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Posts published in “Day: September 27, 2012

To Russia with love

By Angie Liang

Michael* and I went to school together for a decade – middle school, high school and even college – but we were mostly acquaintances who rarely talked. It wasn’t until two years after we got our diplomas that Michael and I really connected, when he asked me one day about a picture on Facebook from a recent trip I had taken.

From there, we started talking, and our conversations quickly grew more personal, philosophical and profound. We began to meet over tea, then dinner just to talk. In just a couple of weeks, we had become true friends and surprisingly close.

During that brief time, I received and accepted a job offer in New York City, giving me only one more month in Texas. Normally, I would have found it silly to continue a relationship with someone when I was on the verge of leaving, but Michael insisted that we should make the most of whatever time we had left together. So we did.

I don’t think Michael will ever know the impact he had on my life. Perhaps part of it was the timing: I was graduating, growing up, and taking that large step of moving to a different city. Life was messy and thrilling, and I thought, how lucky I was to find a friend who understood my messy, thrilling self. Through the chaos, that enormous transition, Michael was there to offer calm and practical guidance. He never attempted to solve my problems, but he listened as I rambled on, confused and overwhelmed by all the possibilities in front of me.

Of course I also had my wonderful family and best friends, who have always provided me with support and love. But looking back, I believe I was supposed to grow close to Michael at that particular time in my life, a time when everything was changing. He opened my eyes with a fresh perspective to help me navigate.

Thanks to Michael’s different way of thinking, I started to understand multiple sides of a situation and became more open-minded. I tried to step outside the borders of my cookie-cutter life, and I even learned to embrace my mistakes – because, as Michael convinced me, they can help shape you into a better person if you make the most out of them.

After I moved to New York, Michael and I talked less and less. We went from phone calls to emails to eventually just text messages a few times a month. Recently, through one of those texts, Michael informed me that he would be moving to Russia – a dream of his – where I know he will flourish, after a roller coaster career in Texas.

I wished him well and meant it – hopefully conveying my hope, love and excitement for him – but I am unable to hide the sadness in my own heart at this new chapter in his life. We have grown further apart with time, and the physical distance will only deepen the space that separates us.

No matter what happens, I’m grateful for the impact Michael has had on me. He supported me during a critical time in my life, and now I have the opportunity to do the same for him. Maybe we’ll go back to the edges of each other’s lives, the way we were for so many years in school, but we will always have the memories of a closer time.

And maybe that’s just what some people are meant to do. They are here to guides us during a chapter of our lives, so that we will meet the people we’re supposed to meet and become the people we’re supposed to be.

*Name has been changed.

* * * * *

Best friends Kristan Hoffman and Angie Liang both grew up in Houston and interned for the GrafikPress newspapers. Now Kristan lives in Ohio and writes novels, while Angie lives in New York City and works in market research. You can email them at

Jamboree set for Oct. 6th, Miss Highlands Oct. 13

HIGHLANDS – The community is preparing for its annual rite – the Highlands Jamboree, now in its 56th year, according to Jamboree organizers Jessica Woods and various chairpersons from the Chamber of Commerce.

The celebration of Highlands birth will take place on October 6th, with its numerous events held at various venues around the town.

Also planned for the following weekend is the Miss Highlands and Jr. Miss Highlands pageants, according to chairpersons Chrissa Cotten and Delene Cotten. The pageant contestants, all 26 of them, will participate in the Jamboree parade on the 6th, and then hold the competition for titles on Saturday, Oct. 13th, a week later. The Jr. Miss Pageant starts at 2 p.m. in the Highlands Junior School auditorium. The Miss Highlands Pageant will be held starting at 7 p.m. also at the school. Emcee for both pageants is Jeff Moore, managing partner of Sterling-White. The public is invited and welcome to attend these competitions and events.

