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.

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Fire deaths
4:23 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Portland Announces Fire Safety Task Force Details

PORTLAND, Maine - The city of Portland has announced the details of a task force on fire safety issues, in light of the tragic fire on Noyes Street that claimed the lives of six young people earlier this month.

City spokeswoman Jessica Grondin says the task force will examine city codes and ordinances, as well as review inspection policies and practices.

Grondin says the group's first meeting will be on Dec. 3, "and then hoping to have some draft recommendations to present to the City Council's Public Safety Committee by February," she says.

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Cyber-security
2:42 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Feds Laud UMaine System as Cyber-Security Education Leader

PORTLAND, Maine - The University of Maine System was today recognized by the federal government for its leadership in cyber-security education.

UMS says it's the first public university system in the nation to be designated by the National Security Agency as a Center for Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education.

Fire deaths
4:30 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Portland Landlords Take Stock in Wake of Fire That Killed 6

Portland landlords gather to discuss fire safety in the wake of a fire on Noyes Street earlier this month that killed six young people.
Credit Tom Porter / MPBN

PORTLAND, Maine - In the wake of the deadly Portland fire that claimed six young lives earlier this month, dozens of landlords attended a public meeting Wednesday night focused on a subject that's now in the public spotlight - fire safety.

Following the deadly Noyes Street fire, Brit Vitalius says one thought above all probably went through every landlord's head: "That could have been me as a landlord."

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Cod decline
11:37 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Regulators Reject Lobster Restrictions in Gulf of Maine Cod Spawning Areas

NEWPORT, R.I. - Federal regulators have voted not to restrict lobster fishing in cod spawning areas in the Gulf of Maine.

The New England Fishery Management Council was considering a proposal to prohibit lobster gear from those areas out of concern over unintentional cod by-catch.

At a meeting in Rhode Island, many lobstermen opposed that idea, arguing that the data being used to justify the motion was unreliable.

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FairPoint strike
4:46 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

FairPoint Strike Drags On As Negotiations Break Down

FairPort picketers protest outside the company's Forest Avenue headquarters in Portland Tuesday morning.
Credit Tom Porter / MPBN

PORTLAND, Maine - A meeting in Boston between FairPoint Communications and representatives of 1,700 striking workers in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont has failed to produce a breakthrough. This was the first get-together since contract talks broke down nearly three months ago.

FairPoint declared an impasse in late August and imposed a contract that froze the old pension plan and required workers to contribute to health care costs for the first time. Other provisions allow the company to hire contractors and eliminate retiree health care benefits for current workers.

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