Peter Payette

Executive Director

Peter Payette is the News Director at Interlochen Public Radio, the broadcast service owned and operated by the Interlochen Center for the Arts. He manages the news department, has hosted its weekly program Points North, and reports on a wide range of issues critical to the culture and economy of northern Michigan. His work has been featured on NPR and Michigan Radio and in Traverse Magazine. He teaches radio storytelling to students at the Interlochen Arts Academy. He is also working on a book about the use of aquaculture to manage Great Lakes fisheries, particularly the use of salmon from the Pacific Ocean to create a sport fishery in the 1960s.

Peter loves telling stories about northern Michigan and hopes he never has to move away. He has vacationed in Benzie County his entire life. His wife Sarah is his biggest fan. They have three children, Isabelle, Amelia and Emmet, and live happily in Traverse City's Kid's Creek Neighborhood. 

Some of his favorite stories have been about the ongoing search for the wreck of the first schooner to sail the upper Great Lakes, or the prospects for obscure fish in the lakes, and any story that requires some knowledge of the past to understand what is happening today.

Ways to Connect

Interlochen Center for the Arts

Dear Friends,

 

I was hired by Interlochen Public Radio in August of 2000, just a month before IPR News went on the air. That was an exciting time in my life and for this station. My oldest daughter was almost a year old, and we were able to return from Maine to Michigan where all our family members still lived. Just as I arrived, IPR doubled the amount of public radio heard in northern Michigan and began offering a breadth of service unmatched in even Michigan’s largest cities.

Interlochen Public Radio

Voter turnout in northern Michigan on Tuesday was the highest it has been in at least two decades and Republican voters dominated the election up north. Donald Trump won every county but Marquette and Republican Jack Bergman won a resounding victory in the race for U.S. Congress.

Bergman won Michigan’s 1st Congressional seat by more than 55,000 votes over his Democratic opponent Lon Johnson. In 2012, this race—between different major party candidates—was decided by less than 2,000 votes.

Mark Lyons

Interlochen Center for the Arts has chosen a new president. Trey Devey will leave the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra next year to come to northern Michigan. Devey has been president of the symphony orchestra since 2009 and led it out of a severe financial crisis.

 

Devey, age 45, has vacationed near Traverse City his entire life. He has a masters degree from The Wharton School of Business, and he studied music and played trombone at Northern Illinois University.

 

Peter Payette

Judge Thomas Ludington says Steven Ingersoll is guilty of “sloppy bookkeeping practices.”

But in an opinion released today, Ludington says Ingersoll, the former manager of Grand Traverse Academy, did not lie about his finances and did not abuse his power when he was the manager of the public charter school near Traverse City.

Reviving Michigan's coastal marshes

Sep 22, 2016

 

Most visitors to northern Michigan are looking for sugar sand beaches on the Great Lakes. But if you’re a spawning fish or a migratory bird, you might be looking for a coastal marsh.

The Great Lakes used to be lined with coastal marshes that were full of native plants and wildlife. But in lower Michigan, many of these places been drained, plowed, polluted and, more recently, overrun by exotic plants from other parts of the world.

 

Some conservation groups are working to restore and protect the marshes we have left.

Pure Michigan

A longstanding trademark dispute over the use of the M-22 highway route marker has expanded into federal court. The issue already pending before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board will now also be the subject of a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids.

A fatal car crash in August of 2015 near Buckley has resulted in lawsuits against the State of Michigan. Family members of the victims, Anthony and Deanna Erving, say the stretch of M-37 with two 90-degree curves was not safe, and highway officials ignored the problem.

The Ervings died when a car crossed the centerline and struck their motorcycle.

George Thompson is representing the son of Anthony Erving in one of the lawsuits against the Michigan Department of Transportation. He says the Ervings were not the first people killed on that stretch of road.

An administrative law judge will consider accusations that Northwestern Michigan College froze its teachers’ pay as punishment for forming a union.

Judge Travis Calderwood denied a motion by the college to dismiss the case and said a two-day hearing with witnesses will be scheduled for October.

Faculty members and NMC have been bargaining over a first contract for more than a year. Teachers formed a union in March of 2015.

Peter Payette

Jerry Coyne was bored with classic rock on the radio. As a teenager in the 1970s, he saw bands like Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones when they were in their prime and he listened to WABX, a rock station in Detroit that introduced a lot of the music that came to define his generation.

Jerry says it changed the entire culture in the U.S.

“Rock ’n’ roll was revolutionary,” he says. “It stopped the Vietnam War.”

Women make up a small fraction of directors producing movies today. This Traverse City Film Festival panel discussion features women directors. They talk about their work and what has to change so more women can direct movies.

Peter Payette

Republicans in Michigan’s 1st Congressional District have nominated a retired Marine Corps lieutenant general to run for U.S. Congress.

Jack Bergman was unknown in northern Michigan political circles until about six months ago. Yesterday, he prevailed in a three-way race against two well-known members of the Republican Party: state Senator Tom Casperson from Escanaba and former state lawmaker Jason Allen from Traverse City.

Bergman, who lives in the Upper Peninsula town of Watersmeet, took more than 33,000 votes out of about 86,000.

NORTHWEST MICHIGAN HORTICULTURE RESEARCH CENTER

The tart cherry harvest has begun in northern Michigan. The cherry crop is large this year, but growers are dealing with rising numbers of spotted wing drosophila as they harvest.

Drosophila is a tiny insect that originally came from Asia. The bugs have found a home in Michigan in recent years, and their numbers have been growing.

Nikki Rothwell is coordinator of the Northwest Michigan Horticulture Research Center. She’s been studying spotted wing drosophila.

Jim Nugent says growers are spraying a lot more this year.

Peter Payette

Police in Traverse City are investigating a pair of attacks on homeless men this week. The victims were kicked, and had firecrackers and stones thrown at them. 

Two were injured badly enough to be taken to the hospital. David Whitney has a broken nose and 27 stitches on his forehead, above his eye and, he says, inside his mouth. His left eye is swollen and blue. 

"They came back in here three times to continue," Whitney says of the attacks. "[They] dragged me down there ... kicking the stuffing out of me.

A proposal to reduce salmon stocking in Lake Michigan has upset some sport fishermen. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is polling members of an advisory committee to see how strong opposition is to the plan.


Peter Payette

Tom Doak thinks most new golf courses are “way too hard.” He says designers are driven to match the abilities of players you see on TV.

“Nobody who pays to play golf plays anything like that," he says, "but that’s where all the attention goes.”

Doak’s firm, Renaissance Golf in Traverse City, has built courses around the world, and he says they strive to make them enjoyable for all players. If his team gets carried away creating obstacles like sand bunkers, Doak says it’s only to make the course pretty.

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