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Articles written by Rick Monroe


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  • Singh settlement amount nearly $400,000

    Rick Monroe, Special to the Village News|Updated Nov 11, 2022
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    Following a closed session at the Fallbrook Union Elementary School District Board of Trustees meeting on Nov. 7, the board announced that it has negotiated a settlement and exit plan with Superintendent Candace Singh. Board President Suzanne Lundin explained that the settlement – for nearly $400,000 – ended what would have been a protracted and expensive legal battle. The board voted to approve the settlement agreement by a 4-1 vote. According to Lundin, there is no...

  • Deputies subdue combative man

    Rick Monroe, Special to the Village News|Updated Sep 29, 2022

    Deputies with the Fallbrook Sheriff's Department arrested a combative man in his 30s on the morning of Thursday, Sept. 29, using a method called "The Wrap" to subdue him. Theo McPherson, known in the area for having incidents with authorities, was arrested outside El Toro Market at Mission Road and Main Avenue. The man reportedly made suicidal comments and was taken to the Palomar Psychiatric Ward. He may have been a drug user, according to witnesses. Lt. Aldo Hernandez, comma...

  • Local superintendents say safety is top priority

    Rick Monroe, Special to the Village News|Updated May 31, 2022

    As the nation mourns the tragic death of 19 students and two teachers at a school shooting last week in Texas, it’s natural for local parents and students to have concerns and questions. Are our schools safe? How can I talk to my kids about something so evil? Regarding safety at local schools, the superintendents at the four local school districts each had comments about its priority. “We can’t provide our students with a high quality education without first ensuring they are safe, and it is a responsibility FUESD...

  • About 300 students in FUESD pulled from school by parents on 'sit-out'

    Rick Monroe, Village News|Updated Nov 12, 2021

    Opponents to forced COVID-19 mandates for school children -masks and/or vaccinations - across the nation pulled their children from public schools on Monday, Oct. 18. In the Fallbrook Union School District, absences were about 300 above average according to a district spokesperson. "We were disappointed to hear about the planned 'sit-out' that took place across our nation," the spokesman said. "During this school year, we have had on average a daily absence count of around...

  • Senior Volunteer Patrol loses last founding member

    Rick Monroe, Special to the Village News|Updated Nov 12, 2021

    One of the favorite tasks of members of the Sheriff's Senior Volunteer Patrol is calling or visiting seniors in the community in the You Are Not Alone program. YANA was designed by volunteers at the substation in Fallbrook to check on the safety or condition of seniors who need monitoring because they have no nearby family. Joe Fahey, the last surviving member of the founders of the Senior Volunteer Patrol, passed on Oct. 6 at the age of 93. During Fahey's final years, the...

  • After 11 years, FUESD approves new language arts curriculum

    Rick Monroe, Special to the Village News|Updated Jul 17, 2021

    When the next school year begins on Aug. 16, teachers in the Fallbrook Union Elementary District will have a new language arts curriculum for the first time in 11 years. The district's governing board unanimously approved the adoption of the English language arts instructional materials at its June 21 meeting. The curriculum selected was Benchmark Advance and Adelante for grades TK-5 and McGraw Hill's StudySync for grades 6th-8th. "This is one of the biggest things we do...

  • High School recall group offers to pick up signatures

    Rick Monroe, Special to the Village News|Updated Jul 10, 2021

    The clock is ticking for proponents to gather signatures to recall Diane Summers, board president of the Fallbrook Union High School District. They have until Sept. 23 to gather 5,562 signatures of district voters. Sherry Weishaar, a spokesman for reclaimfbschools.com, said the first event to gather signatures will be a drive-through signing at the Fallbrook Library on Saturday, July 17, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Other events will be posted on the web page when finalized. “As of now we are not allowed tables at most of the grocery...

  • NC Fire, Foundation for Senior Care partner in keeping area seniors safe

    Rick Monroe, Special to the Village News|Updated Jul 10, 2021

    "The vision of the North County Fire District is to have the safest community possible," said Capt. John Choi, spokesman for the department. Meanwhile, the mission statement of the Foundation for Senior Care is to "provide programs and resources enabling seniors to enhance their well-being and give them a more meaningful life," noted Patty Sargent, its executive director. Like many Fallbrook organizations, they are partnering in order to offer enhanced services for area...

  • Summer school starts Monday in FUESD

    Rick Monroe, Special to Village News|Updated Jul 9, 2021

    Summer school in the Fallbrook Union Elementary School begins Monday, July 12, and continues through July 30 at three elementary schools and Potter Jr. High School. The elementary schools hosting summer school are Maie Ellis, La Paloma, and Fallbrook STEM Academy. The theme is “Space,” bringing in NASA, astronauts, outer space, science experiments, and learning activities. The three-week program runs 8 a.m. to noon at the elementary schools, and 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Potter. Dr. Lea Curcio, Director of Curriculum...

