August 21 First News: Suicide Prevention Measures To Be Taken At Rio Grande Gorge Bridge (Listen)

Aug 21, 2014

Telephones with direct lines to the New Mexico Crisis Access Hotline will soon be installed on the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge near Taos, which has been the scene of many suicides in recent years. Wednesday, Governor Susana Martinez directed the New Mexico Department of Transportation to initiate suicide prevention measures at the bridge. Andrew Oxford is a reporter with the Taos News. Oxford says suicide at the bridge has been an “unavoidable issue” in Taos: *****082114-Oxford-3 :23***** Oxford says the NMDOT has recently taken an interest in the issue. The DOT says studies have shown success in installing phones on high bridges in other parts of the country.

A rally at the Santa Fe New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions Wednesday saw dozens of workers who claim they’re owed thousands in unpaid wages protest against the agency for not allowing them to file claims against their employers who owe the back pay. They also accuse the agency of not adhering to the 2009 New Mexico anti-wage theft law. Marcela Diaz is the Executive Director of the United Worker Center, which staged the protest. Diaz charges that the Workforce Solutions agency has turned away many of these workers with a valid claim. *****082114-Diaz-3 :29***** No comment from the Workforce Solutions Department.

A former Los Alamos National Laboratory contractor has been sentenced to a year and a day in prison for conspiring with her physicist husband to sell nuclear secrets. The Justice Department today announced the sentencing of 71-year-old Marjorie Roxby Mascheroni, who pleaded guilty to charges accusing the couple of plotting to sell classified nuclear weapons data to an undercover agent.

Lawyers for an indicted northern New Mexico sheriff say the federal prosecutor has a vendetta against their client. Rio Arriba County Sheriff Thomas Rodella's lawyers accused U.S. Attorney Damon Martinez in a letter this week of prosecutorial misconduct. They say last week's indictment came after Martinez threatened Rodella with arrest over his opposition to federal patrols in northern New Mexico. Rodella and his son were indicted for conspiracy to violate a motorist's civil rights last week for their role in a March traffic stop. Rodella's lawyers have filed a Hyde Amendment claim and are demanding that Martinez drop the indictment. The Hyde Amendment lets federal courts award attorneys' fees and expenses to defendants who prove misconduct by federal prosecutors. A spokeswoman for Martinez declined to comment on the filing.

As part of a payroll fraud investigation, a prosecutor has ordered the city of Santa Fe to produce payroll records of a police commander The New Mexican reports that a First Judicial District Court panel sent the request last week in connection to interim Santa Fe Police Captain Jason Wagner. The subpoena requests a copy of the internal investigation of police into Wagner's "unauthorized leave/falsification of time sheets." It also requests his timesheets from Jan. 1, 2013, until he resigned last December amid allegations he lied on his time card. Santa Fe's new police chief, Eric Garcia, rehired Wagner in July. Wagner says the news coverage about his rehiring was unfair. Garcia says his department will assist the District Attorney's Office "in every way possible."

Santa Fe Weather: Mostly sunny with a high near 83 with a slight chance for showers and thunderstorms. Tonight: mostly cloudy with the overnight low, 56 and a 30-percent chance for showers and thunderstorms. Tomorrow: Mostly cloudy with a high of 75 with a 40-percent chance for showers and thunderstorms.