Rome man hit, killed by train and other news from areas around Chattanooga

Rome man hit, killed by train and other news from areas around Chattanooga

May 23rd, 2014 by Staff Reports and Associated Press in Local Regional News

Rome man hit, killed by train

ROME, Ga. - Police in the Northwest Georgia city of Rome are investigating the death of a pedestrian who was struck by a train.

Authorities said 54-year-old Ricky Barnett was struck and killed Wednesday morning under a bridge behind a Kroger store. Police said he was facing away from the approaching locomotive when he was struck.

Police said the train began blowing its horn before it reached Barnett, and tried to stop. The Rome News-Tribune reported that Barnett was moved about 40 yards when the train hit him, and the locomotive traveled about 1,000 feet after the collision before it could stop.

Floyd County Deputy Coroner Gene Proctor said Barnett lived beneath the bridge near the place of his death, and sometimes stayed in local shelters.

Deffenbaugh, Goff in runoff

DADE COUNTY, Ga. - A win in Dade County helped former Dade County Commissioner Robert Goff net the second-most votes in Georgia's House District 1 Republican primary on Tuesday, resulting in a two-man showdown in July with incumbent John Deffenbaugh.

Deffenbaugh had 1,519 votes, Goff had 941 and challenger Alan Painter had 915 votes. Since Deffenbaugh drew less than 50 percent of the votes, state law requires a runoff. The runoff election will be July 22.

Oldest inmate on death row dies

NASHVILLE - The Tennessee Department of Correction says the oldest inmate on death row has died of natural causes.

The Tennessean reported 71-year-old Sidney Porterfield died Wednesday at the Lois DeBerry Special Needs Facility that houses inmates with serious illnesses. Porterfield was the hit man in the 1984 killing of Ron Owens in Memphis.

Owens' wife, Gaile Owens, admitted that she spent months driving around crime-ridden sections of Memphis, looking for someone willing to harm her husband, who she claimed was abusive.

She found Porterfield, who ambushed Ron Owens and beat him to death with a tire iron.

Porterfield and Gaile Owens were both convicted and sentenced to death, but former Gov. Phil Bredesen commuted Owens' sentence to life in 2010, and she was paroled a year later.

Career centers coming to counties

Tennessee jobs officials are taking the state's Career Center services to more than 30 counties this spring and summer.

The Department of Labor and Workforce Development's three "Career Coaches" are mobile units staffed with state interviewers. The interviewers can help job applicants register for work, search for a job and follow up later.

The mobile units will go to counties with high unemployment rates.

Counties to be visited are Carroll, Claiborne, Clay, Cocke, Dickson, Fentress, Gibson, Grainger, Greene, Hancock, Haywood, Hickman, Houston, Humphreys, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Lewis, Marion, McNairy, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Obion, Perry, Pickett, Polk, Rhea, Scott, Sequatchie, Van Buren and Wayne.

For a schedule of Career Coach visits, go to