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.

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. You can occasionally hear her stories on NPR.

Ways to Connect


This month, seven young adults with developmental disabilities are opening their mailboxes and finding out that they’ve been accepted to STRIVE U, a first-of-its-kind postsecondary education and training program based in South Portland.

The first U.S. ambassador to Somalia in 25 years came to Lewiston Thursday morning, where he visited Somali-owned businesses that now dominate part of downtown.

Stephen Schwartz also held a community meeting where he told an audience of mostly refugees that he’s hopeful a newly elected Somali government can help turn the embattled nation they fled around.

Susan Sharon / Maine Public

A team of state and federal investigators is trying to pinpoint who’s behind two separate fires that destroyed six tractor trailer cabs owned by the same company in Scarborough and Poland Sunday night causing close to a million dollars in damage.

Steve McCausland of the Maine Department of Public Safety says what appear to be coordinated arsons are unusual for Maine.  The first one was reported at 8:16 in Scarborough by a truck driver who was sleeping in his rig on-site.

Susan Sharon / Maine Public

This story was originally published Friday, March 31.

This month about 70 women inmates formerly held in York County moved into the Southern Maine Women’s Re-entry Center in Windham, a brand-new facility designed to house close to 100 minimum-security prisoners who have less than four years remaining on their sentences.

Alaskan husky named Dakota, March 30, 2017, in Waterville, Maine. Gov. Paul LePage said he pardoned the dog from a death sentence levied at a court hearing last week, after it killed a neighbor's small pug in May 2016.
Karen Vance/Waterville Humane Society via AP

Gov. Paul LePage has pardoned a dog.

The unusual move, which is now generating headlines around the country, was taken on behalf of a husky named Dakota with a violent past. Dakota’s owners have been ordered to euthanize her, and it’s unclear whether the governor’s action will spare her life.

Maine Public/file

The head of the Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland has resigned after being placed on administrative leave last week.

Cecile Thornton embraces Fatuma Lukusa at start of French Club. Lukusa is from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Susan Sharon/Maine Public

This story originally aired on Maine Things Considered on March 14.

There’s an old French saying, Lose your language, lose your faith. But in one part of Maine, both are being revived with the help of hundreds of French-speaking African immigrants who are connecting with local Franco American residents in ways neither ever expected. That’s changing the dialog in a community where the “language of love” was often suppressed.

The man in charge of running the Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland has been placed on administrative leave, according to published reports.

Long Creek Superintendent Jeffrey Merrill could not be reached for comment. But his leave comes after a series of incidents that have raised questions about policies and safety for youth at the state-run prison.

Susan Sharon / Maine Public

Every year Francophonie Week in Maine recognizes French heritage and culture with a series of films, discussions and musical performances around the state.

Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

Reaction in Maine to President Donald Trump’s proposed $1.15 trillion budget has been swift - and critical.

LEWISTON, Maine - A federal appeals court has ruled in favor of about 75 Maine drivers who sued Oakhurst Dairy for more than $10 million in damages for unpaid overtime. 

The First Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Oakhurst's defense that its drivers were exempt from overtime under a provision of Maine law that applies to workers who handle and store perishable foods.  

The Oakhurst drivers each worked an average of 12 overtime hours per week from 2008 to 2014 and their attorney, Jeffrey Young, says the court's decision is a "tremendous victory" for them.

The Maine Republican Party has followed through with an unusual public records request to Portland’s three high schools.

The GOP’s Freedom of Access request covers any email, texts or written correspondence between central office staff and members of the city council, the school board, the Legislature and certain individuals that concern several Casco Bay High School students who were harassed while waiting for a bus on Jan. 27 as well as the schools’ response to the incident.

Susan Sharon / Maine Public

PORTLAND, Maine -  Several hundred people turned out at Hannaford Hall on the University of Southern Maine campus Sunday evening for a "listening session" with independent Maine Sen. Angus King about the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. The crowd was so large that an overflow room had to be set up outside the auditorium.

Susan Sharon / Maine Public

Friday morning at the University of Southern Maine, 54 Maine residents representing 26 countries became U.S. citizens.

Maine Public/file

President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to start rolling back a clean water rule finalized in 2015 to limit pollution in rivers, streams and wetlands — a rule that took years to put in place and involved extensive public and stakeholder input.

The rule was established under the Clean Water Act after two Supreme Court rulings created confusion about protection for streams and wetlands and left hundreds of pollution enforcement cases hanging. The rule was intended to provide clarity about which waters are protected.