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

GARDEN, MI--   A Garden man has drowned while fishing on Big Bay de Noc.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says the body of Edward Lester, 64, was pulled from the water Thursday afternoon.

Lester’s wife had called a neighbor when he didn’t return from fishing at his normal time of 10 a.m. Using binoculars, the neighbor saw an object floating near Kates Bay and called 911.

Conservation officers used department-issued equipment to get onto the ice and reach Lester’s body. It was near a pressure crack in the ice that exposed 10 to 15 feet of water.

LANSING, MI--   Following last week’s announcement about the plan to reopen indoor dining, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) released its next epidemic order today, which continues the department’s fact-based

NEGAUNEE, MI--   The 134th Annual Suicide Hill Ski Jumping Tournament is postponed until March. 

The Ishpeming Ski Club says it’s been a challenging year for events and officials want to ensure the safety of athletes and the community. The club is working on a plan to host the tournament at Suicide Hill in Negaunee March 6th and 7th. It will be based on the State of Michigan’s guidelines for COVID-19 mitigation.

Officials are also hoping more snow will fall between now and the beginning of March.

HOUGHTON, MI--   A Hancock man has been sentenced to 67 months to 10 years in prison on charges related to child pornography.

Justin Covert, 33, was arrested in August after the Michigan State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force initiated an investigation. He faced a total of 12 charges.

Covert pleaded guilty to child sexually abusive activity, possession of child sexually abusive material, and two counts of using a computer to commit a crime. The other charges were dropped.

Covert was sentenced Wednesday in Houghton County Circuit Court.

ONTONAGON, MI--   An Ontonagon County man has been arrested for first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Sheriff’s deputies executed a search warrant at his home Wednesday and arrested the 42-year-old around 7:45 p.m.

The suspect remains lodged at the Ontonagon County Jail, awaiting arraignment in 98th District Court.

No other details are available at this time.

Michigan State Police from the Wakefield Post assisted at the scene.

MARQUETTE, MI--   The Marquette County Health Department is creating a COVID-19 vaccination pre-registration process for people 65 and older.

Officials say that will allow people to get their name on a list for an appointment. When the health department confirms how much vaccine it will receive, officials will use the list to call residents to schedule vaccination appointments.

ISHPEMING, MI--   Ishpeming Police are investigating a traffic crash on US-41 near McDonalds Wednesday.

Officers say a 65-year-old man was eastbound in a Chevy Impala when he turned onto North Road in front of a Toyota Rav 4 driven by a 19-year-old woman.

The man was taken to UPHS-Bell for treatment of minor injuries. The woman was treated at the scene.

The driver of the Impala was cited for failing to yield the right of way.

Westbound traffic was temporarily re-routed until the scene was cleared.  

FBI

CALUMET, MI (AP)--   A Calumet man is accused of joining the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

WLUC-TV says Karl Dresch is charged with violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds; knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and impeding or disrupting official functions; and obstructing an official proceeding. Dresch was arrested Tuesday in Calumet and appeared in court via video Wednesday.

BARK RIVER, MI--   An Iron Mountain man has been arrested for breaking into Bark River Harris School earlier this month.

Early on January 11 Michigan State Police from the Gladstone Post received a report that someone had entered the school building. They learned the suspect found his way to one of the offices, broke a window to get in and rummaged through a desk. He found a small amount of cash, left the school and went to the Island Resort and Casino to gamble.

WASHINGTON, D.C.--   U.S. Senators Gary Peters (MI) and Debbie Stabenow (MI) today announced a $2.5 million federal grant to the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) to address staffing shortages at rural hospitals across the state. 

The funding – awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor – will help hospitals in rural communities throughout the state hire local workers for open staff positions. Peters and Stabenow both sent letters to the Department of Labor last month, supporting Governor Whitmer’s and LEO’s application for this grant.

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