort’s new bar

Anybody entering a casino is taking their chances to some extent. This luck-pressing should not extend to patrons looking for a quality beverage. Such is the thinking behind Corked, a new bar at the recently ...

Valley Center Brewery finds home at home

Homegrown craft beer springing up in North County Inland burg

Last September, I introduced readers to Valley Center’s first brewery, Valley Center Brewery. At the time, the family-run operation was in the midst of its very humble beginnings, but they’ve been busy in their northerly ...

Inlaws and outlaws

Shots fired on the San Pascual Res

Michelle Ortega said Richard Murillo showed her the gun when he met her down by the front gate of her property on the San Pasqual Indian Reservation in Valley Center. It was after 11 o’clock ...

Meet Valley Center Brewery

Inland north county community poised to welcome its first brewery

Even locals with the slightest grasp of the craft beer movement can see how widespread it is within San Diego County. Breweries and brewpubs are opening up all over the place, pushing the geographic borders ...

Dharma Travel: California seeking

Third in a spiritual tourism series.

It doesn't take traveling to remote or exotic places to escape the distractions of the outside world, I've found. In California, regardless of denomination, dharma travel is big business. Whether 50-room or single-room hermitages, expansive ...

Palomar Mountain: Weir-French Valley Loop

This hike includes trails beneath an old oak canopy, morteros, open meadows, two creeks, and a small pond with a stone weir.

Can you find the big secret in this casino?

Reservation’s reservations

Interviews with Pala tribe members who are at odds since Indian gaming was made legal in California.

8 days. 750 miles.

Professional cycling’s uphill climb

Rundown of bicyclists who’ve been caught doping and the Tour of California bike race.

Red Neck Gardening

Spring is the season that warms the heart of any gardener. You hold hope and a dream in your hand with each seed you plant. Hope for tomatoes, red and juicy, fresh vegetables, fine herbs, ...

San Diego Sheriff’s New Car Reads License Plates Fast

On June 4, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department unveiled a new “automatic license plate reader car” that will be based out of the department’s Valley Center substation. “This car has the ability to read ...

Hellhole Canyon Open Space Preserve

A bubbling creek, shade, history, and changing ecology beckon

Hellhole Canyon Open Space Preserve east of Valley Center is a valuable resource for wildlife, hikers, and equestrians, with running water, a scenic canyon, and spring wildflowers. It is a place to learn about the ...

Doing the Deed on a Pig Farm

A few weeks ago, Hank, a businessman in his 50s, invited about 30 people out to his rural estate in Valley Center to take part in the slaughtering of two large pigs. “My conclusion from ...

Consider the Snake

If you listen, carefully, you can hear the rattles under the house, beneath the bathroom floor. You disturb that snake, every time you set foot in the bathroom. Unnerving, the babysitter called it. Rodent control ...

Ridgeview Church

Membership: 600 Denomination: Independent Christian Pastor: Bill Trok Age: 49 Born: Chicago Formation: Talbot School of Theology-Biola University, La Mirada Years Ordained: 20 San Diego Reader: How long do you spend writing your sermon? Pastor ...

Valley Center Teacher Who Allegedly Hosted Drunken Teen Party May Not Appear in Court

A 56-year-old schoolteacher accused of hosting a drunken teen party this month may not have to appear in court. Although Nancy Hildebrand was arrested just past midnight on June 12 on suspicion of supplying alcohol ...

Sidewalks and Barn Animals

I think delivery drivers cut their teeth in Valley Center. What better way to test a newbie driver’s mettle than to drop him, unceremoniously, in the outback of the county, in an area with a ...

Hot Guacamole: Avocado Theft in North County

Almost as surely as avocados grow, thieves steal them and turn the fruit into quick and untraceable cash. Over the past decade, San Diego County law enforcement agencies have stepped up patrols, pursuits, and prosecution ...

Valley Center Up in Arms: "Take Road 3A Off the Map"

Minutes after County Supervisor Bill Horn was sworn in as chairperson during the January 4 board of supervisors meeting, he opened the podium to the public. Two residents of Valley Center, located in Horn's district, ...

Packing Heat (and Granola)

After a year of San Diego pollution and traffic noise, I anxiously anticipated a week in the wilderness — the brilliant blue sky, the sound of the wind in the pine trees, the scent of ...

Home Invaders in Search of Past Tenant

On August 31, residents at a Valley Center home were accosted by two armed men who claimed to be law-enforcement agents. The victims, all of whom are in their 20s, complied with the perpetrators, who ...

Nightmare Over?

When Craig Johnson moved to Valley Center in 1978, he could see only seven lights from the ridge on Chaparral Terrace. "Now there are hundreds," he said. On March 5, he and about 100 other ...

Road Rage on Horseback

This is a true story of the male ego and road rage on horseback. I love the quiet solitude of a Saturday afternoon horseback ride. The clear blue skies in rural San Diego County. The ...

Bye-Bye, Luck

In the Vista court on Friday, October 2, a Los Angeles man pled not guilty to multiple counts of identity theft and grand theft stemming from his arrest at the Valley View Casino. Judge Hockett ...

