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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Business
5:55 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Verso, New Page Merger Nears Reality

A merger affecting thousands of Maine paper workers is expected to move one step closer to reality tonight.

Verso Paper — a leading manufacturer of coated paper — wants to acquire rival New Page in a $1.4 billion deal.

Before the merger can move ahead however, Verso — which is over $1.2 billion in the red — must complete a debt restructuring deal to the satisfaction of its bondholders.

The deadline for the deal is midnight tonight, and at least one prominent paper industry analyst thinks it's likely to succeed.

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Environment
4:48 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Maine Scientist: Wood Frogs at Risk after Unprecedented Die-Off

Nat Wheelwright
Tom Porter MPBN

BRUNSWICK, Maine — One of North America's most common species of frog could be under threat. A Maine biology professor has uncovered worrying evidence of a mass die-off of wood frog tadpoles. And it all happened virtually on his own doorstep, just a few short steps from his house.

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Maine
6:20 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Police: Saco Murder-Suicide 'One of the Worst in the State's History'

SACO, Maine — Police in Maine say a suicidal man having financial problems killed his wife, three children and then himself.

33-year-old Joel Smith shot his family inside their apartment about 11:30 p.m. Saturday with a 12-gauge shotgun.

Twelve-year-old Jason Montez and 7-year-old Noah Montez were shot to death in their separate bedrooms. Thirty-five-year-old Heather Smith and 4-year-old Lily Smith were shot in the parents' bed. Joel Smith's body was found on the floor nearby, the gun by his side.

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Market Basket
5:30 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Maine Market Basket Workers Join Protest in Support of Ousted CEO

The Market Basket store in Biddeford.
Credit Tom Porter

About 100 employees from the embattled New England grocery chain Market Basket traveled from southern Maine this morning to take part in a huge rally at corporate headquarters in Massachusetts, where thousands of co-workers are calling for the return of an ousted former CEO.

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Maine
5:51 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Maine Side Trips: A Visit to the World's Only Museum of Umbrella Covers

Nancy 3 Hoffman accompanying herself on the accordion in her Umbrella Cover Museum on Peak's Island.
Credit Tom Porter

We continue with our summer series looking at some of Maine's more offbeat - and perhaps lesser known - museums. Today we take a short ferry ride from the Portland waterfront across to Peaks Island.

  "Welcome to the Umbrella Cover Museum. You're in the world's only museum of umbrella covers - umbrella sleeves from all over the world."

Meet Nancy 3 Hoffman, the director, curator and founder of the Umbrella Cover Museum. "And yes, my middle name is really the number 3," she says.

Tom Porter:  "Why umbrella covers?"
 

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USM President
6:09 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

New President: USM's Business Model 'Obsolete'

David Flanagan lays out his vision for USM at a news conference today in Portland.
Credit Tom Porter

The University of Southern Maine has a new interim president.  University of Maine officials this morning named former Central Maine Power chief David Flanagan as the person to lead the state's second-largest university until a permanent replacement can be found.

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Great Northern Paper
3:31 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Millinocket Strikes Tentative Deal with Great Northern Paper for Payment of Back Taxes

Officials in Millinocket have struck a tentative deal with Great Northern Paper to pay the town nearly $1.2 in million overdue property taxes. 

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Great Northern Paper
1:55 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Millinocket Strikes Tentative Tax Payment Deal with Great Northern Paper

Officials in Millinocket have struck a tentative deal with Great Northern Paper to pay the town nearly $1.2 million in overdue property taxes.

GNP owns a shuttered paper mill in Millinocket, and another one in nearby East Millinocket. According to documents sent to MPBN by Millinocket Town Manager Peggy Daigle, GNP - which is controlled by New Hampshire-based investment firm Cate Street Capital - will pay $225,000 by the close of business today.

Three further payments are due to be made, with balance paid in full by July 21.

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Bowdoin Festival
7:13 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Bowdoin International Music Festival Celebrates 50th Year, amid Founder's Departure

Bowdoin International Music Festival founder Lewis Kaplan at a rehearsal.
Credit Tom Porter

Maine's biggest classical music festival, and one of the longest-running, is underway, and has reached two milestones: its 50th year, as well as the swan song of the man behind it.

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Your Vote 2014
6:18 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Maine Senate Candidate Bellows Calls for Expanding Social Security Benefits

Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Shenna Bellows at a State House news conference on expanding Social Security
Credit Mal Leary

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Shenna Bellows today put forward her plans for expanding Social Security benefits. Bellows, the former director of the Maine ACLU, is running against GOP incumbent Susan Collins, in November.

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