Monday, November 20, 2017


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.

Lt. Gary Neal with the Tampa Police Department responds to a crime scene in his district that involved a drive-by shooting on East Lake Avenue and North 22nd Street in Tampa on Saturday, November 18, 2017. OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times

On the night shift in Seminole Heights, Tampa police keep watch for a killer

TAMPATampa Police Lt. Gary Neal is almost halfway into his shift when the shots ring out.He jumps into his white 2016 Dodge Charger and races the few blocks from District 3 headquarters to the scene of a drive-by shooting in a city...
Published: 11/18/17
Anyone honorably discharged from the military can now shop online through the militarty base excchange, which fills some of its orders from the exchange building at MacDill Air Force Base. But some veterans finding it hard to sign up. [ALESSANDRA DA PRA   |   Times]

Howard Altman: Missing records confound veterans on base exchange website

In the more than three decades that I have been toiling at various paragraph factories, few stories have elicited as much response as the one I wrote about the new program to allow all honorably discharged veterans to shop at military base exchanges...
Published: 11/17/17
The River at Tampa Bay Church in Hillsborough County has a warning posted for anyone with violence in mind.

Tampa church warns: We are armed and ready to use deadly force

If you are an evildoer wishing to bring harm to the members of River at Tampa Bay Church, don’t expect congregants to turn the other cheek.They’ll blast you.So says a sign at the church, at 3738 River International Drive in Tampa, that...
Published: 11/16/17
Updated: 11/17/17
Screen grab from surveillance video provided by Tampa Police Dept.
Ã\u008ATampa Police Chief Brian Dugan on Wednesday released new video showing who he now is identifying as a suspect in the four Seminole Heights killings.
After receiving 450 tips following the fatal shooting of Ronald Felton, 60, early Tuesday morning, Dugan released the video, which was taken close to the time Felton was killed.

Tampa Police chief to meet with NAACP tonight about Seminole Heights killings

TAMPA — As Tampa police continue to flood the southeast Seminole Heights neighborhood in search of a serial killer, Police Chief Brian Dugan is scheduled to meet with local NAACP leaders tonight to discuss the case.NAACP Hillsborough Branch...
Published: 11/16/17
Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan shows new video on Nov. 15, 2017, showing who he now calls the suspect in four Seminole Heights slayings. [HOWARD ALTMAN | Times]

Police release new video of suspect in Seminole Heights killings

TAMPA — One day after another unsolved fatal shooting in Seminole Heights, Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan said Wednesday it doesn’t...
Published: 11/15/17
Casimar Naiboa, father of murder victim Anthony Naiboa, 20, lights a new votive candle at the make-shift memorial to his son as the victim's mother Maria Rodriguez looks on. [HOWARD ALTMAN   |   Times]

For parents of Seminole Heights victim, a daily journey in search of answers

TAMPA — Casimar Naiboa and Maria Rodriguez climb into their 2004 Toyota Sienna minivan and head out on a near-daily journey that no parent wants to make.Desperate and tension-filled, it’s a trip they have been taking since Oct. 19. That’s when...
Published: 11/14/17
Updated: 11/15/17
OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times 
The Tampa Police Department investigates another fatal shooting in the Seminole Heights neighborhood on Nebraska Avenue in Tampa, Florida on Tuesday, November 14, 2017.

Fourth Seminole Heights shooting claims life of food bank volunteer, 60

TAMPA — Officers saturated the area, said a frustrated Mayor Bob Buckhorn, but still, whoever is responsible for the fatal shootings that have terrorized the community of Seminole Heights struck a fourth time early Tuesday and got away.The...
Published: 11/14/17
Updated: 11/15/17
Sister warned latest shooting victim to be careful traveling Seminole Heights

Sister warned latest shooting victim to be careful traveling Seminole Heights

TAMPA — The last time Tina Felton saw her brother Ronnie was Wednesday.He was on his bicycle, as usual."I was driving and pulled over," said Tina Felton, 65. "I told him, ‘You know all the mess going on in these areas. I want you to be...
Published: 11/14/17
Updated: 11/15/17
Lauren Price was serving in the Navy when she posed in 2008 with her son Chad Maesse at the federal courthouse in Bridgeport, Conn. Maesse was about to leave to serve in Iraq. Price now lives in New Port Richey and Maesse lives in Spring Hill. [Courtesy of Lauren Price]

As fewer serve, burden of war falls heavier on families with tradition of service

When Lauren Price’s youngest son went off to fight in Iraq in 2008, she handed him a going-away present few parents could offer."I gave him my Iraqi cell phone," said Price, 52, a Navy veteran from New Port Richey who served in the same region...
Published: 11/10/17
Former 5th Special Forces Group member Derek Gannon started an online petition protesting the use of green berets by a new Army unit. It quickly drew nearly 90,000 signatures and prompted a call from the Army's chief of staff. [Courtesy of Derek Gannon]

Howard Altman: Army settles flap over who will wear the Green Beret

I have a hard time picturing Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, a no-nonsense guy with plenty on his plate, taking time out of his busy day sorting through color swatches.But thanks to one of two recent victories in the battle for Army...
Published: 11/09/17
Updated: 11/10/17