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Branson Blasts Off, Dow Enters Gov Race and Education on the Navajo Nation

This week on New Mexico in Focus, the state is aflutter with news of the first fully crewed Virgin Galactic flight from Spaceport America. Sir Richard Branson’s high-profile jaunt into weightlessness drew massive attention to the purpose-built New Mexico facility. Will it soon also bring money? The Line opinion panel looks at successes and challenges. The group also explores Rebecca Dow’s entry into the Republican race for governor and looks at the impact of tough-on-crime policy decisions for the state court system. 

Senior producer Matt Grubs speaks with Navajo journalist Sunnie Clahchischiligi, whose recent reporting for Searchlight New Mexico’s Heading Home series explores the sometimes jaw-dropping challenges that faced Native students as they tried to navigate distance learning in a part of the state without widespread, reliable broadband service.  

Gene Grant explores UNM’s return to campus without a vaccination requirement. The administration hopes for 100 percent vaccination, but for now won’t force the issue. Political Science Professor Gabe Sanchez offers insight on why certain groups aren’t likely to seek the coronavirus vaccine on their own.

Host: Gene Grant

The Line Opinion Panel: 
Tom Garrity, The Garrity Group PR 
Julie Ann Grimm, Santa Fe Reporter, editor and publisher 
Laura Sanchez, attorney  

UNM’s Vaccine Plans and Pitfalls 
Correspondent: Gene Grant 
Guests: Cinnamon Blair, University Communications & Marketing 
Gabe Sanchez, UNM Center for Social Policy 

Navajo Education in the Pandemic 
Correspondent: Matt Grubs, NMiF senior producer 
Guest: Sunnie Clahchischiligi, Searchlight New Mexico journalist