ST. LOUIS (AP) - Prospects of a strike involving union workers at Patriot Coal Corp. are intensifying after a bankruptcy judge signed off on the company's push to abandon its labor agreement with the miners.
Bargaining between the United Mine Workers of America and St. Louis-based Patriot has taken a break, with the company empowered by the judge's May 29 ruling.
That decision allows Patriot to make deep cuts to benefits for thousands of retirees, while also altering its labor deal involving existing employees.
The union and the company say they are negotiating in good faith, though the union says what's on the table right now may be sent to the membership for consideration of whether a strike is in order.
Patriot counters that a walkout could force it to liquidate.
ST. CHARLES, Mo. (AP) - A former massage therapist in St. Charles faces sentencing Aug. 8 after admitting that he secretly videotaped clients.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 39-year-old Kirk Jackson pleaded guilty Wednesday to 14 counts of felony invasion of privacy. He was charged last year after a woman at the clinic for a massage discovered what she thought was a video camera hidden under a tissue box cover.
That led to an undercover operation. Authorities found about 140 videos they say were taken of women in the restroom, tanning beds and massage therapy rooms.
Jackson is facing similar charges in St. Louis city and county.
FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) - Authorities have charged a Fort Hood sergeant with paying for sex with a soldier in a prostitution scheme allegedly arranged by a coordinator of the Texas Army post's sexual assault prevention program.
Master Sgt. Brad Grimes was charged in military court Wednesday with patronizing a prostitute, conspiring with another soldier to patronize a prostitute, committing adultery and solicitation to commit adultery.
The woman soldier hasn't been charged.
Fort Hood spokesman Chris Haug says the charges stem from an investigation of a lower-level coordinator of Fort Hood's sexual assault and harassment prevention program.
In May, the Army said that coordinator is accused of sexual assault and possibly arranging for at least one woman to have sex for money. That soldier is a sergeant first class who hasn't been charged.