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Patty Ryan, Times Staff Writer

Patty Ryan, a Florida native, grew up in Pinellas Park. For more than three decades, she has lived in Tampa, where she's a reporter for the Times. She joined the staff as an editor in 2001, after 22 years at the Tampa Tribune.

Her work has been honored by the American Association of Sunday and Features Editors and the Florida Society of News Editors.

She graduated from the University of South Florida.

Phone: (813) 226-3382

Email: pryan@tampabay.com

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  1. As Irma howled, hundreds of Tampa Bay area cats and dogs got lost

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — A Chihuahua named Trouble escaped his pet-friendly motel. Mr. Fatty the cat ran off in an unfamiliar neighborhood. Lenny, a parrot, flew the evacuation coop.

    Stormy? Squall? Survivor? Those three bolted, too.

    Hurricane Irma spooked pets as much as it spooked humans, churning up a haste and a panic that separated critters from the people who care for them all over the Tampa Bay area. ...

    Kind-hearted strangers often take in strays, but Hurricane Irma seemed to ramp up the numbers, as dogs fled and humans worried. This Plant City dog was among those rescued. [Lost and Found Pets of Hillsborough County]
  2. In deciding fraud case, Tampa judge blasts tax code as 'bloated and opaque monstrosity'

    Criminal

    TAMPA — Two Tampa businessmen accused of cooking up $8 million in bogus tax write-offs for corporate clients were found guilty on all counts by a federal judge this week in a case so complex it took a year to decide.

    Duane Crithfield, 70, and Stephen Donaldson Sr., 71, now face up to five years in prison for conspiring to defraud the United States, and up to three years on two counts of helping people to lie on tax returns. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 27-28....

    In Tampa federal court on Wednesday, a judge issued a 36-page decision finding two Tampa men guilty in a case involving tax write-offs for corporate clients. [Times photo]
  3. Seen me? Dog with cancer slips out of Tampa BluePearl hospital, $1,000 reward offered

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — A four-legged cancer patient named Shelby slipped away from a Tampa veterinary specialty center Wednesday morning, and her keepers have sent out an all-points bulletin hoping to find her.

    The 4-year-old Boxer mix was last seen near Dale Mabry Highway and Busch Boulevard, after escaping from a BluePearl Veterinary Partners hospital east of there, the hospital reported. She is brown and white and weighs about 40 pounds. ...

    Shelby, a 4-year-old Boxer undergoing cancer treatments, slipped away from BluePearl Veterinary Partners in Tampa on Wednesday morning. The hospital is offering a $1,000 reward. [Photo from BluePearl]
  4. Seen me? Dog with cancer slips out of Tampa BluePearl hospital, $1,000 reward offered

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — A four-legged cancer patient named Shelby slipped away from a Tampa veterinary specialty center Wednesday morning, and her keepers have sent out an all-points bulletin hoping to find her.

    The 4-year-old Boxer mix was last seen near Dale Mabry Highway and Busch Boulevard, after escaping from a BluePearl Veterinary Partners hospital east of there, the hospital reported. She is brown and white and weighs about 40 pounds. ...

    Shelby, a 4-year-old Boxer undergoing cancer treatments, slipped away from BluePearl Veterinary Partners in Tampa on Wednesday morning. The hospital is offering a $1,000 reward. [Photo from BluePearl]
  5. Father's note to kids of kidnapped mom: We'll be watching from heaven

    Criminal

    TAMPA — Investigators searching an SUV after the rescue of Alisa Summers on Monday found a chilling letter written by her captor-husband, addressed to their five children.

    In it, Trevor Summers rued the divorce that had torn the family apart.

    "So we have ended it for your sake," he wrote, according to court documents. "We wish you the best in everything you do and will be watching you from heaven."...

    Trevor Summers also admitted holding his wife against her will Feb. 18, detectives say.
  6. Big butts lead to big trouble in federal court

    Criminal

    Times staff

    TAMPA — A Town 'N Country hair stylist made $75,000 injecting bootleg, misbranded silicone into clients' buttocks, federal court records allege.

    But one bottom belonged to an undercover operative, and now Isabel Colmenares, 56, could face prison time.

    Colmenares, of 5609 Cresthill Drive, signed a federal plea agreement admitting to one count of receiving a misbranded drug or device with intent to deceive. The crime is punishable by as long as three years in prison....

  7. St. Petersburg doctor charged with taking kickbacks, BMW in $5.3 million pharmacy conspiracy

    Criminal

    A St. Petersburg doctor took kickbacks and asked a compounding pharmacy to buy him a new car in 2014 while helping the company dupe federal health insurers out of $5.3 million by peddling pricey creams, a grand jury charges.

    He got the car, a $72,900 BMW M3, but now the federal government wants it forfeited.

    Anthony Baldizzi prescribed pain creams, scar creams, migraine creams and anti-aging creams to patients receiving federal benefits, and the pharmacies billed as much as $21,000 for a month's supply, according to an indictment unsealed Thursday....

