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

Fred Bever / MPBN

After a big legislative fight over regulations for mid- and small-scale solar power projects in Maine, a key issue affecting the solar industry now heads to the state’s Public Utilities Commission.

Solar installers and customers are wondering whether a major shift in the regulatory climate is underway, and whether it could dim the prospects for a sector whose future once seemed so bright.

Fred Bever / MPBN

Businesses, officials and sports fans are struggling to make sense of news that the Portland Pirates hockey team is leaving town. And some are upset that they financed a multimillion-dollar renovation of the arena where the Pirates played for two decades, only to see them take a walk.

Daniel Steele owns the Brian Boru Irish Pub, a landmark red building a short walk from the Cross Insurance Arena where the Pirates, a minor-league hockey team affiliated with the Florida Panthers, played for more than 20 years.

Fred Bever / MPBN

This year’s mild winter was tough on Maine’s recreational economy, but there was an upside: the state and municipalities saved a bundle in their plowing and salt budgets. At the same time, the price of asphalt has dropped lower than it’s been in years. Put the two together, and you get a go-go paving season.

Workers at Idexx in Westbrook are getting their cars detailed courtesy of Calpine Corp., after that company’s neighboring power plant rained steel rust in an unplanned emission.

Calpine officials say maintenance work on the power plants earlier this month left a residue of rust that was emitted to the air on a rainy day earlier this month. The mixture fell on cars belonging to workers at the plant and to workers at Idexx, nearby veterinary medicine company.

Maine’s top utility regulators are considering a proposal to increase the region’s gas pipeline capacity — and who would pay for it.

Natural gas powers half of the region’s electricity plants, and three years ago rising natural gas prices and constricted supplies drove wintertime electricity prices to surprising highs.

That drove the Legislature to act, directing the Public Utilities Commission to study whether Mainers could benefit if the state secured long-term contracts for gas supply.

Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences

Over the last century the Gulf of Maine’s blue waters have yellowed. That’s what scientists at the Bigelow Laboratory in East Boothbay reported in a recent study this month, and it indicates trouble for the microscopic plants that are the foundation of the gulf’s food chain.

Fred Bever / MPBN

A growing cadre of entrepreneurs think seaweed could help Maine lead a new revolution in American farming. Move over kale – there’s a new super-food on the scene.

The developer and operator of six wind farms in Maine filed for bankruptcy protection Thursday.

The US Senate passed a broad, bipartisan energy bill today, it includes language written by Maine senators Angus King and Susan Collins that aims to keep biomass power generators in the renewable energy marketplace.

PORTLAND, Maine - Gov. Paul LePage has upped by hundreds the number of jobs he says will be lost in Maine this summer.  LePage made the prediction at one of his ongoing town hall meetings in Biddeford Tuesday night.

"This summer, we're going to lose between 1,200 and 1,500 more jobs - not all paper, but some paper and some other industries," LePage said. "The problem is this:  Every single job that we're talking about are jobs that get paid above the per capita median income of Mainers.  We're talking jobs in the $60,000, $70,000 and $80,000 a year. I find that appalling."

Tom Porter / MPBN

A warm winter has Maine’s lobster industry bracing for an early start to the spring molting season.

Scientists say it is likely to start earlier than the norm, but they don’t expect a repeat of the 2012 season, when a record glut of soft-shell lobster kept prices low and hurt lobstermen.

But some in the industry have made strategic investments designed to offset the effects of any potential overabundance of supply.

Portland officials are considering a new policy that would require some developers to set aside housing units for people struggling with homelessness.

On any given night in the city, hundreds of people are housed in temporary situations - whether at a homeless shelter for individuals, for families, or for people struggling with mental illness or substance abuse. At the same time, the city’s rental occupancy rates and prices are at daunting highs.

The Portland-based Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, which closed last year, will relaunch in 2017.

PORTLAND, Maine - Maine regulators today voted to conduct a broad audit of management practices at Emera Maine, which operates electricity service for the Bangor Hydro and Maine Public Service territories.

Most of the audit concerns cost overruns of millions of dollars for a new computerized billing system - a system which apparently also contributed to billing errors.

Maine Public Utilities Commission staff also raised concerns about a confidential 2014 report that found that among 103 utilities studied nationwide, Emera had the worst record on electricity outages.

The new operators of ferry service between Portland and Yarmouth Nova Scotia have set ticket prices for the coming season.

Bay Ferries says its new version of The Cat will leave Portland in the midafternoon, arrive 5 1/2 hours later in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, then turn around at 8:30 a.m. the next day for the trip back to Portland. The cost? Just under $800 round-trip for a couple and a car.

The price for one person, alone and on foot, is $197 round trip.

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