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Second Friday of the month at 6:45 am, 8:45 am and 5:44 pmWhy's That? explores the things in Southwest Michigan – people, places, names – that spark your curiosity. We want to know what makes you wonder when you're out and about. Maybe it's a question you've had for years, or maybe it's just come up. Perhaps it rests on a subtle observation, like this one about ABC streets in Kalamazoo. Or maybe you just saw something, found it strange, and wanted to know more about it. That's what happened in "A Tiny Park with a Tragic Story."From train signals to watersheds, from unusual houses to water hardness, we hope you'll let us know what in Southwest Michigan makes you ask "Why's That?" It could be the start of a great radio story.0000017c-60f7-de77-ad7e-f3f73a490000

WSW: What is "Why's That?"


If you’ve ever wondered how a street got its name or the history of some older building in Southwest Michigan, WMUK might be able to help. 

Beginning this month, Why’s That will be regularly heard the second Friday of every month. But that is subject to change, in fact it’s changed already. A listener question about herbicide spraying along highways in Southwest Michigan called for an answer during the summer months. So it aired in August.

WMUK’s Sehvilla Mann says the idea first launched at WBEZ in Chicago with a project called “Curious City.” Other stations have followed with their own versions.

So far listeners have asked WMUK about names, including those of towns in the region, the Gibson Smokestack and what’s in the city of Kalamazoo’s groundwater that leaves its mark on some dishes.

An on-air promo included examples from staff members of the types of questions that could be asked. In response some listeners have told us they can provide the answers to who is the Eddie in “Eddie’s Lane” and how that small spot in the Stuart Neighborhood is considered a park. Those will be coming soon.

Questions can be submitted through the WMUK website. Listeners can remain anonymous, but Mann says they can also be part of the story and come along for interviews.

Gordon Evans became WMUK's Content Director in 2019 after more than 20 years as an anchor, host and reporter. A 1990 graduate of Michigan State, he began work at WMUK in 1996.
Sehvilla Mann joined WMUK’s news team in January 2014 as a reporter on the local government and education beats. Before that she covered a variety of topics, including environmental issues, for Bloomington, Indiana NPR and PBS affiliates WFIU and WTIU. She’s also written and produced stories for the Pacifica Network and WYSO Public Radio in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Sehvilla holds a B.A. in French from Earlham College and an M.A. in journalism from Indiana University.
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