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.

Ways to Connect

On Monday, someone posted images on social media of a teen who was said to be attempting to steal a vehicle when the owner caught and beat the boy. He was left without pants lying on a snowy sidewalk. Police have said they will recommend charging the person accused of beating the boy. Many people believe something worst could be on the horizon.

LaToya Dennis

Today is Ash Wednesday. For practicing Catholics that means the start of Lent-- a 40 day period where the faithful have long followed the tradition of sacrificing something they enjoy. The ideas of sacrifice and discipline are themes found in many religions.

The Milwaukee County Board has declared a state of emergency for county youth serving time at Lincoln Hills School for Boys and Copper Lake School for Girls. Federal and state authorities are investigating those two corrections facilities in northern Wisconsin. 

There have been allegations of abuse, neglect and sexual assault of young people. The county’s move Thursday will allow it to bring some of the kids home.

Nicole Beilke

Monday marked the first day of early voting in advance of Wisconsin’s Primary on February 16th. A rally was held at city hall hoping to encourage more people to recognize the power of the vote. At the same time, voting advocates across the state are concerned that thousands of people will be turned away from polling sites. Valid photo identification is now required to vote in Wisconsin.

There was a sense of urgency flowing through Milwaukee City Hall on Monday where 20 or so people gathered to encourage residents not only to get out and vote, but to do it early. 

LaToya Dennis

Should Wisconsin restrict what fans can shout at high school sporting events? The WIAA, Wisconsin’s governing board for high school sports, reminded schools a few weeks ago to enforce the rules. They ban chants some people might perceive as taunting, while others may consider them harmless. One legislator wants to demand more transparency from WIAA so people understand the reasons for its rules. In the meantime, the reminder seems to have quieted crowds.

DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

The investigation into the abuse of children at Lincoln Hills could go on for another year. So far, at least 16 staff members have been removed from their positions at the juvenile detention facility in northern Wisconsin. Milwaukee County is now exploring options other than sending local youth to Lincoln Hills.

Wisconsin's State Capitol
Ann Althouse, Flickr

Several local governments in Wisconsin are interested in issuing local identification cards to residents. One is Milwaukee County. But some state lawmakers believe the locals are overstepping their authority – so legislators are considering a bill that would prohibit municipalities from issuing local ID cards. 

More than 50 people showed up to testify at a public hearing in Madison on Tuesday; most oppose the ban.

LaToya Dennis

The city of Flint is suffering a water crisis-- high levels of lead are leaching from old pipes into the water supply. The water has been deemed unsafe to drink, and some leaders are warning parents not to even bathe their children in it. 

President Obama’s administration has pledged more than $80 million dollars to help meet the city’s needs. Aid is arriving from across the country, and a concerned group will soon depart from Milwaukee.

LaToya Dennis

On Wednesday, immigrant advocates carpooled to the state Capitol to voice opposition to several bills, including one that would penalize so-called sanctuary cities.

WUWM's LaToya Dennis met up with a group of about 20 immigrant advocates before they boarded a bus in Milwaukee to protest what they’re calling anti-immigrant legislation.

“We are all immigrants. We are not criminals like some people say," Guadalupe Gallardo says. She is originally from Mexico but has lived in the U.S. for more than 40 years. Gallardo says she got her citizenship in the late 1990s.

Martin Cathrae, flickr

Here’s something you probably did not know…in Wisconsin, it is illegal to sell homemade cookies and baked goods. While there are a few exceptions – such as occasional church bake sales, some farmers say the law is having a negative impact on them. 

A few are working to change the law on a couple different fronts.

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