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Paul Guzzo - General Assignment/Vintage Tampa Bay Reporter

General Assignment/Vintage Tampa Bay Reporter

I am a general assignment reporter with specific and varying niches – the local film industry, U.S.-Cuba relations, Tampa history, professional wrestling and the odd and unique people who make up this area. I have been a journalist in Tampa since 1999. In my younger years, I was also an independent filmmaker best known for an award-winning documentary on Charlie Wall, Tampa’s first crime lord. At home, I am married to a woman who is way out of my league and a father of four kids who have diverse career goals – engineer, veterinarian, ballerina, and a “fighting ninja.” As opposed to a pacifist ninja.

  1. (From left) Sam Smith and Aaron Smith watch their brother Eddie Smith Jr. nearly make the last putt for an eagle on the 18th hole at Rogers Park Golf Course in October.
  2. A section of the Robles Park Village public housing complex was built on top the forgotten Zion Cemetery.
  3. Michele Houston-Hicks holds a picture of her great grandmother, Claudia Lewis, who walked with her as a little girl through Keystone Memorial Park Cemetery. Behind her is the former Citrus Park Colored School, founded by her ancestor Barbara Allen.
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  5. After nearly four decades of operating a restaurant on Fourth Avenue in Ybor City, Cephas Gilbert has a new location. He now runs a juice hut inside Tequilas Ybor in Tampa.
  6. Suzi Goodhope of Havana, Fla., and Shiraz, an 11-year-old Belgian Malinois, are helping in the search for an African American cemetery forgotten somewhere on the grounds of MacDill Air Force Base. Goodhope trains human-remains detection dogs in Havana, Fla.
  7. Like the rest of Florida, and Tampa in particular, MacDill Air Force Base treated African Americans as second class citizens in its early days during World War II. The history is surfacing again as archaeologists prepare to search for graves that might have been left behind in a black cemetery when the base was developed.
  8. Zion Cemetery disappeared in the late 1920s just as the new owner built a storefront on the land. Today, hundreds of graves lie beneath the property — home to public housing apartments, warehouses and a vehicle tow lot.
  9. Penny Padgett, sister-in-law of retired Hillsborough County Judge J. Rogers Padgett Sr., looks through family pictures at her Clearwater home. Rogers Padgett, at rear, and Chip Padgett are great-grandsons of former Clearwater Mayor Robert Padgett, who donated land for use as an African American cemetery.
  10. Joe Tamborello inside the front office of the Tamborello Service Station in 2016.
  11. "Birds of Prey" stars Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn.
  12. Customers hustle in and out of Macy's Countryside.
  13. The north side of Martí/Colón Cemetery now sits under the Columbus Center shopping plaza at 3115 Columbus Dr. in Tampa. The area was rezoned for commercial use in the 1980s after city certified that graves were relocated.
  14. Ground penetrating radar was used find the erased Zion Cemetery on property along North Florida Avenue. The same technology is now being used to search for lost graves throughout the Tampa Bay area.
  15. Cinematographer Nick Matthews, left, works the main camera on the set of "Black Veil" in downtown Plant City. "The Blair Witch Project" director Dan Myrick is directing a web series titled "Black Veil" on location there.
  16. Technicians from T2 Utility Engineers use ground-penetrating radar in December to survey a storefront along North Florida Avenue that is part of the forgotten Zion Cemetery.
  17. The house at 5169 10th Ave. N, St. Petersburg, was Jack Kerouac's home during his final years.
  18. Wrestler Eddie Graham ran Championship Wrestling From Florida at the old Sportatorium, 106 N Albany Ave. The building has now been sold.
  19. Muhammad Abdur-Rahim points out the location of what he believed to be a former African American cemetery next to the parking lot of FrankCrum Staffing, 100 S Missouri Ave. in Clearwater. Now, it appears the cemetery may have been on an adjacent lot where the building stands.
  20. Hillsborough County Sheriff's deputy Alton Smith helps recover items Wednesday from Lake Twitt in Odessa during a dive team practice. Divers used the drill to search for evidence of a forgotten African American cemetery nearby.
  21. A bank vault that's in the basement of the old Franklin Exchange Bank building in downtown Tampa.
  22. Muhammad Abdur-Rahim points out the location of a former African American cemetery in the old Clearwater Heights neighborhood, where he grew up. Archaeologists have begun surveying the land using ground penetrating radar.
  23. The heirs of the man who owned Memorial Park Cemetery in east Tampa are trying to abandon the property. The city of Tampa is scrambling for a way to continue maintaining the African American burial ground, the final resting place for more than 6,000 people.
  24. Rocky Johnson, a member of the WWE Hall of Fame and a resident of Lutz, died Wednesday.