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. 

New Mexico in Focus airs on NMPBS 5.1 (KNME HD) Friday, July 16 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, July 18 at 7 a.m.  

NMiF Segments 
UNM’s Vaccine Plans and Pitfalls 
Gene Grant 

Cinnamon Blair, University Communications & Marketing 
Gabe Sanchez, UNM Center for Social Policy 

Navajo Education in the Pandemic 
Matt Grubs, NMiF senior producer 

Sunnie Clahchischiligi, Searchlight New Mexico journalist 

The Line opinion panel 
Tom Garrity, The Garrity Group PR 
Julie Ann Grimm, Santa Fe Reporter, editor and publisher 
Laura Sanchez, attorney  

Gene Grant 

New Mexico in Focus is the New Mexico PBS prime-time news magazine show covering the events, issues, and people that are shaping life in New Mexico and the Southwest. NMiF takes a multi-layered look at social, political, economic health, education, and art issues, and explores them in-depth with a critical eye to give them context beyond the "news of the moment."

The producer of New Mexico in Focus is Matt Grubs, with Kathy Wimmer, associate producer. The NM PBS Public Affairs executive producer is Kevin McDonald.

The McCune Charitable Foundation provides NMiF funding, along with viewers like you. Get updates, watch and follow New Mexico PBS on FacebookTwitterYouTube, and more.