Monday, November 20, 2017


Paul Guzzo, Times staff writer

Paul Guzzo, Times staff writer

Paul Guzzo primarily covers Cuban policy, Cuban culture in the Tampa Bay area and local history for the Tampa Bay Times. A native of Trenton, N.J., he's been a journalist in this area since 1999, writing for La Gaceta Newspaper and the Tampa Tribune before joining the Times. Along with his brother Pete Guzzo, Paul is an award-winning independent filmmaker best known locally for his documentary on gangster Charlie Wall. At home, he is an overwhelmed father of four and husband to a wife who is way out of his league.

Mel Tillis performs at the Oklahoma Twister Relief Concert at the Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., in this 2013 photo. Tillis, the longtime country star who wrote hits for Kenny Rogers, Ricky Skaggs and many others, and overcame a stutter to sing on dozens of his own singles, has died. [Photo by Alonzo Adams/Invision/AP, File]

Country artist Mel Tillis, who traced success to Plant City youth, dead at 85

Before Mel Tillis achieved stardom, writing songs recorded by hundreds of Nashville artists and embracing the stutter that became his trademark, he was a young man fresh out of the Air Force struggling to land a spot in a Plant City talent...
Published: 11/19/17
Dr. Ferdie Pacheco enjoys an exchange with his wife Lusita during lunch with friends in Miami. Pacheco, born in Miami, achieved fame in the world of boxing but his interests stretched far beyond it. [Times file, 2013]

Ferdie Pacheco, the ‘Fight Doctor’ and Muhammad Ali’s physician, dead at 89

Ferdie Pacheco’s final regret might be that someone else wrote his obituary — someone who didn’t know, as he did, how great he was."He had no self-doubt," his daughter Tina Pacheco said with a laugh. "He will be mad at me."She laments...
Published: 11/16/17
Updated: 11/17/17
Deacon Johnny Daniels, 51, left, consoles Anna Cross, 71, a close friend of Ronald Felton who was shot and killed early Tuesday in front of the New Season Apostolic Ministries. Felton was a volunteer for ten years at the ministries' food pantry. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times

Friends at Seminole Heights food bank remember shooting victim as ‘Super Man’

TAMPA — Ronald Felton now joins the tragic list of victims in this fall’s Seminole Heights killings.But to those who volunteered alongside him for the twice-a-week food pantry at New Season Apostolic Ministries in Seminole Heights, the...
Published: 11/15/17
OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times 
The Tampa Police Department investigates another fatal shooting in the Seminole Heights neighborhood on Nebraska Avenue in Tampa, Florida on Tuesday, November 14, 2017.

Fourth Seminole Heights shooting claims life of food bank volunteer, 60

TAMPA — Officers saturated the area, said a frustrated Mayor Bob Buckhorn, but still, whoever is responsible for the fatal shootings that have terrorized the community of Seminole Heights struck a fourth time early Tuesday and got away.The...
Published: 11/14/17
Updated: 11/15/17
Victoria Patten, front, and Tanaysha Troutman, back, were killed Sunday night when they were struck by a car during an argument in Brandon. The two women and a third woman, Stephanie Jordan, had parked their cars in a turn lane on Providence Road, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said. [Facebookl]

Women were arguing when car hit, killed them on Brandon roadway, deputies say

BRANDON — Relatives are left to wonder what was so important that two women had to park in a turn lane in order to argue about it.The move proved fatal. Both women, described by acquaintances as a couple, were mowed down where they stood about...
Published: 11/13/17
Updated: 11/15/17
Fabian Lopez performs a front sidegrab at a skate park in Havana, Cuba. Lopez is part of Toda Fuerza, a Cuban skateboarding team that had hoped to compete in Tampa last week. Those plans are off. [Cortesy of Steven Garcia]

Heartbreaking stories emerge as embassy mystery halts trips from Cuba to Tampa

TAMPA — It's been six weeks since the U.S. Embassy in Havana stopped issuing visas to Cubans after its staff was slashed by 60 percent, a response to mysterious health attacks on American diplomats there.
Published: 11/13/17
LUIS SANTANA   |   Times
Hillsborough County Sheriff Deputies Trent Migues, 29 and Benjamin Thompson, 35 talk to the media in front of the District II office in Brandon to describe how they rescued a woman from a submerged vehicle in Plant City. 82-year-old Leona Evans was pulled from the sinking vehicle by the quick-thinking deputies.  [Sunday November 12, 2017] [Photo Luis Santana | Times]

Hillsborough deputies describe rescuing woman from sinking SUV

The scariest moment was when the screaming stopped.
Published: 11/12/17
Updated: 11/13/17
A Cuban and an American flag hang in the atrium aboard the Carnival Paradise at Port Tampa Bay. Despite new restrictions on travel to Cuba, cruises to Havana will continue. [MONICA HERNDON   |   Times]

Trump’s Cuba regulations are stricter but will not end travel from Tampa Bay area

The Trump administration rolled out new restrictions on trade with Cuba on Wednesday in an effort to "channel economic activities away" from the nation’s military, intelligence and security services while pushing Americans to support Cuba’s private...
Published: 11/08/17
The challenges or raising Seth Howard, shown here at home in childhood photos, inspired his father Ken Howard to create The Kooky Adventures of My Friend Kookabuk. The series helps special needs children and their parents respond to everyday social challenges. [GABRIELLA ANGOTTI-JONES   |   Times]

Father in New Tampa uses monkey Kookabuk to help young autism patients

As a 7-year-old boy, Kevin Howard spent months in the hospital with a bone infection in his leg.A stuffed monkey named Kookabuk helped him make it through the scary experience."I was told he had magical powers," Howard said of the...
Published: 11/07/17
Updated: 11/19/17
The Tampa Theatre shuts down Monday for renovation. [CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times]

Tampa Theatre's holiday movies will be free, and outdoors

TAMPABefore the historic Tampa Theatre closed Monday for six weeks to undergo $6 million in renovations, it hosted a special Sunday night screening — Back to the Future.The 1985 film starring Michael J. Fox is about traveling back in...
Published: 11/06/17
Updated: 11/07/17