Susan Sharon

Deputy News Director

Susan is the deputy news director who handles assignments and planning by the news staff. She’s also a general assignment reporter who began her career at Maine Public Radio working at the State House in 1992, and still loves the work, which takes her to the Maine State Prison for a story on solitary confinement one day and to the foothills of western Maine to look for wood thrush the next.

During her career, Susan has numerous awards from the Maine Association of Broadcasters and the Associated Press for her coverage of Maine’s opiate epidemic, labor issues, politics, corrections and the environment. Her outstanding beat reporting has twice been recognized by the Society for Environmental Journalists. And in 2014 she, along with Maine Public Radio colleagues Patty Wight and Mal Leary, received a prestigious Sigma Delta Chi award from the Society for Professional Journalists for their breaking news coverage of Kaci Hickox, the nurse who faced a quarantine after returning to the U.S. from Africa, where she treated Ebola patients.

Susan is a graduate of the University of Montana, where she got her first job in public radio news while still a student. She has also worked at television stations in Montana and Maine. She is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists, the Society for Professional Journalists and the Radio Television News Directors Association. You can occasionally hear her stories on NPR.

Ways to Connect

Natural Resources Defense Council

Environmental groups in Maine, Canada and around the country are sounding the alarm about a massive pipeline project they say would threaten East Coast fisheries, imperil marine mammals and exacerbate climate change.

In a new report released by the Natural Resources Defense Council, the groups warn that TransCanada’s proposed 2,800-mile Energy East pipeline poses a greater threat than its Keystone XL project, rejected by President Barack Obama last year.

LEWISTON, Maine - A spokesman for industrial energy consumers in Maine is calling the decision by the Public Utilities Commission to expand natural gas pipeline capacity "historic." 

Attorney Anthony Buxton says New England is the most oil-dependent region of the country which he says is a detriment to the economy and to the environment. 

But Buxton says if four other New England states agree to follow the Maine PUC's lead, there could be light at the end of the end of the tunnel.

The Maine Public Utilities Commission has determined that Maine consumers would benefit by investing in expansion of natural gas pipeline capacity. The decision goes against an earlier recommendation from PUC staff, and it’s contingent on other New England states taking similar action and on a series of hurdles being cleared.

Susan Sharon / MPBN

"'Tis the gift to be simple. 'Tis the gift to be free.” Those are the beginning lyrics to the Shaker song “Simple Gifts.”

Susan Sharon / MPBN

Medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction is coming under fire this week from the administration of Gov. Paul LePage.

Methadone and Suboxone are medications that, in combination with behavioral therapy, are considered the most effective way to treat opioid addiction. But on Tuesday the governor took to the airwaves to say he’d like to close the state’s 10 methadone clinics.

Methadone and Suboxone providers in Maine are warning that a proposal by the state Department of Health and Human Services could exacerbate the opioid crisis in Maine and potentially drive some drug treatment clinics out of business.

Members of Maine’s congressional delegation are joining civil rights leaders, law enforcement officials and others in condemning the sniper attacks that killed five police officers and wounded seven others in Dallas Thursday during a protest over fatal police shootings of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota this week.

Wellness Connection of Maine Storefront in Thomaston, Maine

Wellness Connection of Maine, the state’s largest medical marijuana dispensary group, has announced that it’s relocating its Thomaston dispensary to downtown Bath. CEO Patricia Rosi says the final move will take place sometime in August. All one thousand patients in Thomaston will have the option of transferring their memberships from to Bath or to the group’s Gardiner location.

A federal appeals court has upheld jail sentences for egg industry executive Jack DeCoster and his son, Peter, whose Iowa company caused a nationwide salmonella outbreak in 2010.

The DeCosters were originally sentenced to three months in jail for what U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett called a “litany of shameful conduct” that occurred at their Iowa egg production company. But they were allowed their freedom while they appealed their sentences. They argued, and business groups agreed, that the sentences were unreasonable and unconstitutional.

Susan Sharon / MPBN

Inmates at the Maine State Prison in Warren and the Maine Correctional Center in Windham have a new resource to help them maintain their sobriety: their peers. 

Several conservation groups have completed a deal to protect more than 4,300 acres just north of Millinocket off Route 11 in the Katahdin region. The deal will conserve nearly nine miles of the East Branch of the Penobscot River and improve access for recreation.

Made possible by the Butler Conservation Fund, the Open Space Institute and the Nature Conservancy, the land was purchased from Conservation Forestry, a timberland investment firm based in New Hampshire, and from several other landowners.

Maine’s 2nd District U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin has introduced legislation to exempt a hydro system in Washington County from Federal Energy Regulatory Commission licensing requirements.

In a press release, Poliquin says the purpose of the bill is to protect jobs and block what he calls “unfair overreach” by FERC. But others say the bill bypasses necessary oversight.

Susan Sharon / MPBN

One of the many challenges of Maine’s opioid epidemic is getting people into effective drug treatment as quickly as possible. A shortage of treatment providers means that some patients can wait weeks or months to be seen.

But in Brunswick, the Addiction Resource Center at Mid Coast Hospital has figured out how to cut those wait times to just a few days, and the effort appears to be paying off.

Gov. Paul LePage used his weekly radio address to go after the state’s largest environmental organization Wednesday for what he says are its “job crushing, anti-business policies.”

But in the same message he also invited the head of the Natural Resources Council of Maine to meet with him to discuss ways they could work together. NRCM Executive Director Lisa Pohlmann says she’ll accept, on one condition.

Susan Sharon / MPBN

It began as a day for invited speakers to denounce a proposed national monument in the Katahdin region and closed with a decisive show of support from local residents and business owners.

Both a congressional field hearing and a public forum sponsored by national monument opponents were billed as a way to elevate local voices. And they appear to have done just that.