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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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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U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants longer prison sentences for people who commit federal drug crimes. Late last week, he directed U.S. attorneys to seek the most serious charges possible. Sessions says tough action is needed to address the spike in violence in some cities and the opioid epidemic. Jerome Dillard spent time in both federal and state prison, and is now the Wisconsin director of Expo – Ex-prisoners Organizing. It works to end mass incarceration and help former offenders lead productive lives.

 Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

Have you ever participated in a color run?  You know the one where throughout the race organizers throw brightly pigmented paint, chalk or powder on participants and by the time they’re finished, they’re covered from head to toe in a cacophony of colors.

One will take place in Milwaukee Saturday at Veterans Park. While the event is a way for people have fun, and maybe raise money for a charity, the act of playing in color has religious and culture ties to India.  

So here’s a holiday you may never have heard about: Holi.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Wisconsin is once again looking to lead in welfare reform. Assembly lawmakers on Wednesday took up a number of bills that would require people who receive public benefits to meet certain requirements.

LaToya Dennis

Summer is swiftly approaching, and in Milwaukee, warm weather typically means increased fear about violent crime. That being said, Milwaukee has deemed the month of May as violence prevention month. Community leaders are looking for ways to head off problems.

The corner of 27th and Atkinson is a busy intersection. Even at 8 a.m., there is a ton of vehicles passing through, and there’s also handful of men hanging in out in front of a corner store.

Bob Bach

How to pay for roads? It’s a question states across the country are struggling with, including in Wisconsin. While some Republicans are pushing for all revenue options to be on the table, Governor Walker has said he will not raise taxes, including the gas tax, unless there’s a corresponding decline somewhere else in the budget. 

Thursday, some members of the GOP may unveil a new transportation funding scheme. It involves placing a sales tax on gasoline, flattening the income tax and moving away from the state’s Great Depression-era minimum mark-up law.

SHARYN MORROW, FLICKR

Another set of bills aimed at combating Wisconsin’s opioid and heroin addiction problem are now headed to Governor Walker. On Tuesday, the state Senate, in a special session, overwhelming supported the measures, even though Democrats argue the plans don’t go far enough.

LaToya Dennis

Lately, there’s been a lot of talk about milk in Wisconsin--America’s Dairyland. The talk has ranged from a trade dispute with Canada that threatened to put dozens of dairy farmers out of business to declines in the amount of money dairy farmers can charge for their product. WUWM learned about another debate underway. What should be called milk?

LaToya Dennis

Dozens of dairy farmers across Wisconsin are happier Monday than they expected to be. Up until just a few days ago, May 1 was the day a number of farmers thought they would go out of business. The processor they sell their milk to, Grassland Dairy Products, lost its contract with Canada, because that country changed its pricing structure to favor its own farmers.

Update:

Among the people who testified Thursday at the inquest was Lt. Kashka Meadors, who says she ordered staff to shut off the water in Terrill Thomas' cell until he calmed down. Meadors says she was too busy to check back on the case but thought water would have been restored.

President Trump took office nearly 100 days ago. During the campaign, he vowed to Make American Great Again. He promised to immediately protect American workers, make the country more secure and work with Congress to improve health care, the tax system and the country’s infrastructure. 

LaToya Dennis

Update, April 28:

The family featured in this story, the Sauer's, have signed a contract with milk processor Rolling Hills in Monroe, WI.

Update, April 27:

LaToya Dennis

Construction crews are hard at work in Milwaukee building the city’s new streetcar. Welding is underway, and workers will soon start digging trenches for the tracks.

It’s a cold spring day, but the weather isn’t putting a damper on the progress of the Milwaukee streetcar. Sparks are flying.

On Monday, an alderman will introduce a resolution asking state legislators to toughen laws for repeat offenders. Stories of violent crime have frequently been in the news in recent times. Just a few weeks ago, a city of Milwaukee employee was killed while on the job. Gregg Zyszkiewicz was a home inspector. He was fatally shot during an attempted carjacking. Milwaukee Alderman Tony Zielinski says, for him, that was the last straw.

“We’ve got to do more to get these violent criminals who have a history of violence off of the street,” Zielinski says.

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