Joy Powers

Lake Effect Producer

Joy Powers joined WUWM January 2016 as a producer for Lake Effect. Before coming to Milwaukee's NPR, she was a director and producer for Afternoon Shift, on WBEZ-fm, Chicago Public Radio.

Joy grew up in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, where she started off her career in radio as an intern at WLKG-fm, The Lake. She has worked as an intern with several companies, including SiriusXm, Fujisankei Communications and the Department of City Planning for the City of New York. At SiriusXM, she was a programming intern and helped launch Studio54 Radio.

She earned a bachelors degree in broadcast journalism from Emerson College, Boston, where she worked with several radio and television stations. She was the public affairs director at WERS-fm, and produced the station’s AP-Award Winning program, You Are Here.

» Twitter: @thejoypowers

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The coronavirus pandemic is at an all-time high in Wisconsin. So far, more than 2,100 Wisconsinites have died of COVID-19 and nearly a quarter of a million Wisconsinites have tested positive for the virus.

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As we near what many people hope will be the end of the 2020 election, there are increasing concerns about its fairness. In Wisconsin, as with other states, there have been last minute changes to voting rules that could have a major impact on how legal votes are counted.

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Lake Effect On-Site normally is about getting out into the community and taking a deep dive into a specific area of Milwaukee. But at a time when gathering together can be dangerous, there are still ways to celebrate the many things that our community has to offer.

So, the On-Site series moved off-site to celebrate one of our favorite holidays: Halloween.

Watch the full Lake Effect Off-Site: Halloween Edition below.

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Halloween is often a time when local bands celebrate the season with costumed shows, blowout parties, and eerie music. While the realities of 2020 negate the first two, Milwaukee bands are still finding ways to put out music in spite of the pandemic. 

And as always, Matt Wild has been listening. Wild is one of the co-founders of Milwaukee Record and each month he shares a sample of what he's been listening to for the Milwaukee Music Roundup. 

Here's the latest Milwaukee Music Roundup:

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With the pandemic impacting what would have been a season of new thrilling releases, this year is a great time to revisit your favorite Halloween films. From the classics like Hocus Pocus, The Exorcist or the Scream franchise, there are plenty of movies available to stream at home.

Ryan Jay, Lake Effect's film contributor, shares some of his top movie picks to watch this Halloween:

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Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, nearly every part of our lives has been impacted, including real estate developments. Here in Milwaukee, construction has continued to go forward on many projects, but some are having difficulty getting started as funding sources become more tenuous. 

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As the number of fall leaves begin to dwindle on trees, they’ve found a new home on our lawns. But before you go and rake them into the street, there might be a better way to put those leaves to use.

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In 2017, Maricella Chairez died by suicide in her cell at the Racine County Juvenile Detention Center. Although she was only 16-years-old, her suicide was the culmination of many years of struggling with abuse and mismanaged mental health care.

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When Foxconn first announced its plan to open a huge, LCD factory near Racine, the project promised to be one of the biggest deals in Wisconsin history. Foxconn and Wisconsin’s Republican leadership claimed it would create 13,000 jobs and generate billions in revenue. And that was key since the deal also meant that Foxconn would be getting $3 billion in subsidies, making it the largest government handout to a foreign company in U.S. history.

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Meghan Duggan is inarguably one of the best hockey players in the world. The former Wisconsin Badger was the captain of the Olympic champion team in 2018. During her career she’s earned one gold and two silvers at the Olympics and as a member of the U.S. women’s national hockey team, she’s won 7 world championship titles. 

Last week, she announced her retirement from playing hockey, but that doesn’t mean she’s stopped working to better the sport – especially when it comes to gender equity. 

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The problems facing incarcerated people often don’t end when they are released. People who serve time in prison can face discrimination when looking for housing or a job, and the stigma of going to prison can make it difficult to reestablish ties in their community.

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The election is in full swing in Wisconsin. Thousands of voters have already cast their ballots by mail in the Badger State and early voting begins Tuesday. But there remains some uncertainty among voters as the pandemic alongside new laws and regulations have created confusion. 

>>Key Deadlines For Voter Registration, Voting Absentee And In Person

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Religion has been top of mind for many politicos, as the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett have just ended. Judge Barrett is a religious conservative who identifies as Catholic, and she is part of the People of Praise community which emphasizes so-called traditional “values,” and “gender roles.”

