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Articles from the January 4, 2024 edition


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  • Can I use my 401K to buy a house?

    Elisabeth Lentulo|Updated Jan 10, 2024

    FALLBROOK – Achieving homeownership is an aspiration for many Americans, yet it can pose considerable challenges. If you find yourself lacking funds for a down payment, one alternative is to utilize your 401(k) for the purchase of a house. Yes, in certain situations, you can use your 401(k) to buy a house. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows for penalty-free withdrawals from your 401(k) for a first-time home purchase. Here are some key points to consider: First-time...

  • Mendez wins Ian Dykstra Memorial championship

    Updated Jan 10, 2024

    Joe Naiman Village News Reporter Madelie Mendez became the first Fallbrook High School girls wrestler to win a tournament championship when she placed first in the Saturday, Dec. 9, Ian Dykstra Memorial tournament at Temescal Canyon High School in Lake Elsinore. Mendez, who was the only Fallbrook wrestler to compete in the Ian Dykstra Memorial, wrestled in the girls 170-pound weight class. That division had a round-robin format, and Mendez pinned all four of her opponents in...

  • Fallbrook Seniors Golf Group celebrates Christmas

    Updated Jan 10, 2024

    FALLBROOK – The Fallbrook Seniors Golf Group (FSGG) celebrated Christmas at the Fallbrook Spiritual Center on Dec. 13, 2023. The event was catered by Trupiano's Italian Bistro. It was a wonderful celebration to celebrate another successful year of golf and friendship. The club was born in 1989 when a group from the Newcomers Club decided to get together informally to socialize and play golf. One of the founders was the late Bill Qualls who held early meetings at his home...

  • Vikings sweep Cottonwood Flag Football Tournament championships

    Updated Jan 10, 2024

    Joe Naiman Village News Reporter The Cottonwood Flag Football Tournament took place Dec. 1 at Hamilton High School in Anza, and both the Vallecitos Elementary School boys and the Vallecitos girls earned championships. "That's the first time that's ever been done. We're happy about that," Vallecitos coach Ray Hanbeck said of winning both championships. The Cottonwood Flag Football Tournament was hosted by Cottonwood Elementary School of Aguanga but played at Hamilton High Schoo...

  • New Year's Theatre Talk

    Updated Jan 10, 2024

    Elizabeth Youngman-Westphal Special to The Village News The last two shows I attended were at opposite ends of the entertainment spectrum. Both were limited performances in that they only lasted the weekend of their performance. Therefore, what's left is the impression they made and why next year, you may wish to seek them out. Over the last weekend in November to Dec. 3, North Coast Repertory invited Ronny Marmo back to perform his one-man tribute show called "I'm not a...

  • FHS Performance Dance team follows regionals win with nationals win

    Updated Jan 10, 2024

    Joe Naiman Village News Correspondent Fallbrook High School's Performance Dance team followed its first-place regional competition result with first place in the national competition. "I'm really proud of them," Anna Haskell, dance program director at Fallbrook High School, said. "They've done an amazing job." Haskell was raised in Encinitas and attended La Costa Canyon High School. She founded and coached the La Costa Canyon dance team as a volunteer. This is her fourth year...

  • Start the New Year on the right paw

    Updated Jan 10, 2024

    Amanda Kowalski Special to the Village News We've all heard that you can't teach an old dog new tricks, but this actually couldn't be further from the truth! Contrary to the old saying, it's never too late for dogs of any age to learn new behaviors and skills. If your pooch has developed poor manners, gets anxious when left alone or is in the critical puppy socialization period, this is your sign to put training at the top of your resolutions list. In honor of National Train...

  • Riverside County Sheriff drug smuggling investigation nets nine arrests

    Updated Jan 4, 2024

    RIVERSIDE COUNTY – Nine people were arrested after the Riverside County Sheriff’s department conducted the “largest investigation in years” to solve the issue of drug smuggling into the jails. In October 2023, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office’s Corrections Investigation Bureau began an investigation into inmates coordinating with persons outside of the jail facilities to smuggle narcotics into the jail. Through the course of this investigation, several suspects were identified who were smuggling in fentanyl,...