  8. Woman accused of $2.1 million jewel theft says ex-fiance framed her

    Criminal

    Palm Harbor millionaire Scott Patrick Mitchell's tale of soured romance traveled the Internet last Valentine's Day. He said his jilted fiancee had lifted jewelry worth $2.1 million from his safe.

    But was it true?

    In newly filed court records, Mary Catherine Hunt and attorney Barry Cohen say Mitchell cooked up the story to get back at her, after she left him.

    "I have never been in the safe vault room in Scott Mitchell's guest house in my life, nor have I ever had a combination," Hunt said, denying Mitchell's charges....

    Until the wedding was called off, Scott Patrick Mitchell and Mary Catherine Hunt were registered at the website the Knot, seeking dinnerware, sheets, an egg timer and other gifts. 
  9. Firing of Tampa detective Eric Houston came after a chat between police chief and IRS official

    Civil

    TAMPA — When Jane Castor, the city's now-former police chief, fired a veteran Tampa detective on April 24, 2014, she alluded to a pending federal investigation and called Eric Houston's conduct "egregious."

    But grand jury indictments alleging involvement in a stolen identity tax refund fraud scheme by Houston and his ex-sergeant wife, LaJoyce Houston, wouldn't come for 18 months.

    How did the chief get so opinionated?...

    Former Tampa Police officers Eric Houston, left, and his wife LaJoyce Houston, center, walk into the federal courthouse in Tampa in October to face charges relating to stolen identity tax refund fraud. With them are their attorneys Lyann Goudie, second from left, and Wade Whidden, right.  [SCOTT KEELER    |      Times (2015)]
  10. At Burger Monger, you build the one you want

    General

    WHAT I ATE: When a burger joint advertises high-quality Akaushi beef and its motto is "We build a better burger," one's duty as a patron is crystal clear.

    So I ordered a burger. The tougher part was choosing among 41 possible toppings on the menu at Burger Monger, a home-grown chain with grills throughout the Tampa Bay area, including one on Neptune Avenue in South Tampa.

    You want Brie on that burger, maybe? A fried egg? Guacamole?...

    Balsamic tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, lettuce and bacon top a 
6-ounce patty of Akaushi beef, established in Japan and bred in Texas.
  11. Supreme Court justices slam Diaco law firm behavior in Bubba case

    Courts

    Florida Supreme Court justices expressed disdain Thursday for the conduct of three Tampa lawyers who orchestrated the DUI arrest of a rival amid a high-profile lawsuit involving two radio shock jocks.

    One of the three, Stephen Diaco, has already accepted permanent disbarment.

    The other two, Robert D. Adams and Adam Filthaut, were before the court asking for a less severe form of disbarment that would allow them to reapply for admission to the Florida Bar after five years....

    Robert Adams
  12. Wife of Pinellas Park pill mill doctor gets four years in prison

    Criminal

    TAMPA — Two images of 66-year-old Kim Feldman emerged at her sentencing Tuesday in federal court.

    One woman was an 89-pound native of Vietnam who, despite a college degree, was brought up to submit to her husband.

    The other was a savvy pill mill manager who laundered money, not just clothes, and got her hands dirty in a business that on Monday landed the former Dr. Edward Feldman, 76, a 25-year prison sentence....

    Kim Xuan Feldman leaves the Sam M. Gibbons Federal Courthouse in Tampa on Tuesday, November 17, 2015.
  13. Pinellas Park pill mill doctor, 76, sentenced to 25 years in federal prison

    Criminal

    TAMPA — As a doctor, Edward Neil Feldman was supposed to relieve pain. Instead, he invited mourning. He was supposed to save lives, but a jury blamed him for three patient deaths.

    The last life ruined was his own.

    A federal judge Monday sentenced the 76-year-old man to 25 years in prison for heeding the call of greed by indiscriminately prescribing pain medications to addicts at his Pinellas Park clinic....

    Kim Xuan Feldman, 66, who served as her husband’s office manager, is scheduled to be sentenced today.
  14. Man accused of buying $102,024 Cadillac Escalade using stolen identity

    News

    TAMPA — Some people steal cars. Some steal identities.

    Terrell Tramone Brown, 48, did both, using a Texas stranger's good credit and Social Security number last August to buy an SUV from Dimmitt Cadillac in Clearwater, authorities charge.

    It was an Escalade valued at $102,024.

    The man pictured on the fake driver's license used in the deal was Brown, according to a Secret Service account, but the birth date and other details on the car loan application pertained to victim Craig Woodward....

    Terrell Tramone Brown
  15. Top finance man at Hillsborough program for disabled admits to diverting funds, misleading government in federal plea agreement

    Criminal

    TAMPA — The former chief financial officer of a program for disabled people admits in a court paper that he and others diverted $617,435 in Social Security payments, raiding client personal accounts for a decade to cover operating expenses.

    Frank Pannullo, 69, is the third employee of the now-defunct Hillsborough Association for Retarded Citizens to enter into a federal plea agreement....