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

MARINETTE, WI--   A portion of US-41 in Marinette will be closed off next week. 

The Michigan Department of Transportation says repair work needs to be done on the Canadian National railroad crossing at Hall Avenue. Beginning Monday at 7 a.m. the highway will be closed at the crossing. Hall Avenue will be closed at the tracks and a signed detour will be posted.

Southbound US-41 in Menominee will be detoured onto the truck route along 10th Street. 10th Avenue/Bridge Street will remain open to local traffic to Main Street in Marinette.

MARQUETTE, MI--   Upper Peninsula Power Company is asking the Michigan Public Service Commission to let it read meters the way it usually does. 

UPPCO currently reads customer meters on a bi-monthly basis. During the off months, the company estimates energy usage. It has filed a request with the MPSC seeking to extend the practice.

LANSING, MI--   Governor Rick Snyder has signed into law the final bill sponsored by the late Representative John Kivela.

The law increases penalties for illegally importing deer, elk, and moose carcasses into Michigan from another state or province. It aims to protect native herds from diseases that could spread. Increased penalties include up to 90 days in prison or fines between $500 and $2,000.

MARQUETTE, MI--   Two horses in Marquette County have tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis.

EEE is a serious viral disease transmitted by mosquitoes. The Marquette County Health Department says it mainly causes neurological disease in horses but can also cause illness in people, poultry, and other animals, such as deer and even dogs. 

The Department recommends people take steps to protect themselves against mosquito bites by applying repellant and wearing protective clothing.

MARQUETTE, MI--   The likeness of a beloved member of the Marquette community will be unveiled downtown next week. 

A statue of Phil Niemisto will be placed in the Pocket Park on Washington Street.

The 87-year-old Niemisto has been cleaning the windows of downtown buildings and tending flowers in the park for years. Thanks to a GoFundMe page, enough money was raised to commission local artist Earl Senchuk to create a life-size statue of Phil to put on a bench among the flowers.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

EWEN, MI--   The bridge over the South Branch of the Ontonagon River near Ewen is reopen.

The Department of Natural Resources closed the former railroad bridge in May to perform rehabilitation work. The $803,000 project included removal of the old bridge deck and wooden approach abutments. The new bridge deck is constructed of pressure-treated, glue-laminated beams, deck, and railing.

The bridge provides access for snowmobile, off-road vehicle, and non-motorized traffic on the Bergland to Sidnaw Rail Grade.

MARQUETTE, MI--   The Marquette County Prosecutor's Office has concluded its case against a 13-year-old girl charged in the hanging death of 11-year-old Tysen Benz of Marquette in March.

Prosecutor Matt Wiese says the case is heartbreaking. He says the girl made immature and irresponsible choices, but he doesn't believe she intended for Tysen to die. She has been placed on a kind of juvenile probation program, under which she must complete certain requirements in order for her record to be expunged.

Wiese released a statement regarding the case Wednesday:

NAUBINWAY, MI--   A portion of US-2 along the north shore of Lake Michigan has been designated a Pure Michigan Byway by the state. 

The 92-mile section from St. Ignace to Thompson in Mackinac and Schoolcraft counties was chosen for its outstanding recreational and scenic qualities.

The new Top of the Lake Scenic Byway joins 20 other highways around Michigan in the Pure Michigan Byways Program, now encompassing 1,152 miles of state trunkline.

ISHPEMING, MI--   The Department of Natural Resources is hosting a forum on moose in Ishpeming next week.

Moose expert Vince Crichton of Manitoba will talk about moose populations and threats the U.P. herd faces, like chronic wasting disease. DNR wildlife research biologist Dean Beyer will discuss the status of the Upper Peninsula moose herd.

MARQUETTE, MI--   The NMU College of Business is inviting university and high school students to take 

part in its 11th annual New Business Venture Competition. Individuals or teams of up to five can compete for a $5,000 cash prize and another $5,000 in business support. The best high school idea will win $500.

Participants must first submit an electronic “intent to compete” form and business proposal by 5 p.m. on Friday, October 27. A committee will choose finalists, who will submit a detailed business plan by Friday, March 2.