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U.S. Attorney announces federal sentencing for executives from Grapevine real estate investment firm

Four executives from a Grapevine-based real estate investment firm have been sentenced to a total of 20 years in prison, says U.S. Attorney Chad Meacham.

According to the attorney for the Northern District of Texas, a federal jury convicted executives from the United Development Funding firm (UDF).

The four of them were found guilty in January for 10 counts, including securities fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud affecting a financial institution. They were all sentenced to prison on Friday.

Read more from NewsBreak…

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day a Big Success for DEA and Partners

DALLAS – On April 30, 2022, communities across the country demonstrated their support for DEA’s annual National Prescription Drug Take Back Day by dropping off more than 720,000 pounds of unneeded medications at 5,144 collection sites. Since 2010, DEA and its law enforcement partners have collected nearly 16 million pounds of unneeded prescription medications. 

The Dallas Field Division collected 33,550 pounds of unwanted, unused, or expired prescription medications in North Texas and Oklahoma. DEA Dallas had over 178 sites with more than 153 local law enforcement partners. 

“National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is an important part of DEA’s efforts to fight the overdose epidemic and save lives,” said DEA Administrator Anne Milgram. “I encourage everyone across the country to dispose of unneeded medications throughout the year to help keep our communities safe and healthy.” 

“The DEA is so pleased with this great turnout and partnership from North Texas and Oklahoma. We would like to thank our law enforcement partners and residents,” said Eduardo A. Chavez, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Dallas Field Division. “It is so important to dispose of unneeded prescription drugs year-round to ensure those drugs don’t fall into the wrong hands.” 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that in the United States, over 107,000 people died as a result of a drug overdose last year. This figure means that someone in the United States is dying of a drug overdose every 5 minutes. 

Take Back Day events provide easy, no-cost opportunities to dispose of medicines stored in the home that are susceptible to abuse and theft. There are many permanent drug-drop boxes located in communities across the country. A list of permanent locations can be found here

Complete results for DEA’s spring National Prescription Drug Take Back Day are available at www.DEATakeBack.com. DEA’s next National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is scheduled for October 29, 2022. 

Support Ukraine Booth at Main Street Festival Furthers Local Relief Efforts

The Main Street Festival in Grapevine, TX is an annual affair that features many vendors, a chance to see buildings of historical significance, a carnival, music, and craft beer and wine. This is the 38th year of the Festival, which was held from May 20 until May 22. This year, they had a new vendor booth set up: Support Ukraine.

Read more from NewsBreak…

GALLERY: Main Street Festival Booth Provides Opportunity to Help Ukraine Relief Efforts

Today is the last day to get out to the Main Street Festival here in Grapevine. This year, a new booth popped up that focuses on the Ukrainian relief efforts. Enjoy the slideshow below and if you’re heading out to the Fest today, make sure to stop by! They are right inside the entrance next to the railroad tracks.

MOVIE REVIEW: “You Should Have Left” (2020)

IMDB

I don’t do a lot of movie reviews here at The Grapevine Source, but when I do, I drink Dos I tend to make fun of them where I can. My latest victim is the horror movie, You Should Have Left (referred to here as YSHL) starring Kevin Bacon (from which I am two degrees) and Amanda Seyfried, which came out in 2020. I don’t really spoil anything here, so if you’re curious, by all means, watch the movie.

My hubby and I had recently seen, Infinite, and after it was over, we both said, “Assassins Creed!” because many of the themes of the 2016 movie were also used in the 2021 flick. I suppose every movie takes elements from previous movies, are adaptations of books, or are sequels in a series these days.

YSHL was definitely a nod to The Shining (TS). The following elements were seen in both the 1980 horror film that scared the nation and YSHL:

