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.

Ways To Connect

Patty Wight / MPBN

The chairwoman of Maine's Unemployment Insurance Commission has reversed a decision to award unemployment benefits to workers who went on strike against FairPoint Communications.

Two unions reacted angrily Friday to the decision by Chairwoman Jennifer Duddy, an appointee of Republican Gov. Paul LePage, to overturn an earlier finding by a hearing officer made in June.

Jessica Grondin / City of Portland

PORTLAND, Maine — City officials have launched a rebranding effort with the aim of growing the city's downtown business district.

The organization that promotes the city's downtown and Old Port neighborhoods, Portland Downtown District, will now called simply Portland Downtown.

The district also has a revamped website with extra features and a new logo. It resembles a postmark with "Portland" emblazoned on it, next to the year 1633, which was when the community was first settled.

Financial regulators in Maine are looking into an increasingly popular practice that may be ripping off seniors.

Known as a "pension advance," it has also come under scrutiny from U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who has called for an investigation.

Pension advances enable retirees to access a lump sum in return for signing over all or some of their future pension payments.

A few years ago, retired corrections officer James Stoddard of Litchfield desperately needed some cash.

Caroline Losneck

PORTLAND, Maine — A massive rainstorm drenched much of the state today, leading to flood warnings and street closures and causing some businesses and schools to shut their doors for the day.

Tom Porter / MPBN

PORTLAND, Maine — University of Maine law students Tuesday heard a first-hand account of what it's like to be on the wrong end of a false murder conviction.

Ricky Jackson served 39 years for a killing he did not do. He was released last November. That's the longest stretch behind bars served by anyone in the U.S. before being exonerated.

During all that time, Jackson told students he never lost hope that one day he would see justice.

Jackson was just a teenager in Cleveland, Ohio, when he was sentenced to death in 1975 for the murder of businessman Harold Franks.