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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LaToya Dennis

There are more allegations of the mistreatment of juvenile inmates at two Wisconsin facilities, the Lincoln Hills School for Boys and Copper Lake School for Girls.

The ACLU of Wisconsin has filed a lawsuit alleging cruel and unusual punishment, over the use solitary confinement and pepper spray.

The lawsuit is the latest sign that problems remain. Two years ago, authorities began investigating reports of physical abuse and neglect of youth at the facilities.

LaToya Dennis

Big changes to Wisconsin’s welfare system could be afoot. On Tuesday, Gov. Walker announced that his budget will put work requirements in place for able-bodied recipients with school-aged kids. 

Walker says his proposals get back to the very nature of what former Gov. Tommy Thompson had in mind, when he overhauled the state’s welfare program in the 1990s.

Before President Bill Clinton signed welfare reform into law in the mid 1990s, Gov. Tommy Thompson had already implemented similar legislation here. His new welfare system was called Wisconsin Works, also known as W-2.

LaToya Dennis

Want to purchase a home for a dollar?

The City of Milwaukee has you covered, as long as you meet certain conditions. The city wants to spend several million state dollars, to help people rehabilitate homes in the Sherman Park neighborhood. The program stems from the unrest that occurred there this summer, after a police officer fatally shot a man, and residents raised a host of challenges the area faces. The rehab plan is angering some interested individuals, because, of its conditions.

Gov. Scott Walker
John Moore/Getty Images

During his seventh State of the State address on Tuesday, Gov. Walker said the state of Wisconsin is as strong as it has ever been.

Walker vowed to prioritize K12 and college education, transportation and broadband expansion in his upcoming budget. 

Wisocnsin Department of Justice

The rate of heroin use in Wisconsin has hit epidemic levels. In 2016, more people died in Wisconsin from overdosing on opioids than in car accidents.

Michelle Maternowski

Milwaukee’s north side needs more mental health services. So the county plans to develop a facility there and is in the process of seeking community input. On Wednesday, a public meeting was held. Both behavioral health officials and community members insist that patients will be best served near their homes and by people they can relate to.

Jacob Cimino, flickr

There is disagreement in Wisconsin over how to handle some Native American burial mounds. At odds are tribal representatives and business owners.

For months, a special state panel has been working on legislation to make everyone happy. Committee members submitted their final votes on Friday.

LaToya Dennis

There is a chaplaincy program in Milwaukee – that responds to crime scenes and fires, and even to the unrest that occurred in Sherman Park this summer.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Wisconsin is asking federal lawmakers for more control. Gov. Walker on Tuesday addressed a letter to President-elect Donald Trump asking for more flexibility in administering federal programs. 

For instance, Walker wants to drug test people who apply for Food Share benefits and control the number of certain refugees allowed to settle in the state. Walker says the changes would help the citizens of Wisconsin.              

Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Wisconsin is one of several states embroiled in a court battle over redistricting. Each state's case is different, yet commonalities are emerging over how much gerrymandering is allowed.

Gerrymandering means drawing political districts to gain an advantage.

The Milwaukee County Board wants an outside investigation conducted, every time an inmate dies in a county facility.

The plan appears directed at Sheriff David Clarke, because of four people who’ve died in the County Jail since April. The board approved the plan by a 15 to 1 vote, and not everyone is satisfied.

For weeks now, some elected officials and members of the public have been calling on Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke to resign. One of them is Supervisor Supreme Moore Omukunde.

Wisconsin imprisons a higher percentage of black men than any other state in the country – the statistics are well-known. What gets less attention is the number of people here, mainly men, whom the criminal justice system sends back to prison without convicting them of a new crime.

Marti Mikkelson

Update, Dec. 12 3:30 P.M.

The Wisconsin Election Commission has certified the state's recount of its presidential election and reports that Republican Donald Trump actually won the state with 131 more votes than the initial tally indicated. The recount also indicated that there were no major flaws that affected the Wisconsin count, although workers did have to toss or change hundreds of votes because of errors detected.

Wauwatosa Police Officer Joseph Mensah, who fatally shot Jay Anderson Jr. in June, will not face charges. The Milwaukee County District Attorney's office shared the decision with Jay Anderson's family on Monday.

The Anderson family says Jay Anderson was sleeping in his car in Madison Park in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin around 3 a.m. on June 23, 2016, when Officer Joseph Mensah approached the vehicle. The officer claims he shot Anderson, after he kept lowering his hands, indicating he could have been reaching for a gun.

Wisconsin is facing a $1 billion deficit in its transportation fund.

Gov. Walker has proposed delaying road projects because he does not support upping the gas tax or vehicle registration fee. Republican lawmaker Rob Hutton plans to reintroduce legislation that would eliminate the state’s prevailing wage when it comes to road projects.

The state of Wisconsin has had a prevailing wage law since the early 1930s. It requires companies that contract with the state to pay their employees the certain wage, benefits and overtime, based on the area in which they’ll be working.

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