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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PORTLAND, Maine - AOL co-founder Steve Case is wrapping up a bus tour Friday in Portland, where he'll hear from Maine entrepreneurs competing for $100,000 in investment cash.

Case has been promoting start-up businesses in 19 different places around the U.S. in what he calls the "Rise of the Rest" tour.

BUCKSPORT, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage held his latest town hall meeting here Tuesday evening before a largely supportive crowd at Bucksport Middle School.

The governor took note of the recent announcements that one paper mill is being closed and a second will be auctioned off.

"This year alone, you have felt that pain, with losing a big mill here in town," the governor tells the crowd, referring to the shutdown in Dec. 2014 of the Verso paper mill in Bucksport, which is to be torn down for scrap.

PORTLAND, Maine — Supporters of a $15 minimum wage for the city used a McDonald's restaurant today to press their case.

A proposal on the city's November ballot would launch a multiyear drive to raise the city's minimum to a level also being planned for Seattle and New York.

"Part of our campaign, that we're having, nationwide, is called the Main Street Campaign," says Cokie Giles, president of the Maine State Nurses Association, who was among those speaking at today's streetside news conference. "And it is good-paying jobs, good, affordable housing, health care for all."

Irwin Gratz / MPBN

If you happen to be free to travel, the folks who run Mount Vernon, George Washington's home, would like you to visit on Sunday, Oct. 11, for something they're calling the Maine Event.

In advance of that, the president of George Washington's Mount Vernon, Curt Viebranz, was in Portland last week and stopped by for a chat along with Meg Nichols, the vice regent for Maine.

Irwin Gratz / MPBN

PORTLAND, Maine — City Mayor Mike Brennan Thursday praised the final form of a minimum wage increase ordinance.

City councilors revised the ordinance to return the base wage for tipped workers to $3.75 cents an hour, down from over $6 an hour.

Liberal groups are attacking the move on social media.