North County

Hodgee, the friendly Lake Hodges Monster: Fact or fiction?

Go down to Hernandez Hideaway at rural Lake Drive in Del Dios and people will swear up and down the long wooden bar that Hodgee, the friendly Lake Hodges monster, really truly — well, almost definitely exists. “The Lake Hodges Hodgee monster is kind of like the Loch Ness monster,” said Stan Smith, a long-time Del Dios resident. Smith, a cowboy poet and man about…

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Remembering the 2007 Witch Creek Fire

Ten years ago next month the Witch Creek Fire devastated Escondido, Rancho Santa Fe and North County San Diego. This is part of my first-hand coverage done as editor of the Rancho Santa Fe Record. I won the California Newspaper Publishers Association’s first place prize for local news coverage for this, and the other 26 stories, numerous photos, and overall coverage I produced during, and…