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

Lauren Sigfusson

Every month, Adam Carr from the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service joins Lake Effect to talk about some of the community events happening in Milwaukee. Since the coronavirus pandemic began, the list has included things like virtual museum exhibits and Zoom events. Now, it includes some socially distanced, in-person things to experience.

1. Alice's Garden artisan and farmers markets 

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Ladarius Marshall was just 16-years-old when he was accused of murder. Despite little evidence, Marshall was sentenced in May of 2010 to 20 years in prison and 10 years of extended supervision. 

B~Free & Quinten Farr, The Beat Index, Abby Jeanne, Space Raft

Although most live shows have been put on hold by the pandemic, Milwaukee bands are continuing to release new songs  — and Matt Wild has listened to most of them. Wild is one of the co-founders of Milwaukee Record, which describes itself as an online source for music, culture, and gentle sarcasm. 

Maayan Silver

One of the most iconic parts of the recent protests here in Milwaukee is the many murals that have sprung up around the city. These pieces on streets and walls provide tangible expressions of the energy behind these demonstrations.

Vedale Hill has been a part of this movement, both as an activist and an artist. Although his Black Lives Matter mural covering the intersection of North Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and West Locust Street washed away, the piece was not just a visual reminder of the movement. It was a community effort in the heart of the city’s Harambe neighborhood.

Sara Stathas

As we inch closer to the November general election, community organizations are ramping up their outreach to potential voters. But for the Milwaukee-based group Black Leaders Organizing for Community, also known as BLOC, these efforts are happening all year, every year. 

The organization was created to invigorate and inform Black voters in Milwaukee neighborhoods — and not just when there’s a presidential election.

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The Democratic National Convention is just around the corner. Although the event has been scaled back, the Milwaukee Police Department is still preparing for a large-scale event. While there will be fewer people attending the physical convention, it’s unclear how many protesters will be coming to the area to take advantage of the national spotlight.

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The affordable housing crisis has been continuing to grow in the U.S. over the last decade. But the COVID-19 pandemic and record-high unemployment have exacerbated an already struggling system.

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Summer is in full swing and many of us are seeing exponential growth in our gardens. Although much of the planting is over for this year, we’re finally seeing the fruits of our labors — both literally and figuratively.

Melinda Myers is an expert in all things gardening and she joins Lake Effect every month. This month, she focuses on garden maintenance and plant management. 

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Hotels in downtown Milwaukee are perhaps the most impacted by the loss of the more robust Democratic National Convention. Although they’ll still have some of that business come August, many of them, like the Iron Horse Hotel, are looking at just half of the reservations they were expecting. 

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When the Democratic National Convention was first announced, hotels in the area quickly booked up. Between the rooms and the convention hall rentals, hotels in Milwaukee and throughout southeastern Wisconsin were expecting a huge influx of business. But since the DNC has been scaled back, hotels are looking at a much smaller gathering and far fewer guests. 

Daderot / Wikimedia

Late last week, the Wisconsin Supreme Court announced its decisions on key cases concerning the power of the state’s executive branch. The rulings effectively limit the power of Wisconsin’s attorney general and overruled several of Gov. Tony Evers' vetoes from the 2019 state budget.

Courtesy of Earnell Lucas

Protesters around the country have been taking to the streets since May to speak out against police brutality. Here in Milwaukee, activists are calling for accountability and police reforms.

Milwaukee County Sheriff Earnell Lucas has publicly said he supports discussions about reforming police departments. But he’s quick to emphasize that in his opinion, police officers are asked to solve too many of the problems in our community and he takes issue with people faulting police for many of these failures.

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For cultural institutions, like the Milwaukee Art Museum, the COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly painful. Like other groups, the museum closed its doors back in March and was forced to find alternative ways to engage with the community.

Brigid Globensky, the senior director of education and programs at the museum, says this experience has been a crash course in digitizing their work but one she thinks will ultimately make the museum stronger.

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

In another timeline, this would have been the week the Democratic National Convention came to Milwaukee. The event was expected to bring tens of thousands of people to Milwaukee and bring millions in revenue to the area. But then the coronavirus pandemic hit, upending everything.

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The United States surpassed 3 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday. The number is a dark milestone in the ongoing fight against this disease.