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


UNDATED (WNMU) - The state says seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates in all regions of Michigan dropped in April as seasonal hiring picked up.

The figures released Thursday by the Department of Technology, Management and Budget show jobless rates down in all 17 major regional labor markets compared to March.

Total employment levels increased moderately in most regions, and labor force levels declined in all areas.

UNDATED (WNMU) - Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is struggling to overcome a population decline brought on by unemployment and aging, the same thing that’s happening in rural areas nationwide.

The 2010 census shows that 12 of the region’s 15 counties lost residents over the past decade. The overall population drop of 2 percent might seem insignificant, but experts say it’s a bad sign.

MADISON, WI (WNMU) - Wisconsin residents who lose their jobs would have to wait a week before they could receive their first unemployment check, under a plan Republicans on the Legislature’s Budget Committee has approved.

State fiscal analysts say the delay would save the state between $41 million dollars and $56 million dollars annually.

The measure threw four Democrats into a fit of rage. Senator Bob Jauch screamed at the Republicans, saying they just want to pile onto unemployed people’s pain and suffering.

MICHIGAMME TOWNSHIP, MI (WNMU) – The Marquette County Sheriff’s Department is investigating an illegal dump site in Michigamme Township containing suspected methamphetamine-making material.

A resident walking near Cardinal Red Road found the site Tuesday around 9 a.m. Deputies identified components that are commonly used to make meth, like Ephedrine and battery acid.

The UPSET Meth Response Team went to the scene and neutralized the chemicals. Deputies say evidence seized at the site may lead them to suspects in the case.

UNDATED (WNMU) – Michigan’s public universities face a 15 percent cut in state aid for operations under terms of a budget bill moving through the State Legislature.

The Republican-led Senate approved the higher education funding bill by a 21-16 vote Tuesday mostly along party lines. The measure is expected to get approval in the House and be sent to Governor Rick Snyder this month.

UNDATED (WNMU) – A newly released survey has found that tourists and travelers spent an estimated $17.2 billion in Michigan last year. That’s up 14 percent from $15.1 billion in 2009.

The Michigan Economic Development Corp. released results of the survey Wednesday. The survey found $12.6 billion was spent on travel for leisure and $4.6 billion was spent on business travel.

The survey also found that spending by out-of-state visitors rose 21 percent. It says 152,600 jobs were generated by Michigan’s tourism industry in 2010, up 10,000 from 2009.

Ferry suit over

May 25, 2011

MACKINAC ISLAND, MI (WNMU) – A ferry operator says it’s ending legal action it brought related to a dispute over service to Mackinac Island.

The Petoskey News-Review and the Detroit News report that Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry this week filed motions to dismiss a lawsuit that it filed in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids as well as a complaint with the Michigan Public Service Commission.


MARQUETTE, MI (WNMU) – Northern Michigan University officials have named an interim provost to replace Susan Koch.

Paul Lang is the dean of the College of Professional Studies. Lang started at NMU in 1997 as a professor of criminal justice, and was appointed director of the School of Technology and Applied Sciences before becoming dean.

NMU President Les Wong says a committee will be formed this summer to search for a permanent replacement for Koch, who is leaving to become chancellor at the University of Illinois-Springfield.

BARAGA, MI (WNMU) – A pretrial hearing will be scheduled for a Baraga man charged with possessing morphine.

The judge in the case entered a not guilty plea for Paul Aubin, who stood mute Friday on a charge of possession of less than 50 grams of morphine.

He faces up to 20 years in prison and a $25,000 fine, if convicted.

Aubin remains lodged in the Baraga County Jail on a $2,500 bond. A pretrial hearing will be set within the next 30 days.

UNDATED (WNMU) – With Memorial Day just around the corner, the Department of Natural Resources is urging recreationalists to stay out of danger during Safe Boating Week.

The DNR says people should take swim lessons and water-safety classes; never leave children unattended near water; and always keep life jackets or other certified personal flotation devices nearby.

Officials note more than 80 percent of drownings in the U.S. are due to people not wearing their life jackets. And in most of those accidents, life jackets were on the boats.