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.

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Some of Maine’s higher education officials are opposing President Donald Trump’s decision to phase out DACA, although the state’s largest institution — the University of Maine system — is reacting more cautiously.

The presidents of Bates, Colby and Bowdoin Colleges all issued statements opposing Trump’s policy, with varying degrees of condemnation. Bowdoin President Clayton Rose called it "a profoundly disappointing decision." Bates President Clayton Spencer called it "self-defeating."

Fred Bever / Maine Public

For more than half a century, a massive, oil-fired plant has been churning out electricity from an island in the heart of Maine’s Casco Bay, where sailors use its towering smokestack for navigation.

The old generator is expensive to run and dirtier than new technologies, so these days it comes on only a few times a year. Nonetheless, since December, the wires on the island have been humming pretty much nonstop.

FILE- In this Oct. 26, 2011 file photo, wind turbines line the hillside at First Wind's project in Sheffield, Vt.
Toby Talbot / AP Photo/File

Nine states in the region, including Maine, say they will set more aggressive limits on pollution by electricity generation plants.

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI, is a market-based cap-and-trade program that sets limits on carbon-dioxide emissions in participating states. Power generators can buy and sell emission allowances under the program, and it produces revenues that the states largely invest in energy efficiency.

A biomass energy company subsidized by Maine taxpayers continues to struggle. Loggers say Stored Solar isn’t paying them for wood they’ve delivered to its plants. But another biomass energy company eligible for the incentives is hitting its targets.

FEMA's 2014 Flood Risk Map for York County. The 2017 map is being disputed by multiple towns in Maine.
Federal Emergency Management Agency

Several southern Maine communities are banding together to challenge new flood zone maps issued by the federal government.

Jon Carter is town manager in Wells. He says there are more than 800 local properties within the existing flood zone, while new maps the Federal emergency Management Agency issued this spring would capture some 60 more properties. He says some of those he believes should not be included at all. And that FEMA’s new modeling overstates the overall likelihood of flooding in the expanded zone. Result: property owners there will pay higher insurance premiums.

The battle over solar power’s future in Maine is moving to the state’s Supreme Judicial Court.

Last month, lawmakers who support existing incentives for residential solar power generation failed to override Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of a plan to preserve them. That means a new rule proposed by the Maine Public Utilities Commission will go into effect in January.

Fred Bever / Maine Public

The beaches of southern Maine are bouncing back — ten years after a St. Patrick’s Day storm took a bite out of coastal communities and after other storms and a prolonged rise in sea levels in 2010 that caused even more erosion.

State environmental activists took to Scarborough Beach on Thursday to condemn President Donald Trump’s plan to slash the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget by 30 percent.

Nora Flaherty / Maine Public/file

A new fight is brewing in Portland over whether renters deserve new protections in one of the hottest real estate markets in the nation. But the fight might not be playing out on the Nov. 7 ballot, even if petitions delivered to City Hall Monday are validated as sufficient.

A play by Massachusetts to inject more renewable power into its electricity mix could reshape the entire region's energy landscape. Dozens of developers are competing to offer Massachusetts the best price for long-term contracts to supply clean energy to hundreds of thousands of homes. 

But many of the projects also face another challenge: convincing residents of Northern New England it's in their interest to host the Bay State's extension cord.

Jim Mone / Associated Press/file

The future of Maine’s residential solar power industry was thrown into doubt Wednesday after lawmakers upheld Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of a measure that supporters say aimed to stabilize the sector.

Fred Bever / Maine Public

The manager of Maine's largest city threatened to resign last night, if his bosses on the Portland City Council gave in to a demand by Mayor Ethan Strimling for direct access to lower-level staff.

At a council meeting, City Manager Jon Jennings said Strimling was looking for more powers than allowed by city charter, which provides for a so-called "weak mayor" system that puts the mayor, in most respects, on equal footing with the rest of the city council.

Federal regulators are reducing the number of haddock that recreational anglers are allowed to land in the Gulf of Maine.

Allison Ferreira, a spokeswoman for the National Marine Fisheries service, says the number of haddock each angler can catch per day is now reduced from 15 to 12. She says recreational anglers last year accidentally landed too many cod, which are off-limits, while fishing for haddock.

“We need to make sure that the new haddock measures keep the haddock fishery within their recreational catch limit, but also keep the bycatch of cod down,” she says.

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine says Democrats made a mistake in ramming the Affordable Care Act through without a single Republican vote seven years ago. The Republican says she doesn’t want her party to do the same thing.

Independent U.S. Sen. Angus King of Maine brought a suitcase full of praise for Collins to Portland’s Jetport after the Senate’s early Friday vote on the GOP’s latest effort to repeal former President Barack Obama’s health care reform law.

The Black Lives Matter protesters who shut down a section of Portland’s Commercial Street last summer are now legally off the hook.

After several go-rounds in court, the clock has run out on a deal that allowed disorderly conduct charges to be wiped out if 6 months passed without any of the protesters committing a new offense, and if protesters met privately with police to discuss their differences in an attempt at “restorative justice.”

“The case is over,” says John Gale, a lawyer for one of the defendants, Karen Lane.