Make us your home page

Paul Guzzo, Times Staff Writer

Paul Guzzo

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.

Phone: (813) 226-3394


Twitter: @PGuzzoTimes

  1. Girl, 3, dies when she darts into pickup's path while walking with mom


    RIVERVIEW — A 3-year-old girl died from injuries received when she darted into a residential street while walking with her mother and was struck by a pickup truck, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said.

    The accident occurred about 7:30 a.m. Tuesday near the intersection of Hampton Meadow Way and Legacy Bright Street in the Sanctuary home community, according to the Sheriff's Office....

    Christian Madson, the driver of the pickup truck, said he didn’t see the child walk into his path. Charges are not expected.
  2. Dates and itinerary for Tampa City Council trip to Cuba finalized


    TAMPA — The dates are set and the itinerary is largely finalized for the Tampa City Council's first official trip to Cuba since the Cuban Revolution almost 60 years ago.

    While only two of the six council members who voted in favor of sending a delegation will participate, council member Yvonne Capin said that doesn't lessen the importance.

    "No matter how many go," Capin said, "this will still be the first time a delegation goes to Cuba that represents City Council in an official capacity."...

    City funds will not be used to send two Tampa council members to Cuba. 
  3. Epilogue: Martin Giles a man of few, but strong, words for WFLA-AM 970


    As the story goes, his higher-ups at Misawa Air Base in Japan were clear in their edict to Martin Giles: If he married the Japanese woman with whom he'd fallen in love, he would lose the security clearance needed for his job intercepting Soviet messages.

    It was the mid 1950s — for many, not far enough away from World War II for the Japanese to be completely trusted.

    Giles married his love anyway, said his daughter Susan Giles Wantuck, and indeed had his clearance taken away....

    A native of Hillsborough County, Martin Giles died at home on Aug. 14 at age 80.
  4. Tampa is training ground for Team USA inline skating

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — The United States once dominated the sport known as international outdoor inline speed skating.

    It was the 1990s. Roller blading was hot. And out of that mania rose a Team USA that won the medal count at the World Roller Speed Skating Championships from 1991 through 1999.

    If the United States is to return to those glory years, the journey will pass through the Tampa Bay area — home to five of the 24 Team USA members competing at the world championships Aug. 27 in China....

    International inline skater Erin Jackson, 25, lives in Ocala but often trains in Tampa.
  5. Iconic Ballet Nacional de Cuba ballet will perform at Straz in May


    Besides fine tobacco, Ballet Nacional de Cuba is considered by many to be the island nation's most distinctive export.

    Tampa Bay-area cigar aficionados can still only purchase Cuban stogies by traveling to the socialist country, but next year, for the first time in 15 years, local performing arts fans need only take a short trip to enjoy the Cuban ballet company.

    Ballet Nacional de Cuba will perform a rendition of the two-act romance Giselle at 8 p.m. May 23 in Morsani Hall of the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts....

    Ballet Nacional de Cuba, one of the world’s top companies, will perform at the Straz in May.
  6. A FishHawk Ranch boxing class helps Parkinson's patients fight the disease


    TAMPA — Tattooed in black lettering on the top of Rick Karczewski's right forearm, made to look like it was inked by someone with shaking hands, is "Parky" — a nickname reflecting the Parkinson's disease he has been living with since he was diagnosed five years ago.

    "There ain't no changing it, so I might as well embrace it," the 52-year-old Brandon man said. "I'm not going to let Parkinson's kick my a--. I'm going to kick its a--."...

    Personal trainer Kathy Glazewski, right, works with Rick Karczewski during her boxing class, which is held twice a week.
  7. Epilogue: Mary Elizabeth 'Bettie' Perez, an 'ornament of rhyme' in a Tampa literary bloodline


    TAMPA — Mary Elizabeth "Bettie" Perez liked to say writing was in her blood.

    Her grandfather was the founder of one of Tampa's first Spanish-language newspapers. Her mother and two sons also pursued journalism careers.

    So it was only natural that she became a published writer, even if she didn't actively pursue a career as a wordsmith until late in life.

    She released her book of poems at age 89....

    Mary Elizabeth Perez, prize winning poet, died on Aug. 10 at the age of 92.
[Courtesy of Nella Griffin]
  8. Local vigils held in response to violence in Charlottesville


    On Sunday night, a day after white nationalists incited violence in Charlottesville, Va., while protesting the pending removal of a Confederate statue, hundreds gathered in Tampa and St. Petersburg for candlelight vigils to honor those killed and injured in the Virginia city.

    At Joe Chillura Courthouse Square, those in attendance — diverse in age, ethnicity and sexual orientation — hoped for solidarity among people of all backgrounds....

