Our People

News414 is operated by Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service and Wisconsin Watch. Here are the faces of the project.

Dwayne Burtin is NNS’ deputy editor for digital strategy. He possesses expert knowledge of the tools and technological resources necessary to develop creative and engaging content. His educational background in communication allows him to bring inspired storytelling and fresh interactive media together to reach diverse audiences. Dwayne has worked in digital media for 16 years and also is an interactive marketing professional for Marquette University in Milwaukee. Contact Dwayne at

PrincessSafiya Byers is a staff reporter for NNS, looking to serve democracy by covering issues important to the community. She was born and raised in Milwaukee and was a 2020 graduate of Marquette University, majoring in Journalism and Africana Studies. Her commitment to her community has led her to nonprofit work with local youth and families. She previously interned with the Milwaukee Community Journal and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and joined NNS in a position partially funded by Report for America. Contact Princess at

Adam Carr is deputy editor for community engagement at Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service. A lifelong Milwaukeean and Milwaukee Public Schools product, Adam continually finds new directions for his passion and love of his hometown. He was co-chair of March On Milwaukee 50th, which commemorated Milwaukee’s Open Housing Marches with 200 Nights of Freedom in 2017-2018. In 2016, he authored the children’s book Explore MKE: Your Neighborhood, Our City, working with five 3rd grade classrooms and SHARP Literacy. He gives tours of Milwaukee communities and has collaborated with filmmaker Wes Tank to produce two short films featured in the Milwaukee Film Festival. Carr has collaborated on neighborhood-based public art projects and he was a producer at 88Nine RadioMilwaukee from 2008-2011. Contact Adam at

Bevin Christie is News414’s project manager. She is a social entrepreneur and community organizer, with a background in education, and workforce development. Throughout her career, Bevin has partnered with a variety of industries, public/private schools and community-based organizations to build upon a belief that a culture of healing, diversity, equity, and inclusion are key to Milwaukee being a better place to thrive not just to survive. Contact Bevin at

Claire DeRosa is a graphic designer and animator for Wisconsin Watch and lead designer for News414. She creates project series graphics, logos, ads, page layouts and social media content. Claire graduated from UW-Madison with a degree in journalism and political science in 2020 and studied 3D animation at the School of Motion during quarantine learning how to model, light, color and animate in Cinema 4D. She enjoys deejaying and producing electronic music in her free time. Contact Claire at  

O. Ricardo Pimentel is the managing editor for Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service. Before arriving in early 2022, Pimentel oversaw the editorial pages of the San Antonio Express-News and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He is the former executive editor of the San Bernardino County Sun, managing editor at the Tucson Citizen and Stockton Record and held reporting and editing roles at the Fresno Bee, San Diego Union and Sacramento Bee. He covered Congress and federal agencies for McClatchy newspapers in Washington D.C. and was a nationally syndicated columnist with the Arizona Republic in Phoenix. Since returning to Wisconsin in 2019, Pimentel served as the adviser to the MATC Times at Milwaukee Area Technical College, contributed to the Wisconsin Examiner and worked as a COVID contact tracer for the state of Wisconsin. He is the former president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. Contact Oscar at .  

Mariela Fonseca Ruiz is a News414/Noticias414 ambassador — forging connections with South Side residents, including those who predominantly speak Spanish. She is a proud graduate of Alverno College, where she earned a B.A. in psychology and minored in medical interpretation and professional communications. She’s a first-generation college graduate who knows the importance of community and mentorship navigating careers and resources. She has worked in the nonprofit sector of 10 years, six of those in education — serving families and the broader community.

Jim Malewitz is the deputy managing editor for WisconsinWatch and a leader on the News414 team, where he has worked since 2019. He has worked for Bridge Magazine in his home state of Michigan, was an investigative reporter for the Texas Tribune and Stateline. Jim majored in political science at Grinnell College in Iowa and holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Iowa. He was a founding member of the Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism, where he serves on the board of directors. Contact Jim at

Matt Martinez is a staff reporter for NNS. He graduated from Marquette University in 2020, where he worked in various positions at the Marquette Wire. He spent the majority of his time there on the investigative desk, covering issues such as housing, human trafficking and health care in the city. Matt joined NNS as part of Report For America, a program that strengthens local journalism by placing journalists in communities that have a greater need for issues-based reporting. Contact Matt at

Dilpreet Saraina is the Spanish translator and engagement assistant for News414. She graduated from Marquette University with degrees in Biology and Spanish. After graduation, she made the decision to stay in Milwaukee and deepen her involvement in the community. In 2017, Dilpreet served a year with Public Allies at Core El Centro on Milwaukee’s South Side. She continued to serve her community with her work at a free clinic in Milwaukee’s Spanish speaking community. Dilpreet keeps herself busy volunteering and serving as a Spanish Cultural Specialist/ teacher assistant at NorthShore Montessori School, and as a clinical research coordinator at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Ron Smith, widely known as “Ronshine,” is NNS’ editor, arriving after serving as the managing editor for news at USA TODAY. Before moving to the Washington, D.C. area in 2016, Ronshine was the deputy managing editor for daily news and production at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, where he oversaw the breaking news hub, production desks and was the key point person for print story selections and workflow. Ronshine previously worked as an editor at The Oregonian, the Los Angeles Times and Newsday. He is known for championing great journalism and the great journalists who produce great works. He “proceeds until apprehended’ and is not afraid to roll up his sleeves and help others — all while having fun along the way. Contact Ronshine at

Vanessa Vasquez is a News414/Noticias414 ambassador — forging connections on Milwaukee’s South Side, where she grew up. Vanessa earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Alverno College as a first-generation student. Vanessa currently serves as the Director of the Caroline Scholars Program at Mount Mary University. She previously worked at Carmen Schools of Science & Technology, Milwaukee Area Technical College and Alverno College. Vanessa volunteers with multiple Milwaukee-area organizations. She was recognized by the Milwaukee Business Journal (MBJ) as one of the 2019, 40 Under 40 Award recipients, the 2018 UMOS Hispanic Woman of the Year, and the 2016 Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee (HPGM) Future Leader Award. She served as the 2013-2014 Ambassador representing the Wisconsin Hispanic Scholarship Foundation/Mexican Fiesta Inc.

Sam Woods is a staff reporter for the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service, primarily covering education in Milwaukee. After moving to Milwaukee, Sam served as a City Year mentor at South Division, followed by a year with Public Allies at Ex Fabula. Sam also has a background in podcasting and serves as the Director of Content at Bridge the City podcast. Sam’s favorite part of his job is meeting new people and learning more about the city every day. Contact Sam at