  • California's green lawn care law: What you need to know

    Updated Jan 4, 2024

    Amanda Shiffler Lawn Care Homeowners in California are about to undergo a significant change in how landscaping is done. Starting Jan. 1, 2024, homeowners and lawn care and landscaping professionals can no longer purchase gas-powered lawn and garden equipment from California retailers. The new legislation aims to reduce the harmful air quality endangering the health of residents across the state. As the first state law of its kind, it does present weighty implications for anyone needing to buy a new mower, leaf blower,...

  • Fallbrook Propane Gas Company seeks artists

    Updated Jan 4, 2024

    FALLBROOK – Fallbrook Propane Gas Company, sponsor of the "Celebrate! Holidays & Family Traditions" art competition is calling for entries. Any artistic medium may be submitted. Artwork should be no larger than 24 inches on any side. See entry rules for more detailed information. Entries must be delivered to the Fallbrook Chamber of Commerce Saturday, Jan. 27. In three categories, two-dimensional and three-dimensional cash prizes will be awarded in each for first place ...

  • Deadline for senior softball registration

    Updated Jan 4, 2024

    FALLBROOK – Fallbrook Senior Softball is welcoming new players who are 50 plus years of age. Games are played at Ingold Sports Park Mondays thru Thursdays at 4 p.m. with warm-ups beginning at 3:30. Each team is scheduled to play two games per week. The league is currently looking for new players. Potential players must show for a screening prior to being placed on a team so that appropriate placement can be made. The league is currently in hiatus for the winter. They will resume play mid-January. The deadline for...

  • California adds resources to fight the opioid crisis

    Updated Jan 4, 2024

    SACRAMENTO – Governor Newsom launched a new tool to continue California’s efforts in fighting the ongoing opioid crisis on Dec. 14 – a comprehensive website with resources for Californians: Opioids.CA.GOV, https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CCDPHP/opioids/Pages/landingpage.aspx. This website serves as a reliable source of information on prevention, data, treatment, and support where Californians can also access information related to the state’s use of opioid settlement funds and efforts to hold drug-traffickers...

  • County's Free4Me Program recognized with award

    Updated Jan 4, 2024

    Cassie N. Saunders County of San Diego Communications Office The County of San Diego's Free4Me program was awarded the 2023 California State Association of Counties Challenge Award. The program provides free menstrual products in County bathrooms. The Challenge Awards is an annual celebration recognizing innovative and creative programs across the state. Nearly two-thirds of low-income people in the United States report being unable to afford menstrual products at some point...

  • Six reasons why you should take your mental health seriously

    Updated Jan 4, 2024

    Stan Popovich Special to the Village News Many people underestimate the impact that mental illness can have on an individual or family. It can be difficult to admit that you have a mental health problem in your life. Secondly, it can be just as difficult in getting the people you know to understand your situation without making any kinds of judgments. As a result, here are six reasons why you should make your mental health an important priority in your life. 1. Your situation will improve if you get help: Your anxieties and...

  • Simple ways to make meals healthier

    Updated Jan 4, 2024

    Cooking food at home is one of the simplest ways to gain greater control over personal health. Cooking at home is the easiest way to know precisely what you're putting into your body each day. Cooking your own meals also enables you to customize recipes so they align with any dietary restrictions or personal preferences you may have. According to a 2021 survey by the consumer market research firm Hunter, 71% of people in the United States planned to continue cooking more at...

  • TrueCare places in top 20% of health centers for clinical quality excellence

    Updated Jan 4, 2024

    SAN MARCOS – TrueCare, a nonprofit community-based health center serving San Diego and Riverside counties, has been honored with the Health Center Quality Leader (HCQL) Silver badge for achieving the best overall clinical quality performance and improving health outcomes for patients in rural and underserved communities. This distinction is awarded to the top 20% of health centers nationwide by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through the Health Resources...

