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

Mal Leary / Maine Public

Gov. Paul LePage says he will put an open-ended moratorium on state permits for wind energy development in Maine. In an executive order Tuesday afternoon, LePage cites the importance of scenic vistas to Maine's $6 billion tourism economy. Wind advocates say he doesn't have the authority, and that he appears to be trying to derail Maine wind developers' bids for a big renewable energy contract that Massachusetts is due to announce Thursday.

Susan Montoya Bryan / Associated Press File

Maine’s solar power industry isn’t cheering President Donald Trump’s decision to impose a tariff on imported solar panels as part of a trade dispute with China. But installers here say they can weather it.

Ever-cheaper solar panels from China have helped to spur the industry’s rapid expansion in the U.S. But last year the International Trade Commission ruled that China was violating international trade law by subsidizing panel manufacturers. Now, Trump is slapping a 30 percent tariff on most panels imported to the U.S.

The Maine Supreme Court has turned back an attempt by Gov. Paul LePage to limit welfare benefits for some immigrants.

The case was brought forward by Euphrem Manirakiza, an asylum seeker from Burundi who was denied SNAP benefits, or food stamps, in 2015.

This denial happened despite the fact that two years earlier the Legislature specifically authorized such benefits for immigrants who, like Manirakiza, were unemployed but had legal work permits in the U.S.

Gulf of Maine Research Institute

Lobster conservation techniques pioneered by Maine fishermen helped drive a population boom that's led to record landings this century. That's the conclusion of new, peer-reviewed research published today


Central Maine Power Company estimates that the response and recovery from an October windstorm will cost more than $68 million. Short-term, company officials say they will seek to charge a portion of this cost - $27 million - to customers.

File image of the Sunday River ski resort, Friday, March, 13, 2015 in Newry, Maine.
Robert F. Bukaty / AP Photo, File

An 18-year-old New Hampshire man died and a 17-year-old boy was seriously injured in a sledding accident at Sunday River Ski resort early this morning.

Three visitors are believed to have made an after-hours trek up a steep Sunday River ski trail, and two of them tried to slide down on a snow-tube-style sled, according to police and resort officials. But the sled crashed into a tree, killing one and seriously injuring another.

Willis Arnold / Maine Public

Maine's largest electric utility has a new CEO.  Doug Herling took over operations of Central Maine Power Company Jan. 1, a day after the utility's long-time leader Sara Burns stepped down. 

A Portland police officer who was the first Somali native sworn to a Maine law enforcement agency is on administrative leave after she was arrested in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Zahra Abu was arrested in Worcester on charges of assault and battery, trespass, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace, according to Portland Police Chief Michael Sauschuck.

Jack Smith / Associated Press File

Federal wildlife officials say the nation’s once-threatened population of Canada lynx is in recovery, and can be taken off the endangered species list. The move caps years of controversy over the species’ health in Maine.

Salvadoran immigrants in Maine say they are worried that the Trump administration’s plan to end a long-running but temporary residency program will also end the American dream for many, disrupting families and local economies.

Manuel Rodriquez is a native of El Salvador who fled its civil war decades ago, eventually landing in Maine and working on Portland’s waterfront, where many Central American immigrants have found their footing. Now he works at Tu Casa, an El Salvadoran restaurant that has been a Portland staple for 18 years.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press File

Maine regulators are putting a hold on an innovative offshore wind project’s proposed contract to sell electricity to Central Maine Power, the latest twist in Aqua Ventus’ attempt to test a floating turbine platform near Monhegan Island.

Joel Page / Associated Press File

This story was originally published Jan. 8, 2017 at 5:22 p.m. ET.

New England electricity customers could get a direct benefit from a cut in federal corporate taxes — lower utility bills.

Consumer advocates in New England are calling on regulators and utilities to turn over to ratepayers any savings from a reduction in the corporate income tax rate, which the recent tax law knocked down by 40 percent.

Haven Daley / Associated Press File

The Trump administration announced Thursday that it will rescind Obama-era rules that went easy on enforcement of federal marijuana laws. The news dismays supporters of Maine’s law, and opponents say it will reopen the debate.

Abukar Adan / Maine Public File

In an initial filing with state regulators today, Central Maine Power says the costs of restoring its transmission and distribution system after the October windstorm will clearly will rise above $15 million.

The letter says the “devastating” storm caused the greatest number of outages in the company’s history, affecting two-thirds of its customers.

The letter provided no more detail, saying that a full accounting of costs would be filed later this month.

A company spokeswoman declined a request for an interview.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press File

The recent cold spell has spurred oil-fired power plants throughout New England into action. But the operator of the regional electricity grid says pollution control regulations could throttle supplies from those sources.

Over the last decade, relatively low-polluting natural gas has been New England’s dominant fuel for electricity generation. But in winter, demand for gas can skyrocket from consumers who need it to heat their homes, and that can limit supplies for electricity generation.