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

Adam Ryan Morris / Milwaukee Magazine

When Making a Murderer premiered on Netflix last December, it entranced viewers and quickly became a household name. The ten part docuseries follows the real-life story of Steven Avery, a Wisconsin man who was falsely accused of a brutal rape and attempted murder, then charged and convicted of murdering another woman. The series shocked the nation with its in-depth look at how the homicide case was handled in Manitowoc County.

TKWA URBANLAB

Earlier this week, the new owners of the Shops of Grand Avenue unveiled their plan to redesign the space in downtown Milwaukee. Plans include adding office space, a possible grocery store and moving restaurants and food stalls into the first floor. They hope the new plans will revitalize the urban mall, which has faced a laundry list of problems over the last decade.

Judy Schmidt / Flickr

Explaining complex concepts or theories to a general audience can be tricky. It's a problem many experts face when trying to describe their work. How do you explain it in a way that makes it understandable, without dumbing it down? 

Longtime Lake Effect contributor Jean Creighton is pretty good at doing that when it comes to astronomy. Not only does she help visitors at the Manfred Olson Planetarium, she's also been helping the Lake Effect team understand how the universe works for almost a decade and.

ebru / Flickr

It’s no secret that fast food is probably not the best choice if you’re concerned about fat, salt or the origins of the meat or dairy products. If that weren’t enough, new research shows you may be ingesting more than your recommended daily allowance of hormone disruptors, along with your side of fries.

A new study published by Environmental Health Perspectives found people who frequently eat fast food have nearly 40% more phthalates in their blood than those who eat less or no fast food. So what are phthalates? 

Wyatt Massey

In a two-part series on the ongoing risk of lead poisoning in Milwaukee, Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service reports on how diminished federal funding for lead-abatement efforts prompted the City to limit subsidies to six North Side ZIP codes, leaving owners of old homes in other neighborhoods scrambling for help. The series also looks at how Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers responds to elevated blood lead levels in children on the South Side. 

DFID / Flickr

Women in the world are at an unparalleled point in history for political power. In this country, there is a strong likelihood that Hillary Clinton will be the Democrats’ nominee for President this fall. Four of the past eight winners of the Nobel Peace Prize have been women, including Malala Yousafzai, the youngest-ever winner of the award.

Ian Sane / Flickr

Katie Gnau recently moved to Shorewood from Chicago. And when her daughter came home from school one day, Katie noticed she had picked up a new word for a familiar item. So, she asked WUWM's Bubbler Talk:  Why does everyone around here call that a Bubbler, anyway?

kate gabrielle / Flickr

Sir Noel Coward was a jack of all trades. He was an actor, a composer and a singer - but he’s most remembered for his plays. The English playwright wrote dozens of plays during his life, including: Private Lives, Blithe Spirit and Hay Fever, just to name a few.

Eddee Daniel/Daniel Burkholder

The problems plaguing the Louisiana Coast may seem far away. But one local performer is bringing her Cajun heritage to Milwaukee with her new show, Bayou’s State. The show provides an intimate look at the critical problem of coastal land loss.

The Children's Aid Society

Although orphan trains operated in the U.S. for decades, the legacy of the trains has gone relatively unnoticed. Over the course of 75 years, hundreds of thousands of children from cities like New York and Boston were shuttled onto trains headed West in search of a new home. But not much is known about these children, or what happened to them after they left the trains. A new play at UWM is hoping to change that.

Daniele Giannotti / Flickr

A recent study published in Nature found that by pounding vegetables and cutting meat, early humans saved hours of chewing time every day. In fact, our ancestors saved more than 2.5 million chews every year through these simple methods of processing food.

How researchers came to this conclusion is another story entirely. Subjects were enticed to join the study with a sign that simply read, “Chew for Science.”

U.S. Department of Agriculture / Flickr

The Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety Modernization Act, or FSMA, is being touted as the most sweeping reform from the regulatory body in the last 70 years. This fall, the FDA will start enforcing some of the new regulations.

These regulations hold food manufacturers and suppliers to higher sanitary standards. The move is meant to shift the industry to a prevention model, instead of reacting to outbreaks caused by contaminated food.

rothcheese / Instagram

For the first time in nearly three decades, a cheese from the U.S. has won the World Championship Cheese Contest.

The Grand Cru Surchoix is made by Emmi Roth USA, a company based in Fitchburg, Wisconsin. It was proclaimed the best cheese in the world in a contest held earlier this month in Madison.

"It just kinda goes to show how hard it is to compete at this stage and win," says Robert Frie, director of operations at Emmi Roth USA. 

Joy Powers / WUWM

Some might think that dressing modestly in a hijab or abaya, might preclude being fashionable. But don’t tell that to the Samara sisters.

Aateka and Marwa Samara are fashion-bloggers from Franklin, Wisconsin. Their Instagram blog is aptly named “The Samaras” and since it’s launch last August, it’s gained more than 19,000 followers. It features photos of the women in everyday life; going to museums or having brunch in their unique fashions.

eileenmak / Flickr

The story of climate change has become very familiar, but the February climate report released by NASA added frightening new chapter. February 2016 broke the global climate record by a couple tenths of a degree.