  • Worker of the Week specializes in flavored coffee

    Updated Jan 4, 2024

    Blanca Barrientos is a barista (a person who prepares and serves different types of coffee) who has been working for Java Time Drive Though Espresso Bar since 2013 at the corner of Mission and Ammunition roads. Her goal is to own her own mobile coffee business someday. She learned on the job making different types of flavored coffee and meeting new friends. Village News/David Landry photo...

  • County of San Diego hires public defender

    Updated Jan 4, 2024

    Chuck Westerheide County of San Diego Communications Office After an extensive recruitment with input from internal and external stakeholders, and community engagement at its center, the County of San Diego has appointed Paul A. Rodriguez as the new Public Defender. Rodriguez will be dedicated to ensuring that people charged with a crime in state court who are financially unable to retain private counsel receive a rigorous defense. His focus will extend to providing...

  • National average price of gas projected to see yearly decline in 2024 for second straight year

    Updated Jan 4, 2024

    DALLAS – GasBuddy, a PDI company, released its annual Fuel Price Outlook with some good news for drivers: expect lower gasoline and diesel prices in 2024. The outlook highlights key trends in gasoline and diesel prices, forecasting that, after two years of above average gas prices, 2024 will bring relief at the pump for consumers as several factors contribute to less of a pinch at the pump. GasBuddy expects the yearly national average will drop from $3.51 per gallon this year to $3.38 in 2024. Highlights from GasBuddy’s...

  • Preserving our Democracy takes work

    Updated Jan 4, 2024

    The third anniversary of Jan. 6 is a solemn reminder that we cannot take our fundamental freedoms for granted, including our right to vote and choose our leaders. Despite the fact that Donald Trump is facing charges for inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection and conspiring to overturn the will of voters in 2020, he is still running for president. Too much is at stake for the American people to allow Trump to take back power. Trump is desperately seeking a second term in the hopes of avoiding accountability for his crimes by...

  • The world is changing. The GOP isn't

    Updated Jan 4, 2024

    The following is one of my many opinions: it explains why the Republican Party is unfit to lead America. Traditionally, the Republican Party has been the party of those with a conservative worldview. Theirs is a dark view of human nature: They believe people are inherently immoral and lacking self-control; accordingly, society must rely on experience, institutional authority, traditions and rules to maintain social order. The Democratic Party’s platform is consistent with a liberal worldview, which is based on a positive...

  • 2023 District Office Update

    Updated Jan 4, 2024

    Assemblymember Marie Waldron 75th District Navigating the state’s bureaucracy, even figuring out which agency to contact, can be a big headache. Pointing constituents in the right direction and assisting with state-related issues is an important function of my district office. During 2023, we helped over 400 district residents resolve issues involving state agencies. People are still having problems reaching the Employment Development Department, and last year my district office staff was contacted by over 100 constituents...

  • Victories in 2023

    Updated Jan 4, 2024

    Senate Minority Leader Brian W. Jones California's 40th Senate District As we reflect on 2023, I’m proud of the number of wins we had this year. Here’s a recap of our top accomplishments: Keeping our communities safe from sexually violent predators: As the state keeps dumping sexually violent predators (SVPs) into our communities, I requested an audit of Liberty Healthcare, the private contractor that oversees the failing SVP program. The audit passed unanimously with bipartisan support. The audit will tell us how...

  • Review of all things Real Estate

    Bob Hillery, CR Properties|Updated Jan 4, 2024

    Belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. My last article closed with a note that I would be absent from writing my weekly article until after the holiday season. I did, however, keep up with my reading and kept my finger on the pulse of real estate so when I returned I would have current information to share. To catch everyone up, the Market Activity Report remained steady since my last article in mid-December, hovering between 43-44. As previously discussed, that puts our...

  • Avoid these 4 common homebuyer regrets

    Jane Kepley, Special to the Village News|Updated Jan 4, 2024

    Buying a home is always a big decision, but with higher mortgage rates and rising home prices, today’s homebuyers seem to face even higher stakes. Want to ensure you buy a house that makes you happy, get a mortgage you can afford, and make the best moves for your future? Read on to learn some of the most common homebuyer regrets – and how you could steer clear of them. Regret: Paying a too-high interest rate. A higher mortgage interest rate means a higher monthly payment,...

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