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Top Stories Of The Week

The legislature overrode 10 Jay Nixon vetoes, but couldn't reverse the vetoes of tax cuts and gun rights bills. And sentencing day came for a former priest who took lurid pictures of little girls. KCUR's Steve Bell recaps on those and other top stories of the week on the KCUR Saturday News Review.


Former priest Ratigan gets 50 years

Defrocked priest Shawn Ratigan was sentenced to 50 years in federal prison.

His attorneys had argued that he took improper photos of little girls as young as 2 years old, but did not molest them. US Attorney Tammy Dickinson's response was that the evidence strongly suggested that he did.

Ratigan's lawyers had sought a 15-year sentence. The 50 years is without parole. Ratigan is 47.

Three sentenced for Hereford House arson

Rod Anderson, former Hereford House Restaurant owner was sentenced to 15 years for setting up its 2008 destruction by arson.

Two of the men who were convicted of actually doing the torching, Mark Sorrentino and Vincent Pisciotta were sentenced to 15 and 20 years, respectively.

Tax and gun bill vetoes survive override fest

A GOP attempt to override Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of an income-tax-cut bill failed by 15 votes in the House's veto session. Nixon credited the wisdom of voters and lawmakers who were unwilling to risk education cuts for what Nixon called an economic “experiment.”

A move to override Nixon's veto of a bill criminalizing the enforcement of federal gun laws Missourians don't like also failed. Had it taken effect, two organizations were ready to challenge its constitutionality.

The legislature did override 10 Nixon vetoes, and Republican House Speaker Tim Jones called the veto session a GOP victory.

Bills revived from vetoed-status included measures easing restrictions on payday loan companies, and prohibiting uninsured drivers from collecting non-economic damages when an insured driver is at fault for an accident.

Court puts Clay County charter vote on hold

A court at least temporarily sidelined plans for a November vote on a new form of Government for Clay County. The plan would change the current three-member County Commission to a non-partisan 7-member county council. Opponents said the planned ballot language would effectively dismiss all county elected officials if it passed and leave the county without a government until an election.

Out-of-town companies approved for streetcar contract
The city council vote was 8 to 5 for proceeding with plans to hire a consortium of a St. Joseph company and a California one to manage construction of Kansas City's downtown streetcar line. The choice-formula was weighted for experience. Mayor Sly James was among those voting for the contract. He said there had been no complaints until a winner was chosen, and if the city changed policies every time someone didn't like the outcome of bidding, the city would in effect have no policies.

Former Grandview policeman convicted of murder

Former Grandview police officer Jeffrey Moreland was convicted of killing a woman who was sexually assaulted, shot in the head and left in a bathtub. During the trial, prosecutors said Moreland had pulled a DNA sample switch to try to cover up the crime.

He is also charged in other cases.

Disagreement continues, but Gordon Parks School stays open

The Missouri State Board of Education and Kansas City's Gordon Parks charter school came to a temporary truce. The school will not be closed, but Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro said the board is still concerned about low student performance at Parks, and plans to remain watchful.

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