While that may not sound like a lot, meteorologist Dr. Jeff Masters says it’s an ominous sign.

Day Donaldson / Flickr

News of the so-called "super lice" invasion has sent many parents into panic mode. It seems like schools around Wisconsin are “lousy” with the little guys, and are seemingly immune to traditional forms of lice removal.

But local pediatrician Dr. Michael O’Reilly believes the term super lice is a bit hyperbolic.

Mark Frohna / Skylight Music Theatre

What is a crown? To some, it’s a symbol of royalty. To others a crown is a hat, but not just any hat. Skylight Music Theater’s production of Crowns: A Gospel Musical is about the African American tradition of wearing flamboyant and ornate hats to church.

Perry-Castañeda Library / Wikimedia

If you've watched Saturday Night Live's "Fond du Lac Action News" newscast, you might have heard a semi-familiar accent. And while parts of the dialect were pretty spot-on, other parts were just off.

Marquette linguistics professor, Steve Hartman Keiser, says that could be due to a fundamental misunderstanding of Wisconsin’s location.

Arthur Szyk / The Arthur Szyk Society

Political cartoons have a rich and often influential history in this country. The 20th century illuminator Arthur Szyk was known as both a caricaturist and provocateur – his work was used in the US propaganda machine during World War II.

But he’s also known for his work in Jewish motifs, and that’s a key reason for the exhibit currently on at Jewish Museum Milwaukee, called Arthur Szyk: The Art of Illumination.

Neal Easterling

While a 14th Century book by a sickly English mystic might not seem a likely source of inspiration, composer Carson Cooman might beg to differ. His piece, The Revelations of Divine Love (Metaphors from Sea and Sky), was inspired by St. Julian of Norwich’s book of the same name, and will make its Midwest premiere this Sunday with the Bel Canto Chorus at St. Dominic Catholic Parish.

Pedro Szekely / Flickr

After three years of negotiating, Colombia’s government is set to sign a peace agreement with the FARC rebels later this month. The treaty could put an end to the armed conflict in the country, which has been going on for more than 50 years.

As of 2000, Colombia was in danger of becoming a narco-state, a country controlled by drug lords.

Tom Margie / Flickr

The late Yip Harburg wrote the words to more than 600 songs in his life, but the one he’s probably known for more than all the rest is the iconic Over the Rainbow, from The Wizard of Oz, for which he won an Academy Award.

Ed Bierman / Flickr

Marquette University just launched the Josiah A. Powless Scholarship - a fund that will help Native American students and other underrepresented minorities afford tuition at the prestigious university.

But according to Marquette Provost, Dr. Daniel Meyers, the fund is also symbolic of Marquette’s dedication to creating a more welcoming campus.

Snowmaker55 / Instagram

And the Academy Award goes to: Jim Hourihan, Alan Trombla, and Seth Rosenthal.

If none of those names seem familiar, there could be a good reason for that. Although all three are 2016 Academy Award winners, they weren’t part of the televised broadcast.

In fact, they were given their awards in an entirely different ceremony dedicated to technical and scientific achievements in the motion picture industry. It’s called the Sci-Tech awards, also known as the “Nerd Oscars.”

Paul Ruffolo

Where do you go when you’re trying to escape your troubles? Well, Costa Rica, of course - at least that’s true of the main characters in Slowgirl.

The play opened this week at the Milwaukee Chamber Theatre.

Michael Dorausch / Flickr

A Marquette University researcher hopes his work could be a promising step towards a cure for spinal cord injuries and the paralysis they cause.

Dr. Murray Blackmore turned to an unlikely ally in his work - cancer genes.

The Marian Center for Nonprofits

After 25 years in operation, the Marian Center for Nonprofits, known for providing affordable workspaces to area nonprofits, will be closing its doors July 1, 2016.

popturf.com / Flickr

It’s a big week for francophones and francophiles in the Milwaukee area. The 19th annual Festival of Films in French returns to the UW-Milwaukee Union Cinema. It features 13 titles from across the French-speaking world, and includes films from Haiti, Madagascar and Montreal. 

ardithelionheart@ymail.com / Flickr

What do two black holes sound like when they collide? Not much. But just detecting it is the first step in unlocking some of the biggest mysteries of our universe.

A century ago, Albert Einstein predicted the presence of gravitational waves - ripples in spacetime created by catastrophic events. Yesterday, researchers from UWM and around the world confirmed their existence with the help of LIGO, a gravitational wave detector that senses those ripples as they pass.

Local guitarist John Plankenhorn and singer Carol Ferrara have been playing together for more than two decades. Their current group, electri-violet, is set to release an album this spring which will feature a new set of original songs written by Plankenhorn.

Over the years, the duo has allowed their sound to shift and evolve, a choice that has given them more freedom to write and grow in their music.

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