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

Kathy Heseltine / Via Natural Resources Council Of Maine

Frigid temperatures forecast this weekend are proving too much even for rugged Mainers. A pair of popular polar dips planned for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are being canceled or rescheduled due to organizers’ concerns for participants’ safety.

Courtesy Mount Washington Observatory

If you think it's cold outside where you are, consider the top of New Hampshire's Mount Washington, described as the "home of the world's worst weather." 

At the 6,200-foot summit, the mountain's weather observatory recorded a record low temperature for Dec. 28.  

Susan Sharon / Maine Public

The Maine Department of Corrections says it’s taking steps to improve the Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland, after an independent audit recently found serious safety and other deficiencies at the juvenile correctional facility.

DOC administrators say they are filling staff vacancies, hiring more mental health workers and undertaking a new initiative to treat kids with serious mental illness in the community.

John Briggs

Residents of the town of Phippsburg may soon have an unobstructed view of the sunrise near Popham Beach. The Maine Board of Environmental Protection ruled Thursday that the remnants of a century-old pier, just off the beach, can be removed by an adjacent property owner.

The board rejected an appeal brought by some local residents who say the 150 pilings are part of the town’s history and landscape.

It’s probably safe to say that old timber pilings are typically not beloved, especially when they’re deteriorating. But residents of Phippsburg say these pilings are unique.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via AP

As Republicans look to reconcile key differences between the House and Senate versions of their tax bills, one of the flashpoints is around a remote, eastern corner of Alaska — the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, considered one of the most pristine wilderness areas in the country.

Susan Sharon / Maine Public

One day after President Donald Trump signed a proclamation to dramatically reduce the size of two national monuments in Utah, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke released his final recommendations for other monuments around the country, including Katahdin Woods and Waters here in Maine.

Several protesters, upset with Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and her vote to pass a GOP tax bill late Friday night, are holding a peaceful sit-in at her Bangor office.

Erin Oberson, a nurse, says she and three other people have asked for a meeting with Collins. Reached by telephone, Oberson says they want to convince Collins to change her mind and are refusing to leave on their own until she does.

Susan Sharon / Maine Public

Portland has become the latest and the largest school district in Maine to adopt an inclusive transgender and gender-expansive student policy. It follows half a dozen other school districts across the state that have taken steps to prevent bullying, provide equity and clarify best practices.

Environmentalists, health groups and others are calling the Trump administration’s single public hearing on abolishment of the Clean Power Plan in West Virginia Tuesday “a sham.”

The plan to require power plants to cut carbon emissions was a centerpiece of the Obama administration’s effort address climate change. But utilities don’t like it, and the coal industry says it will result in job losses.

Lisa Pohlmann of the Natural Resources Council of Maine says the hearing’s location and limited public input make clear where the administration’s priorities are.

The Portland School Board will consider a draft policy Tuesday night that affirms and protects transgender and gender expansive students in Portland schools. Gender expansive is an umbrella term used to describe people whose gender expression and identity goes beyond what are perceived as expected gender norms.

Hundreds of web-based businesses, tech firms and trade associations used Cyber Monday, the busiest online shopping day of the year, to highlight their support for net neutrality, rules designed to prevent large internet providers from blocking certain websites and charging tolls to access other content or to get faster service.

Attorneys were back in federal court Tuesday arguing about a lawsuit brought by the Portland Pipe Line Corp. against the City of South Portland over its Clear Skies Ordinance.

In August, U.S. District Judge John Woodcock rejected the city’s request to dismiss the lawsuit. But the city says last month’s cancellation of a massive pipeline project in Canada has undermined the company’s case.

Susan Sharon / Maine Public

Nearly 200 world leaders are in Bonn, Germany, for a United Nations conference this week to discuss ways to speed up goals of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

Supporters of ranked-choice voting were back at the polls on Tuesday, just one day after Maine’s secretary of state approved their petitions for a people’s veto of a law that delays implementation of ranked-choice voting until 2021.

“We have 90 days to collect 61,123 valid signatures. Upon submitting those signatures, we freeze the law in place as it was approved by voters in Nov. 2016,” says Kyle Bailey, manager of the campaign.

Kevin Bennett / For Maine Public

For the first time in about three years, the Land for Maine’s Future board is considering funding for more than two-dozen conservation and water access projects around the state.

The projects range in size from a boat landing in Lubec and a 129-acre farm in Arundel to the 23,000-acre Bix Six Township in remote Somerset County on the Canadian border. But funding is limited, and the competition is fierce.

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