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.

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Maayan Silver

Typically, when police officers serve a search warrant before entering a home or business, they announce themselves. But in certain situations, officers believe the element of surprise works best, which means they enter without knocking or identifying themselves.

So called "no-knock" warrants have received a lot of attention lately after Houston police shot and killed two people while serving a no-knock. Five officers were also injured.

LaToya Dennis

Cold, snow and ice — Milwaukee has had a lot of all three lately. The winter weather is hard on most people, but when that snow and ice are not removed from public walkways in a timely manner, it can make getting around for people with disabilities even more difficult, sometimes verging on impossible.

“A lot of times when plows plow the streets the snow gets kind of piled up, unfortunately, right at a lot of curb cuts," says 32-year-old Milwaukee resident William Crowley.

Andy Manis/Getty Images

The Democratic Party of Wisconsin has filed a federal lawsuit against legislation limiting the powers of Wisconsin’s governor and attorney general. Wisconsin Democrats say the only reason Republicans, who control both the state Senate and the Assembly, passed legislation taking away powers traditionally reserved for the governor and attorney general is because the GOP lost.

Martha Laning chairs the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. She says Wisconsin’s new laws make it hard to believe in the Democratic process.

Victor Moussa/Fotolia

Across the country, the number of opioid deaths continue to rise. In 2017, the state of Wisconsin saw more than 900.

Changes are being implemented in an effort to lessen the number of people addicted. United Healthcare made changes to its opioid policy when it comes to prescriptions being written by dentists for people under the age of 19. The scripts are now limited to a three day supply and no more than 50 morphine milligrams a day.

Andy Manis/Getty Images

Wisconsin labor unions have filed the third lawsuit against legislation signed by former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker before leaving office that limits the power of the new Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul.

No one stumped harder for Evers in the race against Republican Walker than Wisconsin labor unions, according to Neal Bisno. He’s executive vice president of the Service Employees International Union.

WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

New Gov. Tony Evers recently toured the troubled juvenile correctional facilities in northern Wisconsin — Lincoln Hills School for Boys and Copper Lake School for Girls. While the facilities are slated for closure in 2021, problems remain.

Darren Hauck/Getty Images

Across the greater Milwaukee area, businesses remain closed, some flights are canceled and thousands of people are without power as We Energies works to fix issues.

Amy Jahns, a spokesperson for We Energies, says people in Sullivan, Racine and the town of Erin are impacted by wires snapping Thursday morning.  

“The weather with the frigid temperatures are causing our wires to constrict and causing them to snap off. And so we are arriving and finding wires down on the scene,” she says.

Lauren Sigfusson

Updated 1:20 p.m.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers declared a state of emergency on Monday due to severe winter weather.

Emily Hamer/Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul said he will not withdraw from the federal, multi-state lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act. This comes after new Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers made headlines Tuesday night during his State of the State address, saying he was directing Kaul to withdraw from the ACA lawsuit. 

But on Wednesday, the state’s non-partisan Legislative Reference Bureau said Evers could not make such a demand. Then, Evers changed his tune saying he didn’t order the attorney general to withdraw from the suit, after all. 

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.

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