    Members of the community gather in downtown Tampa to speak out against the events that unfolded in Charlottesville Virginia. [Sunday, August 13, 2017] [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  9. Dream of becoming a mermaid helped girl, 7, bounce back from leukemia

    Human Interest

    Legs pressed tightly together, 7-year-old Amelia Collins stood at the edge of her grandparents' pool and smiled.

    Then, the Ocala girl with the brunette, Shirley Temple curls screamed, "I have my fins back," and jumped into the water.

    Without separating her legs, she swam by whipping her lower body up and down — like a mermaid.

    "She's always wanted to be a mermaid," said her mother, Kathryn Collins. "It's her dream."...

    Seven-year-old cancer survivor Amelia Collins joins Kelley Madden, left, and Cheyenne Bragg on Saturday as she realizes her dream of becoming a mermaid. Amelia has been making her way through the water with her legs together since she was 2. [Courtesy of Weeki Wachee Springs State Park]
  10. Tampa's nonprofit channels cut from city budget


    Scott Maiden was hoping for a government commendation when the Tampa Bay Arts & Education Network he runs marks its 30th birthday on October 1.

    Instead, that will be the day the City of Tampa could end its financial partnership with the nonprofit network, which supports local educational institutions such as the Hillsborough County School Board.

    "Happy birthday to us," Maiden, the network's CEO, said with a dejected laugh....

    G. Scott Maiden, Chief Executive Officer of the Tampa Bay Arts & Education Network, works in their downtown Tampa control room.  Community television stations Tampa Bay Arts & Education Network and Tampa Bay Community Network face an uncertain future after losing financial support from the city of Tampa.
  11. Premium cigar industry gets 3.5 more years to argue against stricter FDA regulations


    Tampa's premium cigar dealers aren't ready to light a stogie in victory yet, but they have more time now to argue against proposed federal regulations that would add to their costs.

    The Food and Drug Administration had ordered cigarmakers to send the agency detailed ingredients and manufacturing processes for each of their products, complete with lab testing, by February. The same requirements applied to makers of pipe and hookah tobacco....

    A roller at an Ybor City cigar store prepares to finish one of the store's products. The Food and Drug Administration  delayed a lengthy  and costly cigar approval process until 2021. [ANDRES LEIVA   |   Times, 2016]
  12. Two possible tropical stormed being monitored


    Two different clusters of showers and thunderstorms that could strengthen into tropical storms are being monitored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Hurricane Center.

    The storm closest to landfall was near the Yucatán Peninsula in Caribbean waters and had a wind speed of 35 miles per hour as of Sunday night, 10Weather WTSP meteorologist Ashley Batey said....

  13. Ybor chickens are more than local color, they're subjects of scientific research

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — Why did the chicken cross the road?

    Perhaps to get from Key West to Ybor City.

    For five years, Eben Gering, an evolutionary biologist and professor at Michigan State University, has been conducting DNA tests on populations of feral chickens to understand how they evolve in ever-changing environments.

    The chickens of Kauai, Hawaii, have been his primary focus.

    But now Gering is turning his attention to Key West and Ybor City, in hopes of learning whether any of the chickens that roam wild in these two Florida communities 425 miles apart share a genetic link....

    A rooster and two hens spend their day perched on a wall in Ybor City's Centennial Park before they fly up in the trees to sleep at night. An evolutionary biologist is conducting DNA tests to learn if Ybor's feral chickens are related to those in Key West. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times] 

  14. Japan honors its 'god of wrestling' 10 years after his quiet death in Tampa

    Human Interest

    Karl Istaz lived quietly in the Tampa area for 30 years. When he died, his friends followed his wishes and scattered his ashes without ceremony over Lake Keystone in Odessa.

    But the European-born Istaz — or more to the point, his alter ego Karl Gotch — was revered across Japan as a hardnosed, professional wrestler whose style so influenced the industry that fans and peers nicknamed him "Kamisama," or deity....

    Karl Istaz, known by his wrestling name Karl Gotch, puts fellow grappler Danny Hodge in a headlock in this photo from the 1960s outside the Tampa Sportatorium at 106 N Albany Ave. The venue was used to film wrestling for TV broadcasts. [Courtesy of Barry Rose]
  15. Local radio personality Tedd Webb hospitalized due to heart attack

    Human Interest

    Tedd Webb, the longtime co-host of News Radio 970 WFLA's AM Tampa Bay show, was hospitalized a week ago due to congestive heart failure.

    AM Tampa Bay personality Jeff Kuyrkendall said Webb, 68, could be released from St. Joseph's Hospital by Wednesday. But there is no time line for Webb's return to the show, said station manager David Bell.

    "We want him to do what is best for him," Bell said....

    [Courtesy Newsradio 970 WFLA]