  • FUESD board closed meetings raise questions

    Rick Monroe, Special to the Village News|Updated Jun 30, 2021

    Multiple closed session meetings have been scheduled by the Fallbrook Union Elementary School District the last couple of weeks, but district officials and board members have been mum about what is being discussed. However those discussions seem to involve an “internal complaint” or lawsuit that centers around Caron Lieber. At the board’s June 11 special meeting – to discuss litigation – Lieber was asked not to attend. At the meeting, by a 3-1 vote of the remaining board members, Lieber was voted off the board as...

  • Bicyclist seriously injured on Oak Crest Road

    Rick Monroe, Special to the Village News|Updated Jun 30, 2021

    An east Fallbrook resident is cautioning bicyclists to be cautious on local streets after her husband, Douglas Bailey, 77, was seriously injured while on a bike ride about a half mile from their home on Oak Crest Road, near Rainbow Glen Road, Tuesday, June 15, at about 4:45 p.m. “Apparently he veered to avoid two cars coming from opposite directions and went head over the handlebars,” said Chris Bailey, 74, who said she first thought it was a hit-and-run accident. “He was just left there like roadkill.” The...

  • Fallbrook Wellness Center

    Wellness center plans moving forward

    Rick Monroe, Special to Village News|Updated Jun 30, 2021

    Plans for better use of the Fallbrook Wellness Center are moving forward. "We're all excited about its potential," said Rachel Mason, executive director of the Fallbrook Regional Health District, following a special board meeting June 25. At that meeting, board members heard the final presentation from a consulting company, Catalyst, a Haskell Company in San Diego, hired a year ago to help identify the type programs most desired by the community and board. The meeting...

  • FUESD trustees replace board president

    Rick Monroe, Special to the Village News|Updated Jun 24, 2021

    The Fallbrook Union Elementary School District board held a special afternoon meeting Friday, June 11; Board President Caron Lieber said she was asked not to attend. The purpose of the closed session was to discuss potential litigation, but no action by the board was announced. However, the board – sans Lieber – voted to take away Lieber’s position as president. The board met for its regular meeting on Monday evening, June 21, and the new board president was Suzanne Lundin. Leiber let the board know she wasn’t very...

  • Kevin Colemanand employees

    How is Fallbrook most like an island?

    Rick Monroe, Special to the Village News|Updated Jun 24, 2021

    The two new owners of Joe's Hardware – now known as Fallbrook Ace Hardware – have a very similar franchise in Kauai, Hawaii. Not only are the stories of each purchase parallel, but Mark Schulein said in an interview that these two locations have more in common. "They are both super isolated," said the Newport Beach businessman," and residents seem to really love their community and don't want to live anywhere else." Yes, Fallbrook has the Aloha Spirit! Schulein and Matt...

  • Resolution supporting safe gun storage denied by elementary school board

    Rick Monroe, Special to the Village News|Updated Jun 24, 2021

    Trustees of the Fallbrook Union Elementary Board considered passing a resolution supporting safe gun storage at its June 7 meeting. However, after a brief board discussion, FUESD Board President Caron Lieber said she didn’t feel it was a board concern and suggested it be tabled. Still, board member Susan Liebes made a motion to support the resolution and it was seconded by board member Ricardo Favela. The motion did not carry, with Liebes the only one voting yes. Lieber and Suzanne Lundin voted no, and Favela abstained....

  • family

    Grandparents raising grandkids are 'heroes' says director of support program

    Rick Monroe, Special to the Village News|Updated Jun 24, 2021

    What do you do when for one reason or another, your adult child can't function as a parent? More and more, that's why you see grandparents taking responsibility for their young grandchildren. It's not an easy task. Ask Fallbrook residents Aquilino and Angelica Orozco. He is retired but is the person who cares for his grandchildren – a girl 9 and a boy 5 – during the daytime. He feeds them, takes them to school or other activities, and watches over them while his wife...

  • FUESD's $55.6 million budget has 'planned' deficit of 1.6 million

    Rick Monroe, Special to the Village News|Updated Jun 17, 2021

    When is it OK to have a $1.6 million deficit in your budget? For the Fallbrook Union Elementary School District, it’s not a bad thing, said Cindi Martin, Associate Superintendent of Educational Services. In fact, it’s good. Martin presented the 2021-2022 budget to the school board on Monday, June 7 at a public hearing. The first reading was unanimously approved by the board. It will come back to the board on June 21 for the final reading. Martin urged residents to read the document at the district office and to contact...

