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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

Email: pguzzo@tampabay.com

Twitter: @PGuzzoTimes

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  1. Look for Tampa Bay filmmaker Joe Davison on 'Stranger Things'

    Human Interest

    For a year, Joe Davison kept a secret he wanted to tell so badly he feared it would burst from his mouth like an alien baby from John Hurt's chest.

    It was Davison's "I told you so" to all the naysayers who for decades said he would never fulfill his Hollywood dream. Finally, he was contractually allowed to say the words.

    "I'm in next season of Stranger Things," Davison, 41, said from his dining room adorned with a Halloween store tapestry made to look like the alphabet wall from Season 1 of the Netflix series....

    Joe Davison, at home in his dining room in Seminole, decked out for Halloween with “Stranger Things” decor, will appear in Season 2 of “Stranger Things.”
  2. Bruce Samson, who turned around the University of Tampa, dies at 79

    Obituaries

    TAMPA — When Bruce Adams Samson was inaugurated king of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla in 1992, his friends added flair to the ceremony by having a trained tiger stroll into the crowd and seek out the next monarch.

    How the big cat identified Mr. Samson remains a mystery, said his wife, Ada Jean Samson, but will always be one of her fonder memories.

    It is also one of the few moments of Mr. Samson's life that could be described as glamorous, friends and family said....

    Bruce Adams Samson - a former president of the University of Tampa - died on October 14, 2017.
[Credit Samson family]
  3. Tampa warehouse serves as kitchen for Puerto Rico, packing 510,000 meals a day

    News

    TAMPA — Who do you turn to if you're FEMA and you need to pack up as many meals as possible to feed a hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico?

    You turn to GA Foods of St. Petersburg, provider of shelf-ready meals and other food for institutional customers across 40 states, and now the kitchen for the U.S. territory that was devastated last month by Hurricane Maria.

    PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Rays lead relief mission to Puerto Rico, teaming with Moffitt, USF ...

    A Crowley Maritime Corp. trailer awaits loading with meals for Puerto Rico outside a warehouse at 6422 Harney Road in Tampa. [PAUL GUZZO   |   Times]
  4. A Tampa family was on both sides of the Cuban Missile Crisis

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — Like most of the world, it was from President John F. Kennedy that Daisy Carbonell Rocamora and George Carbonell learned of the Soviet nuclear weapons that started the Cuban Missile Crisis.

    But on that day in October 1962, the brother and sister were living on opposite sides of the confrontation.

    From Tampa, Rocamora watched on television as the U.S. president discussed the growing crisis. Her brother was in Cuba, listening to the speech on a shortwave radio....

    In 1948, Carlos Carbonell and his wife, Isabel, moved to Tampa, where he aided Castro’s rise. They returned to Cuba due to growing hostility.
  5. Cubans seeking move to U.S. must get visas in Colombia now

    National

    The State Department has announced a plan for issuing visas to Cuban citizens while the service is suspended at the U.S. Embassy in Havana over mysterious "health attacks" against American diplomats.

    Here's how it will work, according to an e-mail from the State Department in response to a query from the Tampa Bay Times:

    "In the coming weeks, we will begin transferring current immigrant visa applications and scheduling immigrant visa interviews for Cuban nationals at the U.S. Embassy in Bogota, Colombia."...

    The U.S. embassy in Havana, Cuba, is closed to most visa applicants now because of mysterious "health attacks" against personnel there. Applicants now must travel to Bogota, Colombia. [Associated Press]
  6. West Tampa hopes to save landmarks like demolished Martinez home

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — Elvin Martinez and his eight siblings were raised in a century-old home on the corner of Spruce Street and MacDill Avenue.

    It's where the retired-judge's five sisters held their wedding receptions.

    And it's where Martinez hosted his victory party in 1966 when he became the first Hispanic candidate in modern times elected to the Florida House of Representatives

    With so many memories attached to it, Martinez gets emotional over his decision to allow developer Domain Homes to demolish the 2,500-square-foot two-story wooden structure last weekend....

    Matilda Martinez Garcia grew up in the family home at the corner of Spruce Street and MacDill Avenue. The century-old structure was demolished last weekend to make way for six new houses. [Courtesy of Max Garcia]
  7. In exhibiting her late-husband's art, she is showcasing her love

    Human Interest

    Susan Johnson has long told the tale of how she dated internationally renowned artist Theo Wujcik for just three weeks before they married.

    What she usually leaves out is they were actually only together for half that time. He was on the road, live-painting alongside a punk band for the other half.

    "Oh, I'm so embarrassed," Johnson, 58, said between full-body laughs. "But he wrote to me every day — a lot. He'd send eight to 10 letters a day. And when he got back and asked me to marry him, I knew it was right. It didn't take long."...

    Susan Johnson and Dingo pose with a work by the late artist Theo Wujcik at the University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum. A career retrospective of  Wujcik's works will open in October at an art museum in Deland. [MONICA HERNDON   |   Times]
  8. Are you ready for some Gaelic football? Tampa Bay Hurling Club is

    Human Interest

    TAMPA

    Last Sunday, as local NFL fans geared up again to celebrate America's most popular contact sport, a dozen people gathered at the Davis Islands Seaplane Basin to introduce Tampa to an equally rough variation on the game — Gaelic football.

    The game resembles a mix of soccer and rugby and its Tampa proponents don't expect it will ever attain the popularity it enjoys in its native country....

