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

Troy R. Bennett / Bangor Daily News

On a recent gray day in Portland, a small group of people gathers at a garage to open a box they’ve waited years to see.

It’s a late chapter in a saga that began more than two centuries ago, a story of justice twice denied — or at least delayed — for an African-American Mainer.

Tom Porter / Maine Public/file

Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents took the unusual step Thursday of arresting a Somali man in a Portland courthouse, where he was meeting with his attorney, raising concerns from his attorney and immigration advocates.

According to his court-appointed attorney, Tina Nadeau, 28-year-old Abdi Ali was in Cumberland District Court to plead not guilty to a misdemeanor OUI charge. After the hearing he met Nadeau in a side room. That’s where she says a man in civilian garb abruptly entered the room.

She assumed he was her next client of the day.

Fred Bever / Maine Public

There was some chaotic court-room drama Monday in the saga of how and whether to punish Black Lives Matter activists arrested in a Portland protest last year. It was the second time an attempt to establish a “restorative justice” alternative ended in disarray.

U.S. Sen. Angus King of Maine is leading an effort to reform a temporary work visa program many Maine inns and restaurants depend on for seasonal help.

Congress has curtailed the number of the so-called H2-B visas to be issued this year compared to last, and businesses in states with a relatively late tourist season, such as Maine, are scrambling to find staffing alternatives.

A compromise is in the works that could end weeks of pitched battle in Portland over the scope of a school bond to go before voters.

Mayor Ethan Strimling and city councilor Nick Mavodones announced a deal to give voters two choices: pay $64 million to fund renovations to four city elementary schools, or just $32 million to renovate two of them. Strimling says that without a compromise, the council might not have agreed to put any measure before the voters.

Fred Bever / Maine Public

PORTLAND, Maine - Craft brewers in Maine are joining with the Icelandic shipping company Eimskip to sell more beer abroad.

They are retrofitting a refrigerated cargo container with 50 taps on its side to float a sampling of the state's beers from Portland to Reykjavik.

The "Maine Beer Box," as it's called, is the brainchild of David Carlson, co-owner of Belfast's Marshall Wharf Brewing.

"Is it a marketing stunt? Sure," he says. "Is it sexy? Sure. I mean at the end of the day it's beer, which is great."

Staff at the Maine Public Utilities Commission say regulators should reject all bids received to provide new liquefied natural gas, or LNG, storage in the state. At the same time, Gov. Paul LePage is urging the Maine Public Utilities Commission to go ahead and sign a contract.

A biomass company at the center of a dispute over payments to loggers is now asking to change the terms of its state subsidy. The company says it wants to dispel the notion that taxpayers are getting a bad deal.

Fred Bever / Maine Public

After a dismal, nearly snowless winter last year, New England’s ski resorts are winding up a much better season. And some of its young ​athletes are having ​a pretty good​ run too. Fred Bever attended the U.S. Championships at Maine's Sugarloaf resort.

Bubblecuffer / Wikimedia Commons

For the first time in decades, the length of the U.S. ski season is shrinking. And as climate change curtails winter’s length, an industry transformation is under way: one expert says most ski mountains in southern New England could be out of business in 25 years unless they diversify their offerings. But ski areas in northern New England could benefit.

State regulators are asking a biomass electricity company to explain why it’s not paying loggers for fuel, even though it received a state subsidy for that purpose.

Last year Maine lawmakers and Gov. Paul LePage authorized state utility regulators to award biomass electricity companies more than $13 million to boost payments for power generated in Maine. The goal was to assist Maine’s beleaguered forest products industry in the wake of multiple mill closures.

But loggers say one company that won a bid for the subsidy isn’t paying its debts.

A broad coalition of solar power businesses, environmental advocates and industrial energy users want state regulators to reconsider new rules for solar power adopted earlier this year. But the move may just be a prelude to litigation — or legislative action.

In January Maine’s Public Utilities Commission ordered a 15-year ramp-down of credits rooftop solar users can earn when they put excess electricity on the power grid, often called “net metering.”

Pat Wellenbach / Associated Press

Summer resorts around the nation are bracing for a tough season — not because the tourists won’t come, but because the workers might not. The reinstatement of a cap on visas for temporary workers has some in the hospitality industry predicting catastrophe.

Mal Leary / Maine Public/file

PORTLAND, Maine - Gov. Paul LePage apologized to an African-American Mainer Wednesday night for past remarks that identified people of color with drug-dealing in Maine, and suggesting that a civil rights leader should thank white people for advancing the cause.

PORTLAND, Maine - Maine Sen. Angus King is stepping up his criticism of the House Republicans' proposed health care reform bill.

On the Senate floor Wednesday, King said the House was moving the bill too quickly, without adequate review. King, an independent, says the measure would cost Maine's aging population more money and reduce benefits for many, while providing a tax break for the rich.

"The pattern is shift and shaft - shift the cost and shaft the people who need the coverage," King said.

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