- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 10, 2015

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota’s speaker of the House has returned to the Capitol after a more than two-week absence for surgery to remove an intestinal blockage.

Fargo Republican Rep. Wes Belter returned to the Legislature on Monday but won’t be taking over his duties as House speaker until next week.

The 69-year-old retired farmer says the intestinal blockage was caused by scarring from an appendectomy he had as a child.

Finley Rep. Bill Devlin has been substituting as House speaker in Belter’s absence. Belter says he will take over the gavel next week, after getting another checkup from his doctor.

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