Sunday, May 28

USA TODAY trending editor Dustin Barnes dead at 38

Dustin Barnes, a Mississippi-raised journalist who became a USA TODAY trending editor known for his professional acumen and irrepressible joy, was found dead Wednesday at his home in Nashville, Tennessee. He was 38.

Barnes had been recovering from a heart attack and was discovered by co-workers who went to check on him, according to his mother, Sheila Barnes. She said both the heart attack and death were unexpected.

Current and former co-workers from Mississippi and Tennessee to USA TODAY grieving his death Wednesday said Barnes was a razor-sharp editor and a life-affirming force of humor and positivity.

“Dustin made an immediate impact at The Tennessean, not only as a skilled journalist but one of those people who lights up every room they step into,” said Michael Anastasi, The Tennessean’s top editor. “His effervescence from him made every team he was a member of that much better, and fun. His passion for him to serve his community, and to be an extraordinary teammate, was evident every day.

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