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Colin Jeffery

Colin Jeffery

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Members of the United Mine Workers of America have voted to ratify a settlement with bankrupt Patriot Coal.

The union said Friday night that current or laid-off Patriot workers in West Virginia and Kentucky voted 85 percent to 15 percent in favor of the agreement reached late last week.

Some 1,800 members from 13 locals were voting.

St. Louis-based Patriot says it wants the company to survive, and union President Cecil Roberts says a deal may let that happen.

The settlement would restore most wage cuts that Patriot had sought as part of its reorganization.

Roberts says the deal also reduces the restoration of some benefits and the continuation of others.

Pension benefits for thousands of current retirees would be maintained, and active employees would continue earning pension credit.

STEELVILLE, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri judge has found probable cause for the second-degree murder trial of 59-year-old James Crocker, accused of killing a man on a float trip who stopped on or near Crocker's property.

Crocker, of Steelville, is charged in the death of 48-year-old Paul Dart Jr. Crawford County Associate Circuit Judge Scott Bernstein heard more than an hour of testimony Friday before ruling the case should move forward.

The shooting happened in July after Crocker spotted people from a Meramec River float trip party on a gravel bar that Crocker considered part of his property. Dart was shot in the face during the confrontation.

Defense attorney Michael Bert says Crocker was protecting himself and his property, and felt threatened by rock-wielding members of the float party.

 

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri House Majority Leader John Diehl (deel) is promising to raise money for the Republican cause - not his personal political aspirations - if colleagues nominate him as the next House speaker.

The fundraising pledge is one of several promises contained in a letter Diehl sent colleagues as part of a behind-the-scenes campaign.

A similar letter was sent to House Republicans by Diehl's rival for speaker, Rep. Caleb Jones. But Jones' letter makes no mention of fundraising.

The Associated Press obtained copies of both of the lawmakers' letters.

Republicans are meeting in St. Louis to discuss the potential override of Gov. Jay Nixon's vetoes of several bills. They're expected to vote during the September veto session on a nominee for House speaker in 2015.

 

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