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

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.

PORTLAND, Maine - A U.S. court says the federal government must pay electricity consumers in New England $76 million to compensate them for the cost of storing spent nuclear fuel at three nuclear power plants. That includes $24.6 million for consumers who were served by Maine Yankee in Wiscasset.

It's the third such award in a series of suits filed by Maine Yankee, Connecticut Yankee and Yankee Rowe in Massachusetts to recover year-by-year storage costs that should have been averted by now-failed plans for a federal nuclear waste repository.

Gov. Paul LePage has some bad news for southern Maine — there are 900 layoffs coming, although he won’t say which company is affected. But his comments Wednesday night set off a scramble to try to find out.

Emera Maine is asking regulators to approve a more than 8 percent increase in the rates it charges electricity customers for providing transmission, distribution and billing services in the Bangor Hydro and Maine Public Service territories.

But now staff at Maine’s Public Utilities Commission say the state should audit the company’s management to investigate various deficiencies, including a significant rate of power outages.

With Maine’s legislative session heading to a close, lawmakers are struggling to find a way to assist the state’s at-risk biomass energy industry and the forestry jobs that depend on it. But some are looking to Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker to lend a helping hand.

Maine’s solar power industry is in trouble – that’s the word from advocates who say Republicans and the administration of Governor Paul LePage are ready to kill efforts to preserve and expand renewable energy here. But some Republicans and LePage’s chief energy advisor say they are trying to find a way to allow solar energy to stay in the state’s mix without adding what they say are unfair costs to everyone’s electric bills.

In a preliminary vote today, Maine’s House of Representatives passed a measure backers hope will help convince President Obama not to designate a National Monument in Maine’s North Woods.

Millionaire landowner and philanthropist Roxanne Quimby wants to donate thousands of acres near Baxter State Park to the federal government, and she’s seeking a presidential declaration of the area as a National Monument — a declaration that would not require congressional approval.

A Brunswick-based mental health service provider says it will close its doors next month. Officials at Merrymeeting Behavioral Health Associates are blaming a cut in state MaineCare funding.

The operator of several wind energy facilities in Maine could be headed for bankruptcy. But Sun Edison officials say the turbines will keep spinning, and providing taxes and other benefits to host communities.

Since hitting a high of $32 per share last June, Sun Edison’s stock has been on a downward spiral, and has now dipped well below $1 a share following reports that it faces a substantial risk of bankruptcy while securities regulators investigate its business practices.

Gov. Paul LePage has joined with some state lawmakers in trying to find ways to help the state’s suffering forestry industry. That effort could include price supports for electricity produced by biomass energy plants, which have been facing financial difficulties.

Democrats have joined forces with a senior citizens group in trying to bypass Governor Paul LePage, by issuing a voter approved housing bond that right now is stalled at the governor's office.