Audrey Nowakowski

Lake Effect Producer

Audrey is a producer, host and reporter for Lake Effect. She is involved with every aspect of the show — from conducting interviews, editing audio, posting web stories and mixing the show together.

Her regular segments include Fit For You and film discussions. Before becoming a full-time producer, Audrey interned for Lake Effect starting in 2014 and joined the team full-time in the spring of 2015.

Audrey is a graduate of Cardinal Stritch University where she majored in Communication Arts and minored in History and English. 

Ways to Connect

Penguin Random House

Summertime looks and feels a bit different for many of us during this pandemic. There aren’t festivals, no big trips — but there is definitely time for reading.

As we all spend more time at home, having a good book to help pass the time can be a necessity. If you don’t know what to pick up next, Daniel Goldin of Boswell Book Company has plenty of recommendations that all have a Wisconsin connection.

Tatiana / stock.adobe.com

Every year the Perseid meteor shower is one of the highlights of summer stargazing. It started about a week ago and will peak Aug. 11-13.

These shooting stars are debris left by the passing Swift-Tuttle comet burning in the Earth’s atmosphere. The Perseids are known for bright, frequent meteor sightings.

Courtesy of Neil Dogra

Most teenagers’ worlds revolve around school, friends and family. But one Milwaukee teen has also dedicated himself to fighting the opioid epidemic.

Neil Dogra is a 17-year-old high school junior from Milwaukee and the founder of the Opioid Epidemic Awareness Campaign. He combines his interests in neuroscience, public speaking and peer advocacy to speak at middle and high schools, meet policy advisors on opioid education and reform. He also researches at UW-Milwaukee and the Medical College of Wisconsin on the side.  

Kimberly Boyles / stock.adobe.com

Drug and alcohol abuse and addiction are a nationwide problem. Wisconsin is no exception. 

To help address this issue in Ripon, Wis., the Ripon Police Department is bringing in outside help as a part of the Fond du Lac County Opioid Initiative. In partnership with WisHope, police officers now have 24/7 access to a peer recovery coach with lived addiction experience to help provide support and treatment options to those who need it.

Fizkes / stock.adobe.com

Americans are more unhappy today than they've been in 50 years, according to a recent study from the NORC at the University of Chicago.

The survey was conducted in late May, before the death of George Floyd sparked international protests. It tries to understand how American’s beliefs, mental health and outlook have shaped their attitudes during the coronavirus pandemic.  

Courtesy of Parking Lot Theatre

How we seek entertainment has changed drastically since the coronavirus pandemic began. Seeing the performing arts and going to movies isn’t physically safe to do, but many of us still want to engage with the arts in person.

Activists Anne Koller and Manny Lara were concerned about how the lockdown would impact Milwaukee’s creative communities and they wanted to find a safe way to enjoy the arts.

Courtesy of Elle Halo and Naomi-Antrelle Jones

Although Black transgender people have been involved in racial and LGBTQ justice movements from their inceptions, they have not been prioritized. We are starting to see not just more trans visibility but elevation — particularly within the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.

HenschelHAUS Publishing

On April 14, the Emory Global Health Institute launched a contest for authors to write a children’s book to explain COVID-19. The catch was, they only had until April 29 to submit their final drafts.

Audrey Nowakowski

Milwaukee’s restaurants are navigating a challenging balancing act during this coronavirus pandemic. When the lockdown was first ordered in March, carry-out was the only option allowed. Then, with about a day’s notice from the city, Milwaukee restaurants and bars were able to reopen dining spaces and outdoor seating on June 5.

Jali Fruit Co.

When you hear the word entrepreneur or startup, there’s typically the connotation of reaching the bottom line of profit.

For two young Wisconsin entrepreneurs, that connotation almost led them away from starting a business. Josh Shefner, 23, and Claire Friona, 21, wanted to put their engineering skills to use but have it mean more than meeting a bottom line. So, they started Agricycle Global, a Milwaukee-based social enterprise. Their latest project, Jali Fruit Co., tackles the problem of food waste.

Courtesy of the Marcus Performing Arts Center

The Marcus Performing Arts Center has been a staple not just for downtown Milwaukee, but for the greater community. Outside of being a venue to see live performances, its outreach and community engagement efforts reach people of all ages.

This mission is in part what drew Kendra Whitlock Ingram to the position of president and CEO of the Marcus Center. She replaces Paul Matthews, who served just over two decades as its leader.

HaseHoch2 / stock.adobe.com

  

When people started staying at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, we all looked for things to do for fun to keep us occupied while staying in the house. One major outlet is games.

"Unsettled" film

As Pride is celebrated in June, people are looking back on all of the accomplishments and progress the LGBTQ community has made — like the recent Supreme Court decision that bans LGBT employment discrimination.

