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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Keith Schubert

Several people who have served time at the Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility are pushing the state to close it. Members of the Wisconsin branch of EXPO, or Ex-Prisoners Organizing,  issued their call at a meeting Thursday at MATC. The organization's president, Mark Rice, says the Milwaukee facility is unfit, plus it mainly houses people who are not there for committing a crime.

The latest numbers from the Marquette Law School Poll are in and they are mixed bag for Republican leaders. Around 800 Wisconsinites participated in the phone survey between June 22 and 25. The margin of error is 4.5 percent. Those were days GOP leaders at both levels were continuing to debate major items – including health care in Washington and road funding in Madison.

CINCINNATI POLICE DEPARTMENT, FACEBOOK

Dozens of Milwaukee leaders and residents gathered at The Wisconsin Black Historical Society on Monday evening to discuss the most effective ways of reducing violence in the city. At the heart of the conversation was Problem-Oriented Policing, a theory that stresses best practices for getting to the heart of crimes while creating viable neighborhoods. Law enforcement experts tout the strategy while community leaders insist more is needed to improve many residents' quality of life.

LaToya Dennis

A federal judge told Wisconsin on Friday that the way it treats incarcerated youth is unconstitutional. Of particular concern is the use of pepper spray, handcuffs and shackles – as well as solitary confinement. 

The ACLU of Wisconsin took the matter to court. The judge ordered the group and the state to submit a plan, in two weeks, to change practices. The Lincoln Hill School for Boys and the Copper Lake School for Girls have been at the center of major investigations, over the treatment of youth.

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Across the country and in Wisconsin, the number of youth being held in state run detention facilities is on the decline, according to a study released by Youth First and Urban Institute.

Between 2005 and 2014, the average daily population at Wisconsin run juvenile correction facilities fell by 52 percent. While the numbers are improving, African American youth are disproportionately impacted, making up 70 percent of the population in Wisconsin’s juvenile detention centers.

Courtesy of Mandela Barnes

Update, June 16: 

The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Department has released dash-cam video from a deputy squad car, showing a longer version of what led up to Sunday's fatal shooting near Bradford Beach. A deputy fired shots into a vehicle that appeared to have been ignoring officers' warnings and attempting to flee along the crowded lakefront. The Waukesha sheriff's office continues investigating the incident.

sauletas, fotolia

The subject of hair was a hot topic among Wisconsin state senators on Wednesday. They approved two pieces of legislation that would eliminate certain requirements for people who style hair. For example, the requirement for continuing education and for instructors to be licensed. Some people see the changes as a way to remove barriers to work, while others worry about potential health concerns.

Monday, jury selection will begin in Milwaukee for former police officer Dominique Heaggan-Brown. He fatally shot 23-year-old Sylville Smith last summer. The killing sparked two-days of violence in the Sherman Park neighborhood.

For 48 hours last August, Milwaukee’s Sherman Park neighborhood captured people’s attention across the country. What they saw on TV were images of police in riot gear, buildings burning and crowds of angry people. It followed the police killing of a young black man. A few days later, we spoke with community activist Camille Mays.

Google Streetview, Image from October 2015

The State of Wisconsin wants a rent-to-own company to stop operating here. Based in South Carolina, Vision Property Management draws people into deals to rent or lease houses with the promise of eventually owning them.

Lisa F. Young, fotolia

The state of Wisconsin may bump-up the reimbursement rate for personal care workers—the people who take care of some of the most fragile in society. Across the country, industry reports a shortage of personal care workers, in part, because people don’t believe the job pays well enough. In Wisconsin, some leaders hope a 2 percent bump in the reimbursement rate will lead to higher wages that attract more people.

ibreakstock, fotolia

Sixteen child sexual predators and traffickers were recently arrested across the state through a sting led by the Wisconsin Department of Justice. Brad Schimel is the attorney general.

“In the short period of time involved, this is significant that we have got this many that ended up traveling to try and meet a child for sexual purposes.”

Metro Milwaukee continues to rank last in the country when it comes to the unemployment gap between black and white residents. According to the annual report the Urban League issues, unemployment among blacks here is nearly 14 percent, while the rate for whites is under 3 percent. It’s the second year in a row the area has the widest gap in the nation.

Vincent Desjardins, Flickr

The Milwaukee Police Department should reconsider is pursuit policy, according to the majority of Common Council members. On Friday, the Public Safety Committee will discuss the issue – when should officers chase a car, and when should they let it go. Some lawmakers are concerned about a growing level of lawlessness on Milwaukee’s streets.

Photos.com

Some GOP lawmakers in Wisconsin are looking to get tougher on juvenile offenders. Right now, the state can sentence them to no longer than three year behind bars, but a bill circulating in Madison right now would allow juvenile offenders to be locked up until age 25. While some Republican leaders say the move is necessary to curtail crime, some Democrats prefer a different approach.

JaizAnuar, fotolia

Computers worldwide have been hit by Ransomware. It’s also known as WannaCry and WannaCrypt. It’s a cyberattack that freezes electronic files until the owner pays ransom. The U.S. has not been hit as hard as some other countries, but businesses and government agencies and individuals – including in Wisconsin - should take precautions. WUWM spoke with David Schroeder, an IT expert at UW-Madison.

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