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.

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A federal judge on Wednesday heard arguments in the lawsuit brought by Democratic House Speaker Mark Eves against Repubilcan Gov. Paul LePage.

LEWISTON, Maine - Maine Attorney General Janet Mills and more than two dozen of her counterparts in other states are asking the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to close a loophole that keeps methadone clinics from reporting their dispensing data to state Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs.

These are programs that collect patient-specific data on controlled prescription medications, including addictive painkillers, so that doctors, pharmacists, and others can access the information to make sure patients are not doctor shopping or abusing drugs.

Susan Sharon / MPBN

The Scarborough Police Department says its program to help people with addiction is showing positive results.

Six months after launching Operation Hope, the program is reporting that 62 out of 68 people contacted say they are still in recovery and doing well. Police call that a 90 percent success rate.

But addiction specialists say there’s a reason to be skeptical of both the statistics and the drug treatment being used.

Susan Sharon / MPBN

A group calling itself Not Your Mascot, Maine has presented a petition to the Skowhegan school board and superintendent asking that the town’s high school officially retire what is now the last Indian mascot in Maine.

An anti-gay activist who has made headlines for comparing homosexuality to sorcery is apparently ready to launch another anti-gay citizens’ initiative.

E. Peter Steenstra / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Flickr/Creative Commons

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries have released a draft recovery plan for endangered Atlantic salmon in the Gulf of Maine.

LEWISTON, Maine - Maine Attorney General Janet Mills has joined a group of attorneys general from around the country who say they will aggressively pursue climate change litigation, including defending the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan to limit carbon emissions from power plants and to investigate potential fraud by ExxonMobil.

The company allegedly knew about climate change as far back as the 1970s and misled the public and investors about the dangers it posed. 

Susan Sharon / MPBN

This is an important week for defenders of the Clean Power Plan, the centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s strategy to combat climate change. Tuesday is the deadline for states, utilities and environmental groups who support it to file briefs.

Sen. Angus King listens to family members of those affected by addiction at Paris Town Hall opioid roundtable.
Office of U.S. Sen. Angus King

Family members of those struggling with addiction met with Sen. Angus King at the Paris Town Hall Monday afternoon to discuss some of the challenges they're facing in rural Maine.

Courtesy Trout Unlimited

LEWISTON, Maine - A prized habitat for deer and wild brook trout has been conserved near The Forks in western Maine's Somerset County.

The Trust for Public Land and Trout Unlimited have purchased the 8,100-acre property, with financial help from the U.S. Forest Service and the Land for Maine's Future Program, which kicked in $5.5 million and $1.5 million respectively.

Gov. Paul LePage’s latest town hall was in Mexico, and many in attendance were worried about the proliferation of wind power farms in western Maine.

“Would you, as governor, consider the possibility of a statewide moratorium on all industrial wind projects, to pursue other more reliable and cost-efficient sources of renewable energy, to protect our citizens, to lower our energy costs, and to salvage our tourism industry?” Hart Daley, a selectman from Dixfield, asked LePage.

“The answer is an absolute yes,” LePage said, to applause.

Courtesy photo

Sometime in the next two months the Food and Drug Administration is expected to decide whether to give the go-ahead for an implant designed to treat addiction to heroin or prescription painkillers.  Known as probuphine,  the implant releases medication that helps prevent withdrawl and reduces cravings over the course of six months.  An FDA advisory committee voted 12-5 to recommend its approval.  But the product has raised some safety concerns

An energy company with plans to develop a propane distribution terminal at Rigby Yard in South Portland has withdrawn its application, citing opposition from within city government.

NGL Energy Partners says it now hopes to bring its business to another Maine community interested in providing a reliable propane supply for 50,000 homes and businesses.

Ken Pooley / MPBN

Maine Republicans have given U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas their support in statewide caucuses Saturday, which had record-breaking participation for the party.

Maine State Police

Maine State Police say it’s one of the longest murder investigations that has ever resulted in an arrest in Maine.

Thirty-six years after the killing 16-year-old Joyce McLain in East Millinocket, Philip Scott Fournier, 55, has been charged with her murder. Fournier had previously been identified as a person of interest in her death.

McLain disappeared while jogging on a trail in August 1980. Her partially clothed body was found two days later along a power line near Schenck High School. Police say she had been bludgeoned to death.