Joy Powers

Lake Effect Producer

Joy Powers joined WUWM January 2016 as a producer for Lake Effect. Most recently, 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

VCU Libraries / Flickr

This year is the centennial anniversary of the U.S. Congress passing the 19th amendment. Although women would not officially get the right to vote until a year later, states began to ratify the amendment in 1919.

The first state to ratify the amendment was none other than Wisconsin. But the state’s own history with women’s voting rights is a bit complicated.

How To Make A Rain Garden

May 10, 2019
schulzie / Adobe Stock

A cool, damp spring can seem troublesome for gardeners. But with the right kind of plants and gardening techniques, the weather can not only improve your garden, it can improve water quality. 

Lake Effect contributor Melinda Myers is the author of numerous books on gardening, including The Midwest Gardener's Handbook and Month-by-Month Gardening in Wisconsin. She explains how you can create your own rain garden. 

alexandrink1966 /

Quality is perhaps the most important part of any water distribution system. Water utilities process every drop that makes it into our plumbing, which takes a lot of time and energy. One way to keep from overburdening the system is by reducing our consumption — what we know as "water conservation."

Bill Graffin works for the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, which works in wastewater treatment and conservation efforts in the Milwaukee area. Here are some helpful tips from Graffin on how you can conserve water at home.

Roman_23203 /

When the Lead and Copper Rule was first issued in 1991, it put federal limits on the acceptable amount of these metals found in drinking water. Cities started testing their water. Researchers experimented with chemicals that could inhibit the corrosion of pipes — the main source of contamination.

But for some cities, like Madison, Wis., that simply wasn’t enough.

yavyav /

Since the Affordable Care Act was first passed in 2010, states have had the option to expand access to Medicaid to people living just above the federal poverty line. Wisconsin is among a minority of states that didn't accept these funds. Gov. Tony Evers wants to change that. 

In his most recent budget is a proposal to expand access to Medicaid. The move could bring health care coverage to thousands of Wisconsinites. 

Bonnie North

Of the many world class musicians that have come out of Milwaukee, Al Jarreau is among the finest. Over the course of his career, the multifaceted singer and composer — known as the acrobat of scat — had 34 singles on the charts. He was nominated for 19 Grammy awards and won seven. From his early days in jazz through his soul and pop hits of the 1980s to his return to jazz toward the end of his life, Jarreau’s music was the soundtrack for many.

Danaan /

Wisconsin’s laws regulating marijuana possession have been a patchwork of municipal ordinances for years. Now, Gov. Tony Evers is hoping to change that.

In his first budget proposal, Evers proposed a state-wide policy decriminalizing marijuana and legalizing its use for medicinal purposes. Still, while Evers presents a clear path forward, there remains a lot of confusion over what his proposal would mean for Wisconsinites. 

Milwaukee Public Theatre / Facebook

For more than 40 years, the performers at Milwaukee Public Theatre (MPT) have been delighting local audiences. The group uses movement, mime, and puppetry to explore issues of deep importance to Milwaukeeans. Now, the theater has decided to close - but its leaders say its legacy will live on through Quasimondo Physical Theatre.

Courtesy of Milwaukee Magazine

Native American tribes have been living in Wisconsin for tens of thousands of years, but much has changed since they first settled in this area. Through decades of forced assimiliation into white-American culture, Native American cultures were suppressed.

The recent Democratic National Convention’s decision to come to Milwaukee in 2020 set off a lot of stories that begged the question: Who are Milwaukeeans? While there are many “view from the middle” narratives by national media organizations, the voices from actual Milwaukeeans have been frequently compressed to soundbites.


There are many obstacles to health care in the United States. Many of these obstacles are financial, and there is a core issue that researchers and health care professionals have been focusing on recently: housing.

Audrey Nowakowski

There are many names for the neighborhoods just south of downtown Milwaukee, but there is one over-arching term that has taken hold: the near south side.

In front of a live audience at Latino Arts in Walker's Square, Lake Effect's Mitch Teich and Bonnie North sat down with some of the neighborhood's residents and entrepreneurs to uncover what makes the area unique: its growing demographic, charming character, entrepreneurs, and music.

Courtesy of Department of Corrections

There were few surprises in Gov. Tony Evers' two-year budget proposal, but one thing stood out to many: an increase in the Department of Corrections budget. The proposal includes increased funds to replace the embattled Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake youth prisons, which have been the subject of several costly lawsuits in recent years.

When it comes to replacing Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake youth prisons, there is no shortage of opinions. Or outrage.

Wisconsin Historical Society

The 1861 Milwaukee Bank Riot was one of those moments that people thought would never be forgotten. Now, there are few remaining articles and references to this flashpoint in city history.

But Hugh Swofford wrote to Bubbler Talk — our series that answers your questions about Milwaukee and the region — to change that.

The riot was about much more than that single day of chaos on June 24, 1861. To tell the full story, let's go back a few decades to the presidency of Andrew Jackson.

Henryk Sadura/

Gov. Tony Evers' two-year state budget proposal was released late in February. As expected, the proposal includes many of the things the governor campaigned on: increased funding for education, tax cuts for middle and low-income earners, as well as more funds for road repairs. There have been many objections from the Republican-led Legislature, and it remains unclear how much of Evers' budget will be passed.