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

LaToya Dennis

Bubbler Talk — our series that answers your questions about Milwaukee and the region — gets a lot of questions about street numbering and street names. Not too long ago, Mike Zabel submitted a question about Lovers Lane Road on Milwaukee’s far northwest side.

I was wondering why the north part of Highway 100 is called Lovers Lane?

Chuck Quirmbach

A federal judge on Thursday struck down early-voting restrictions Wisconsin Republicans adopted in a December lame-duck legislative session, saying the limits are clearly similar to restrictions he blocked two years ago.

Facebook/Jayme Closs

Updated Jan. 14, 2019 at 4:18 p.m.

Jake Thomas Patterson targeted Jayme Closs after seeing her get on a school bus, according to a criminal complaint released on Monday.

The 21-year-old is facing two charges of first degree intentional homicide for the murder of Closs’s parents, one count of kidnapping and one count of burglary. His bail is set at $5 million.

According to the report, Closs escaped while Patterson was out last week.

Screenshot/Wisconsin Public Television

Democrat Tony Evers was sworn in as Wisconsin’s 46th governor on Monday. Evers ousted now former Republican Gov. Scott Walker. Evers says he’s ready to get to work but acknowledges there will be challenges.

He says the November election proved one thing: Wisconsinites are ready for change. And that change is now on its way, he adds.

Darren Hauck/Getty Images

Updated 1:10 p.m.

Milwaukee-native Mandela Barnes was sworn in as lieutenant governor on Monday. It’s the first time in 40 years that an African-American has been elected to statewide office in Wisconsin. 

He says his upbringing in Milwaukee has a lot to do with his current politics.

“Knowing what the city of Milwaukee can be. Knowing what we have the ability to produce but also realizing the barriers that do exist. We have high levels of poverty, we have other issues that are impacted as a result of high rates of poverty,” Barnes says.

SCOTT OLSON/GETTY IMAGES

Democratic Gov.-elect Tony Evers and Lt. Gov.-elect Mandela Barnes held the final listening session in Milwaukee on Wednesday for what they are calling the people’s budget.

At least 100 people showed up for the listening session and were divided into groups that focused on criminal justice reform, health care and economic development among other things.

Darren Hauck/Getty Images

Hmong people make up the largest group of Asians in Milwaukee. In fact, the Hmong population across Wisconsin is the third largest in the country, behind California and Minnesota.

Chia Vang, a historian at UW-Milwaukee, says what’s different about Wisconsin’s Hmong population is that it's spread across the state. So, why did Hmong people decide to resettle in Wisconsin?

LaToya Dennis

Milwaukee sometimes gets a bad rap for being one of the most segregated cities in the country. But there’s no denying how racially diverse it is.

It’s a majority-minority city, in which Asians make up about 3.8 percent of the population. The majority are Hmong. In fact, the Milwaukee area is home to the fourth largest concentration of Hmong people in the country.

Michelle Maternowski

On any given night in Milwaukee, there are around 200 people sleeping on the streets. With temperatures dipping well below freezing, there’s now a renewed push to find solutions for homelessness in the city. The issue was center stage at a Milwaukee Common Council Health and Public Safety meeting on Wednesday.

midterm-elections-wisconsin-voter-turnout-up
Darren Hauck

Wisconsin had the second highest voter turnout in the country on Election Day, just two weeks ago. While people across the board showed up at the polls, there are subsets of the population where decreased participation was seen.

Of registered voters in Milwaukee, 74 percent participated in the 2018 midterm elections. That marks an increase of 8,000 voters across the city when compared to the 2014 midterm elections. Milwaukee Election Commission Executive Director Neil Albrecht says it’s great that so many people voted, but that increase was not seen across the city.

Update Nov. 19

Almost two weeks after the midterm elections, Wisconsin finally knows who its new attorney general will be. Republican incumbent Attorney General Brad Schimel conceded Monday to Democrat Josh Kaul. 

According to the AP, canvassed vote totals show Schimel lost by just over 17,000 votes. Even though Kaul's win was less than 1 percentage point and state law would allow a recount, Schimel said he wouldn't seek a recount.

Original Story Nov. 7 

Lauren Sigfusson

For several years, Milwaukee County has been working to end chronic homelessness through permanent housing for people.

Since those efforts were put into place, county officials say the number of chronic homeless people has decreased by 45 percent. However, driving through downtown Milwaukee, it’s hard not to notice the tent encampments that have popped up.

Susan Bence

Two days after Wisconsin voters ousted Republican Gov. Scott Walker in favor of Democrat Tony Evers, there are rumblings that GOP state lawmakers are looking to limit the power of the governor-elect.

SCOTT OLSON/GETTY IMAGES

Updated 2:10 p.m.: Gov. Scott Walker has conceded the election to Tony Evers.

He initially refused to concede because of the close margin and questions about more than 40,000 ballots in Milwaukee that were tallied in the eleventh hour.

In a statement, the Walker campaign said it determined that "any change in the result would not be significant enough to determine the outcome of the election, despite its close margin and questions about how the city of Milwaukee executed its election night operations."

LaToya Dennis

Milwaukee Police on Thursday released body camera video of a fatal officer involved shooting from August. Before the video was shown to media, Police Chief Alfonso Morales noted that the fatal officer involved shooting was still under investigation.

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