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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LaToya Dennis

The Milwaukee Art Museum on Thursday unveiled one of its most controversial exhibits. It’s called "Eggs Benedict" and it’s the portrait an artist made of Pope Benedict XVI, out of 17,000 high end condoms. 

Courtesy of the Milwaukee Bucks

The Wisconsin Assembly on Tuesday approved a funding deal for a new arena in Milwaukee. It would cover the public share; the Bucks’ former and current owners will contribute $250 million in private money. So after months of debate, the bill is headed to the desk of Gov. Scott Walker. The vote was not unanimous, 52 to 34, but the legislation did garner bipartisan support.

Milwaukee Health Commissioner Bevan Baker says the city needs to address its violent crime as a public health threat.

Baker was among the leaders who testified Thursday before Common Council's Public Safety Committee. Its chairman convened the meeting in response to the surge in the city's homicide rate. The count of those killed already matches that for all of 2014, and quite a few of the victims have been children.

Milwaukee Police / Riemann

Under Milwaukee Police Department policy, officers will not pursue vehicles that are fleeing, unless police know the occupants are committing a violent felony. There are differing views on whether the public is safer or facing more danger as a result of that change the MPD instituted in 2010.

Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson will come to Milwaukee today Monday to host a hearing on the city’s school Choice program. He specifically wants information about a federal probe that’s been underway. It’s been looking into whether the voucher program has discriminated against students with disabilities. The investigation started nearly eight years ago.

Senator Ron Johnson says he has every right to demand answers from the Justice Department because he’s chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

LaToya Dennis

2015 is shaping up to be one of the most violent Milwaukee has suffered in years. Already, there have been 86 homicides—more than double the number this time last year. Then, there are the hundreds of shootings that have wounded people- they’re up 23 percent. In response to the violence, a new chaplaincy program is taking shape. 

It trains ordinary believers how to console people and ease conditions that can cause misery. Those involved don’t believe police should be the only ones responding.

Now that the Wisconsin Legislature has wrapped up its budget work, Republican leaders are setting their sights on a new goal — overhauling the state’s Government Accountability Board.

Wisconsin's State Capitol
Flickr.com/pinchof

A two-year $72.7 billion dollar state budget is now awaiting the signature of Gov. Scott Walker. After a two hour delay because of a bomb threat, and about 12 hours of debate, Assembly lawmakers passed the spending plan just before 1 a.m. 

Eleven Republican broke rank and voted along with Democrats against the package, but it wasn’t enough to derail what many Democrats have referred to as a “crap” budget.

For months, they’ve expressed concern over the impact they believe this budget will have on public education.

It appears the plan the state Senate will consider on Tuesday would scrap prevailing wages in local communities but maintain them for state projects.

Wisconsin's prevailing wage law has been on the books since the early 1930s. It requires companies that contract with the state or local governments to pay their employees the prevailing wage for that community. Every year, the Dept. of Workforce Development sets the wage by surveying companies about how much they're paying their workers.

Wisconsin's State Capitol
Flickr.com/pinchof

GOP leaders stood side-by-side on Wednesday to announce they had broken their impasse. It involved whether the state should help fund a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks, whether Wisconsin should change its prevailing wage law, and how much the state should borrow to pay for transportation projects.

Republican leaders have decided to take two of those three items out of the proposed state budget. It could move forward Thursday.  

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