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

MACKINAC COUNTY, MI--   The Michigan Department of Transportation is closing lanes of US-2 in Mackinac County this week so it can inspect the Cut River Bridge.

Traffic at the bridge will be reduced to one alternating lane in each direction and a temporary traffic signal will be in place.

Closures will be in effect Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday. 

SAULT STE. MARIE, MI--   Lake Superior State University has named David Roland Finley acting president of the school while officials search for a permanent replacement. 

Finley steps into the role left vacant by Thomas Pleger, who died May 7 after a brief illness. The university’s Board of Trustees made the announcement Friday.

Finley has been serving for the past year as LSSU’s interim provost and vice president for academic affairs, as well as the dean of the schools of engineering and business.

SAGOLA, MI--   Officials say a downed power line is to blame for a Dickinson County wildfire that knocked out electricity to residents for about two hours on Saturday.

It’s believed a large bird made contact with the wires and sent one to the ground, sparking the fire on the eastern side of M-95 half a mile south of Sagola around 2:50 p.m. About 1,600 residents were affected.

WE Energies restored power around 4:30 p.m.

Authorities say about two acres were burned.

Saying goodbye

May 14, 2017

MARQUETTE, MI--   People came from across the 109th District and the state itself Saturday to honor a man one person called one of the most effective lawmakers in the state: John Kivela.

Dozens of extra chairs had to be set out to accommodate the hundreds of people who called themselves friends, family, co-workers, or constituents of the Marquette Democrat, who passed away last Tuesday.

ELY TOWNSHIP, MI--   Residents in Ely Township were evacuated from their homes after a forest fire was reported near County Road 581 and Island Lake Road around 7 p.m. Saturday.

The evacuation was ordered for those who lived near County Roads CS and CCE. They were directed to the Ishpeming Township Fire Hall until firefighters could bring the blaze under control.

Responding agencies included the Department of Natural Resources and fire departments from Ishpeming Township, Negaunee, and Richmond Township.

MARQUETTE, MI--   Northern Michigan University is holding Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner training next week.

NMU Nursing instructor Melissa Copenhaver says the 40-hour training prepares nurses to examine victims of sexual assault and abuse, and to perform a forensic kit. Copenhaver says it takes specialized training to do the job well.

ESCANABA, MI--   Escanaba Public Safety officers were able to keep a dryer fire from spreading to other parts of a home in the city. 

Friday around midnight officers responded to 909 North 20th Street on a report of smoke filling the basement. They found the dryer and its contents fully engulfed in flames.

The fire was quickly extinguished and contained to the dryer. Officers ventilated smoke from the rest of the house.

ISHPEMING, MI--   The Ishpeming Police Department has received a donation of child car seats and intends to take part in a car seat education program for U.P. families.  

The department is sending an officer to Child Passenger Safety Technician School in June. With the certification will come the department’s participation in the KARS—or Kids Always Ride Safe—program. It educates residents who transport children and provides vouchers for the purchase of a child safety seat.

The program is run through the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning. 

UPDATE, 5:35 pm:  The Marquette County Sheriff's Department has identified the driver of the vehicle as William King, 63, of Republic. It's believed that King recently moved to the area from Wisconsin. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The passenger was Brian Yelle, 53, of Republic. He was taken to UPHS Marquette, treated, and released.

Officials believe alcohol may have been a factor in the accident.


Upper Peninsula residents are paying tribute to Representative John Kivela by putting his campaign signs

in their yards. Public Radio 90's Nicole Walton spoke with Jason Schneider, Executive Director of the Marquette Chamber of Commerce and Kivela's campaign manager for his first House bid, about his memories of Kivela and another way residents can let their feelings be known.