1. Archive

The stories of 1996 // Seminole pool claims 2nd, 3rd victims

A 3-year-old boy and his 2-year-old sister drowned in August in the same backyard pool where their cousin died three years earlier.

Pinellas County sheriff's deputies said Jonathan and Samantha Horne opened and crawled out a window Aug. 12 while their mother, Beverly Horne, 20, was asleep. When Horne woke up, she found the two toddlers in the pool.

Her older sister, Kimberly Huguley, pulled out the unresponsive children. For her, it was a tragic reminder.

Huguley's 2-year-old son, Brendan, drowned in the pool at 8511 Hollyhock Ave. in 1993.

According to investigators, Horne was sleeping in the same bedroom as her children. She went to bed at 5 a.m., with the window closed and the door locked.

The screen was off the window, which was at the rear of the house and overlooked the pool, because the clamps on the screen were damaged. When Horne awoke at 9:45 a.m, the children were in the pool.

They were taken to separate hospitals, where they died a short time later. It was unknown how long they had been in the water.

Brendan got into the pool after he was temporarily left unattended at a relative's house behind the pool. The boy walked through an open gate in the fence behind the pool.

Ultralight mishaps dot Lake Seminole

Lake Seminole and its surrounding park doubled as a crash site for at least four experimental and ultralight airplanes, some carrying unlicensed pilotsas they plunged into the murky and shallow waters. There were some injuries, but none was fatal.

A man was seriously injured in January when his ultralight crashed into a palm tree at the park.

In August, three boaters saved the life of a sheriff's deputy whose ultralight crashed into the lake. The boaters rescued the unconscious deputy from the cockpit and carried him to land.

An experimental aircraft smashed into a bottlebrush tree in December at Holiday Shores Mobile Home Park while attempting an emergency landing in the lake. The pilot walked away with a nick on his knuckle.

Another man toppled into the water after one of his pontoons, which keep the plane afloat, broke off as he prepared for takeoff in November.

Bardmoor volleys over court plan

SEMINOLE _ Bardmoor made headlines after its management, Bardmoor/Bayou Club Ltd., proposed big changes in this sprawling subdivision _ changes not welcomed by all residents.

Most notable was a debate over tennis courts that lasted more than six months. Management wanted to put 60 town houses on 8 acres where tennis courts sat. Residents were opposed. The battle went before county commissioners twice as residents tried to block a rezoning variance needed for the town houses.

The end result was bittersweet for both sides. Residents succeeded in blocking the 60 town houses, but not in saving their tennis courts. The land was rezoned to accommodate a lesser density for residential use, which also made it less valuable for Bardmoor/Bayou.

In the shadows, tennis coach Billy Stearns left Bardmoor after failing to reach an agreement over his contract. He took with him Stearns Tennis School.