MJ, a pit bull being kept illegally in Prairie Village, bit a teenager on the face earlier this month. Photo via Prairie Village Police Department report.For two years, MJ the pit bull mix lived undercover in Prairie Village, his owner hoping the city might someday overturn its ordinance banning his breed. But four days before the city council voted to keep its controversial breed-specific ban in place, MJ bit a teenager visiting the home where the dog lived.[pullquote]• The owner of the pit bull mix and landlord at house she rented were aware the breed was not permitted in Prairie Village• The dog bit a visiting teenager on the face four days before the Prairie Village city council voted on whether to repeal its breed-specific ban on pit bulls.• The dog’s owner tried to hide its breed from an animal control officer in the days before the city council’s vote on repealing the ordinance.[/pullquote]According to a Prairie Village police report obtained by the Shawnee Mission Post, MJ bit a 15-year-old Fairway girl in the face at the home in the 7900 block of Cambridge Street. The girl said she was petting MJ on the rear when he bit her.The teen was taken to Shawnee Mission Medical Center. While the two small puncture wounds on her face were only minor injuries, the hospital reported the incident to Prairie Village Animal Control.The dog’s owner, Jessica N. Thimmesch, 35, eventually was cited for violating the city ordinance, but not before she made one last effort to keep MJ out of trouble.According to the police report, when Roger Blanchard, the animal control officer, came to the hospital to interview the bite victim, Thimmesch was also there.“She (Thimmesch) told me the dog was a Lab,” Blanchard stated in the report. “I asked to see the dog, but she said her boyfriend took the dog out of the house because there were two little kids in the house.”Since it was the Friday before the Labor Day weekend, Blanchard agreed to stop by Thimmesch’s home the following Tuesday, Sept. 6, to see the dog and see if his rabies vaccination was current. That Tuesday, as it turned out, was also the day the Prairie Village City Council was scheduled to consider a proposal to overturn the pit bull ban. Perhaps MJ would win a reprieve?When Blanchard arrived that day, he tried to contact Jessica twice.“Both times, no one answered the door although her car was in the driveway,” Blanchard reported.The next day, Wednesday, Blanchard came back. The City Council had voted 7-5 the night before to keep the pit bull ban in place. And this time, he connected with Thimmesch — and MJ.The owner told him she had been living in Prairie Village for two years.“She realized soon after she rented her house that pit bulls were illegal in Prairie Village,” Blanchard reported. “She was able to get the owner of the house and her neighbors not to divulge that she had a pit bull.“She also concealed the identity of the dog to me until after the Council vote in hopes that the ban would be overturned.”It also turned out that MJ was overdue on his rabies shot. The dog was taken to Great Plains SPCA for the vaccination and will have to be reexamined in 45 days for any signs of rabies.In the meantime, a city official familiar with the situation said the owners are planning to relocate out of Prairie Village. Police added MJ’s case will be sent over to the Prairie Village Court for any further action.Attempts to reach Thimmesch for comment Wednesday were unsuccessful.Editor’s note: The owner of the property in question contests the tenant’s assertion that the landlord was aware that the pit bull was being kept on the property.
Conveyancers are counselling caution on reform of the homebuying process after confirmation of a government review rekindled memories of the much-criticised home information packs (HIPs) scrapped in 2010.The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills will publish a ‘call for evidence’ later this year, it was confirmed last week at a Westminster Hall debate.During the debate, Tory MP Kevin Hollinrake alluded to the ‘ill-fated’ HIPs introduced in 2007 and suggested any change to legislation should involve consultation with the estate agent industry and legal profession.Beth Rudolf, director of delivery at the Conveyancing Association, said there is consensus that ‘earlier, upfront delivery of the right information can make a big difference’. Resolving issues around leasehold sales and closing legal loopholes to deliver a leasehold redress scheme would make big differences, she said, while ‘ridiculous delays’ in the delivery of local authority information also need to be addressed.Law Society president Jonathan Smithers, a conveyancing specialist, said he understands BIS will be looking at aspects of the whole process including wasted costs when transactions do not proceed to completion.He said: ‘There is a wide variety of reasons for sales not proceeding including change in circumstance, the discovery of new information during the process and the necessity to comply with lenders’ requirements.‘Giving consumers more detailed explanations of the process, and making sure that they are aware they have the ability to break chains and enter into pre-contract agreements to prevent gazumping and gazundering may warrant some further consideration.’Other ideas floated in an online Gazette debate include bringing back HIPs minus local authority search and surveys, ‘scale fees’ and separate representation for purchasers and lenders.
OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Dennis Pitta desperately wanted to return to the football field this season.Still loving the game and feeling a sense of obligation to the Ravens after signing a long-term contract last year, the 30-year-old tight end rehabbed rigorously to return from the second serious hip injury suffered in a 14-month period. But the skilled route-runner known for finding open windows in coverage couldn’t separate from the memory of him collapsing to the ground without being touched after making a simple catch in Cleveland on Sept. 21, 2014.As difficult as the decision was, he and the Ravens made the right one in the end as he will remain on the reserve physically unable to perform list for the rest of the season.“Obviously, I’m extremely disappointed that I won’t be out there this season,” Pitta said. “It’s something that I’ve been working hard to be able to do. I’ll continue to rehab and do everything I can to make sure I’m healthy and put myself in the best position that I can.”His disappointment is understandable after playing in just seven games since dislocating and fracturing his right hip the first time in practice on July 27, 2013. Pitta returned to play in the final four games of that season, catching 20 passes for 169 yards and a touchdown.The healthy return prompted general manager Ozzie Newsome to sign the 2010 fourth-round pick to a five-year, $32 million contract that included $16 million guaranteed. But Pitta injured his hip a second time in Week 3 of the 2014 season and hasn’t played since.Returning to practice last month after beginning the season on the PUP list, the Brigham Young product acknowledged hearing conflicting opinions from those close to him — including his concerned wife, Mataya — about whether he should resume his playing career. According to head coach John Harbaugh and teammates, Pitta looked like his old self making plays against the Baltimore defense in practices, but the stability of a twice-repaired hip wouldn’t allow his safe return at this time.“It didn’t quite respond the way we had hoped,” said Pitta, who added that there were things on and off the field that weren’t “quite right” with the hip. “Sitting down with doctors over the last couple of days, we decided that it was certainly too much of a risk at this time and too unsafe to take the field. That was a decision that we made collectively.“At the end of the day, we can’t ignore what sound medical science has to say.”Pitta said Wednesday that he still hopes to continue his career and isn’t yet ready to announce his retirement, but it’s difficult envisioning what would change doctors’ minds next season after he’s already spent 14 months rehabbing from the second injury. Whether the Ravens will keep Pitta on the roster to find out is another story as his guaranteed $5 million salary for 2015 made it a no-brainer for both sides to explore his potential return this season.Next year, his $5 million salary is not guaranteed and Pitta is scheduled to carry a $7.2 million salary cap figure. Cutting him in the offseason — possibly with a post-June 1 designation — would save cap space and not leave the Ravens on the hook for his 2016 salary in the event of another injury.Having drafted two rookie tight ends — Maxx Williams and Nick Boyle — this spring after selecting Crockett Gillmore last year, the the organization prepared this offseason as though Pitta would not be able to return to the field.Even so, the layers of frustration are apparent for both Pitta and the Ravens in the midst of a 2-6 season.“It’s been kind of a roller-coaster ride,” said Harbaugh, recalling the memories of both injuries. “You have hopes. I was hoping that he’d be able to play. To see him come out here and perform well [in practices], that part of it was a plus. But the other thing that overrides all of that is the fact that you want what’s best for the player. His safety and going forward as far as his quality of life overrides all of it.”In parts of five seasons in Baltimore, Pitta has caught 138 passes for 1,369 yards and 11 touchdowns. The 6-foot-4, 245-pound tight end added three more touchdown catches in the 2012 postseason run that culminated with a win in Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans, a game in which he caught four passes for 26 yards and a 1-yard touchdown.No one will ever forget Jacoby Jones’ 70-yard touchdown catch in the divisional-round game in Denver that January, but that game-tying play still may not have mattered if not for Pitta’s catch on third-and-13 from the Ravens’ own 3 in the first overtime period. Baltimore didn’t score on that drive, but the 24-yard reception flipped field position and allowed Sam Koch to eventually punt the ball deep into Denver territory instead of being forced to kick from deep in his own end zone and potentially set the Broncos offense up on a short field. That critical conversion is easily one of the most underrated plays in franchise history and likely allowed the run to an eventual championship to continue. The spectacular pitch and catch epitomized quarterback Joe Flacco’s trust in his close friend and teammate on the field.“It’s great to have a guy that you know you can go to and you know what he’s going to do,” Flacco said. “He’s going to be in the right spot, he’s going to win, and he’s going to catch the ball at the end of the day. To have a guy like that on the field with you, it makes your job a little bit easier. He was definitely a big part of that.”Pitta said Wednesday that he doesn’t want his final play in the NFL to be the one in Cleveland that resulted in him being carted off the field. The Ravens didn’t want that, either.But both made the right decision not to take the risk of that happening again.Even if it marks the end of Pitta’s career with the Ravens.“I’ll continue to work,” Pitta said, “and hopefully that won’t be the end of the story.”