Peter Payette

News 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.

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Travel
9:44 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Upper Peninsula not as alluring?

Credit Michigan State University

Traffic over the Mackinac Bridge has been in a steady decline for almost 20 years. That fact is included in a report on Michigan's tourism industry out this week from Michigan State University.

Traffic over the bridge peaked around 1998, when almost five million trips were made. The number dropped below four million just before the recession in 2008. It has continued a steady decline except for a slight bump coming out of the recession.

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Road Improvements
1:01 pm
Wed March 11, 2015

Chamber endorses sales tax bump for roads

The Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce supports a sales tax increase to fix Michigan’s roads. That’s good news for the plan that has lost some key support in recent weeks. The higher tax would raise more than a billion dollars a year for transportation spending.

Critics say there was another option, one that did not involve new taxes. But Doug Luciani, President and CEO of the Traverse City chamber, says they looked at that plan too.

“It didn’t address the full load of the transportation needs,” he says. “It fell far short of what the transportation needs are.”

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Arts
12:49 pm
Fri March 6, 2015

Stone Circle poet publishes anthology

Credit Peter Payette

Terri Wooten never wanted to write academic poetry.

“I had a vision of writing for the common people,” he says.

More than 30 years ago, he built a circle of boulders—88 in all—behind his house north of Elk Rapids. Since then, poets and storytellers have gathered around the campfire to perform for audiences that sometimes number more than 100.

This month, an anthology of Wooten’s poetry is out called "The Stone Circle Poems." Peter Payette stopped by his house and sent this postcard.

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Broadband Access
1:05 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Internet not getting faster in rural northern Michigan

The FCC has published a map that shows lack of broadband service in the U.S. by county. Blue areas do not have access under the new standard, 25 Mbps/3Mbps.

The federal government wants faster Internet connections nationwide and has raised the minimum speed for what it considers broadband. That is unlikely to help the thousands of people in northern Michigan who have something like dial-up service and have for years.

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Extreme Winters
4:39 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

At least it wasn't 51 degrees below zero!

Credit National Weather Service

UPDATED 6:50 pm

Gaylord hit 35 degrees below zero this morning, one of the coldest temperatures ever recorded there. A volunteer observer noted that temperature. The thermometer at Gaylord Regional Airport went down to minus 31, according to the National Weather Service.

Other cities set records for the day, including Traverse City at minus 22, two degrees colder than the previous record for February 20th.

Neither of those approach the coldest temperature ever recorded in Michigan.

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