Fred Bever

News Reporter and Producer

A Columbia University graduate, Fred began his journalism career as a print reporter in Vermont, then came to Maine Public in 2001 as its political reporter, as well as serving as a host for a variety of Maine Public Radio and Maine Public Television programs. Fred later went on to become news director for New England Public Radio in Western Massachusetts and worked as a freelancer for National Public Radio and a number of regional public radio stations, including WBUR in Boston and NHPR in New Hampshire.

Fred formerly was Maine Public Radio’s chief political correspondent from 2001 to 2007 and returned to Maine Public Radio in early 2016 as a news reporter and producer, covering a wide variety of topics across Maine and the region.

Ways to Connect

Robert F. Bukaty / Maine Public

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was in Portland Friday promoting a boosted effort to enforce opioid laws in regions, including Maine, that have been hit especially hard by the epidemic.

Fred Bever / Maine Public

Anxiety is growing in Portland’s lobstering community over the city's increasingly crowded waterfront. A traffic study that is in the works is calling the situation an "existential threat" to the city's marine industries, and lobstermen seem to agree.

Willis Spear fishes 800 traps from a Commercial Street wharf that also houses two restaurants, the Harbor fish market, and a major bait fish dealer. He says city officials are approving new developments too quickly, adding more and more cars to the downtown mix.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Some Maine lobster dealers who have seen sales to China shoot up over the last decade are now suddenly shut out.

Robert F. Bukaty / AP Photo

Maine businesses are largely unscathed by the new tariffs China is imposing on U.S. products. But there's one big exception – lobster.

Wade Merritt, the president of the Maine International Trade Center, says early salvos in the developing trade war between the U.S. and China didn't seem too bad. But the tariffs China just announced came on like a summer thunderstorm, and they will hit about one-quarter of all of Maine's exports abroad.

Fred J. Field / AP Photo

The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol's Maine office says its agents have interviewed occupants of 21 Canadian-registered boats since last fall. The statement comes after a flurry of attention to border patrol activity in the area of Machias Seal Island, an area to which both the U.S. and Canada lay claim.

Downeast Salmon Federation

Environmental advocates say that thousands of young alewives are dying in the Union River below the Ellsworth dam – maybe hundreds of thousands.

Brett Ciccotelli is a fisheries biologist with the Downeast Salmon Federation.

"It's not the first time, as people know in Ellsworth,” he said. “It's an ongoing tragedy there. But for the river and the ecology but also the fishery. I mean this is a Heritage fishery in Maine.”

Maine Public

The parent company of Central Maine Power is proposing a $2.5 billion effort to "harden" its electricity distribution systems in Maine and New York, following major storms and outages over the past year — and the company would like to have consumers to pay some or all of the bill.

Fred Bever

Well more than 1,000 people crowded the steps of Portland's City Hall - and the street in front of it -  Saturday afternoon to protest President trump's immigration policies, including family separations at the borders.

About 100 people gathered on the steps of Portland City Hall Tuesday evening, hours after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Trump administration's travel ban in a 5-4 vote.   

The ban affects mostly majority-Muslim countries.  

Joanna Frankel, of Portland, said about a third of the students in her son's class at school are Muslims, and she's afraid that they will be to forced to leave.  While acknowledging that the ban applies to new arrivals, Frankel says she thinks the travel ban is part of a larger picture.  

Introspective Systems

Renewable energy sources like wind and solar are muscling their way into the country's energy mix. But they're still pretty unpredictable, creating significant management challenges and big swings in electricity prices. 

Abukar Adan / Maine Public

Central Maine Power (CMP) and Maine's consumer advocate have agreed that electricity consumers can be charged $34 million for costs related to recovery from the October 2017 wind storm, which cut services to thousands of Mainers.

The cost will largely be offset, says Public Advocate Barry Hobbins, by a recent cut in the federal corporate tax and by changes in accounting methodology that reduces consumer liability for costs stemming from this year's March storm.

Willis Ryder Arnold / Maine Public

Governor Paul LePage says he is stalling completion of an eight-year old state agreement to take ownership of the scenic Kennebec River Gorge – land that is now owned by Central Maine Power.

Three years in jail and $1.4 million in restitution: that's Ali Ratib Daham's sentence for a welfare fraud scheme he ran from a Portland halal market, according to a press release from U.S. District Attorney Halsey Frank.

U.S. District Court Judge D. Brock Hornby imposed the sentence, saying that Daham's actions caused distrust of government welfare programs and may lead to prejudice against welfare recipients and immigrants.

Fred Bever / Maine Public

North Berwick sports-seating manufacturer Hussey Seating is sounding alarms about the effect that President Donald Trump's steel tariffs are having on its bottom line – a concern Maine Senator Angus King says is widespread in the state and beyond.

Central Maine Power (CMP) and utilities in Massachusetts are announcing the finalization of a contract for CMP to build a new transmission line through western Maine.

The 20-year contract would bring hydro-electricity from Canada to customers in Massachusetts. The proposal is controversial as it is in the area of the Kennebec River Gorge, where CMP wants to site the high-voltage, direct-current power lines. The 145-mile project still must win state permits in Maine and Massachusetts, and faces federal review as well.

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