Fallbrook Stories

Is San Diego like Chinatown?

“I think a writer can window-dress a novel with headlines”

Jonathan Lethem, whose Motherless Brooklyn has got to be one of the only detective novels to snag a National Book Critics Circle Award, liked Fallbrook author T. Jefferson Parker’s The Last Good Guy enough to ...

T. Jefferson Parker enshrines Fallbrook in The Last Good Guy novel

Fallbrook has its own schemers, scammers, and scoundrels

In 2018, Jason Berry published City of a Million Dreams: A History of New Orleans at Year 300. James Carville blurbed it thus: “We’ve been taught since we were children that New Orleans has the ...

Suspect in quadruple murder of Fallbrook family convicted

Did San Diego County Sheriffs bungle investigation?

After the mysterious 2010 disappearance of the McStay family of Fallbrook, Charles Ray Merritt, 62, was convicted of the quadruple murder on June 10 in a San Bernardino County court Joseph McStay, his wife Summer, ...

Fallbrook – 56 miles and an eternity from San Diego

Oranges, avocados, crime, schools, attempt to change the town center

When I say Fallbrook, nothing comes to mind “They are going to fix the streets? For whom? Every other shop is vacant and has been for the last few years. There’s no draw for tourists. ...

San Diego biodynamic farms – are they better?

Jimbo's may be a bellwether

“My favorite thing about farming is putting my hands in the soil and feeling its life,” says Audrey James, proprietor of Odd Trees Biodynamic Farm. The phrase “Odd Trees” is a play on her first ...

Oranges split in Valley Center, Fallbrook, Escondido

Farmers market vendors blame rain

Orange tree owners from Valley Center and Escondido took to social media to vent about their fruit splitting. “What caused the spitting this year?” questioned one woman from Escondido on February 11. “My other citrus ...

Tri-City nurse stabs boyfriend with butter knife, then steak knife

Will she be re-instated to labor and delivery?

‘We are not required to wait for her to injure a patient at work,” attorney Erin Sunseri told a judge. Representing the California nurses licensing board, Sunseri was trying to prevent Christena Potter doing any ...

An unwanted December phone call

The man never asked for money

A new telephone scam may be circulating around San Diego. On December 19, 68-year-old Vickie Harjo, of Fallbrook, received a phone call from the "Medicare office" stating her Medicare coverage will expire on December 25. ...

Tom Metzger has moved to San Jacinto

But his enemies read him into Trump policy

“Do you know who founded Fallbrook?” organizer Ricardo Favela blurted out on a bullhorn in front of about 60 fellow protestors in a late afternoon rally Monday, July 9. “Reche,” said one who knew the ...

Woman claims assault on Fallbrook street

One man's trash is...

‘I was bending over picking up trash, and the next thing I know I got two slugs on the side of my head.” The pink-haired woman demonstrated with her arms in the witness box of ...

Officer was injured deploying spike strip

Bailed-out felon denies causing multi-car crash

A 44-year-old man who was out on bail led officers on a 45 minute pursuit in a stolen car, and caused injury to multiple persons, a prosecutor alleged in court yesterday, Wednesday, May 2, 2018. ...

A wider road from Bonsall to I-15

Beneficiaries: new Palomar campus, five new neighborhoods, four casinos

Caltrans has quietly opened up the four finished lanes of the long awaited, and final leg, of the Highway 76 widening project. The last 4.3-mile stretch from Mission Road in Bonsall, to I-15, completes the ...

Dog did hunt

Two women sue San Diego County Sheriffs over use of police dog in Fallbrook

A married couple trying to elude San Diego County Sheriff''s deputies are suing the county and the deputies involved for excessive force used during their apprehension. The women say the San Diego County Sheriff's deputies, ...

North County has less heroin today

Forty-six gang members rounded up

Federal indictments unsealed yesterday (March 1) charge 55 drug dealers and gang members with crimes including money-laundering, robberies, vehicle thefts, burglaries, assaults, and trafficking in heroin, methamphetamine, and firearms. The gang members operated in North ...

Pastor Sam Nunez warns that Jesus is coming soon. "Be ready."

The Bible’s holistic message

Fallbrook Seventh Day Adventists Membership: 499 Pastor: Sam Nunez Age: 43 Born: Philadelphia, PA Formation: Seminar Schloss Bogenhofen, Austria; Institute Adventist Collonges Sous Saleve, France; Andrews University, Berrien Springs, MI Years Ordained: 11 San Diego ...

Modern Me scores a direct hit

Fallbrook indie rockers toss their disc into the 91X ring and hit Halloran

Adam Lamah is the frontman for Modern Me, a six-piece indie-rock band from Fallbrook that’s been compared to the 1975. In an attempt to get radio play for Modern Me’s new single, “Waters,” Lamah called ...

Mutt and meat in Fallbrook

Arrive early for Firehouse Que and Brew's daily lunch specials

Like most of the county, Fallbrook has been plagued by fire throughout its history. Most recently, over 200 structures were destroyed in the 2007 “Rice Fire,” which found the region’s resources spread thin for a ...

