LaToya Dennis

News Reporter

LaToya Dennis joined WUWM in October 2006 as a reporter / producer. LaToya began her career in public radio as a part-time reporter for WKAR AM/FM in East Lansing, Michigan. She worked as general assignment reporter for WKAR for one and a half years while working toward a master's degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. While at WKAR, she covered General Motors plant closings, city and state government, and education among other critical subjects.

Before coming to public radio, LaToya interned at the CBS affiliate in Lansing, Michigan. She also took part in NPR's 2005 Next Generation Radio Project in Kansas City, Missouri as well as NPR's summer 2006 Next Generation Radio Project in Indianapolis, Indiana.

LaToya holds both a Bachelor's degree and a Masters degree in journalism from Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan. Dennis is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists.

Ways to Connect

A former student of the Kenosha Unified School District has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the school system. According to legal documents, Guadalupe Paredes says the bullying he experienced because he’s gay started in about third grade. He didn’t identify as gay then, but he also didn’t conform to stereotypical norms for little boys, according to his attorney, Rock Pledl with McNally Peterson.

The new Marquette Law School Poll shows Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tony Evers has pulled ahead of Republican incumbent Scott Walker. At the same time, Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin has a sizable lead over her challenger, Republican state Sen. Leah Vukmir, according to the survey.

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Lauren Sigfusson

There are three types of people in this world: Those who notice nothing. Those who notice but don’t care to question. And then there are those who ask why. David Wagner is the last one.

David reached out to Bubbler Talk — our series where you ask, we investigate, and together we unveil the answers — to learn about a road he often passes.

What is Seven Mile Road 7 miles from?

Dori/Wikimedia Commons

Madison has overtaken Milwaukee, in terms of the cities' overall property values. That's according to the Wisconsin Policy Forum, a nonpartisan organization that looks at state and local government.

WUWM's LaToya Dennis talks with Research Director Jason Stein about the reasons for the change and what the property value indicator means. Stein says the shift was a long time in the making.

LaToya Dennis

Milwaukee County is facing a deficit of more than $23 million in the 2019 budget.

There are a few ways for municipalities to balance a budget. Leaders can create new revenue sources, raise taxes or cut spending. But at this point, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele says any cuts are going to hurt.

Abele says he’s started the last seven budgets $20 million-plus in the hole and has tried to impact residents as little as possible.

LaToya Dennis

Have you ever thought about opening a retail store? All summer long, some Milwaukee business owners have been getting the opportunity to test out having a physical store, free of charge. The program is called Pop-Up MKE, and it’s helped 19 minority entrepreneurs test out their dreams.

Tiffany Miller is one of those business owners. She says that, unfortunately, there’s a stigma attached to black business owners, especially in this city.

LaToya Dennis

Three major Wisconsin companies announced on Tuesday a partnership with Foxconn to create a $100 million venture capital fund. Advocate Aurora, Foxconn, Johnson Controls and Northwestern Mutual are behind the “Wisconsin Valley Venture Fund,” which aims to spur development similar to what we've seen in Silicon Valley.

STREETER LECKA / GETTY IMAGES

Milwaukee is one of three cities still competing to host the 2020 Democratic National Convention. Mayor Tom Barrett says that while Houston and Miami Beach have a lot going for them, Milwaukee makes the most sense.

“I think that the Midwest remains a battleground area for both parties, and I think both parties are interested in making sure that they are not forgotten in the ramp up to the 2020 elections,” he says.

Teran Powell

The Wisconsin partisan primary is over and the results have set the stage for the general election in November. To help put those results into perspective, Lake Effect's Joy Powers chatted with Lilly Goren, professor of political science at Carroll University.

VIEW: Wisconsin 2018 Primary Election Results

LaToya Dennis

Every year in Milwaukee, thousands of eviction notices are filed. The state Senate is expected to take up legislation later this month that critics say unfairly favors landlords -- and would increase the number of evictions. Republican proponents maintain it’s about ensuring quality housing for tenants in the most affordable way to landlords.

LaToya Dennis

Why aren’t there more positive portrayals of black men in the news? That’s the question 18-year-old Terrance Robinson, 14-year-old Victor Barnett Jr., 17-year-old Darius Simmons and 16-year-old Ashanti Travers posed to WUWM’s Bubbler Talk.

In order to attempt to answer this question, I had to enlist a few media professionals.

VINCENT DESJARDINS, FLICKR

The American Civil Liberties Union is accusing the Milwaukee Police Department of violating the rights of people of color by engaging in unconstitutional stops.

Tuesday, February 20, Wisconsin voters will head to the polls to narrow the list of three candidates vying to become the next Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice down to two. 

There’s an opening on the state’s highest court created by Justice Michael Gableman, who after only one 10 year term has decided not to seek reelection.

In recent years, Wisconsin Supreme Court races have been controversial due to the amount of outside money being spent to influence voters.

Photos.com

Wisconsin is evolving in the way in which it treats its juvenile offenders in state run facilities. On Thursday, an assembly committee approved legislation that would close both Lincoln Hills School for Boys and Copper Lake School for Girls in northern Wisconsin in favor of giving counties more control.

In recent years, the two facilities have been marred by lawsuits and a federal investigation into how kids there are treated. While some state lawmakers are singing the plans praises but counties have some concerns.

Marti Mikkelson

Three Milwaukee County jail employees have been charged in the dehydration death Terrill Thomas, a 38-year-old man who died in custody in April of 2016.

Thomas was arrested on April 16, 2016 and died around a week later.

He suffered from bipolar disorder and had previously flooded a cell. After the flooding incident, jail staffers were ordered to turn off his water supply.

Surveillance video does not show the water being turned back on. Thomas died from dehydration.

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