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

Maine officials say 1,401 people filed first-time claims for state unemployment benefits last week.  That's up 2% from the week before.

Mainers' personal income jumped by 41 percent in the April-to-June quarter, according to the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis.  The two main reasons:  federal stimulus spending and state unemployment benefits.

Flickr Creative Commons

If price is your goal, this may be a good time to sell a home in Maine. The Maine Association of Realtors is reporting that home prices this August jumped 17% over August one year ago.

Courtesy RSU 29

As part of our continuing Deep Dive Coronavirus series, we're looking at how schools are preparing to re-open. To get a better sense of this we're talking this week with two school superintendents in very different parts of the state to understand similar challenges and different approaches as they tackle a complex situation.

Chris Bennett / via The Trust for Public Land

The Trust for Public Land says it has permanently protected Maine's Bald Mountain Pond and land around it.

Courtesy South Portland Schools

South Portland Schools Superintendent Ken Kunin, like many educators, got an unexpected lesson last spring in remote teaching, "It's very different when you're standing in front of your class and you can help them navigate their way through a lesson, through material," he says.

Steve Helber / Associated Press/file

The Trump administration late Tuesday announced that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control will be imposing a moratorium on evictions for Americans who are in dire financial straits due to the coronavirus pandemic. Maine Public's Morning Edition host Irwin Gratz spoke with Mike Spaulding, an attorney at Pine Tree Legal Assistance who specializes in housing issues, about how the moratorium will work, and for whom.

Gratz: Sir, welcome.

Spaulding: Thank you.

Maine Public File

An investigation is underway into an outbreak of COVID-19 at the York County Jail, which the Maine Center for Disease Control has now linked to 85 cases of the disease.

Robert F. Bukaty / AP Images

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court hears oral arguments Thursday in a case involving a Republican-led people's veto effort. The GOP wants Maine voters to vote on whether to repeal legislation allowing ranked-choice voting in presidential elections.

Unemployment in Maine's three urban areas rose in July.

Democratic National Convention / via AP

On Tuesday night, Maine state Rep. Craig Hickman cast Maine's delegate votes during the roll call at the Democratic National Convention. Rep. Hickman is African American, and - as he alluded to in his remarks - gay. And he's a small businessman, something he chose to highlight in his remarks. Rep. Hickman spoke with Maine Public's Morning Edition host Irwin Gratz.

Government statistics out Wednesday show that the average weekly wage in Maine rose 4%, to $955, between March of 2019 to this past March.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Maine's Community College System is promising to help equip some students with computers and, in some cases, internet connectivity.  The community colleges plan to conduct 70 percent of classes online.

Maine State Museum

Maine's fraught relations with its Indian tribes dates all the way back to the beginning of statehood 200 years ago this year. In our latest Bicentennial conversation, historian Herb Adams describes the talks that led to the signing of the first treaty between the young Maine and the Penobscot Nation, on Aug. 17, 1820. Adams says the talks began in Portland in July of that year.

Caitlin Troutman / Maine Public

Maine’s congressional delegation is demanding the U.S. Post Office stop delaying mail.