Nicole Walton

News Director

Nicole was born near Detroit but has lived in the U.P. most of her life. She graduated from Marquette Senior High School and attended Michigan State and Northern Michigan Universities, graduating from NMU in 1993 with a degree in English.

Following a graduate school stint at Miami University of Ohio and moves to Indiana and Wisconsin, Nicole decided the U.P. was where she needed to be, so she moved back to Marquette and Public Radio 90’s news room. She’s been there ever since as host of NPR’s Morning Edition and now as News Director. Nicole’s stories have been heard on the Michigan Public Radio Network and National Public Radio.

Nicole lives in Marquette with two incredibly cute cats.

Ways to Connect

HOUGHTON, MI--   From Houghton County officials:

This letter is being distributed as a guide regarding the assistance that is available for Houghton County residents that have been affected by the recent floods.

First, if you need assistance cleaning out the flood damaged areas of your home or property including removing flood waters, muck, debris, carpet, drywall etc., volunteer help to do that work is available by calling (906) 233-6621. 

HOUGHTON, MI--   The Department of Natural Resources is reevaluating work done on Houghton County trails following heavy rains last week. 

Initial reports received late Thursday indicate runoff from the rainfall had undermined progress made over some parts of the trail system, while in other areas repairs remained intact. Central Upper Peninsula Trails Specialist Rob Katona says crews expect to find additional damage, primarily to sites that were previously damaged in June and have not been restored.

MICHIGAMME, MI--   Van Riper State Park is offering campers another source of potable water, after testing of the park’s drinking water revealed slightly elevated levels of arsenic. 

The Marquette County Health Department informed staff that the arsenic concentration at the facility was 14 parts per billion – 4 parts above the federal standard. The Department of Natural Resources says it’s planning a water system improvement project in September. Until then, a truck will provide drinking water to campers.

ROCK RIVER TOWNSHIP, MI--   Michigan State Police are investigating a fatal house fire in Alger County.

Troopers from the Munising detachment were called to N5113 ET Road Saturday around 1 a.m. Firefighters from the Rock River Township Fire Department discovered remains inside the house after the flames were 


The house itself was completely destroyed.

The cause of the fire has yet to be determined, but foul play is not suspected.

No names have yet been released.

Northern Michigan University

MARQUETTE, MI--   The Northern Michigan University Board of Trustees has recognized President Fritz Erickson’s “outstanding performance” with a new contract and bonus. 

At its meeting Friday morning the Board approved a new five-year contract that places Erickson’s base salary at $385,000. It also includes a $50,000 performance-based bonus for goals achieved in 2017-2018.

MARQUETTE, MI--   The City of Marquette and the Marquette Beautification and Restoration Committee, Inc. invite the community to the rededication of Father Marquette Park on Sunday, July 15 at 2 p.m.

NEGAUNEE, MI--   The Michigan State Police Post in Negaunee is getting a new trooper. 

Jared Wells of Gwinn will report to the post in the next few days following his graduation from Trooper Recruit School in Lansing Thursday. Over the past 26 weeks Wells has received training in firearms, water safety, defensive tactics, patrol techniques, cultural diversity and implicit bias, crime scene processing, and other subjects.

MARQUETTE, MI--   The Marquette Fire Department is trying to figure out what started a structure fire on Grant Street Thursday. 

Firefighters were initially called just before 8 a.m. to 401 Lincoln Avenue for a general alarm. Dispatch said lightning might have struck the structure or nearby. Crews investigated the building and found the fire alarm system had been damaged and wasn’t functioning properly—possibly from a power surge. The alarm system was disabled and the building put on fire watch.

HOUGHTON COUNTY, MI--   Hard work to repair flood-damaged streets in the Copper Country was washed away Thursday. 

Heavy rains in Houghton County forced lane closures on M-26 between Dollar Bay and Tamarack City as officials tried to repair portions of the roadway. The highway was closed between Tamarack City and Hubbell because of water over the road.

The rain once again created rivers of Houghton County streets patched over after devastating floods hit the region on Fathers’ Day.

BESSEMER, MI--   A Wakefield man has been killed in a traffic accident in Bessemer. 

The Gogebic County Sheriff’s Office says it happened Thursday afternoon on US-2 near Fairview Drive. Deputies say Rex Smith, 41, of Wakefield was eastbound when he lost control of his vehicle and spun into the westbound lanes. He hit a vehicle driven by Alvin Liikanen, 86, of Ironwood.

Liikanen and his 87-year-old passenger Barbara Liikanen were taken to Aspirus Ironwood Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.