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

Last year in Milwaukee County, heroin killed at least 143 people. That was a nearly 30 percent increase over the previous year. Most health officials agree, addictions to opioids and heroin are continuing to worsen. WUWM caught up with a recovering heroin addict who’s now helping others struggling with addiction.  

Jason Dobson calls himself one of the lucky ones. He had been addicted to heroin and knocking at death’s door.

Kenishirotie, flickr

Studies show that the metropolitan Milwaukee area is the most segregated in the country. While the city of Milwaukee is majority minority, the surrounding suburban areas are largely white, and some groups contend that it’s this way by design. Back in 2011, The Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council filed a complaint against Waukesha County, alleging housing discrimination on the basis of race.

LaToya Dennis

During a stop in Wauwatosa Wednesday, Governor Walker revealed more about his upcoming two-year budget proposal. He said he's ready to put forth money to help keep families intact, while revamping the welfare system.

Walker said he wants to adjust the Earned Income Tax Credit - a program he trimmed in 2011. The governor told the audience at the Wauwatosa Rotary Club that he plans to eliminate the EITC's marriage penalty.

Micaela Martin

More members of the Milwaukee community are hoping to send a message to President Donald Trump. It is that America and Milwaukee will not stand for discrimination. Late last week, Trump signed an executive order, temporarily banning immigrants and refugees from seven countries where Islam is the main religion. A mix of local lawmakers, immigrants and advocacy groups joined together Monday to voice their position.

State Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa stood at a podium in a room filled with concerned people on Milwaukee’s south side, with this to say…

Jade Hrdi

Pro-life advocates from the Milwaukee area are taking their message to Washington D.C. for Friday’s annual march. It’s been 44 years since the Roe versus Wade Supreme Court decision that affirmed women’s right to have abortions. WUWM’s caught up with a few people headed to D.C. to ask them about their hopes.

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.

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