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

Long-time newscaster and program host Jack Perkins has died at the age of 85.

Irwin Gratz / Maine Public

Marthe Cohn, now 99, is female and Jewish.  Her gender, and her religion, make her role as a World War II spy that much more incredible.

Matt Rourke / Associated Press/file

Maine is struggling to find enough workers to care for its aging population, especially in rural areas of the state.

Imagine it's 11:30 p.m., you're winding down for bed or already under the covers, and it's silent except for the sound of waves lapping in the nearby harbor. Then you hear an ear-splitting roar — the sound of a plane flying over South Portland, where some residents are pressuring the Federal Aviation Administration to change flight paths due to noise.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press/file

Central Maine Power spokeswoman Catherine Hartnett says the company's proposed $6 million consumer compensation fund is meant to be an alternative to a fine the Public Utilities Commission staff proposed for customer service issues.

Maine Public Advocate Barry Hobbins says he wants the Public Utilities Commission to take a close look at the proposal by Canadian company Enmax to buy Emera Maine, the state's second-largest utility.

Unemployment rates in Maine's three metro areas fell below 3% in June. The figures were released Thursday by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Julie Pike / Maine Public

Maine is officially celebrating its bicentennial. Maine Public’s Morning Edition host Irwin Gratz spent some time with Herb Adams, a former state representative from Portland who is also known for being steeped in the state's history.  Adams sheds light on how the state came to be nearly 200 years ago, and the event's connection to the battle over slavery.

Nearly 70 years ago, planners first imagined a highway to speed travel from Portland to Westbrook.   Construction began in Westbrook in the 1970s, but the highway was never completed. Now, a new study suggests an old rail line could provide that high-speed link.

Maine Public File

Maine's Department of Environmental Protection is pushing back against a report that raises questions about water quality at beaches around the United States. The report from the national advocacy group “Environment America” notes that of 85 sites sampled in Maine, nearly half were unsafe for swimming on at least one day last summer.

After a slowdown in economic output at the end of last year, the federal government reported Thursday that Maine’s economic growth rebounded in the first quarter of this year.

Stuart West / National Park Service

Acadia National Park is seeing some record breaking attendance numbers this summer. With that comes significant congestion at the park.

Steve Mistler / Maine Public

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration recently released data tracking opioid pill distribution from 2006 to 2012. It shows more opioid pills were handed out in Penobscot County than in any other county in New England. But by 2016, Maine had already moved to address issues of overprescribing. The state passed a law that set education and training standards for opioid prescribers.

Unemployment rates fell during the spring in Maine's three major urban areas. That's according to figures out today from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

There were more signs last year that the future of the lobster fishery lies off Canada. It's based on the latest findings about declining populations of baby lobsters in the Gulf of Maine.

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