  • YSHL: The father, Theo (Bacon), writes furiously in his journal; most of it is nonsense.
  • TS: Jack (Jack Nicholson) had been furiously typing “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” over and over when his spouse and child thought he was writing a novel.
  • YSHL: Theo and his family rent a vacation house in Wales that is maze-like, with never-ending staircases, secret rooms, and doors that lead to different places each time he opens it.
  • TS: The Overlook Hotel is not only maze-like but also has a hedge maze as a tourist attraction.
  • YSHL: The young daughter, Ella (Avery Tiiu Essex) is in a scene where she is standing at the end of a long hallway, looking creepy.
  • TS: Who can forget the scene where young Danny (Danny Lloyd) sees the Grady twins (Laura and Louise Burns) at the end of a long hallway? Come play with us Danny…forever, and ever, and ever.
Image courtesy of The Independent
  • YSHL: Theo gets attacked by a decaying woman in the bathroom.
  • TS: Jack gets attacked by an old, decaying woman in the bathroom of Room 237.
  • YSHL: The wise old man who runs the only general store in the small town they’re staying in says, “Sometimes people choose the house, but sometimes the house chooses people,” suggesting that Theo had been drawn to the house by paranormal forces. He starts losing his mind.
  • TS: Jack finds out, as he loses his mind, that he had been the caretaker at The Overlook for decades and was called by supernatural forces to come back.

As I watched, I took some notes to pass on to my readers as travel advice. The biggest thing for me was that if you don’t like the cold and a lack of modern conveniences, don’t stay in a tiny town in Wales in the winter. It’s bloody cold and boring! In the list below, experiencing one of these issues alone is no big deal, but if two or more happen, you should get your money back from AirB&B or wherever you found this “gem” of a house:

  • The house is twisty and maze-like with no signs of previous owners or tenants except for a creepy portrait of the house. According to the mother, Susanna (Seyfried), the absence of homey décor is because “Other people’s families are depressing…and creepy.”
  • There’s no cell phone service anywhere in the house. To some people, this might be attractive but judge the house’s creepiness factor before you do the “I’m unplugged!” dance.
  • The thermostat is broken downstairs (or upstairs for that matter), making it cold all over the house. Oh, and you have no way of contacting the owner and don’t even know his or her name. You’re gonna have to “live” with it, baby!
  • There are TONS (literally 50+) of light switches in the house, some of which seem to do nothing.
  • There’s a creepy single Polaroid taped to the wall that looks like some shadow person is in it. But it could be someone messing with silhouette photography, so who knows?
  • You immediately start having nightmares during naps and at night.
  • You walk around for about five minutes to shut everything off for the night at 10:12pm, but when you go to bed after you’re done, it’s suddenly 3:12am.
  • If two or more creepy old people ominously ask you about the house you’re staying in, ask around or do some research. There are libraries in Wales.
  • If you and your spouse start arguing intensely for basically no reason, pause and reflect.
  • If you think someone else has been writing in your journal in your exact handwriting, slap yourself…HARD.
  • If you find creepy staircases and rooms, DON’T call out, “hello?” In fact, just shut the fu*k up. That will help confuse any intruders instead of letting them know EXACTLY where you are. Tell your kids to shut the fu*k up, too. This is a valid, practical tip for any time you find yourself in a horror movie.
  • If you get stranded in a creepy house, know that a taxi or an Uber is not ever coming, so stop trying to call or walk away. You can walk straight on for miles and just end up back at La Maison Creepy.

The bottom line is that, in my opinion, if you like mind-bending, psychological, and creepy horror movies, this is worth renting on Redbox, but don’t spend a lot of money on a rental. The movie is very creepy and has a few jump-scares and minimal blood/guts, but if you’re looking for a new concept, then this is not the flick for you. If you’re a fan of The Shining, this is right up your alley.

My Rating: 3/5 Stars

My experience: Veteran Horror Movie Watcher

How I am Two Degrees from Kevin Bacon

Men Use Electronic Device to Swipe 80 Gallons of Diesel Fuel at Dallas 7-Eleven, Police Say

At the gas station.

Four people have been arrested for allegedly stealing 80 gallons of diesel fuel from a 7-Eleven gas station in Northeast Dallas, police said.

The alleged theft happened Wednesday at the 7-Eleven at 10400 Garland Road, near Gus Thomasson Road.

Pedro Ruiz, Alfredo Hechavarria, Lazaro Echemendia Miranda, and Betancourt Barco face charges of engaging in organized criminal activity, theft of a petroleum product, and unlawful use of a criminal instrument, according to a police news release.

The suspects were using an electronic device that allowed them to attach it to the fuel pump without the pump tracking how much gas was being pumped, police said.

