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.

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MARQUETTE, MI--   A former Marquette resident has been sentenced on child sexually abusive activity and bestiality charges. 

Stephen Waligore, 41, received 8 to 25 years on each of seven counts of aggravated child sexually abusive activity and 277 days with credit for 277 days already served on each of two counts of sodomy/bestiality. As part of his plea agreement he also pleaded guilty in downstate Branch County to one count of possession of child sexually abusive material and to one count of possession with intent to promote child pornography in Tarrant County, Texas.

MARQUETTE, MI--   An employee at Marquette’s Tourist Park has tested positive for COVID-19. 

The employee works at the campground and last reported to work on July 22. The city was notified of the positive test result Sunday and enacted COVID-19 response protocols.

No additional details are being provided.

The Marquette County Health Department is actively involved in the case and is conducting contact tracing.

City employees who feel ill or are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 are directed not to come to work.

MARQUETTE, MI--   Last week, the Michigan Aerospace Manufacturers Association (MAMA) announced that Marquette, MI had been selected as a new vertical space launch site, kickstarting the nation’s next chapter in commercial, government and defense aerospace operations. 

IRON MOUNTAIN, MI--   A logging truck leaked diesel fuel after it crashed in Iron Mountain Monday morning. 

City Police and Firefighters were dispatched around 5:30 to US-2 near Hamilton. They say a fully loaded truck was southbound on the highway when the driver failed to negotiate a curve. The truck left the roadway, came back on, and left the road again before coming to a stop.

Two power poles, a stop sign, a manhole and a telephone pedestal were all destroyed in the incident.

MARQUETTE, MI--   Officials say the number of positive COVID-19 cases has increased dramatically in the Upper Peninsula.

The health officers and medical directors of the U.P.’s six health departments say the region has gone from being considered “low risk” for infection to “medium” and is moving toward “high risk.” They say a large number of people came to the U.P. and brought the virus with them.

GRAND RAPIDS, MI--   An Upper Peninsula drug dealer has been sentenced to 21 years in prison in federal court.

Rodgers Lee Shealy, 45, pleaded guilty in August to conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of meth.  Investigation showed between 2017 and February 2019 Shealy obtained meth and heroin from Pontiac, Michigan and Oklahoma. He then transported the drugs to various locations in the Upper Peninsula, including Marquette, Baraga and Menominee counties, using a number of associates.

Shealy faces eight years of supervision upon release.

SAULT STE. MARIE, MI--   A Sault Ste. Marie man was sentenced last week to seven years in prison for abusive sexual contact with a minor under the age of 12 years. 

Police say between 2012 and 2014 Allen Foster, 29, sexually abused a minor who was living in his house on the Sault Ste. Marie reservation.

Foster will be on supervised release for six years after his prison term ends and must register as a sex offender.

SUPERIOR TOWNSHIP, MI--   A motorcyclist has died of injuries sustained in a Chippewa County crash. 

Michigan State Police from the Sault Ste. Marie Post say it happened Friday on West Lakeshore Drive in Superior Township. A 31-year-old man was westbound when he left the north side of the roadway and hit a tree.

Bay Mills EMS took the man to War Memorial Hospital. He was later transferred to Spectrum Health Fred and Lena Meijer Heart Center in Grand Rapids, where he later died of his injuries.

TORCH LAKE TOWNSHIP, MI--   Two men had to be rescued from Torch Bay Sunday after one fell into the water and the other jumped in to save him. 

Just before 7:40 p.m. the Houghton County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to East Grosse Point Shores across from the Dreamland Restaurant. Deputies say a 20-year-old man was near the back of the boat when he fell out. A 22-year-old man jumped in to help him and the boat drifted away.

The Bootjack Fire Department/ First Responders got to the men and assisted them to shore.

MARQUETTE, MI--   The following is a press release from Northern Michigan University:

Northern Michigan University officials were notified Sunday, 7/26, by the Marquette County Health Department concerning a positive coronavirus test of a student who was living on campus.

The notification activated established University protocols concerning the diagnosis and contact tracing has been conducted.