Headlines: Data Breach At VA Hospital, Rodella To Be Arraigned...

Sep 15, 2014

Credit NM VA Health Care System

New Mexico Vets' Personal Information CompromisedThe Associated Press

Officials with the New Mexico VA Health Care System say the personal identifying information of thousands of veterans may have been compromised.

The agency says it is notifying more than 2-thousand 600 veterans that a folder with their names and Social Security numbers was found in a women's restroom on July 30th at the Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center in Albuquerque.

The folder was discovered by a VA supervisor.

VA officials say there have been no reports of any criminal activities so far.

Veterans whose information was in the folder will be offered free credit monitoring services for a year.

The employee who misplaced the folder voluntarily resigned.

The disclosure of the incident comes a day after the agency announced a new acting director.

New Mexico Sheriff Faces New Arraignment - The Associated Press

A northern New Mexico sheriff facing a new federal indictment stemming from an off-duty traffic stop is scheduled to appear in federal court.

Rio Arriba County Sheriff Thomas Rodella is expected Monday to plead not guilty to deprivation of rights and brandishing a firearm connected to a case that authorities say left a motorist injured.

The indictment by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Albuquerque filed last week nullifies a previous indictment.

Rodella was indicted last month on conspiracy to violate a motorist's civil rights, falsifying arrest documents and for an unreasonable seizure during the March encounter.

Robert Gorence, Rodella's attorney, says the new indictment shows the federal case against his client is weak. Gorence says the allegations never took place.

Climate Change Threatens New Mexico Birds - The Associated Press and Santa Fe New Mexican

A National Audubon Society study says 50 bird species in New Mexico are being threatened by climate change.

The Santa Fe New Mexican report on the study says New Mexico birds at risk include the Bullock's oriole, the prairie falcon, the pinyon jay and the mallard duck.

The national study looked at 40 years of climate data and bird records from the U.S. Geological Survey. It says more than half of 588 North American bird species will face population decline or move into uncharted territory over the next 60 years.

According to the report, warmer temperatures and drought will lead to habitat loss.

Audubon New Mexico director Carol Beidleman says the study shows climate change is the "number one threat" for birds.

Santa Fe District Settles Prom Search Lawsuit - The Associated Press and Santa Fe New Mexican

Santa Fe Public Schools has settled a lawsuit with a former high school student and her sister who say they were violated by body searches at their prom.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that attorneys for the school system and Candice and Tiffany Herrera have signed off on a $475,000 settlement.

Candice Herrera, a senior during Capital High School's 2011 prom, says a security guard touched her breasts and bra. The guard then allegedly ordered the sisters to spread their arms and legs and conducted body searches.

School officials say the pat-down searches were necessary and were done the same way for boys and girls.

The settlement does not include Associated Security Industries of New Mexico, the company hired to do the searches.

Santa Fe Wins Over TV's 'The Bachelor' - The Associated Press

Santa Fe officials say ABC's "The Bachelor" is offering a rose to the city in the form of a filming date.

Santa Fe tourism director Randy Randall announced Friday that the reality television show is likely to film there this fall.

Randall says no contract has been signed yet but it's nearly a done deal.

According to Randall, an incentive package being offered to the show is not coming from the pockets of city taxpayers.

The City Council in July approved spending between $50,000 and $100,000 to offset "Bachelor" production costs.

Randall says the money will come from the state tourism department and the state Lodger's Tax, which applies to hotel guests.