Missouri Senate approves health, highway patrol appointees

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Missouri Governor-elect Eric Greitens makes his remarks to supporters in Maryland Heights, Missouri during his "Thank You" tour of the State of Missouri on January 7, 2017. Greitans will take the oath of office to become Missouri's 56th Governor on January 9, 2017 in Jefferson City, Missouri. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – The Missouri Senate has confirmed Dr. Randall Williams as the next director of the Department of Health and Senior Services and Col. Sandy Karsten as the next superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Both appointees of Republican Gov. Eric Greitens were approved Thursday by unanimous voice votes.

Williams was embroiled in controversy in his time at the North Carolina health department over a decision to rescind a “do not drink” water warning in a neighborhood near a coal energy plant. But Missouri senators said before his confirmation that they were confident Williams would make positive changes in Missouri.

Karsten is the first woman to lead the patrol in its 81-year history. She previously served as the patrol’s assistant superintendent and as a state trooper.

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