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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Meningitis Outbreak
4:02 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Murder charges for distributors of tainted steroid shots

Criminal charges have been filed in federal court in Massachusetts, following an outbreak of fungal meningitis that hit Michigan in 2012.

Most people charged worked at New England Compounding Center, a shuttered pharmacy in Boston that sold steroid shots that infected people nationwide.

The tainted shots were sent to a few clinics in Michigan, including one in Traverse City.

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Renewable Energy
2:48 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Help for wind farms not moving in lame duck

Legislation to protect wind farms from lawsuits appears likely to die in the lame duck session.

The legislation proposed by Republican state Senator Howard Walker would make it harder for neighbors to sue if wind turbines are noisy. Critics say it’s a favor for one company based in Traverse City.

Wind farms have popped up across the state since Michigan passed a new law encouraging them in 2008. Sometimes neighbors say the noise of the turbines causes headaches and interrupts sleep. In a few cases, homeowners have sued.

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InsideOut Gallery
3:25 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Interlochen screenwriter mashes up Grimm

Lesley Tye from last year's production of "How Grinchy Met the Who." Tye's musical director, and husband, Tony Bero is at the keyboard.

Last December, the Mash-Up Rock and Roll Musical Parody group staged an unusual performance. The Grinch (who stole Christmas) was cast into the lead role of the 1969 rock opera “Tommy.”

The parody team is back this year weaving together fairy tales with 1980s rock.

The idea came to Lesley Tye more than a year ago when she was in her car listening to the song “Girlfriend in a Coma.” That was a hit from 1987 by The Smiths. The song got Tye thinking about Snow White and the prince who saves her.

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Presque Isle Power Plant
2:20 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Rising electric rates delayed in the UP

A plan to increase the cost of electricity in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula has been delayed. The rate increase would have taken effect today, but federal regulators have raised questions about its fairness.

The plan would raise rates 20% to 30% for residents and businesses across the UP. In total, the region of about 310,000 people would have to come up with more than $100 million over the next year.

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Thanksgiving Stories
2:39 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

'Roofless' in Traverse City, not homeless

Credit Peter Payette

Just before Thanksgiving at IPR, we hear the story of a family in difficult or unusual circumstances. This year, we meet a group of people who you might not think of as a family – but they do. They’ve lost a lot of members in the last year, people who might have been forgotten but are not thanks to a little house in Traverse City.

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