The suspects used three vehicles during the theft, including a modified pickup truck, “that had been outfitted with an external fuel tank,” the press release said.

Ruiz opened the front panel of the fuel pump and installed the electronic device, police said. Hechavarria then pumped 80 gallons of fuel into one of the vehicles while the other two men served as lookouts, according to the news release.

Detectives from the police financial crimes division had been investigating the suspects for allegedly stealing diesel and re-selling it, police said. When they saw the theft happen during surveillance Wednesday, they pulled the suspects over for a traffic violation.

On Thursday, some patrons filling up at the pumps said they were shocked by the thefts and arrests, but not surprised. Gas prices have soared in recent weeks, and diesel has been the most expensive fuel grade. The average price for a gallon of diesel in Dallas hit $5.37 Tuesday, which is a new all-time record.

Some employees said the 7-Eleven location has been hit multiple times by fuel thieves.

“Cash Stuffing” May Lead Generation Z to More Responsible Spending

In the early 1990s, Dave Ramsey was the one to watch or listen to for advice on budgeting and debt relief. His solution sounded simple: Construct a budget, breaking down how much money is required for rent, utilities, credit card bills, groceries, entertainment, etc. When cash comes in, it is placed in labeled envelopes based on the previous budgeting. That way, different “account” amounts can easily be monitored, and spending can be adjusted to not exceed the funds allotted in the budget. Of course, Ramsey has done a lot more than that and is still a public figure. But how many people born between 1997 and 2012 (“Gen Z”) have even heard of him?

Read more from NewsBreak…

FREE STUFF!

If you are interested in the history of Grapevine – mainly its alleged ghostly history – then be the first to comment on this post on the webpage or our Facebook page. Leave us your email address or phone number so that we can contact you when you win (a PM or DM is fine as long as you leave a comment as well). Your prize is four (4) tickets to the Night Watchman Tour, courtesy of Grape Vine Springs Winery.

I have personally taken this tour and even if you don’t see any ghosts, the historical narrative is fascinating! Several people have captured ghostly faces in their photos!

This is a WALKING TOUR up and down Main Street, so be prepared to walk 60-90 minutes. The tour ends back at the Winery, where every tour participant can enjoy a free glass of the excellent wines offered by Grape Vine Springs.

Tours are held Friday and Saturday nights and leave from the Winery, located at 409 S. Main, at exactly 7pm, so it’s recommended that you check-in around 6:45pm. The tour is kid-friendly, unless you have a sensitive child, as some stories do contain gruesome, but not graphic, details. YOU MUST MAKE A RESERVATION. Just tell them that you have free tickets donated by The Grapevine Source.

For more information, click on the links above, and may the quickest commenter win!

Thanks to Dave and Grape Vine Springs Winery!

A Personal Testimony About Why Mental Health Awareness is Crucial

A graphic illustrating the complexity of mental illness/iStock

May is Mental Health Awareness Month in the United States. It was first recognized as such in 1949 when it was introduced by the National Association for Mental Health (now known as Mental Health America). The purpose of this month-long campaign is to raise awareness of, educate, and get people talking about mental illness and wellness. This all points to the end goal of helping mentally ill people and their families get to a place in life that is calm, productive, and secure.

Read my story and more on NewsBreak…

DART Electric Bus Evaluation Held Today

Today, Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) held a series of events at transit centers across the service area as part of an evaluation of electric bus technology. DART Engineering staff, as well as DART bus operators and mechanics, are evaluating a series of electric bus models from various manufacturers. DART currently has seven Proterra Catalyst 35 zero-emission electric buses that are in service on DART Bus Route 28.

Photo courtesy of DART

The electric bus evaluation stopped at the following locations throughout the day to engage with DART riders and include their requests in the evaluation process.

  • Addison Transit Center
  • South Garland Transit Center
  • J.B. Jackson, Jr. Transit Center
  • DART Headquarters

DART has been focused on expanding our environmentally clean technologies initiative for almost 20 years.

With almost 700 CNG clean fuel buses on the road DART has cut bus emissions by 68% over the last decade. That’s not including our zero-emission light rail fleet or our new electric buses.

Our other green initiatives include LED lighting as well as xeriscape efforts with native plants, at bus and rail stations.

For more information, visit DART.org.