- Associated Press - Friday, February 21, 2014
Mother of Tenn. girl who died of gangrene jailed

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - The mother of a disabled Tennessee girl who died from gangrene and infected bedsores due to neglect has been arrested in New Orleans, authorities said Thursday.

Raven Ruth is being held in the Orleans Parish Jail after her arrest Wednesday by a fugitive task force, the U.S. Marshals Service said.

Ruth has been charged with first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse in the death of her 12-year-old daughter Andrea Ruth. She is awaiting extradition to Shelby County.

The girl’s father, Errol Johnson, and health care worker Chasara Jones also are charged with first-degree murder in what authorities are calling one of the worst child-neglect cases police have ever seen in Tennessee.

Johnson and Jones were being held in Shelby County Jail on Thursday. They have court appearances scheduled for Monday. Court records do not show if they have lawyers.

The Millington, Tenn., girl died in November 2012. Officials say an autopsy revealed she died from sepsis from gangrene.

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Train strikes Allman biopic film crew, woman dead

DOCTORTOWN, Ga. (AP) - Authorities in south Georgia say a woman working with a film crew has been struck and killed by a train while making a biopic about musician Gregg Allman.

Wayne County Sheriff’s Detective Joe Gardner tells WSAV-TV it happened after the crew had placed a mattress on a set of railroad tracks in Doctortown while filming the movie “Midnight Rider.”

Authorities have said several other crew members were injured and details on their injuries weren’t immediately available. Sheriff John Carter told WTOC-TV that two of the crew members sustained serious injuries.

Gardner says the crew was affiliated with a Savannah-based production company. Studio representatives were unavailable for comment Thursday.

Sheriff’s officials haven’t released the woman’s identity, and officials from CSX rail company say they’re working with authorities on the investigation.

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Tenn. House passes supermarket wine sales bill

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A years-long effort to allow wine to be sold outside of Tennessee liquor stores easily cleared what was expected to be its toughest hurdle on Thursday when the state House overwhelmingly approved the measure.

The bill would grant authority to cities and counties that currently have package stores or liquor-by-the-drink sales to hold referendums on whether to allow wine to be sold in supermarkets and convenience stores.

Debate lasted one hour and 15 minutes, with opponents raising the specter of Nancy Pelosi, crony capitalism and the undue influence of the liquor lobby to try to dissuade colleagues from voting for the bill. But in the end, those pleas were largely ignored and the measure passed on a 71-15 vote.

“Members have heard from their constituents, and the constituents overwhelmingly wanted the opportunity to buy wine in grocery stores,” House Speaker Beth Harwell, R-Nashville and a key proponent of the bill, said after the vote. “But members really wanted to protect local businesses as well.”

The measure would allow for local votes to take place as early as this fall, but would not allow supermarket wine sales until at least July 2016. Supermarkets located within 500 feet of an existing liquor store could have to wait an additional year

The bill’s main House sponsor, Republican Rep. Jon Lundberg of Bristol, said that delay is necessary to give liquor stores a chance to prepare for the change.

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Fisherman find 2 bodies in Center Hill Lake

SMITHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Police are investigating after a fisherman found two bodies in Center Hill Lake in Middle Tennessee.

Media report the bodies of a man and a woman were found Wednesday evening in DeKalb County near the Homes Creek Boat Ramp. Their identities weren’t released.

Police say they are investigating the possibility of a boating accident at the location.

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