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 for 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 7 Peaks Island-to-Portland swims. Irwin is married and has a teenage son.

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PORTLAND, Maine - Maine voters last fall approved an initiative to add a 3 percent tax surcharge to incomes of $200,000 or more.  It would increase funding for schools, by an estimated $157 million.

PORTLAND, Maine - Sappi paper has announced a $165 million investment in its Somerset Mill in Skowhegan.  

Sappi President Steve Binnie told analysts on a conference call that the company is continuing to grow the parts of the paper business that are profitable.

Collections of Maine Historical Society/ Maine Today Media

"The world must be made safe for democracy."  With those words, President Woodrow Wilson committed Maine, and the rest of the country, to fight in World War I.  It was April 2, 1917.   To mark the coming centennial, the Maine Historical Society opens a new exhibit in Portland today.

PORTLAND, Maine - Maine Attorney General Janet Mills is joining 16 of her counterparts in a court filing to defend the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.   

The 17 attorneys general, all Democrats, want to protect Director Richard Cordray from being fired by President Trump.  

The attorneys general said in a court filing Monday they have "a vital interest in defending an independent and effective" Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

PORTLAND, Maine - Six Maine schools are beginning an overseas mission today organized by the Maine International Trade Center.  Their representatives will be seeking possible future students in Russia and Ukraine.

Irwin Gratz / Maine Public

PORTLAND, Maine - For a lot of reasons, the nation's economic outlook has changed from a year ago.  Brett Miller, senior portfolio manager for Key Private Bank in Portland tells Maine Public's Morning Edition host Irwin Gratz that recovering corporate profits and rising consumer confidence are among the reasons.

PORTLAND, Maine - Some 700 people involved in Maine real estate are gathered in Portland today for the annual conference of the Maine Real Estate and Development Association.  The trade group compiles an index of economic activity that's known by its acronym, MREDA (pronounced Muh - ree' - dah).  Irwin Gratz talked with the group's president, Paul Peck, earlier today at Maine Public's Portland studios.

Nature will lay down a new blanket of white across southern Maine tonight. James Brown of the National Weather Service in Gray says as much as 6-8 inches of snow will fall on southern Maine from an offshore storm.

“About the time it gets even with the New Hampshire and Maine coasts, it’s actually going to take a right turn and head out to sea. So, even though, you know, it’s going to have a pretty good swath of snow with it, if it had come a little bit more into the Gulf of Maine it probably would have been significantly more,” he says.

PORTLAND, Maine - Maine U.S. Sen. Angus King told NPR this morning he welcomes the decision of the Justice Department Inspector General to investigate how F.B.I. Director James Comey handled the investigation of Hillary Clinton's e-mails - and, the independent senator says, what Comey said about it during the presidential campaign.

Irwin Gratz / Maine Public/file

PORTLAND, Maine - Maine's minimum wage rises tomorrow from $7.50 an hour to $9 an hour.  That's a big victory for working people, says Matt Schlobohm of the Maine AFL-CIO.

Sen. Angus King

PORTLAND, Maine - Congress is back in session, facing momentous decisions about the future of health care, the Supreme Court, taxes - just to name three.  But amid all that, Maine Sen. Angus King plans to continue snapping photos:  of trees, churches, trains in the snow, constituents, holiday lights - even his interviewers.  And you can see them on the photo-sharing service Instagram.

Michael C. York / Associated Press

The world lost some notable figures in 2016: Cuban President Fidel Castro, American astronaut John Glenn and English rock music pioneer David Bowie, among many others.

As the year comes to end, we also said goodbye to people close to home, in Maine, who somehow made a difference in our lives.

PORTLAND, Maine - Mainers' personal income rose by 1.1 percent in the third quarter of this year.    That placed the state squarely in the middle of the states for the rate of third-quarter growth. 

The biggest driver of the gain in personal income was wages, up 1.5 percent in the quarter.  There were smaller gains in dividends and similar payments, along with government aid.

By industry, the biggest contributors to the gain in personal income among Maine residents were health-related fields, and state and local government employment.

U.S. Navy

PORTLAND, Maine - The events leading up to the sinking of El Faro were made clearer today by the release of transcripts from the ship's voyage recorder.  Among other things they show is that the crew tried unsuccessfully to get the captain to change course. 

PORTLAND, Maine - The U.S. International Trade Commission announced yesterday it will extend import duties on coated paper from China and Indonesia.  

Maine Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King welcomed the news. "Maine's paper-makers can compete with anyone on a level playing field," the two say, in a joint statement.

The senators wrote that the import tariff will support companies - such as Verso Paper - that employ hundreds of Mainers.  Verso was one of the companies that petitioned the trade commission to extend the import tariff.