The Jamboree starts on Saturday morning, Oct. 6 at 7 a.m. with a 5K Fun-Run/Walk starting at the Community Center in Highland Woods. Proceeds from this run benefit Habitat for Humanity in Baytown.

Next is the parade, travelling south down main street from E. Houston Street to Jones Road. Floats will demonstrate this year’s theme, “Peace, Love, and Highlands!” Six awards will be given out, in various categories. The Line-up starts at 9 a.m. at Hopper Primary School, the parade starts at 10 a.m.

After the parade ends, attention of the community will turn to the exhibits and activities at the Highlands Elementary School on Wallisville Road. Here will be public safety exhibits, crafts and food booths, the Little Miss/Mister Pageant, the Car Show, a silent auction, door prizes, and entertainment on the stage.

The Car Show will feature antique and recent cars of all types. As Dickie Woods, chairperson, says “If you’re proud of it… Show it off”. Awards will be given in a number of categories, including Chamber Choice, People’s Choice, Participant’s Choice, Best of Show. Proceeds will benefit the Highlands Heritage Museum and Preservation Project, which is planning a museum in the Chamber office building, and a restoration and exhibition of the old railcar that ran through Highlands from Houston to Baytown. Entry fee is $25, and includes lunch. There will also be cash prizes. Last year about 35 cars, trucks and other vehicles participated. Touring in the earlier parade is optional but encouraged.

The Little Miss/Mister pageant is for children up to 11 years old, or 5th grade. Awards are given in seven age categories. Entry fee is $35, and proceeds go to the scholarship fund and Partners in Education. Chairperson is Kristy Stallings.

Many persons are involved in helping this event. A few include Reba Rachal, Betty Brewer, Sheila McDonald, Betty Michalsky, Jessica Woods, Dickie Woods, Tonya Russell, Phillip Morris, and many more.

Busy burglar ring busted

By Lewis Spearman

CHANNELVIEW – A couple had only begun to gas up their newly obtained vehicle when it reported back to its owner.

The owner of 10 Acres Auto on U.S 90 called deputies concerning his vehicle stolen from his lot and that he had just installed with Lo-Jack, the security recovery system. He gave deputies the location of the vehicle.

Pct. 3 Deputies rolled to Dell Dale and South Brentwood in Channelview. A male driver and a female passenger were within the car being filled with gasoline. Deputies removed the suspects from the car and conducted an inventory of items prior to the vehicle being towed.

Deputies then found numerous identifications from many individuals throughout northeast Harris County. They found a variety of driver’s licences, identification cards, a couple of passports and check books from numerous other people, some from east of Lake Houston. They found checks made out to the North Shore Rotary from various people. Coincidentally, the treasurer of North Shore Rotary had reported checks stolen from his vehicle.

The district attorney took charges against Jason Dinroe 31, and Amber Richards, 27. Deputies then were able to find where the two were residing, at a nearby motel. They went to the Shady Glen Motel and obtained a consent to search the building and found (among other items) a loaded shotgun, a pistol hidden under their pillow. Numerous checks were found, numerous tools called by law enforcement burglary tools were also found.

At that location, Dinroe’s normally used vehicle, a truck was loaded with items that appear to have been taken during burglaries. Deputies recovered a computer, jewelry aand some cash at the Shady Glen.

Captain Moore said that Dinroe had been to prison three times on burglaries and thefts.

As deputies reviewed the video from the car lot, they noted that another truck dropped Dinroe off at High 10 Autos and the burglary followed. But the truck that dropped him off had license plates that was exactly like a Ford F-150 that had been stolen the day before at about 1:00 p.m.

During the investigation deputies were able to ascertain the location of that F-150. Deputies also determined that the couple was associated with a storage facility near where they were arrested.

Surveillance of that storage facility that the couple was using lead to other arrests. Dinroe as not personally renting that storage facility but had access to it. Deputies put five other suspects in jail related to the storage facility.

A total of 13 suspects were detained related to the surveillance and investigation.