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 MPBN in 1990. He's been local anchor of Morning Edition since September, 1992.

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 Degree in Journalism from New York University.

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 5 Peaks Island-to-Portland swims. Irwin is married and has a young son.

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Irwin Gratz / MPBN

FALMOUTH, Maine - Veterans advocates will try again Tuesday to win passage of a bill that would allow for another casino in southern Maine.

PORTLAND, Maine – The Portland City Council has voted 5-4 to continue providing General Assistance aid to asylum seekers for at least a year.

The vote came early Thursday morning, after an 8-hour long meeting filled with hours of public testimony.

The council approved a proposal put forth by Councilors David Brenerman and Justin Costa. The vote will continue aid for the current asylum seekers for one year at an estimated cost of $329,000 per month.

PORTLAND, Maine — With music and words, over a thousand people in Portland's Merrill auditorium remembered the dead in last week's Charleston church massacre.

PORTLAND, Maine - City and church leaders are gathering in Portland tonight to honor those killed in last week's church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina. The city of Portland, the NAACP Portland Branch, Portland's Racial Justice Congress, Green Memorial AME Zion Church and Williams Temple Church of God and Christ organized the event at Merrill Auditorium.  Maine Things Considered host Nora Flaherty talks with Irwin Gratz, who is covering the gathering.

A similar event is scheduled for Monday evening in Bangor.

PITTSFIELD, Maine - Construction company Cianbro says it is adding 600 workers to its payroll. Three hundred workers have already been hired and the company says it's looking for 300 more.

Company President Andi Vigue says Cianbro needs more employees because it has been winning lots of contracts.
"I can't say that the overall market is on an upswing, though it appears to be improving," Vigue says, "as much as we've been fortunate enough to be competitive on a significant amount of the work we were pursuing."