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

WUWM's year-end Life's Voices series continues with a profile of Robert Biko Baker. After earning at Ph.D. in history from UCLA, Baker -- a Milwaukee native -- returned home to make a difference. 

After the Sherman Park uprising last year, Baker launched an internet series called "My Black Story" to tell more complete stories about African Americans and Milwaukee. He talked with WUWM's LaToya Dennis about his background, and how he got involved in creating the internet series.

LaToya Dennis

The Milwaukee Office of Violence Prevention held its final informational meeting on Wednesday, on a plan to reduce violence across the city. Around 50 people showed up to find out more about what’s being proposed and how they can help.

MCTS

Milwaukee lawmakers are getting creative when it comes to trying to ensure city residents are not left out of the expected job boom that will be created by Foxconn. One alderman is now floating the idea of expanding the footprint of the city.

Annexation, the act of incorporating new territory into the domain of a city, country or state, is not a term thrown around a lot these days. At a Milwaukee common council committee meeting on Tuesday, it got some play.

LaToya Dennis

Some Milwaukee residents are up in arms because of two incidents last week involving contract workers for the city.

Two of the workers lost their jobs. But there’s still a call for the city to reduce the number of contract workers it uses, who don’t live in Milwaukee.

So here are two things you don’t typically hear talked about in the same sentence—guns and stickers. But in Milwaukee last week, a KKK sticker on a worker’s lunch cooler caused outrage among some residents.

vincent desjardins, flickr

Reckless driving is a problem in Milwaukee. So far this year, around 60 people have been killed in vehicle accidents. To help make streets safer, some lawmakers are now considering traffic and red light cameras, but not everyone believes that’s the right direction.

It’s not unusual in Milwaukee for drivers to whip by waiting vehicles using turn lanes and bike lanes, ignore red lights, or weave in and out of traffic, sometimes completing daredevil stunts you would only expect to see in a video game. Sometimes the cars hit speeds that would be reckless even on the interstate.

Wisconsin could soon eliminate all clean air regulations not mandated by the federal government. On Tuesday, the Assembly Committee on Federalism and Interstate Relations held a public hearing on legislation that would allow for those additional regulations to be removed. Lawmakers and the public were split over whether the change would be good for Wisconsin.

After months of waiting, the City of Milwaukee’s Office of Violence Prevention has released its plan to combat crime. The proposal looks to tackle violence as a public health issue. But not all city leaders are convinced the plan is moving Milwaukee in the right direction.

The city’s violence prevention plan is called the Blueprint for Peace. It was officially unveiled late last week.

Reggie Moore, the director of the Office of Violence Prevention, shared details of the proposal with aldermen on the Public Safety and Health Committee on Monday.

Tracy King, fotolia

Mandatory minimum prison sentencing have been a hot topic as of late amongst Wisconsin lawmakers.

It’s now official, Taiwanese manufacturing giant Foxconn and the state of Wisconsin on Friday signed off on a deal that could bring up to 13,000 jobs to the state.

The Milwaukee County Board on Monday overwhelmingly passed a budget that does not include a $30 wheel tax that County Executive Chris Abele proposed. Instead, supervisors voted on a budget that they say relies on efficiencies to help make up for a shortfall.

Chris Abele

The Milwaukee County Board will vote on a nearly $1.7 billion 2018 budget proposed by County Executive Chris Abele Monday.

The budget includes $19 million in increased revenue due to new or increased fees—one of the most controversial being a proposed $30 hike that would double the wheel tax. Abele says his goal is to avoid major cuts to services. The county is facing a structural deficit and decreased money from the state.

County Executive Chris Abele says that over the past six years he’s worked hard to keep spending in line.

LaToya Dennis

It’s been a couple years since news broke about allegations of inmate abuse at two state-run juvenile prisons in northern Wisconsin. Still, concerns remain about the safety of the teens -- and staff -- at the boys' prison, Lincoln Hills, and the neighboring facility for girls, Copper Lake. 

Tuesday, Lincoln Hills was put on lockdown, so staff could search for weapons and contraband. Since the start of the investigation, some elected officials have pushed for alternatives to the juvenile prisons. Progress has been slow.

Courtesy of Vaun Mayes Bey

Murder in Milwaukee -- that’s the name of a new documentary from the BBC. The documentary chronicles the Milwaukee Police Department as they work to curb gun violence, and looks at the relationship between police and African Americans. But the depiction of Milwaukee as a “lawless” city has angered some community activists.

Wisconsin's State Capitol
Ann Althouse, Flickr

It’s no secret that there’s division among some of the state's Republican lawmakers. After six years of agreeing on major pieces of legislation, they struggled this past summer to pass a state budget. Some exchanged unkind words during the process. 

LaToya Dennis

Walker’s Point is seeing an influx -- of new businesses, new housing, new people. And, while most view this change as positive, there are concerns about what it means for the fabric of the community.

The Milwaukee neighborhood known for its large Hispanic population, great restaurants, industrial gritty feel, and for being LGBTQ friendly.

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