Man who suffered heart attack during pit bull attack says tougher laws needed

A harrowing day for one Mint Hill man could have larger repercussions for owners of pit bulls in the community. Bill Williamson, who lives on Dan Hood Road, suffered a heart attack last Friday as he confronted the owner of two pit bulls that were attacking a horse on Williamson’s property.
Williamson, 63, said he was told by Mint Hill Police that his heart had stopped and he had no pulse just before the police applied Automated External Defibrillator pads and resuscitated him.
“Without them, I would be dead,” Williamson said of the police.
Williamson, who had triple-bypass surgery just 10 months ago, said this is the second time the two pit bulls have attacked the horse on his pasture. On January 22, he said he walked out into the pasture and noticed the two dogs were hanging by the horses legs. He called Mint Hill Police and Mecklenburg Animal Control, but by the time they had arrived, the dogs had already returned to their owners property. Because of this, Animal Control said they could not do anything about the dogs or the owner.
“I think there’s something horrendously wrong with our laws,” Williamson said later. “That human beings have to live in fear of someone else’s pets.” Continue reading


Renovations to Squirrel Lake Park begins Monday

Squirrel Lake Park will be getting a facelift beginning Monday. The Matthews park will get a restroom facility, new playground equipment and swing structures for children aged 2-12, improvements and additional spaces to the parking lot. Also included in the project is an asphalt connector trail that will run from Pleasant Plains Road through the park to Four Mile Creek Greenway, a handicap accessible fishing pier, a new shelter near the pond and improvements to existing trails in the park. Continue reading


County could save $10 million with new purchasing strategy

The Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners were presented with an outline today of changes it could make in the way it purchases goods and services that could save the County upwards of $10 million a year. The presentation was made by County Manager Harry Jones at the Board of County Commissioner’s Budget and Public Policy Workshop
“We’re going to be doing purchasing in a completely new way,” said Jones. “Taxpayers could see a $2.60 return on every dollar invested through this business case.”
The County is working with Deloitte Consulting, which will invest a portion of its fees to pay the cost to implement the business case and receive payment based on the savings achieved.
Strategic sourcing is a method of purchasing goods and services at negotiated best prices consistently across the organization. Examples include timing the purchase of certain commodities for when the prices are at the lowest during the year. Based on the County’s current purchasing practices, Deloitte estimates that this first phase of work can result in annual cost savings of up to $10 million.
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Pit bulls attack a horse in Mint Hill

Yet another pit bull attack has occurred in Mint Hill.  Police reported today that they were dispatched to the 3300 block of Dan Hood Road last Tuesday in reference to two pit bulls attacking a horse that was in a fenced in pasture. This was the second call within the past 10 days involving the same two dogs and horse.

Bill Williamson of Mint Hill reported the attacks. He and his adult sons were outside keeping an eye out for the dogs. When officers arrived they went out to the pasture and discovered that the dogs had attacked the horse again and were now running back across the road.

In the meantime, Williams had collapsed of an apparent heart attack and was being attended to by his sons. They told police Williamson had prior heart problems. Officers started CPR and retrieved an Automated External Defibrillator from the trunk of one of the patrol vehicles. Officers attached the Automated External Defibrillator (AED) pads to Mr. Williamson and delivered a shock.

Williamson started to cough and regained partial consciousness. Upon the arrival of MEDIC, Williamson had regained consciousness and was able to answer questions. He was transported to Presbyterian Hospital (Main). Less than 48 hours later he was released and is now back home resting comfortably.

The dogs were later captured by CMPD Animal Control and Care and taken to their facility.

Another pit bull attack in Mint Hill recently injured 6-year-old Jakob Clark. Because of this incident, as well as one in Waxhaw that killed a 6-year-old girl, Mint Hill Board of Commissioners are considering tougher dog laws within the town.


Time is running out for $1 million lottery ticket sold in Stallings

The chances of winning the Mega Millions is 1 in 175,711,536. According to the book “For all practical purposes: mathematical literacy in today’s world” by Joseph Malkevitch and Lawrence M. Lesser, winning the Mega Million The Mint Hill Timesjackpot is like guessing a particular piece of paper in a stack twice as high as Mt. Everest, or guessing a particular second in the span of 5.5 years.

Of course, the odds of winning are even worse if you lose the ticket. That’s what’s happened in Stallings in the past year. A $1 million prize ticket was purchased for the August 20, 2010 Mega Millions drawing at the Market Express located at 2800 Old Monroe Road in Stallings. (The NCEL calls this address “Matthews,” but it is actually in downtown Stallings next to the McDonalds.) However, no one came forward with the winning ticket and it expires on Wednesday, February 16.

The five white balls for that drawing were: 4 – 13 – 20 – 29 – 48

To claim the $1 million prize, the ticket must be presented at N.C. Education Lottery headquarters in Raleigh by 5 p.m. on February 16. Players have 180 days from the date of the drawing to claim their prize.

“We’re really hoping to award this prize,” said NCEL Executive Director Alice Garland. “Celebrating winners is one of the most fun things we do at the lottery and we hate to see prizes go unclaimed, especially ones of this magnitude.”

Ryan Kennemur, the NCEL’s Public Information Officer, will be on-site at the Market Express in Matthews from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. today to raise awareness about the missing ticket.
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Are pit bulls mean dogs? We ask the president of a pit bull association

The Mint Hill Board of Commissioners is currently looking into the possibility of adjusting its ordinances to help curb dog attacks in the town. This comes on the heels of a recent attack in Mint Hill in which a young boy was severely injured, and an attack in Waxhaw that killed a young girl.
Several supporters of animals, and particular pit bulls, spoke at Thursday’s meeting. Kathy Minter of Mint Hill gave a passionate speech about protecting the animals from unnecessarily strict laws.
“Keep in mind there are no bad dogs,” she told the board during the public comments time of the meeting. “There are only bad owners.”
She also told the board that if a resolution or bill gets passed that it should be for the benefit of the dog and that owners need to be held more responsible.
Also speaking at the meeting was Michael Davis, the President of the National American Pit Bull Terrier Association.

The Mint Hill Times

Michael's dog Chilli

Davis lives in Charlotte.
The Mint Hill Times caught up with Davis later to ask him about pit bulls. Are they really “mean” dogs?

Q. You are the President of the National American Pit Bull Terrier Association. What do you love so much about pit bulls?
A. I found them to be the dog breed that I took to most. I found them to be a very misunderstood breed with a huge discrepancy between what I’ve experienced with them and how they are portrayed. They are a very loving, loyal breed of dog and want nothing more than to please.  Unfortunately,  people have used those traits for the wrong reasons.

Q. There have been several recent high profile pit bull attacks in the area. Are pit bulls more prone than other dogs to attack?
A. No, they are no more prone to attack than any other breed of dog.  There are many other breeds of dogs that have incidents happen but they are not reported as sensationally.  The ‘pit bull,’ because of their fighting history, was specifically bred to be Non-human aggressive since the owners had to be able to go and pick up their injured dogs and a dog is most likely to bite when scared or injured.  Continue reading