Irwin Gratz

Morning Edition Producer

Irwin was born and reared in New York City and, while he never hiked miles to school, he did walk up six flights of stairs every day to the apartment his family lived in until he was nearly 19. Irwin remains a lover of subway rides, egg creams, and the New York Mets.

He moved to Maine in 1978 and worked a dozen years in commercial radio in Sanford, then Portland, before beginning to freelance for Maine Public Radio in 1990. He has been the local anchor of Morning Edition since September 1992.

Irwin served as chairman of the Maine Association of Broadcasters in 2015. From September 2004 to October 2005, Irwin served as national president of the Society of Professional Journalists, the nation’s largest and most broad-based journalism organization. He holds a master’s in journalism from New York University. Irwin won a Yankee Quill Award in 2011 from the New England Newspaper and Press Association for his “broad influence for good, both inside and outside the newsroom.”

Irwin also has an interest in astronomy, which he indulges to this day as an occasional show presenter at the Southworth Planetarium in Portland. And he swims, a lot. Irwin has completed seven Peaks Island-to-Portland swims. Irwin is married and has a teenage son.

Ways to Connect

Courtesy Bay Ferries

The CAT Ferry carried more than 18,000 passengers between Portland and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, last month, according to Portland city officials.

The federal government is out with new figures showing how fast Maine's metropolitan area economies grew in 2017. 

Maine Public staff

Cumberland County Sheriff Kevin Joyce runs a jail. But in a recent Portland Press Herald op-ed, Joyce writes that too many people are behind bars.  And many of them, he says, are the wrong people.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

The Maine Turnpike Authority voted Thursday to widen a portion of the highway that runs from Exit 44 in Scarborough to just north of Exit 48 in Portland.

Maine Public staff

Maine's major-party gubernatorial candidates are running nearly even among the 50-and-older crowd.  That's the finding of a new AARP poll out Wednesday.

Courtesy Bay Ferries

Canadian officials today announced they'll spend nearly $10 million to improve the Yarmouth, Nova Scotia ferry terminal.  The Yarmouth terminal is the landing point for The Cat ferry service out of Portland, Maine.

Airbnb says usage is way up this summer season compared to last. 

Irwin Gratz / Maine Public

Big changes are here for the Greater Portland Metro bus system:  On Monday, it's launching two new routes.  One, called the Husky Line, will replace and expand what used to be a private service that shuttled University of Southern Maine students between its Portland and Gorham campuses.

USM

The University of Southern Maine is considering a name change. President Glenn Cummings says it could be a way to continue what he sees as a "major turnaround in enrollment, revenue and reputation.”

The federal government reports that wages in Cumberland County rose 3.9 percent from March 2017 to March of this year. That ranked Cumberland County 93 on a list of the 350 largest counties in the United States.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Prominent anti-tax crusader Carol Palesky has died at an assisted living facility in Freeport. Palesky was known for her passion and outspoken criticism of all taxes.

Unemployment in Maine rose slightly in July for a third straight month.

The increases have been just .1 percent and still leave the state with a very low 3 percent jobless rate. This marks the 32nd consecutive month that the jobless rate was under 4 percent. That’s the longest such period on record.

The state labor department said Maine added 5,700 non-farm jobs in the past year. 5,400 of those were in the private sector. All told, the state has 628, non-farm payroll jobs with 527,900 in the private sector. Governments employ an estimated 100,600 Mainers.

Evan Vucci / AP Photo

More than 300 newspapers are publishing editorials Thursday challenging President Trump's assertion that journalists are the enemy of the people.  The Bostons Globe launched the initiative.  It wanted newspapers throughout the country to respond to the president's representation of journalist's role in society.

Pat Wellenbach / Associated Press

When Vinalhaven resident and celebrated pop artist Robert Indiana died this spring, he left behind $50 million worth of art, and instructions to turn his home into a museum dedicated to his legacy.

Susan Sharon / Maine Public

All this week we’ll be taking an in-depth look at the problem of eviction in Maine in a series called “Eviction: Life Unpacked.”

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