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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Gov. Scott Walker will soon appoint a judge to serve out the remainder of Justice Patrick Crook’s term on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Crooks died unexpectedly last month, just days after announcing he would not seek re-election in 2016. His death leaves Gov. Walker with the decision of whether to appoint one of the candidates to the court.

While it doesn’t happen often in Wisconsin, a governor appointing a state Supreme Court Justice isn’t unheard of. For instance, Marquette Law Professor Janine Geske was first seated on the court by former Gov. Tommy Thompson.

LaToya Dennis

Twenty-four hours a day, trucks crisscross the country moving many of the products we use. But concern is on the rise because not enough people are interested in driving those trucks. Efforts are underway in Wisconsin to draw more people to the industry. 

Part of the challenge is to improve its image.

When you think about truck drivers, what image comes to mind? Maybe someone who’s out of shape, chain smokes and every other word is an expletive. Greg Persinger says that stereotype still rings true sometimes.

Courtesy of the Milwaukee Bucks

The Milwaukee Common Council on Tuesday approved spending $47 million to help the Bucks build a new downtown arena and entertainment center. 

The city and team had worked out differences on a few issues that had the potential to derail the project.

Courtesy of the Milwaukee Bucks

Several members of the Milwaukee Common Council on Tuesday engaged in a heated debate over proposed amendments to an arena financing deal. The project is expected to cost around $500 million, with the city’s projected share at $47 million. City leaders say they want to make sure Milwaukee is getting the best deal for its money.

Gokhan Sahin/Getty Images

Doctor Adel Korkor was born and raised in Syria but came to the U.S. several decades ago to continue his medical training. He makes Milwaukee his home. Korkor says he often tries to tune out the news about Syria's civil war - the thousands it's killing, the many it has turned into refugees fleeing toward Europe and perhaps its narrowing door, but he can’t stop thinking about his homeland.

FRANK JUAREZ / FLICKR

Money is often a barrier to people thinking about attending college, so the Milwaukee Area Technical College has unveiled a plan to help qualifying low-income students pay their way. It's called the MATC Promise. Starting in fall of 2016, it will offer free tuition for four consecutive semesters. Similar programs exist across the country with the ultimate goal of reducing poverty.

Janesville Police Department

Police forces across the country are turning to body cameras as a way of easing tension between officers and community members. The pace of adopting the technology has accelerated in recent times, following the deaths of several African American men in police custody. 

For instance, in Ferguson Missouri, it was Michael Brown; in Milwaukee, Dontre Hamilton. Late Thursday, the Milwaukee Police Department presented its plan for using cameras to the Fire and Police Commission. There are ethical issues to consider. 

Gov. Scott Walker
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Gov. Walker has been getting a lot of attention lately, but it’s not the kind the presidential hopeful wants. 

In recent weeks, he’s walked back comments on immigration, offended Muslims and criticized career politicians insisting he is not one of them. The continuous negative coverage is not something Walker was used to in Wisconsin.

Courtesy of the Milwaukee Bucks

Monday the city of Milwaukee will begin the formal process of considering financing for a new Bucks arena. Earlier this summer, the state agreed to its share of the $500 million project. But most of the public funding - $250 million before interest, would come from local sources – Milwaukee County, the City Center District and the city. The impacts remain in dispute.

Gov. Walker signed the state share of the arena into law a few weeks back.

LaToya Dennis

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee filed its bankruptcy plan this week. A judge will consider it in November. If she accepts the settlement, it will end court battles against the church for clergy who sexually abused people dating back decades. The victims says the money won’t end the pain.

At age 91, Angie Roscholi is the oldest of the clergy abuse victims in the Milwaukee Archdiocese. Her son Father Domenic Roscholi say she came forward with her story for one reason.

M.P. King / Wisconsin State Journal

The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism outlined new procedures the state Dept. of Corrections may follow in deciding whether to hold an inmate in solitary confinement including the person's mental status and the severity of the infraction committed.

LaToya Dennis

A group of Milwaukee area kids is headed to Washington D.C. this week to compete in a national high school computer competition. The teens are developing skills that lead to positions companies often have a hard time filling.

Alvin Cherry is like a lot of 15 year olds. The Rufus King junior likes football and hanging out with friends, but at the top of his list are video games.

“They’re so cool, it’s like my favorite form of entertainment. It’s fun. I just like video games. I want to be a video game developer when I grow up,” Cherry says.

LaToya Dennis

A group of about 12 teenagers from Iraq and Kurdistan is wrapping up a two week trip to Milwaukee. They’re part of ILYP, the Iraqi Young Leaders Program, which targets kids ages 15 to 17 and is funded by the U.S. State Department.

The goal of their visit has been to learn about ways to build peace, and they have absorbed quite a bit about American life. Rafil Beshara, Dena Tadros, Muna Ramdahnai and Ramyar Othman describe their country as having both positive and negative aspects. It's the negative they hope to change.

Wisconsin's State Capitol
Flickr.com/pinchof

The fallout continues from undercover videos that showed a California Planned Parenthood employee discussing the sale of fetal tissue. In Madison on Tuesday, state lawmakers held a hearing on legislation that would ban the sale and use of aborted fetal tissue across the state. 

The issue touches on the emotions of both pro-choice and pro-life advocates.

GOP Rep. Andre Jacque authored the bill. It mentions Planned Parenthood numerous times -- although Jacque admits he has no knowledge of the organization selling fetal tissue in Wisconsin.

LaToya Dennis

For many kids, summer means sleeping in late, hanging out with friends and having a whole lot of fun. For some, it’s also means strategizing their next move. 

A new program teaches kids a game that could help them in every aspect of life -- chess.

Eleven year old Grant Jones has a really big goal in life. “I want to surpass everyone in what they know how to do. I don’t like to offend people, but that’s my goal in life, surpass everyone,” he says.

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