Monday, September 24, 2018


Howard Altman, Times staff writer

Howard Altman, Times staff writer

Howard Altman covers the military, national security and veterans issues for the Tampa Bay Times. Prior to coming to Tampa, where he covered the same beat for the Tampa Tribune, Altman was an editor and columnist at the Philadelphia City Paper. He has won more than 50 journalism awards and when he's not working, he likes to fly in old airplanes, fish and snorkel.

Deputy's wife texted 'Kirk has lost his mind' before murder-suicide, friend says

Deputy's wife texted 'Kirk has lost his mind' before murder-suicide, friend says

LAND O’LAKES — Samantha Keithley sent a series of disturbing text messages late Sunday, complaining about her husband to a longtime friend.“Kirk has lost his mind Kristin,” she wrote in one text to friend Kristin...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis while serving in Iraq. [DeSantis Campaign for Governor]

What did Ron DeSantis do during his tour in Iraq?

Way back on June 25, Ron DeSantis released his first TV ad as he faced off with Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam for the Republican nomination for governor.His first words in the ad, as he introduced himself to Florida voters:...
Published: 09/21/18
Updated: 09/23/18
Crew members of the USS Tampa pose for an undated photo before the ship was sunk by a German U-boat in September 1918. Wamboldt Sumner of Tampa is second from left. [U.S. Coast Guard]

Sunk by torpedo a century ago, USS Tampa left a legacy of protection

As dusk was settling in over the Irish sea, a German submarine spotted a lone ship steaming toward England’s Bristol Channel.The U-boat dived to attack. About half an hour later, it fired a single torpedo.
Published: 09/20/18
Updated: 09/22/18
Courtesy of the Sorbera family
World War II veteran Frank Sorbera, who turns 100 Sept. 16, ran a private security firm after the war and guarded some of the biggest names in show business when they came to New York. Here he is with Sammy Davis Jr. , who has Frank\u2019s son Frank Jr. on his lap.

Howard Altman: Tampa World War II veteran turning 100 recalls guarding prisoners then celebs

Frank Sorbera was a band boy for the Russ Morgan Orchestra, lugging equipment and driving vehicles, all the while hoping to one day join the big band outfit as a singer.But it was 1944, World War II was grinding on and Uncle Sam had other plans...
Published: 09/13/18
Updated: 09/14/18
Greg Amira, who worked in the twin towers of the World Trade Center, recounts his harrowing experiences as a survivor of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He spoke Tuesday morning at the 9/11 Fallen Heroes Memorial outside the Hillsborough County Sheriffs Office  in Ybor City. [MONICA HERNDON   |   Times]

Saved by a hunk of marble, Trinity man recalls harrowing escape from World Trade Center

TAMPA — Shortly before 9 a.m. on a beautiful morning 17 years ago, Greg Amira was making his way up to his office on the 73rd floor in the south tower of the World Trade Center.He felt the building shake."I assumed Building No. 1 was...
Published: 09/11/18
Updated: 09/12/18
Diplomats working at the U.S. Embassy in Cuba reported strange noises and mysterious symptoms that doctors and scientists say may have resulted from strikes by microwave weapons. [Meridith Kohut, New York Times]

Experts say it’s likely Cuba embassy workers were sickened by ‘directed energy’ weapons

There is a "high probability" that U.S. embassy workers sickened in Cuba in late 2016 were attacked by a "directed energy" weapon, a biochemistry expert told officials from U.S. Special Operations Command and its Ybor City-based incubator partner...
Updated one month ago
Photos by MONICA HERNDON   |   Times
Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Marsha Jordan, left, extends best wishes to Martha Cameron as Cameron celebrates her 100th birthday Wednesday at Canterbury Tower retirement home in Tampa.\uFEFF

World War II nurse, turning 100 in Tampa, recalls the pain of invisible wounds

TAMPA — During her time as an Army nurse in World War II, treating the wounded in North Africa, Normandy and the Ardennes Forest, Martha Cameron proved to be a pioneer in more ways than one.One of the first women to land in France after D-day,...
Updated one month ago
Photo by Brent Thacker, U.S. Army
Soldiers from Fort Benning, Ga., learn to use the PD-100 Black Hornet nano drone during a training session in Kuwait.

SOCom is asking to see all kinds of drones, some for delivering blood to the battlefield

On a far-flung battlefield, 100 miles from the nearest treatment center, a Navy corpsman signals for a small drone to bring life-saving blood to a wounded commando.Meanwhile, a tiny drone shaped like a bug spies on enemy leaders. Another small...
Updated one month ago
Jean-Paul Mandier, left, helped return the dog tags lost during the Normandy invasion by Carrollwood veteran Boris Stern, right. The two men got together in France when Stern visited during the summer. [Courtesy of Jean-Paul Mandier]

Howard Altman: Carrollwood veteran gets hero’s welcome retrieving dog tags from Normandy

Nearly 75 years after first coming ashore in France as a young Army soldier, Boris Stern returned this summer to offer thanks to those who helped return his long-lost dog tag.He arrived to a hero’s welcome."I’ve been all over the world,"...
Updated one month ago
Sarasota attorney David Shapiro will face Republican incumbent Vern Buchanan in November.

U.S. 16th District: Shapiro claims victory over Schneider

In a battle between two Sarasota attorneys, David Shapiro held a commanding lead over Jan Schneider in the 16th Congressional District Democratic primary.Shapiro, whose campaign manager said he and his opponents traded concession...
Updated one month ago