Tom Porter

News Producer

That very British voice you've begun hearing on Maine Things Considered belongs to our newest reporter, Tom Porter, who comes to us after a prior stint as a reporter at WVTF-FM, a public radio station in Roanoke, Virgina.

A native of Birmingham, England, Tom comes from a family of British journalists. He worked for nearly eight years at Bloomberg Television and Radio in London as a reporter and news producer. He is also trained jazz pianist. Tom has a bachelor's degree from the University of London and a master's degree from Kings College in London.

Tom has a strong background in environmental reporting, chronicling the drought affecting much of the south, innovation in “green” construction and building design and advances in biotechnology.


Worst Road Contest
5:35 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

State's Route 15 Wins Dubious Honor: 'Worst Road in Maine'

A view of the winning road, Route 15, in the Camden area.
Credit Courtesy Maine Better Transportation Association

CAMDEN, Maine - The winner of the "Worst Road in Maine Contest" has been announced. The dubious honor, according to the Maine Better Transportation Association, is Route 15, and in particular, a 23-mile stretch that runs between Blue Hill and Stonington.

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Genetic disorder
5:11 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Doctor: Genetic Disease More Widespread in Maine's French Population Than Thought

Dr. Dervilla McCann has been deeply involved in researching the genetic disease known as FH.
Credit Josie Huang / MPBN

AUBURN, Maine - Back in February of 2012, MPBN reported a story about a rare genetic disorder that can cause sky high cholesterol and lead to early heart attacks, strokes, and death. The disease is called familial hypercholesterolemia - or FH - and, according to experts, it affects about one in every 500 people.

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Soldiers honored
11:48 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Maine Guard Members Celebrated for Service in Afghanistan

About 180 members of Maine Army National Guard were officially welcomed back home yesterday after a nine-month deployment in Afghanistan.

Members of the 133rd Engineer Battalion, along with the 1035th Survey and Design Team, were celebrated at a Freedom Salute reception at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston.

They were also welcomed home by the state's congressional delegation and Gov. Paul LePage, who said the unit made the state proud. They returned home about six weeks ago.

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Ocean debris
4:29 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

Group Turns to Drones, Volunteers to Clean Up Trash in Gulf of Maine

Members of The Rozalia Project clean up trash that has accumulated at Rich's Head in the Gulf of Maine.
Credit Courtesy Rachael Miller / The Rozalia Project

You might not think that a plastic water bottle, if tossed into the ocean, could do much harm. but over time, it will eventually break down into an estimated 65,000 pieces of microplastic - tiny pieces that can then be ingested by fish, endangering the fragile ecosystem. A Vermont-based nonprofit has spent much of the summer engaged in a operation to help highlight, and tackle, the problem of ocean debris in the Gulf of Maine.

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Depression's toll
5:15 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Robin Williams Death Highlights Depression's Indiscriminate Toll

Robin Williams in 2011.
Credit Eva Rinaldi / Wikimedia Commons

PORTLAND, Maine - The suicide of actor-comedian Robin Williams this week highlights how indiscriminate depression can be:  It can strike anyone, anywhere.  The actor had been open about his bouts of depression and substance abuse for years, and he recently announced he was returning to a 12-step treatment program.  But depression is often hidden, and with tragic consequences.

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Missile defense site
5:40 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

Pentagon Considers Site Near Rangeley for Missile Facility

A test of a ground-based missile interceptor conducted at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. on June 22, 2014.
Credit Courtesy: U.S. Department of Defense

RANGELEY, Maine - Pentagon officials are coming to western Maine this week to gather public input regarding a possible missile defense site in Redington Township. The Franklin County site - which already operates as a survival training facility for the Navy - is one of four locations being considered in the eastern half of the United States. The others are Camp Ravenna in Ohio, Fort Custer in Michigan and Fort Drum in New York state.

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Missile defense site
2:05 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

Hearings Set on Missile Defense Site in Maine

A test of a ground-based missile interceptor conducted at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. on June 22, 2014.
Credit Courtesy: U.S. Department of Defense

RANGELEY, Maine - Pentagon officials are coming to Maine this week to discuss the possibility of building a missile defense site.  The Missile Defense Agency is considering four locations in the eastern U.S. for a missile shield system that's supposed to protect Americans from attacks by "rogue states'' like North Korea and Iran.

The site under consideration in Maine is in Redington Township, in the western mountains. Other possible East Coast locations are in Ohio, New York State and Michigan. There are currently two operational missile defense sites on the West Coast.

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Nixon tapes
5:35 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

Four Years of Transcribing the Nixon Tapes: What a USM History Professor Learned

University of Southern Maine Adjunct Instructor of History Christopher Beam.
Credit Courtesy University of Southern Maine

PORTLAND, Maine - In recent days, there's been a lot of reflection in the media about the resignation of President Richard M. Nixon, which he announced 40 years ago today, with the threat of impeachment and possible prosecution hanging over him following the Watergate scandal.  Key to Nixon's downfall was the discovery of the so-called "Nixon Tapes," which contained evidence linking the White House with that infamous break-in at Democratic National Committee headquarters two years earlier in 1972.


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Carbon Emissions
4:19 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

EPA Holds Hearing in Maine on Proposed Power Plant Rules

The Environmental Protection Agency's New England chief Curt Spaulding attended a public hearing today in Maine to get feedback on the first-ever federal standards for power plants. The hearing focused on President Barack Obama's plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent by 2030. The EPA rule is described as one of the most significant actions to address global warming in U.S. history.

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12:11 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

UNE Professor Presents Significant Dogfish Findings

Dr. James Sulikowsi of the University of New England.
Tom Porter MPBN

New research by a Maine-based marine biologist could have big implications for fisheries management in the Gulf of Maine.

The study, authored by University of New England professor James Sulikowski, suggests that a voracious predator known as spiny dogfish may be far more prevalent in the Gulf of Maine than originally thought, and could be more of a threat to other species.

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