COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri House member has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of possessing marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
Democrat Jeremy LaFaver, of Kansas City, entered the pleas during a brief court hearing Friday in Boone County. He was fined $200 plus court costs on each charge and paid the penalties before leaving the courthouse.
The 33-year-old lawmaker says he made a mistake and is glad the incident is behind him.
A state trooper stopped LaFaver last month on Interstate 70 in Boone County for failing to respond to charges in Moniteau County of driving with expired license plates. The trooper reported finding a glass pipe and a small amount of marijuana in the vehicle.
LaFaver paid a $125 fine in Moniteau County for the vehicle registration charge earlier this week.
ST. CHARLES, Mo. (AP) - Republican Gov. Rick Perry of Texas returned to Missouri Friday to help unveil a new nonprofit group focusing on job creation through low-tax state policies.
His St. Charles visit to promote Americans for Economic Freedom came after an August stop in which he criticized Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon for vetoing tax-cut legislation. State lawmakers subsequently failed in a veto override attempt.
On Saturday, Perry will speak to GOP conservatives at a regional meeting of the Conservative Political Action Conference.
Perry also met privately in August with the Missouri Chamber of Commerce in Clayton and held a political rally in Chesterfield. And he urged Missouri businesses to relocate to Texas in a series of radio ads.
Perry is considering whether to run for president in 2016 after an unsuccessful 2012 effort.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit seeking to preserve benefits for bankrupt Patriot Coal Corp.'s active and retired miners.
U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin on Friday sided with Peabody Energy and Arch Coal.
The United Mine Workers of America filed the lawsuit last year, saying the companies set up spinoff companies to rid themselves of their benefits obligations. The lawsuit argued they were still responsible for those benefits under the federal Employee Retirement and Income Securities Act.
But Goodwin ruled the law doesn't protect a pension fund's financial stability.
UMW President Cecil Roberts tells The Charleston Gazette the union plans to appeal.
Peabody spun off Patriot in 2007, and Patriot later acquired mines that Arch spun off into Magnum Coal. Patriot declared bankruptcy last year.