Hearken Story Roundup #1

Every week, our partner newsrooms use the Hearken framework to publish great stories that were initiated by audience questions. Check out our story roundup from the week of May 19 for a glimpse at what matters to audiences around the country and the world! This roundup was brought to you by Community Intern Summer Fields with help from Community Manager Ellen Mayer.

WPLN reporter Tony Gonzalez talks with Bo Collier in the basement tunnel of Litterer Lab, which is now bricked up beneath 2nd Avenue South. CREDIT: LEE HALE / WPLN

WPLN’s Curious Nashville: Tunnels That Live Up To The Legends, And Some That Don’t

by Tony Gonzalez

Veteran Nashville record producer Mitch Dane has heard “rumors of a mysterious tunnel system winding beneath downtown Nashville.” He tasked Curious Nashville to figure out whether the rumors are true. Do the tunnels live up to the legends? To find an answer, Tony Gonzalez picked up a flashlight and went underground. It’s quite the deep dive.

WAMU’s What’s With Washington: With SafeTrack Repairs On The Horizon, Are Metro Fares On The Rise?

by Martin di Caro

Commuters Katie Pearson and Rebecca Renner have been wondering something about the D.C. Metro system: “If Metro wants people to use its services more, how come the cost to ride it is so expensive?” They sent WAMU reporter Martin di Caro to investigate, and to find out whether Metro might start charging more to cover repairs. He learned something surprising: “Metro does not want to induce more commuters through cheaper fares at a time when service will be dramatically reduced.” In other words, Di Caro writes, “Metro is encouraging its riders to find alternative travel options.”

WBEZ’s Curious City: Mixed Signals: Do Chicago’s Crosswalk Buttons Actually Work?

by Liz Stanton

We’ve all probably wondered this: do those push-for-signal crosswalk buttons actually do anything? What’s the point? Won’t the traffic lights just change anyway? Curious City hit the street with their questioner J.R. Kulik to test out those buttons for themselves. This was a pretty useful one for us at Hearken HQ — we walk around Chicago plenty!

Journal Metro’s CurioCité: Should there be a free trade agreement between Montreal, Quebec and Montreal, Senegal?

by Sebastien Tanguay | in French

Here’s a fun fact. Did you know that there is a village in Senegal named Montreal? It’s true! And now a Senegalese expat living in Quebec is wondering if there could be a free trade agreement between the two Montreals. The short answer is “no.” But in this story Journal Metro reporter Sebastien Tanguay investigates the connections between Quebec and Senegal, and how the Senegalese Montreal came to be.

WUWM’s Bubbler Talk: The Story Behind Milwaukee’s Round Buildings

by LaToya Dennis

In a square world, what’s the deal with all of Milwaukee’s round buildings? Starting with the city’s most iconic hotel, LaToya Dennis digs into the city’s circular logic.

WMUK’s Why’s That: How Kalamazoo Became “The Paper City

by Sehvilla Mann

For a long time, the paper industry was central to the economy in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Curious citizen Frank Cody asked WMUK why that is. What brought paper mills to the area? Reporter Sehvilla Mann traces the town’s paper history and also takes Frank along to visit the city’s last remaining mill.

ABC’s Curious Canberra: How did carp end up in Lake Burley Griffin?

by Tom Lowrey

Canberra’s Lake Griffin is full to the brim with an invasive species of fish that isn’t so tasty: European Carp. James Crawford feels like Canberrans are missing out on the joys of fishing, because “what’s the point of being able to catch a fish when you can’t take it home and cook it?” So James asked ABC’s Curious Canberra to investigate how Lake Griffin ended up with so many carp in the first place. Reporter Tom Lowrey goes deep, investigating the environmental history of Australia’s waterways and the efforts to keep Carp from spreading.

YLE’s Din Stad: “Which cities in the region have the highest number of Swedish speakers? How have the statistics changed over the 2000s?”

by Helena Von Alfthan |in Swedish

Finland has a lot of Swedish-speaking citizens, but just how many? And where are they located? Helena von Alfthan digs into the demographics of the Helsinki region in the latest Din Stad (Your City).

Want to learn how to better engage the public? Download our free engagement checklist guide.

Like what you read? Give Hearken a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.