Listen for the “wacka-wacka” in Live Oak Park

Visit one of the oldest parks in the county and discover an Indian kitchen

Live Oak County Park is one of the area’s oldest parks where Fallbrook is said to have begun. It is a sprawling 27-acre tract in the middle of an old-growth grove of coast live oaks, ...

189 avocado trees and 10,000 palms

Fallbrook avocado farmers, sharpen the shears

Beds: 7 Baths: 7 Current Owner: Burma Bigz Ranch LLC List Price: $10,000,000 The amenities at 230 Burma Road in the inland North County community of Fallbrook, listing materials promise, make up “one of the ...

Yes, again: Fallbrook Golf Course a no-sale

Use of land as garbage dump is not off the table

On Tuesday morning (July 26) sheriff's deputies were on the greens at Fallbrook Golf Course just before 7 a.m. The cops were there because of veteran golf-course operator Harold Vaubel, who just a few weeks ...

New hope for Fallbrook Golf Course

“If he wants to tear things down, I want to build them up.”

On June 30, the Fallbrook Village News reported that the beleaguered Fallbrook Golf Course was closed “due to change in management.” The paper missed a major detail about the 56-year-old course, which has come under ...

Los Jilgueros, a small retreat in suburban Fallbrook

Relax in this small preserve with great wooded areas and wetlands

This 46-acre nature preserve was an orchard and farmland before it was acquired by the Fallbrook Land Conservancy (FLC) as their first acquisition. There is still some farm equipment and waterworks visible. For its small ...

Sheila E. will help launch North County concert series

Grand Tradition Estate and Gardens in Fallbrook schedules "Jazz and Wine" concerts

Shelia E., the percussionist who was once Prince’s musical director, will make her first local appearance since her former fiance's death at a new North County outdoor concert series. Inspired by a sold-out David Benoit ...

Fallbrook Golf Course sale falls through

“They created a monster that didn’t need to be created.”

On March 10, the Union-Tribune headline read: “Fallbrook Golf Course Closing Monday.” The next day, owner Jack Lamberson said he wasn’t closing his course after all. Lamberson says he decided to keep the 56-year-old course ...

Off to gangsters’ paradise

Two Deep Valley Bloods get more than 75 years in state prison

Two Oceanside gangsters will make one more appearance in a San Diego courtroom this month, on February 24, before they spend the rest of their lives in state prison, officials say. Roland Isaac Seau, 25, ...

Dave Mustaine was here

House of rock for sale in Fallbrook

Current Owner: Shmily Land Trust (Dave & Pamela Mustaine) Beds: 7 Baths: 7 List Price: $5,375,000 The whimsically named Le Rêve Fallbrook is an “English garden style home with Old California influences” that listing materials ...

Fallbrook Golf Course headed for the rough?

Nearby residents fear potential sale will lead to abysmal conditions

“Look at these pictures. It’s shocking. Does that look like rehabilitated wetlands to you?” Retired Fallbrook elementary school teacher Joan McConnell had just returned on Sunday (January 24) from the site of the former San ...

One of the last free-flowing rivers in Southern California

Follow the Santa Margarita River Trail

The Santa Margarita River Trails are managed by the newly merged Live Oak Coalition and the Fallbrook Trails Council. Through an agreement with the Fallbrook Public Utility District, which owns the property, the nonprofit group ...

Hey hey hey! Cosby countersues Fallbrook lawyer

Accuser Tamara Green made her allegations over ten years ago

Bill Cosby on Monday (December 14) filed a countersuit in federal court in Massachusetts, claiming that seven women who have accused him of drugging and sexually exploiting them are guilty of "malicious, opportunistic, and false ...

The Fallbrook Kid

Axe-man Anthony Cullins gets the blues at 14 years young

Sheriff’s deputies have not solved the mystery of who killed Larry Robinson, the guitarist remembered for his decades of local shows and legions of guitar students. He was murdered in a Temecula music store two ...

Monstrous monsters sent to jail forever

Two killers of Brittany Killgore get life in prison without parole

A judge in North County sentenced two people to life in prison without possibility of parole on November 19. Louis Ray Perez, 49, and Dorothy Grace Marie Maraglino, 40, were both declared guilty of the ...

Fallbrook Brewing begets barbecue

New bar and restaurant to focus on San Diego ties

Fallbrook Brewing Company has plans to open a new bar and restaurant in the friendly village it's named for. Dubbed Firehouse Que and Brew, the new business will serve beer, wine and barbecue at 1019 ...

Exercise both your body and spirit in Monserate Mountain Preserve

Climb to vistas in northern San Diego County

Monserate Mountain Preserve, located in San Diego’s North County, is the second largest of 11 preserves within the 2700-acre Fallbrook Land Conservancy. The preserve began with an acquisition of 225 acres in 2000; more acreage ...

