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

Wauwatosa Police Officer Joseph Mensah, who fatally shot Jay Anderson Jr. in June, will not face charges. The Milwaukee County District Attorney's office shared the decision with Jay Anderson's family on Monday.

The Anderson family says Jay Anderson was sleeping in his car in Madison Park in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin around 3 a.m. on June 23, 2016, when Officer Joseph Mensah approached the vehicle. The officer claims he shot Anderson, after he kept lowering his hands, indicating he could have been reaching for a gun.

Wisconsin is facing a $1 billion deficit in its transportation fund.

Gov. Walker has proposed delaying road projects because he does not support upping the gas tax or vehicle registration fee. Republican lawmaker Rob Hutton plans to reintroduce legislation that would eliminate the state’s prevailing wage when it comes to road projects.

The state of Wisconsin has had a prevailing wage law since the early 1930s. It requires companies that contract with the state to pay their employees the certain wage, benefits and overtime, based on the area in which they’ll be working.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Throughout the presidential campaign, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke  traveled the country campaigning for Donald Trump. Earlier this week, Clarke met with the President-elect to discuss a possible appointment to the Trump administration.

Clarke has long been a figure both heralded and disliked.

There are a lot of things that you could point to that make Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke stand out. Sometimes it’s the cowboy hat, other times the horse he’s known for riding, and then there are messages such as this PSA from 2013.

Kim Frank

The cookie book. If you’re a native of Wisconsin, it’s likely you know what we’re talking about. But for those who don’t, it’s a cookie recipe book that We Energies publishes every year—yep, the same We Energies that sends you a bill every month. The utility released its first cookie book way back in 1928. While the book is a crowd favorite, we wanted to know why an energy company is interested in the cookies you make.

At face value, Cathy Schulze admits, it seems a little odd that a power company would publish a recipe book for cookies. But she says not if you know the history.

Update, Nov. 23: Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel is praising a federal court in Texas for issuing a nationwide preliminary injunction to halt the Dept. of Labor's Overtime Rule. Schimel, representing Wisconsin, had joined 20 other states in asking the court to put the rule on hold. "There’s no greater honor than representing millions of Wisconsinites in the continuous fight for the return of power to our citizens, away from an out-of-control federal bureaucracy in Washington D.C.

Wisconsin State Legislature

A three-judge federal panel ruled on Monday that the political boundaries state Republican legislators drew in 2011 violate the voting rights of Democrats. Wisconsin's Attorney  General says he plans to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Gov. Scott Walker
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Update, November 21: The Wisconsin Supreme Court will not investigate who leaked John Doe documents to The Guardian. Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel and private attorneys who fought the probe asked the state high court to appoint a "special master" to determine who leaked evidence that the courts had ordered held. Wisconsin's justices ruled Monday that it's up to the executive branch of government, not the judicial arm, to launch an investigation.

Photos.com

Update, Dec. 1:

Milwaukee County Supervisor Supreme Moore Omokunde is calling for Sheriff David Clarke, Jr. to resign because of recent deaths at the county jail. The sheriff is responsible for jail operations. According to a statement Omokunde released Thursday, "Media reports and accounts of witnesses indicate that at least three of the deaths appear to have occurred as a result of actions or inaction by Sheriff Clarke's corrections officers. Yet not a single officer has been disciplined, and Sheriff Clarke remains silent. This is totally unacceptable."

LaToya Dennis

The game bar dice is a staple at bars across Milwaukee as well as the state.

Never heard of bar dice?

No worries, I hadn’t either, that is until a few weeks ago when a listener by the name of Dave Schroeter wrote in to WUWM's Bubbler Talk with a question: Why are the rules for bar dice the same everywhere in Milwaukee, except the south side?

Former Democratic Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders stopped in Milwaukee Wednesday night to campaign for not only Hillary Clinton, but Russ Feingold.

Bernie Sanders devoted the first 15 or so minutes of his speech to encouraging people to get out and vote for Democrat Russ Feingold. Earlier in the day, the Marquette Poll was released showing a very tight race between Feingold and his opponent Republican incumbent Ron Johnson.

LaToya Dennis

So, here’s a little known fact about voting laws in Wisconsin: You can change your ballot up to three times. Few people know about the law, and even fewer take advantage.

Wisconsin has always been proud of its voting history. In fact, election officials here like to brag that the state has one of the highest rates of voter turnout across the country.

As of Monday, 465,000 people had already cast their ballot. Now, with just one week left before the election, and several days until the end of absentee voting, those people could still change their vote.

If there are political issues that get both Democrats and Republicans riled up these days, near the top of the list would be trade deals.

Some people call trade agreements essential, while others insist they put the U.S. at a disadvantage. What the country seems most focused on now, during the races for president and U.S. Senate, is the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership – it would link 12 Pacific-rim nations. But decades ago, NAFTA - the North American Free Trade Agreement was all the rage. WUWM reports on how some Milwaukeeans describe NAFTA’s impact here.

The Affordable Care Act has moved center stage in some political campaigns – including in the presidential race. The government announced this week that across the country, premiums are expected to rise by around 25 percent for plans on the federal exchanges. The percentage is lower in Wisconsin, around 16 percent.

Wisconsin’s two candidates for U.S. Senate debated one final time Tuesday night. It took place on WISN-TV in Milwaukee. Republican incumbent Ron Johnson and Democratic challenger Russ Feingold spelled out how they differ. 

From the outset, the two candidates made it clear that they would spend a lot of time trying to tie each other to their party’s presidential candidate.

While incumbent Ron Johnson blasted Secretary Hillary Clinton over her private e-mail server, former Senator and challenger Russ Feingold said that Trump is not qualified to be president.

Amanda Lee

In Milwaukee and across the country Monday night, buildings were lit with images denouncing rape culture.

The topic of sexual assault has reached fever pitch since a 2005 recording of GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump was released where he joked about not having to ask women for permission to inappropriately touch them. Women have also lobbed allegations sexual misconduct at former President Bill Clinton, husband of Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton.

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