    Tim Boyll passes around a Gaelic football, which looks like a volleyball, during practice at Davis Islands’ Seaplane Basin. The Tampa Bay Hurling Club recently added the sport to its Sunday and Wednesday schedules.
  9. Cultural, research exchanges threatened by U.S. suspension of visas for Cuba

    Politics

    Visa service for Cuban citizens seeking to visit the United States is a casualty of the diplomatic pullback by Washington, threatening the cultural exchange programs and visits from Cubans that Tampa had embraced.

    The State Department announced Friday that it is cutting staff at the U.S. Embassy in Havana by 60 percent in response to mysterious health problems affecting its diplomats in Cuba's capital city. Until the socialist government can prove it's safe for staffers to return, visas will not be processed there....

    Hanzel Caballero, left, and Pedro Chevalier from the National Aquarium of Cuba prepare to help set nets in an underwater nursery of Staghorn coral run in the Florida Keys. The Cubans were here as part of an ongoing research collaboration with the Florida Aquarium. [JOHN PENDYGRAFT   |   Times (2016)]
  10. Tampa Bay critics of NFL players stage pre-game rally, jersey-burning boycott

    Human Interest

    A week after most of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 53-man roster and coaches stood and linked arms during the national anthem, about the same number of people gathered outside Raymond James Stadium to protest the team's actions, prior to Sunday's game against the New York Giants.

    Barbara Haselden, organizer of the "Stand Up for America!" protest at the corner of Columbus Drive and Dale Mabry Highway, was happy with the turnout, as much for passing cars honking support as for those braving the heat to stand on the roadside....

    Members and supporters of the South Pinellas 912 Patriots, a Tea Party-related organization, wave flags and signs protesting players that kneel for the national anthem during the "Stand Up for America" rally.  Several dozen people stood near the corner of Dale Mabry and Columbus near Raymond James Stadium before the start of the Bucs-Giants game. [LUIS SANTANA   |   Times]
  11. Tampa to Havana travel still growing, but for how much longer?

    Transportation

    TAMPA — Despite a promise in June from President Donald Trump that he would impose stricter regulations on Cuba travel, the number of people shuttling by air and sea between Tampa and Havana has continued to rise.

    Still, as they've waited for the regulations to become official, local travel agents were jittery about the future for this new market.

    One shoe finally dropped Friday....

    The U.S. Embassy in Havana has been a target of mysterious "sonic attacks" that have left staff members with a variety of medical problems. The FBI is investigating, with approval from the Cuban government [ASSOCIATED PRESS]
  12. Co-ops help homeowners turn purchasing power into solar power

    Energy

    Florida is touted as the Sunshine State yet ranks 14th nationwide for solar power installations.

    "New Jersey is number four," quipped Rick Garrity, retired executive director of Hillsborough County's Environmental Protection Commission. "We have to be ahead of New Jersey."

    On Monday, Garrity served as emcee for the launch of a project he believes will help Florida one day obtain that No. 1 spot....

    Supporters of solar energy gather at the University of South Florida campus for the launch of a countywide co-op to make installation of solar rooftop panels more affordable.
[PAUL GUZZO   |   Times]
  13. Mother of double amputee Ireland Nugent to lose her own lower right leg

    Human Interest

    Ever since Ireland Nugent lost both her lower legs in a lawn-mowing accident five years ago, the Clearwater girl has inspired her mother, Nicole Del Corpo-Nugent, with the courage she has shown in overcoming the tragedy.

    Now the 35-year-old mother hopes she can be as brave as her little girl as she endures her own amputation.

    Del Corpo-Nugent will lose her lower right leg Monday or Tuesday, she told the Tampa Bay Times from Mease Countryside Hospital in Safety Harbor via Facebook messenger, and she will be fitted for a prosthetic within the next couple of weeks....

    Nicole Del Corpo-Nugent, left, looked on as her daughter Ireland threw out the first pitch when the Tampa Bay Rays played the Houston Astros at Tropicana Field on June 22, 2014. Jerry Nugent held his daughter for the pitch. Now Nicole Del Corpo-Nugent is facing surgery to amputate her own lower right leg due to a rare infection. WILL VRAGOVIC  |  Times (2014)
  14. How visiting a scenic Cuban resort can help save green sea turtles

    Wildlife

    The Florida Aquarium has been collaborating with Cuba's National Aquarium since 2015 to help save coral dying throughout Caribbean waters.

    Now, the downtown Tampa marine research and tourism center is partnering with a Miami-based non-profit on expanding its rescue work in Cuba — to endangered green turtles.

    In a unique approach to the challenge, the aquarium will venture into the travel industry next year by offering educational trips to one of Cuba's most scenic beach areas — excursions that will double as an educational and fund-raising effort to help the turtles....

    The tiny island of Cayo Largo in Cuba, a major turtle nesting area, is home to 10 resort hotels but no permanent residents. Resort workers shuttle in and out  by boat each day. [Avalon Outdoor]
  15. Tedd Webb, co-host of top morning radio show, calling it quits after five decades

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — It's 9 Monday morning, and Tedd Webb is exhausted.

    Sure, he's been up since 3:30 a.m. and just finished co-hosting the AM Tampa Bay show on News Radio 970 WFLA-AM, but it's the same schedule he's kept through most of his five decades on the radio.

    No, his fatigue is different now, tied to the congestive heart failure and diabetes that have plagued him for years but grown worse in recent months....

    Radio personality Tedd Webb hopes to continue spending an hour each mid-day on the financial show The Opening Bell but he'll be stepping down from the top-rated morning show he co-hosts with Jack Harris. [JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times]