  • Health district board approves $1.9 million budget

    Rick Monroe, Special to Village News|Updated Jun 16, 2021

    Directors of the Fallbrook Regional Health District unanimously approved its 2021-2022 budget at its meeting on Wednesday, June 9. Board member Jennifer Jeffries, treasurer, presented the report on the $1.9 million budget. The budget is $109,690 more than projected income, but Jeffries said it wasn’t a cause for concern. “I’m not startled and won’t lose any sleep over this,” she said. The current 2020-2021 budget is $2.1 million. Board Chairman Howard Salmon said the lower amount for next year is based on the COVID...

  • Health district board approves $1.9 million budget

    Rick Monroe, Special to Village News|Updated Jun 16, 2021

    Directors of the Fallbrook Regional Health District unanimously approved its 2021-2022 budget at its meeting on Wednesday, June 9. Board member Jennifer Jeffries, treasurer, presented the report on the $1.9 million budget. The budget is $109,690 more than projected income, but Jeffries said it wasn’t a cause for concern. “I’m not startled and won’t lose any sleep over this,” she said. The current 2020-2021 budget is $2.1 million. Board Chairman Howard Salmon said the lower amount for next year is based on the COVID...

  • Randy Vance and Kier Ceballos

    Prevention over restoration is the goal of Atlas Wildfire Defense

    Rick Monroe, Special to the Village News|Updated Jun 9, 2021

    Randy Vance and his business partner, Kier Ceballos, have seen enough tragic scenes of damaged or destroyed homes, not only in Fallbrook but as far north as Sanoma. Their new business, Atlas Wildfire Defense Co., is designed to help residents and businesses escape wildfires. "We can avoid the trauma of a destructive fire at a fraction of the cost," Vance said in a recent interview. "I see this being so much better. Instead of coming in to help clean up a mess, what we can do...

  • FUESD Child Nutrition Services staff

    'Mega Serve' provides food to 975 students at Maie Ellis

    Rick Monroe, Special to Village News|Updated Jun 9, 2021

    The Child Nutrition Services team of the Fallbrook Union Elementary School District served a record 975 students on Wednesday, May 26, at its "Mega Serve" food distribution event in the parking lot at Maie Ellis Elementary School. Yesterday was the final day of school for the academic year, so last Wednesday's food distribution was food for two weeks, said Amy Haessly, director of Child Nutrition Services for the district. Each student was given a 16-inch frozen pizza, a half...

  • Anxiety identified as main issue of students in post-virtual education

    Rick Monroe, Special to the Village News|Updated Jun 9, 2021

    Counselors and school administrators, as well as parents, agree it’s been a rough year for school children. The isolation brought by schools reverting to online learning with COVID-19 restrictions has kept students safe from the pandemic, but there are also scars. “The issue is real,” said Leonard Rodriquez, director of Pupil Personnel Services for the Fallbrook Union Elementary School District. “We understand the consequences the pandemic brought and are working to relieve any emotional trauma.” “We’ve been...

  • chart

    County reports under half of area residents vaccinated

    Rick Monroe, Special to the Village News|Updated Jun 9, 2021

    As of June 3, San Diego County reports a total of 21,716 individuals aged 12 years and older who have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine within our local zip codes. Efforts by the Fallbrook Wellness Center account for just over 7,300 vaccinations, said Rachel Mason, executive director of the Fallbrook Regional Health Center. "There's still a lot of people who need to get vaccinated," Mason said. "The overall population within the health district's sphere of...

  • dispatcher

    Tiered dispatching coming to Fallbrook

    Rick Monroe, Special to the Village News|Updated Jun 9, 2021

    Beginning July 1, the number of emergency flashing lights and sirens blaring on Code 1 calls in the area may be decreasing. That's because a new procedure called Tiered Dispatching will go into effect. "Tiered dispatching will allow the dispatcher to have more time with the 911 caller to dig deeper," explained Kevin Mahr, division chief of operations for the North County Fire District, based in Fallbrook. "That helps the dispatcher make a better choice on what units to send...

  • Programs for Wellness Center reviewed by hospital board

    Rick Monroe, Special to Village News|Updated Jun 2, 2021

    Plans for the best use of the Fallbrook Wellness Center were discussed May 26 by directors of the Fallbrook Regional Health District in a Zoom special meeting without the board prioritizing program priorities. The district bought the property at 1636 E. Mission Road in 2017. Since then, the board has wrestled with deciding the best ways to utilize the building for health and wellness programs. The district is a public agency with a mission of "Promoting health for the...

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