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.


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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Northwestern Michigan College
10:23 am
Thu February 19, 2015

College faculty get union ballots

Faculty members at Northwestern Michigan College will soon decide if they want a union. Ballots are being mailed today to 89 instructors at the community college in Traverse City.

The faculty has not publicly stated what it hopes to gain from a union. A spokeswoman for the Michigan Education Association, the organizing unit, declined to comment on the vote.

Marguerite Cotto, NMC’s vice president of lifelong and professional learning, says the concerns she’s aware of include issues like faculty wanting more say in how employees are evaluated.

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The Environment Report
11:47 am
Tue February 17, 2015

Investors move into Michigan hops industry

Hops vines grow up a trellis. Once common in New York and Michigan, hops has been concentrated in the Pacific Northwest for almost a century.
John Niedermaier Brewery Terra Firma

Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 10:42 am

There are now more than 200 licensed breweries in Michigan. And that is starting to change the rural landscape up north.

This month, an investment group in Traverse City finalized plans to plant up to 400 acres of hops. That would roughly double the amount of hops now growing in Michigan.

And it signals the arrival of big investors into the business.

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Underwater Archeology
10:45 am
Wed February 11, 2015

State skeptical about newest claim that the Griffin has been found

Woodcut of the Griffin from Father Louis Hennepin.

State archeologists say a shipwreck found in Lake Michigan is probably not the oldest known wreck in the Great Lakes. But the state will dive the site and see what is there.

The French ship, the Griffin, disappeared in 1679 after leaving Green Bay. It was built by the French explorer Robert de La Salle, though he was not on it when it was lost loaded with furs heading back to Montreal. Two divers from the Muskegon area, Kevin Dykstra and Frederick Monroe, think they found its remains.

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