JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri House Republicans have chosen Majority Leader John Diehl to be their speaker nominee for 2015.
Republicans met privately during Wednesday's veto override session. Diehl and House member Caleb Jones, of California, Mo., had been seeking the nod to be speaker.
The House speaker is the top position in the 163 member House and officially is elected by the chamber on the first day of each biennial session. Republicans currently hold 109 seats. Under a tradition begun several terms ago, Republicans have picked their next speaker nominee more than a year before the election to give the person time to prepare for the job.
Current Speaker Tim Jones is barred by term limits from seeking re-election to the House in 2014.
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) - A federal judge from Peoria will preside over the trial of a former St. Clair County judge accused of drugs and weapons violations.
U.S. District Court Judge Joe Billy McDade was named to preside over the case of Michael Cook, who has pleaded not guilty to possessing heroin and having a gun while illegally using controlled substances.
Chief Judge David Herndon of the Southern District of Illinois was initially assigned the case. However, he and other federal judges in the district recused themselves.
Cook resigned his judgeship and agreed to attend a drug rehabilitation center in Minnesota and to the suspension of his law license. He was released without being required to post cash.
Investigators say Cook was with Judge Joe Christ when Christ died from a cocaine overdose.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - The St. Louis Blues opened training camp without restricted free-agent defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, who is waiting for a new contract.
Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said Wednesday that discussions between the team and Pietrangelo's agent have reached an impasse "for now."
The 23 year old Pietrangelo, the No. 4 pick in the 2008 draft, has been part of St. Louis' top defensive pairing the last three seasons. He is also the Blues' top scoring threat on the back line.
Pietrangelo had five goals and 19 assists in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season. He had 12 goals, 51 points and a plus-16 rating in the 2011-12 campaign.
A total of 53 players are expected to participate in camp with practices beginning on Thursday.