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

IRON MOUNTAIN, MI--   Michigan State Police from the Iron Mountain Post are urging residents to check their homes and camps for possible missing items.

Troopers say in the past few months they’ve investigated larceny complaints in the Felch area. Anyone who has a home, vacation home, or camp in the region may want to check to see if any items have been taken.

Those who believe property has been taken can contact the Iron Mountain Post at 774-2122.

IRON MOUNTAIN, MI--   Dickinson County Healthcare has been named a Best Maternity Care Hospital by Newsweek Magazine. 

The designation identifies leading maternity care programs based on quality and safety standards. Hospitals on the “best” list are verified by the 2019 Leapfrog Hospital Survey.

Criteria includes low rates of C-section, episiotomies and early elective deliveries and following important protocols to protect moms and babies.

The designation was awarded to only 231 hospitals in the United States and just 10 in Michigan.

SCHOOLCRAFT TOWNSHIP, MI--   Four people had to be rescued from Lake Superior in Houghton County Tuesday.

Sheriff’s deputies were called around 2:30 p.m. to Big Traverse Beach in Schoolcraft Township. They say an 8-year-old girl was swept out by a current. When three other beachgoers attempted to save her, they also were taken out by the current. Several people on the beach assisted with inflatable tubes and were able to get everyone to shore.

UPPER PENINSULA, MI--   Responses to the Coronavirus pandemic sees continued legislation from state and federal government such as the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), and businesses from across the Upper Peninsula may have questions or concerns about how this legislation will impact them as an employer. 

MARQUETTE, MI--   The Community Foundation of Marquette County has given area programs more than $58,000 in this year’s competitive grant cycle.

Among other projects, the Forsyth Township Public Library received $24,000 for a summer reading program; more than $15,000 went to Feeding America’s food pantries; $6,000 was given to Trillium House for resident care equipment; and $4,700 was given to the Michigamme Township DDA to make the library handicap-accessible.

For more information about the foundation go to

HANCOCK, MI--   Michigan State Police have arrested a Hancock man for his involvement with child pornography.

Justin Covert, 32, is charged with three counts of aggravated child sexually abusive activity, three counts of aggravated possession of child sexually abusive activity, and six counts of using a computer to commit a crime.

The MSP Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force initiated the investigation. A search warrant served on Covert’s residence netted several internet-capable devices and evidence.

MARQUETTE, MI--   Results of Northern Michigan University COVID-19 tests are coming back slower than expected.

President Fritz Erickson says the rising number of national cases has lengthened the return of results from 2-3 days to 3-4 days.

The university has tested 3,800 people so far. Five tests have come back positive. Erickson says the five were a combination of students, faculty and staff. None of the positives are residing in residence halls.

MARQUETTE, MI--   The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Upper Peninsula went up by 24 Monday.

As of 3 p.m. Menominee County had 11 new cases; there were three each in Luce and Dickinson counties; two each in Gogebic and Ontonagon counties; and one each in Marquette, Chippewa and Iron counties.

The Michigan Department of Corrections also says 29 inmates and two staff members have tested positive at the Newberry Correctional Facility. Those numbers are not included in U.P. totals.

MARQUETTE, MI--   As Upper Peninsula businesses look to engage with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) through contracts, there is a new model that all vendors for the DoD will need to follow. 

Suppliers without a Request for Proposal (RFP) required Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) will not be able to win new DoD contracts individually or as part of a team.  The DoD CMMC is a new model to measure cybersecurity capabilities across all DoD suppliers. DoD is targeting requiring Certification Levels in RFPs by late 2020.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

DRUMMOND ISLAND, MI--   A Department of Natural Resources conservation officer rescued two Chicago men whose boat overturned in the eastern U.P. Friday. 

Officer Todd Sumbera was patrolling waters north of Drummond Island and west of Harbor Island around 1:45 p.m. when he saw two people in the water clinging to an overturned personal watercraft.