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

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.

Michelle Maternowski

Sometimes we come across questions that confound us. What came first, the chicken or the egg? Do we truly have free will? And this week’s profound Bubbler Talk question: What’s up with ham and rolls in Milwaukee?

“I think it’s more of a Milwaukee southside tradition," Carl Canfora says.

He and his wife Rosalba own Canfora Bakery in Bay View.

Milwaukee’s northwest side could soon have new life. For more than a decade, businesses have been abandoning the area near 76th and Brown Deer. Northridge Mall closed in 2003, and other large retail sites have experienced stores opening and later leaving. Alderwoman Chantia Lewis has been working on a plan to revitalize the area for about six months, and she’s almost ready to unveil it.

In recent years, Wisconsin has sent several thousand people back to prison, even though they did not commit new crimes. What they did was violated the rules of their release by committing what otherwise might be considered minor offenses. On Wednesday, a panel of legislators debated a bill that could increase the number of so-called “crimeless revocations.”

Susan Bence

WUWM has been taking a comprehensive look at some of the many issues caused by segregation in Milwaukee through our series, ​Project Milwaukee: Segregation MattersBetween reports on WUWM news and interviews on Lake Effect, we have looked at how segregation can be quantified, how it's perpetuated, and its costs and effects on the community.

Michelle Maternowski

Segregation comes with borders, whether they are manmade - 124th Street, the dividing line between Milwaukee and Waukesha counties, or natural - the Milwaukee River. Today, WUWM reports on one particular border, and how some people feel about crossing it.

JFXie, flickr

Several reasons emerge as to why people in metro Milwaukee live in either segregated or integrated neighborhoods in what is the most racially segregated metro area in the country. Sometimes people have a choice, other times they do not. And one statistic sets this area apart from all others, according to UWM researcher Marc Levine - the rate of affluent African-Americans opting to live in neighborhoods saturated with poverty.

Joshua Lott/ACLU

Update: In response to the ACLU lawsuit, the Milwaukee Police Department says it does not use a stop-and-frisk policy. MPD spokesman Timothy Gauerke emailed a statement to WUWM reading, "Traffic stops in high crime areas have been proven to reduce the number of non-fatal shootings, robberies and motor vehicle thefts."

Michelle Maternowski

Clifton Pharm describes a slightly different feel to his Sherman Park neighborhood, six months after it was shaken by unrest and a heavy police presence. We met him not long after protesters ransacked and set buildings on fire – upset that a Milwaukee police officer had shot a young black man to death. Pharm was taking his five-year-old granddaughter on a walk to show her what violent actions can produce.

LaToya Dennis

Restaurants that allow you to pay what you think a meal is worth are popping up around the country.

The pay-what-you-want concept isn’t new. Now, some owners are using it as a way to help feed low-income people in their cities. 

For people living in poverty, going out to dinner is a luxury. Christie Melby-Gibbons thinks dining out should be available for low income people as well as those who can afford to pay. She recently opened the Tricklebee Café.

“I have just always felt like everybody deserves to eat healthy, delicious, freshly made food,” Gibbons says.

In the days following last summer's unrest in the Sherman Park neighborhood, WUWM met Jay Holmes, a man hoping to help heal his community by creating a mobile fresh food market. Six months later, Holmes talks about the changes he’s noticed. He describes both frustrations and bright spots.

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