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

Courtesy of Milwaukee Magazine

The fatal, mass shooting at Milwaukee’s Molson Coors brewery happened just three months ago. The shooting killed six people, including the shooter.

Unfortunately, this kind of tragedy isn't new to Milwaukee. Gun violence is an issue that continues to plague the city. But how we remember these mass shootings and memorialize them is unique to each of these events.

Near West Side Partners / Facebook

Milwaukee-area businesses are struggling to survive amid the coronavirus pandemic. Although businesses in much of Wisconsin are allowed to reopen without any official guidelines, Milwaukee and many of its nearby suburbs have safer-at-home orders limiting business activity. Still, as the pandemic wears on, local businesses are figuring out how to change their business model to fit the needs of their community while maintaining safety.

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There have been a lot of mysteries about COVID-19 since it first appeared in humans in late 2019. How does it spread? How does the coronavirus mutate? Which organs does it affect? Virologist Thomas Friedrich is one of the people tasked with answering these questions.

>>Latest WUWM & NPR Coronavirus Coverage

Chuck Quirmbach / WUWM

The Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down the state’s safer-at-home order in a 4-3 decision, effectively removing most statewide orders concerning the coronavirus lockdown. The court met virtually as it delivered the ruling, which caused a lot of confusion. Some bars opened almost immediately after the ruling, despite some local safer-at-home orders already in place.

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When vape pens first came out they were marketed as a healthier alternative to smoking. But as more research has been released about the longterm affects of vaping, it’s complicated that narrative. 

Twisted Path Distillery

There’s a nationwide shortage of hand sanitizer. Since the coronavirus pandemic began to escalate in March, suppliers have had difficulty keeping up with the intense demand.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed how we socialize and how we work. For some people, particularly essential workers, this has made it difficult to navigate an evolving workplace with employee protections in the limelight.

>>Latest WUWM & NPR Coronavirus Coverage

Employers now have more leeway in the questions they can ask their employees, which raises concerns about accountability and potential discrimination.

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The true economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic is still unclear. Unemployment has had its highest surge in U.S. history, dwarfing previous records. Small businesses are struggling to survive, and the stock market has been vacillating between extreme lows and highs.

In the Milwaukee area, people are concerned about what this is going to mean for themselves, their loved ones, and the community. Rob Henken, president of the Wisconsin Policy Forum, has been analyzing how this pandemic may impact local budgets.

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Theaters, like other public gathering spaces, are closed. Local companies, like the Milwaukee Repertory Theater, have found creative ways to pay homage to planned productions and keep people engaged with their company.

Still, without any staged shows, the Milwaukee Rep's behind-the-scenes team has been left without any sets to build, props to create, or costumes to design. So they’ve found a way to put their skills to use outside of the theater.

>>Latest WUWM & NPR Coronavirus Coverage

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With the coronavirus pandemic and Wisconsin's stay-at-home order, it's difficult to go out and explore things happening in our community. But there are still ways to engage with local organizations, businesses, and people while sticking to social distancing guidelines. 

Adam Carr is the deputy editor for community engagement at the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service (MNNS), and he's highlighting some of the events and activities happening in Milwaukee in May.

Meltwater Pulse, Quinten Farr, Something To Do, Vinz Clortho

Matt Wild is one of the co-founders of Milwaukee Record, which describes itself as an online source for music, culture, and gentle sarcasm. Among the many cultural things Milwaukee Record keeps track of is a nearly exhaustive list of new music from local musicians.

Matt is the curator of that list and he joins Lake Effect every month to share with us a sample of what he’s been listening to. We call it the Milwaukee Music Roundup, and much like last month, many of these songs were written in light of current events. 

Maayan Silver

The urban-rural divide in Wisconsin has become ingrained in our culture. Right now, that divide is dangerous. 

Ideological divides have led to in-fighting in state government, with the Republican-led Legislature pitting itself against Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat. Some rural communities that haven’t been hit hard by the pandemic are questioning the need for social distancing mandates, while people in cities are seeing their communities ravaged by the disease.

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As stay-at-home orders have been extended in most states due to the coronavirus pandemic, there’s been a greater focus on housing more generally. Skyrocketing unemployment and uncertainty about the future has made it more difficult for people to make rent.

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Many of us have been cooped up in our homes as we collectively ride out the coronavirus pandemic. But the stay-at-home order doesn’t mean you need to stay inside. And for those of us living with kids, getting out in the garden can be a great way to get rid of some energy and exercise their creativity. 

Gardening expert Melinda Myers shares some gardening projects for kids of all ages:

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Since Gov. Tony Evers announced he would be extending the safer-at-home order, there’s been pushback. There have been small-scale protests in cities like Brookfield and Madison. Some Wisconsin sheriffs have come out in opposition to the order. And this week the Republican-led Legislature filed legal action against the order.

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