A 29 year veteran of the State Highway Patrol has been chosen to succeed retiring Colonel Roger Stottlemyre as Superintendent of the force. Major Jim Keathley, who began his Highway Patrol career as a commercial vehicle inspector in 1977, earned bachelor’s degrees in agriculture and secondary education from Southeast Missouri State University. He is currently the commander of the Highway Patrol’s Criminal Investigation Bureau. Governor Matt Blunt says Keathley is well respected by Troopers and has the leadership abilities to take charge of the Patrol. Keathley says he was offered the the job two weeks ago during a meeting with the Governor – and accepted. The appointment of Keathley, who moves into the post September 1st, is subject to Senate confirmation.