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.

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Irwin Gratz / Maine Public

Maine, like the nation, has now seen economic growth that's gone on unbroken for over a decade. That growth has been reflected in real estate development around the state. Will it continue? The question will be explored Thursday at an annual conference of the Maine Real Estate and Development Association, known as MEREDA.

Mal Leary / Maine Public

Maine Gov. Janet Mills Tuesday announced new incentives intended to encourage more Maine homes and businesses to install energy efficient heat pumps.

Maine's economic growth accelerated in the third quarter of last year, according to statistics released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. The Bureau reported Maine's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew at a 2.1 percent rate. That was faster than the .6 percent growth rate of the 2nd quarter of 2019.

It began with a report of a shoplifter in Waterville and ended in Canaan with a Waterville police officer and suspect shot.

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press/file

Maine Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins has formally announced her intention to seek re-election in 2020 for a fifth term.

A Gorham woman, Janet Kuech, has asked a court to order the Gorham Town Council to let her take the seat she won in the November election. 

The Maine Education Association filed the lawsuit in Maine Superior Court on behalf of Kuech, an ed tech in Gorham schools.  The council has refused to seat Kuech, saying that to do so would violate the town charter. 

But Kuech's attorney, Jon Goodman, says the council ignored its own lawyer, who said the town charter prohibits only town officials, not employees, from serving on the council.

Rabbi Harry Sky has died. He was the spiritual leader of Maine's largest Jewish congregation, Temple Beth-El in Portland, for nearly three decades. 

Credit Office of the Senate Curator, United States Senate

Two-hundred years ago tomorrow, a hurdle arose on Maine's path to statehood. It had a name: Alabama.

Jimmy Emerson / Flickr Creative Commons

The state is expanding the display of "travel time" information on its major highways.

Willis Ryder Arnold / Maine Public

The Central Maine and Quebec Railway is being purchased by Canadian Pacific. Central Maine and Quebec - the former Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway - consists of 400 miles of rail.  In Maine, it has lines from Millinocket and Searsport that converge at Brownville, then head westward into Quebec, towards Montreal, where it connects to Canadian Pacific lines. Canadian Pacific is excited by the purchase in part because it will get direct access to the deepwater port at Searsport.

A Maine Turnpike spur to South Gorham is still years away, but Turnpike Authority Executive Director Peter Mills says he will ask his board Thursday to approve possible purchases of land for it.

Maine Historical Society

There were some key moments that led to Maine becoming a state nearly 200 years ago.  It was on this date in 1819 that President Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to William King, the chairman of the Maine Constitutional Convention. Maine Public's Morning Edition host Irwin Gratz talks with Maine historian Herb Adams about what led to that moment.

Andree Kehn / AP

Andy O’Brien makes it his business to track the online presence of certain far right groups in Maine, and this week he and collaborator Nathan Bernard published an article in Mainer that examines how members of a Lewiston-Auburn Facebook group may be targeting Muslim residents and newly elected Lewiston city councilor Safiya Khalid, the first Somali-American elected to that council.

Mainer's personal income grew in 2018, but nowhere faster than in Knox County. The federal Bureau of Economic Affairs reported Thursday that the personal income of residents in the Midcoast county grew by 5.9 percent.

Willis Ryder Arnold / Maine Public

A Bates College professor and team of students have created a molecule they say could be used to treat cancer, Alzheimer's and other medical issues. Their work has been published, and Bates is trying to patent the creation. The molecule, BOBCAT 339, was designed, conceptualized and tested by Bates students. Their professor, Andrew Kennedy, told Maine Public Radio's Morning Edition host Irwin Gratz that it was found to affect a process known as "DNA methylation."