Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram writer and columnist Bill Nemitz will be inducted into the Maine Press Association Hall of Fame this month.

Nemitz will be joined at the Oct. 17 induction ceremony in Bangor by journalist Bob Kalish, formerly of The Times Record in Brunswick, and Lou Ureneck, who was executive editor of the Portland Press Herald, the Portland Evening Express and the Maine Sunday Telegram.

Both Nemitz and Ureneck have previously been honored by the Maine Press Association as Maine’s Journalist of the Year.

Nemitz is currently taking an extended break while undergoing treatment for cancer.

“I thought you had to be dead to win that,” Nemitz said Monday night. “Yet here I am alive and kicking and almost ready to re-enter the fray. I’m honored beyond words.”

Nemitz has worked as a journalist in Maine since 1977, when he started out as a reporter for the Morning Sentinel in Waterville. He moved to Portland in 1983, working first as a reporter for the Evening Express. He later moved into editing – working as the city editor and assistant managing editor for sports for the Press Herald and Telegram.

In 1995, Nemitz, a former president of the Maine Press Association, began writing the thrice-weekly column that made him one of Maine’s best-known journalists.

“No ordinary metro columnist, Bill is quite simply the conscience of Maine,” Steve Greenlee, managing editor of the Press Herald and Telegram, wrote in nominating him for the Hall of Fame.

Greenlee said Nemitz is also no armchair columnist, noting that he reported from Northern Ireland at the end of the Troubles, from Manhattan in the aftermath of 9/11, from the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina, from Haiti after the massive earthquake, and from Boston just hours after the marathon bombing.

Nemitz also traveled five times to Afghanistan or Iraq while embedded with members of the Maine Army National Guard. One of those assignments almost got him killed, when a bomb exploded in the mess hall where he was supposed to be eating.

Kalish’s career includes covering Hollywood for the Daily Variety and serving as a war correspondent in Thailand during the Vietnam War. While working in Brunswick, he covered the Maine Yankee Atomic Power Plant and the Brunswick Naval Air Station.

Ureneck, a native of New Jersey, came to Maine in 1974, joining the Guy Gannett newspapers in Portland. He worked as an editor for the Press Herald, the Evening Express and the Telegram. Now a professor at Boston University’s College of Communication, Ureneck has written three books, including a memoir about building a cabin in the Maine wilderness.

The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held Oct. 17 at a 12:30 p.m. luncheon at the Hilton Garden Inn in Bangor.

Nemitz, Kalish and Ureneck will join well-known journalists in the Hall of Fame, including J. Russell Wiggins, publisher of The Ellsworth American; Brooks Hamilton, a University of Maine journalism professor; Harry T. Foote, owner and editor of the American Journal in Westbrook; Gene Letourneau, a former outdoor columnist for the Guy Gannett newspapers; and Peter Cox and John Cole, founders of the Maine Times.

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