Troubled Bridge

The County of San Diego's Department of Public Works has started work on Valley Center Road’s bridge over the San Luis Rey River, just west of Harrah's Rincon Casino. This year, the Federal Highway Administration ...

Valley Center Bike Ride

Resting high above the city of Escondido, Valley Center is well on its way to becoming a rural suburb. As houses and country estates pop up on spacious lots, the area is bit by bit ...

Deion Disses L.T.

When I learned Harrah’s Rincon was opening up a sports bar called the Sports Pit in late September, I decided to hit it. They offered lots of free food and drinks and two former NFL ...

The Guacamole Crisis

Throughout last winter and spring, one could put one’s ear to the wind almost anywhere in North County and hear the buzz of chainsaws as avocado farmers cut down their trees. While this tropical fruit ...

Crazy Dog People

While I was growing up in Valley Center, my dogs had the life. We lived on a five-acre ranch and the dogs were free to roam. We had a Collie, who was an adult, and ...

Coolio, Cool J, and Dee Ray

I saw an ad for a CD-release party for LL Cool J. It’s funny because when bands invite me to CD-release parties, they aren’t really parties. It’s usually the band playing a small venue for ...

Last Call

Author: Elizabeth Zerbe Neighborhood: Valley Center Age: Over 40 Occupation: Care provider Saturday night, and everyone was going out to dinner — even the six-inch black-and-silver tarantula in the driveway, heading to our ­house. It ...

Valley Center Name-Dropping

Eleanor Roosevelt. Betty Crocker. Wyatt Earp. Those are some of the famous names associated with my neighborhood. And then there are the celebrities: Fred Astaire, Gary Cooper, June Allyson, Dick Powell, and John Wayne come ...

Reveling at Reveles

After a couple of days at Harrah's in Valley Center, my partner and I grew bored with casino clamor and casino fare. At Fiore's, the hotel's top restaurant, our food-savvy waitress was a Valley Center ...

Gambling Gourmand 2: Go Back, Jack

When the Santa Anas sent the downtown air pollution score to a choking 106, my partner and I drove an hour north for a few days of good country air and culinary research at Harrah's ...

Gambling Gourmands, Part I

Eight restaurants under one roof! That's what Harrah's Rincon promises not only to gamblers, but to residents of the restaurant-starved area around Valley Center, five miles northeast of Escondido. What drew me northward was the ...

The Valley Center far away from Harrah’s casino

At the end of a winding asphalt road, past boulders and gated ranches, past riotous tumbles of magenta bougainvillea, past dirt roads that disappear into orange groves dappled with midday sun, you'll find Peter Schaner. ...

Hive Mentality

Beekeeping runs in families.

I love honey. I love honey! Like the bears. All day long my coffee has honey instead of sugar. My cereal has honey. My toast, honey on it. Always honey." David Rojas of San Marcos ...

Best of 2003: Best Little Day Trip To A Farm

Bell Gardens Farm 30841 Cole Grade Road, Valley Center www.bellgardensfarm.com 760-749-6297 In 1993, Glen "Taco Titan" Bell cashed out his Taco Bell stock and bought 115 acres in Valley Center. He transformed much of the ...

Best of 2003: Best Stained & Leaded Glass

Noel Laue, Elemental Glassworks 16261 Woods Valley Road, Valley Center 760-749-7590 For over 20 years, artist Noel Laue has been working with stained, painted, and leaded glass -- specializing in windows, doors, and entry halls. ...

Local Growers Leery of Year-Round Fruit

In late June, officials from the United States Department of Agriculture lifted a ban on picking Hass avocados that had been imposed on growers in Valley Center since Mexican fruit flies were found in the ...

They're Killing My Bird Right Now

Donna Heilman, manager of Birdland in North Park, takes no chances when it comes to protecting her store full of birds, from $5 finches to $10,000 macaws, which can live over 70 years. "We have ...

Dear God, What Do You Want Us to Do?

Valley Center growers are feeling the financial squeeze caused by the Mexican fruit fly infestation discovered in November 2002. Lisa Schostag, a third-generation farmer and a native Californian, farms land within the quarantine area. "The ...

Descend into Hell Creek and rise beyond in Valley Center's Hellhole Canyon Open Space Preserve

Eleven miles of hiking trail lace through the 1700-acre Hellhole Canyon Open-Space Preserve, east of Valley Center. The San Diego County parks department acquired this former parcel of surplus public-domain land, one of several such ...

Best of 2000: Best Pumpkin Picking

Bates Nut Farm 15954 Woods Valley Road, Valley Center (760) 749-3333 Around Halloween, Bates Nut Farm is the ultimate pumpkin-picking experience. After the $1 hayride, the busloads of kids who visit can tumble over piles ...

Loop through Woods Valley and Valley Center on this bicycle tour out of Escondido.

Resting high above the city of Escondido, Valley Center is well on its way to becoming a rural suburb. As more and more country estates pop up on big lots, the area is gradually losing ...

The Worms Turn

You've seen it on Hard Copy, read about it in the paper. Now, how about the truth on the millionairess, the parasite, and the million-dollar horse she claims was murdered, South Pacific? Start with the ...

Join our
newsletter list

Enter to win $25 at Broken Yolk Cafe

Each newsletter subscription
means another chance to win!

Close