Bob disrespected at Fallbrook pot bust

JAH Healing Caregivers get the SWAT-like treatment

On September 10, a Fallbrook neighborhood was woken up by a SWAT-like operation that included closed-down streets and a bashed-down door. “They had two fire trucks, two Marine tanks, and a SWAT team van,” says ...

Back away from the water, Fallbrook

Rainbow water district survives takeover attempt

Water users in Rainbow and Bonsall finally feel like they’ve defeated a Goliath. A yearlong battle has ended, thwarting a takeover by the Fallbrook Public Utility District of the mostly agricultural Rainbow Municipal Water District. ...

Jury chosen for alleged Killgore killers

“Stay healthy” and “take vitamins,” advises judge

A jury of nine women and three men was seated this morning, September 10, for the trial of three people accused of murdering Brittany Dawn Killgore in April of 2012. Jury selection began with a ...

Avocado fudge

Fallbrook candy shop offers unusual dessert

While a military brat living on Camp Pendleton, I kicked off my high school career going to Fallbrook HS (go Warriors!). I took that 45-minute bus ride every day for a couple of years and ...

Temecula doc opens up about Deputy's wound following Fallbrook taser incident

"Shockingly strong."

Sheriff Gill Bore has pointed to a nasty bite wound sustained by deputy Jeremy Banks as sufficient grounds for Banks' decision to deploy his taser while seeking to handcuff a resistant runaway Fallbrook teenager. Both ...

The doctor put his hand where?

Fallbrook Ob-Gyn doctor charged with sexual abuse

The Medical Board of California has filed a second complaint against Falbrook's Anthony Steven Bianchi, M.D., who practices obstetrics and gynecology. According to an accusation filed May 5, Bianchi had been seeing a patient since ...

Trouble at TriCity hospital, nurse testifies

“They are not in a position to raise the capital. They just aren’t.”

When Fallbrook Hospital closed in December, it was kind of an “I-told-you-so” moment for Nathan Kaufman, a San Diego–based expert who has a 35-year career consulting over 80 hospital districts nationwide. Of Fallbrook’s demise, Kaufman ...

Accused murderer of McStays prepped for court

Charles Ray Merritt denies killing family of four

Charles Ray Merritt, now 58, denies killing Joseph McStay, 40, wife Summer McStay, 43, and their two sons, 4-year-old Giovanni, and 3-year-old Joseph Jr. in 2010. Defendant Merritt and Joseph McStay were partners in a ...

After the fires...

Good news and bad following last year's North County disasters

Last year, on the morning of May 14, humidity levels were down to 5 percent, morning beach temperatures already up into the high 80s, and strong Santa Ana winds were blowing from the east. Over ...

If it's about water, it's about a fight

Fallbrook district tries to gobble Rainbow's

Residents of Rainbow and Bonsall feel threatened by what they say is a hostile takeover attempt of their water district by the Fallbrook Public Utility District. The mostly agricultural community of Rainbow, east of Fallbrook ...

Young gangster wastes life

“The lengthy prison term is for defendants just like Mr. Flores.”

Fallbrook gang member Christopher Flores was convicted of attempted murder and sentenced to 30 years to life plus another 20 years in state prison on Monday, December 1. The total years were compounded because of ...

Appeal to "illegal tax" every year

Hope lives to overturn Cal Fire's semi-rural "Fire Prevention Fee"

This month, property owners in the county’s semi-rural areas are receiving their annual $150 bill for the state’s “Fire Prevention Fee.” Since the per-parcel fee was enacted in 2011, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer Association has ...

Former cop to go on trial again

Technicality overturns manslaughter conviction for fatal crash

Fifty-three-year-old Katherine Ann Heinzel, a former cop who was convicted of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, is due in San Diego Superior Court again on Monday, November 24. Heinzel is said to have been a ...

Thanks to the hookah

The Red Eye Saloon in Fallbrook followed the trend of many local nightspots when it stopped hiring live bands two months ago. But right next door, a new kind of music venue has sprung up, ...

Life plus 25 years for 20-year-old

Convicted for shooting fellow gangster who wanted out

A 20-year-old Fallbrook gangster was sentenced to life in prison, plus 25 years, in San Diego Superior Court on November 7. Judge Blaine Bowman spoke to Sergio Huerta Ramirez, telling him to notice that none ...

Death for all three of them?

Alleged murderers of Brittany Killgore could face ultimate penalty

Louis Ray Perez, 48, Dorothy Gracemarie Maraglino, 39, and Jessica Lynn Lopez, 27, were all in court on Friday, October 10. The defendants deny all accusations pertaining to the kidnapping, torturing, and murder of a ...

Hold on to that Fallbrook Hospital toe tag

Struggling facility to rely on Tri-City and Palomar Health for ER

With the Fallbrook Hospital facing a loss of $6 million that is growing at a clip of $500,000 a month, the directors of Fallbrook Healthcare District voted on Wednesday, October 8, to pull the plug ...