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

The Maine State Chamber of Commerce is joining a lobbying campaign spearheaded by Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg that aims to give permanent legal status to so-called “Dreamers” — immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children. President Donald Trump says in March he will end a program that provides them temporary legal status.

Dana Connors, president of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, says the tech and business communities here want Maine’s congressional delegation to support a path to citizenship for all 800,000 people who might otherwise be deported.

Robert F. Bukaty / Maine Public/file

Maine Gov. Paul LePage says he will fire county sheriffs who don’t honor federal requests to hold some inmates beyond their scheduled release, even when immigration authorities haven’t got a warrant.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Scientists have been closely watching puffin populations in the Gulf of Maine in recent years, in an effort to restore the species on certain islands. This summer, puffins and other seabird populations appear to have rebounded, but are still facing a threat from predation.

An Icelandic shipping company says it will double its scheduled calls on the port of Portland, starting with weekly trips in December. 

Eimskip relocated its U.S. headquarters from Virginia to Maine in 2013. The company's U.S. manager, Lars Insfeld, says since then the number of cargo containers moving through Portland rose from 5,000 a year to more than 10,000.

Jim Mone / Associated Press

The International Trade Commission ruled Friday that inexpensive, imported solar panels have harmed U.S.-based panel manufacturers. In New England, solar installers say they started stockpiling the panels even before the decision.

The ITC supported a complaint by bankrupt U.S. solar panel maker Suniva and another company, calling for tariff charges on imported solar panels. Cheap panels, made mostly in China, have helped to fuel a surge in solar installations at all levels in the U.S.

A Biddeford lawmaker is leaving the Democratic Party. Rep. Martin Grohman says he will finish out his term as an independent.

Grohman, who manages a roofing company, says he's felt too restricted by Democratic leaders' efforts to get the caucus to vote as a bloc.

"Our state needs to fix, not fight. We've got serious issues to resolve. We need legislators who can cross the partisan divide who are beholden first and foremost to the Maine people, and not to a particular political party," he says.

Maine Public/file

The Cumberland County Sheriff is no longer complying with requests by federal immigration authorities to detain people who are being released from jail. It’s a move applauded by immigrant and civil rights advocates, but condemned by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency.

Harvard Forest

A new wave of forest loss is underway in New England, at a rate of 65 acres a day. That's the conclusion of a new regionwide study spearheaded by a Harvard University forest research group. And the authors say New England could lose more than a million acres of forest cover over the next half-century.

Elected officials in Brunswick and Portland voted Monday night to call the federal Columbus Day holiday "Indigenous People's Day."

At Portland’s City Council, residents and others spoke on both sides of the issue. And many - on both sides - condemned the nation's history of genocide against Native Americans, which has its roots in the European conquest of this continent.

NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research / via Associated Press/file

A leaked memo from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke shows he wants to go roll back some protections for national monuments designated by former President Barack Obama. That includes the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Monument — the first marine monument established in the Atlantic.

Jim Cole / Associated Press

A new analysis by the U.S. Government Accountability Office finds that the nation’s public shipyards remain in poor condition, putting naval readiness at risk — including the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Lobstermen and other marine businesses that depend on Portland’s bustling waterfront are reaching the boiling point over dwindling parking and rising traffic. Now they are petitioning the city to do something about it.

Ryan Caron King / New England News Collaborative

In the wake of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, observers are predicting that premiums for a cash-strapped federal flood insurance program are likely to rise. Along the Atlantic coast, meanwhile, communities from Rhode Island to Maine are already mounting a related challenge to the program: the accuracy of federal flood maps maps that designate who must pay those premiums in the first place.

Progress for Maine

Backers of a ballot initiative that could pave the way for a casino in York County publicized a website and released architectural renderings for the building Thursday. The group also says Old Orchard Beach is one town under consideration for the facility, if it’s approved by Maine voters in November.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press/file

The federal government is awarding more than $1 million to a Maine-based research project on climate change and Gulf of Maine fisheries. The results could change the way catch quotas are set for groundfish species such as cod and haddock.

Fisheries regulators set catch quotas based on historical data on species abundance in any given area. Now scientists will seek ways to estimate how groundfish will respond, looking forward, to water temperature changes in the Gulf of Maine, which in 10 years has warmed faster than 99 percent of the rest of the global ocean.