JPL-Caltech / NASA

It seems like the world has been fascinated by Mars for decades. Since unmanned missions began in 1960, there have been 56 missions to Mars from countries around the world. While less than half of these missions have been successful, the problems haven’t stopped us.

Netflix

June is Pride month in honor of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Greenwich Village, New York. The riots against police brutality and oppression were largely led by LGBTQ people of color. One of those leaders was Marsha P. Johnson, a gay liberation activist and self-identified drag queen.

>> Stonewall: The Hidden History Of Gay Rights

© 2020 Focus Features, LLC

Campaign finance, dark money, Super PACs, political campaigning — sounds like a perfect comedy to be set in small town Wisconsin.

Good Studio / Getty Images

About a third of our lives is spent sleeping. Sleep is good for our health and builds our immune function, something especially important during a pandemic.

However, the CDC estimates that 30-40% of American adults sleep less than six hours a night. That's two hours less than the recommended eight hours. Sleep deprivation is often associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, and our ability to cope with stress.

rob z / stock.adobe.com

The protests that erupted after the death of George Floyd launched the issues of systemic racism to the front of the world’s consciousness. For many children, these recent events and continuing protests in their communities will result in some of their first questions about race and racism. 

Research has shown that children can pick up racial biases by the age of 4. While race is a simpler thing to address once a young child notices differences in skin color, racism is much more difficult of a topic to address with your children. 

Halfpoint / stock.adobe.com

Since March, the coronavirus pandemic has changed the lives of people of all ages. But the changes have been especially challenging for parents and their children.

Suddenly, kids are home all day while many parents work remotely. Some children are trying to learn virtually, and most are unable to participate in the typical activities they enjoy.

So, how can we help kids cope during the coronavirus? We spoke with Dr. Maggie Altschaefl, a psychologist at Children’s Wisconsin Community Services, to find out.

Identify emotions and teach coping skills

Screenshot / Google Maps

Many organizations are finding new ways to engage with the public during the coronavirus pandemic. Like most places, the Milwaukee Public Museum has remained closed. But a new partnership with Google is allowing people back inside the museum without leaving home.

Dylan Buell / Getty Images

  

People in Milwaukee and throughout the United States continue to march against police brutality and call for justice, reforms and accountability. These protests centered on racial inequities are especially potent in Milwaukee — the most segregated metro area in America.

Michael B. Thomas / Getty Images

Wisconsin is known for having some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation. Currently, women can only go to four clinics in the state to access abortion services. If they can get appointments at these clinics, additional restrictions such as state-directed counseling and a 24-hour waiting period require multiple trips.

Magnolia Pictures

If you turn on Netflix, the top 10 films during the international Black Lives Matter protests following the killing of George Floyd include movies like The Help, Greenbook, or Crash. But these films aren't necessarily the ones to watch to learn more about race issues and racism.

While films are a powerful medium and a widely accessible tool, it’s important to watch films that give accurate representations of events and are made by voices of color — whether fiction or documentaries.

Ben Frawley

Civil rights protesters continue to march around the country and in Milwaukee against police brutality since the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer.

The way many people are connecting with the demonstrations is through the videos and photographs from people on the ground. At WUWM, our reporters have been aided by local photographer and videographer Samer Ghani, who has been out at the protests nearly every day working to capture what’s been happening in our city.

Milwaukee County Historical Society

Throughout United States history, Milwaukee and Wisconsin have been politically significant. And Milwaukee has an interesting political past you may not know about: socialists ran the city for nearly half of the 20th century. One of the most notable was Mayor Daniel Hoan, who served for a consecutive 24 years — the longest socialist administration in U.S. history.

Vincent Desjardins / Flickr

Protests continue to happen around the country following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck and a black woman named Breonna Taylor was shot several times in her bed in Louisville.

Courtesy of Milwaukee County Zoo

Updated June 8 at 1:02 p.m. CT

Milwaukee County Zoo will reopen on June 18 after being closed since mid-March due to the coronavirus. But it's not all back to normal, as phase one will require people to purchase tickets online and have other restrictions in place.

Wikimedia Commons

"Uh-oh, SpaghettiOs!"

Even if it's been years since you’ve tasted SpaghettiOs, the jingle is probably ingrained in your brain. It was 55 years ago this month that the famous “neat, round spaghetti you can eat with a spoon” hit the shelves. And it’s all thanks to Donald Goerke, a Waukesha native and UW-Madison graduate.

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Medical error is the third leading cause of death in America, with more than 200,000 people dying unnecessarily each year. And the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted both patient and caregiver safety.

Bill Pugliano / Getty Images

Since the coronavirus outbreak began, sales of new cars across the country are down significantly. Auto manufacturing has been hindered by disruptions in the supply chain, and some plants have shut down.

Despite low interest rates and new safety precautions at dealerships, it may not be enough to encourage people to buy a new car, especially since consumer spending is down. Plus, with many of us working from home, we’re spending even less time in our cars.

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