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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Tuesday is the big day. Voters across Wisconsin will head to the polls to decide whether Gov. Scott Walker keeps his job. As WUWM’s LaToya Dennis reports, Wisconsin eyes won’t be the only ones riveted on the results. If the tens of millions of dollars groups have pumped into Wisconsin are not enough to prove how significant the recall race is, maybe this did the trick…

The northwest side of Milwaukee has been a hotbed of real estate activity in recent months. Investors have been purchasing foreclosed homes and turning many into rental properties. WUWM’s LaToya Dennis found that some of the entrepreneurs are using their retirement accounts.

Milwaukee will host a home ownership fair Saturday. The goal is to unload many of the foreclosed properties both banks and the city own. City Hall estimates there to be 4,000 such houses. WUWM’s LaToya Dennis learned of potential buyers who view foreclosures as a great business opportunity.

Across the country, the term “War on Women” had made its way into the lexicon. As proof of an alleged war, critics of recent legislation point to changes in women’s health care, including abortion protocol, as well as pay discrepancies between the genders. WUWM’s LaToya Dennis reports that Wisconsin has changed a few policies affecting women, with supporters claiming there is no concerted war, just changes that make sense.

Now that spring is upon us, you will probably see more bicyclists on the road. They’ll join the hard-core riders who brave the elements all year. While nice weather may prompt some people to hop on a two-wheeler, there may be another incentive these days. Bike storeowners in town told WUWM’s LaToya Dennis that four-dollar-plus gasoline prices are also driving business. John Jensen has been in the bike business a long time. He owns Johnson’s Cycle & Fitness on North Avenue in Wauwatosa. He took over the family-owned company about 30 years ago, so he knows plenty.

It was nearly a year ago that Gov. Walker proclaimed - Wisconsin is open for business. In order to re-enforce that message, his administration successfully advanced a number of tax breaks to encourage businesses to hire and even relocate to the state. There was some bipartisan support for the incentives, although Democrats labeled them marginal and later blasted the governor and Republican lawmakers for slashing money from things such as education. Still, Walker maintains Wisconsin is in a much better place with a balanced budget and improved business climate. Is that the case? WUWM’s LaToya Dennis posed the question to Abdur Chowdhury. He’s chair of Marquette University’s Department of Economics.

State of Business

Dec 13, 2011

From the beginning, Gov. Scott Walker said once he took office his focus would be on creating jobs. During the 2010 campaign, he vowed to create 250,000 private sector positions during his first term. To help, he converted the commerce department into a public-private entity called the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, and instructed it to focus exclusively on fostering business growth, rather than also regulating the private sector. Walker also instituted a number of tax breaks for companies that create jobs here. In this installment of Project Milwaukee: State of Upheaval, WUWM’s LaToya Dennis explores the impact the changes are having on business growth. Things are bustling at Cree Ruud Lighting in Sturtevant. Until earlier this year, it had been just Ruud - a firm making commercial and energy efficient lighting. Then, Cree, a company based in North Carolina, specializing in LED lighting bought the Wisconsin operation for $525 million. Construction crews have since broken ground for a gigantic addition.

We now continue our series, Project Milwaukee – Southern Connections. All week, we're exploring the corridor extending from Milwaukee to Chicago. Economic development experts say regions will fare best in the new global economy. A key ingredient to a successful region is efficient transportation, and more people than ever before are traveling in the corridor between Milwaukee and Chicago. WUWM's LaToya Dennis explores the options that exist today and what the future seems to demand.

A Dane County Circuit Judge ordered all remaining demonstrators to leave the state Capitol late Thursday. There were about 100 there at the time. Judge John Albert says the building should return to normal business hours. For more than two weeks, the Capitol has been filled the protesters around the clock, most demanding that Governor Walker or the Legislature drop his plan to rescind most collective bargaining rights for public workers. WUWM’s LaToya Dennis is here in the studio with me this morning, with the latest developments. To recap the situation, Capitol police asked protesters to vacate the Capitol late Sunday, so the building could be cleaned. Most did leave, but officers allowed the rest to remain, rather than risk confrontation. Then, the DOA, the Department of Administration began limiting access to the building in order to minimize disruption and return a sense of normalcy. But unintended consequences resulted.

The Joint Finance Committee late last night approved legislation that would strip the public sector of most of its collective bargaining rights. All 12 Republicans on the committee voted in favor of the bill, while the four Democrats opposed the controversial legislation that has drawn thousands to the state Capitol this week. WUWM’s LaToya Dennis joins us in the studio with the latest developments.

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