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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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.

In just a couple of weeks Wisconsin voters will be one step closer to electing a new state Supreme Court Justice. There was an opening on the bench after Justice Michael Gableman announced he would not run for a second term.

A three-way primary will be held on Feb 20 between Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Rebecca Dallet, Sauk County Circuit Judge Michael Screnock and Madison Attorney Tim Burns. The top two vote getters will advance to the April general election.

In just a couple of weeks, 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.

LATOYA DENNIS

Public Benefits are under fire in Wisconsin. Earlier this week, a joint committee of Democrats and Republicans in Madison held a public hearing on 10 bills that could change the way welfare works.

Audrey Nowakowski

For months, women across the country, and right here in Milwaukee, have been making a concerted effort to share their stories of workplace sexual harassment.

The movement is called #MeToo.

With so many stories being shared, many people are now asking: so what happens now? Where do we go from here?

That was the topic of a community forum, titled Across the Divide: From #MeToo to What Now?, hosted Tuesday night by WUWM and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel at Good City Brewing in Milwaukee.

January is human trafficking month -- a time when groups trying to eradicate the crime, raise awareness about it. Across the world, it’s estimated that around 27 million people are being trafficked for sex. Most of them are women. The numbers here are hard to pin down. But some experts say Milwaukee is a hotbed for the activity. 

WUWM caught up with a couple people working to fight sex trafficking in Wisconsin.

Lincoln Hills
DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

The state of Wisconsin is changing the way it handles some of its worst juvenile offenders. On Thursday, Gov. Walker unveiled plans to close the Lincoln Hills School for Boys and the Copper Lake School for Girls in Irma, and instead, create five smaller regional facilities scattered across the state.

Many prisoners hail from Milwaukee and the centers have been plagued by reports of abuse of inmates and correctional officers.  Advocates who have been pushing Walker to make such a move, say it's a step in the right direction, but there’s still more work to be done.

Amir Levy/Getty Images

Update, January 3:

The American Red Cross of Southeast Wisconsin has decided to rescind it's policy change and will continue to serve people in all of Milwaukee's zip codes at the site of disasters.

Original Story:

The American Red Cross of Southeast Wisconsin is receiving a lot of backlash over a new policy unveiled in Milwaukee that would require people in specific zip codes to come to them for help.

Rachel Kubik

Every year at this time, we bring you stories of people in the Milwaukee area who are working to improve the community. In today’s installment of Life’s Voices, we hear from Muhibb Dyer.

The Milwaukee native is one of the founders of both the I Will Not Die Young Young Campaign, and Flood the Hood with Dreams. Both are designed to inspire inner city youth.

LaToya Dennis

Across the country, tiny homes are being used in a number of ways. Some people enjoy the novelty of living in a small space; for others, the tiny houses are an answer to homelessness. A new, tiny home community in Racine is giving homeless veterans a shot at independence.

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.

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