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The coronavirus pandemic has transformed the way we live, but it’s not the first time this has happened in our culture. Throughout our history, pandemics have had an enormous impact on society and how we’re able to live. Many have drawn parallels to the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic. 

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Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Milwaukeeans continue to hold events — in person and virtually — to celebrate the many things this city has to offer. This October, as COVID-19 cases are at record highs, many events are entirely virtual, outside, or strictly regulating access through sign-ups and reservations.

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The COVID-19 pandemic plunged the world’s economy into the biggest recession since the Great Depression. Many Americans continue to struggle as the flare-ups threaten the little progress we’ve been able to make since lockdowns began in April.

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Cases of COVID-19 have skyrocketed in Wisconsin.

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Russia is interfering with the 2020 presidential election. That’s according to an assessment by the CIA, which found that Russian President Vladimir Putin and other senior officials are aware of and are probably leading efforts to help President Donald Trump win his reelection campaign.

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This past year has been extraordinary in so many ways. The pandemic, the recession, and the impending election have created an endless news cycle that at times seems surreal — like something out of a book.

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Since the pandemic began, Milwaukee restaurants have found interesting ways to stay open and keep business going. Many of them have relied on an increase in takeout orders and some restaurants have been offering outside dining.

Though, as the temperatures drop in Wisconsin, where does that leave restaurants that have depended on outdoor dining to increase capacity?

Tom Daykin has been reporting on these issues for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He's been looking at how restaurants are preparing for their first winter during the pandemic.

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Although there haven’t been many live shows since the pandemic hit the United States in March, Milwaukee bands have somehow found a way to release new music. That’s been great for Matt Wild, who every month releases a nearly exhaustive list of new music from local musicians.

Wild is one of the co-founders of Milwaukee Record, which describes itself as an online source for music, culture, and gentle sarcasm. He joins Lake Effect each month to share a sample of what he’s been listening to.

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The past year has been difficult for museums. At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, many scrambled to move their work into the digital space. As the pandemic continued, there was the question of how to keep visitors engaged in a nontraditional museum space.

Now, as in-person exhibits begin reopening, there’s a question of how to engage visitors in person and safely.

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The Milwaukee area has been blessed with some amazing weather this week. Warm days that turn into cool nights with just a hint of what’s to come. As we celebrate the turning of the seasons, many of us are looking to prepare our lawns and gardens for the cold months ahead.

Every month, gardening expert Melinda Myers shares her tips and tricks on how to make the most of your garden. As the weather begins to chill, she says you can begin to lay the groundwork for winterizing your garden.

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There has been an on-going conversation about mental health care in the U.S. After tragedies like the school shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary and Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School, some political actors are quick to blame mental health issues.

Despite these political talking points, public funding for mental health care has plummeted over the past few decades. And the history of mental health care in this country is fraught with mismanagement and abuse, often exacerbated by a lack of funding.

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As the pandemic drags on and unemployment remains high, people continue to struggle. That struggle can mean difficult choices on how to spend money — pay the electric bill or buy groceries? For people with young children, buying diapers and sanitary products only further complicates the equation.

The Milwaukee Diaper Mission hopes to become a resource for people so they don’t have to make that difficult decision. The organization provides free, reusable and disposable supplies to Milwaukeeans in need.

Conspiracy theorists were once relegated to the fringes of society. But now, the popularity of these theories is rising and the impact could be devastating.

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When we hear the word “Holocaust,” we tend to think of Nazi Germany. But a local organization known as, America’s Black Holocaust Museum, invites us to look at that word and concept in a different light. 

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This week the U.S. Senate has been negotiating a new stimulus package as the country enters the sixth month of the COVID-19 pandemic. Negotiations have seemingly stalled with Republicans and Democrats at odds on how much money to give to states and municipalities that are struggling to survive during a historic economic downturn.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has thrust many of us into isolation — both physically and in some cases socially. While this isolation can feel disheartening, for most of us it will be temporary. But that’s not the case for people with dementia.

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The recent protests and demonstrations for racial justice and police accountability are undoubtedly some of the defining moments of this era. For some, this summer was a breaking point. But for others, like Khalil Coleman, it was the next step of a movement that’s been building for years. 

Coleman is a local community activist and protest organizer, whose work has been crucial to demonstrations in Wisconsin. He was profiled in an article for this month’s Milwaukee Magazine, alongside fellow protest leaders Franky Nitty and Vaun Mayes. 

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