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Week in review

By Times Staff Writer
Published November 6, 2005


PARENTS SUE OVER DROWNING AT POOL: The family of a girl who drowned in Westchase's swimming pool is suing the community. Keith and Diana Appleby filed a wrongful death lawsuit Wednesday against Westchase's community association, management company and swim team for the death of their 8-year-old daughter, Kiana.

The family has waited six months to hear answers from the community association, which has said it would comment on pool safety procedures after the Sheriff's Office closed the case. That was more than a month ago, and association officials still aren't talking.

Kiana's Dolphins swim team was practicing May 5 when a storm hit. The team was ordered out of the pool, and about 30 children gathered under a shelter when one child noticed Kiana was missing. A staff member counted heads, checked restrooms and walked around the pool before Kiana was found in the deep end, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said.

The suit says coaches and a lifeguard neglected to make sure everyone left the pool. It also claims the employees failed to walk around the pool or do a head count, as the Sheriff's Office reported.

COUNTY PAYS $75,000 IN 911 SUIT: Hillsborough County commissioners approved a $75,000 legal settlement Wednesday for the father of a 19-year-old man who died of an asthma attack during a delayed response to a series of 911 requests to help him. After that decision, commissioners unanimously requested reports on whether the problem could recur and why 911 tapes were destroyed. "I found it hard to believe ... that they didn't make some kind of backup tape," said E. Frank Griswold III, who sued over the 2001 death of his son, Jason.

Jason Griswold, a community college student, called 911 from his pickup truck in Lutz, gasping and unable to speak. Without information on the call's source, a sheriff's call taker hung up.

Passers-by also called 911, leading the county's 911 center to dispatch an ambulance. But technical problems prevented the call from reaching the pagers of the ambulance crew in Lutz, and they weren't monitoring their radio. So they didn't leave their station until receiving another call more than five minutes later.

They reached Griswold 20 minutes after he first called 911, as he lay near death outside his truck.

DRUG BUST YIELDS COCAINE, CASH: Hillsborough sheriff's investigators knew their monthlong undercover drug operation was a success when they searched air-conditioning vents inside a Carrollwood home and found 11/2 kilos of cocaine worth $83,500 and nearly $40,000 in cash.

But it wasn't until they went inside the attic last weekend that they found the mother lode: about $500,000 in cash.

Detectives said they seized the money last weekend while searching the residence of Abraham Rolon, 41, at 5001 Aberdeen Court in the Plantation community.