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 MPBN working at the State House in 1992. Since then she has covered major political and environmental stories, winning national awards for her beat reporting twice from the Society for Environmental Journalists. Her coverage of labor issues, including an investigative series on independent contractors, has also been recognized by the Public Radio News Directors, Inc and by the Associated Press. 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.

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AUGUSTA, Maine - One of the most controversial budget cuts proposed by the LePage administration this year would have eliminated MaineCare funding for methadone treatment in federally-regulated clinics. Instead, the state suggested that about 4,000 methadone patients be redirected to office-based treatment with the alternative drug Suboxone.

The idea was widely panned by substance abuse treatment providers, and lawmakers have opted to preserve the status quo - but to also look for ways to improve treatment.

Susan Sharon / MPBN

LEWISTON, Maine - The Lewiston City Council has voted 6 - 1 to continue paying General Assistance to about 200 current asylum seekers who are lawfully present in the city. But Lewiston also followed the Portland City Council's lead and voted to stop providing GA to new asylum seekers who arrive in Maine.

The action comes after a Superior Court judge upheld the LePage administration's decision to end state reimbursement for municipalities that offer aid to certain immigrants. And it continues a struggle that some say can only be resolved at the federal level.

Josh Royte / TNC

BRUNSWICK, Maine - The Nature Conservancy in Maine has purchased more than 6,500 acres of diverse forest land, including old growth and sub-Alpine fir forest southwest of Jackman.

The purchase from the Plum Creek Timber Company will allow the Nature Conservancy to expand its existing Leuthold Forest Preserve to more than 16,000 acres.

The property includes remote ponds and nearly 15 miles of streams that provide habitat for Eastern brook trout as well as waterfowl and wading birds.

Mark Vogelzang / MPBN

AUGUSTA, Maine - The state's Government Oversight Committee is being formally asked by Republican, independent and Democratic lawmakers to launch an investigation into whether the LePage administration has "crossed legal or ethical lines" in getting Democratic House Speaker Mark Eves dismissed from his new job.

WASHINGTON - Environmental groups in Maine are expressing disappointment with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that prevents the Environmental Protection Agency from moving forward with a rule that would limit the release of mercury and other pollutants from power plants.

In a 5-4 ruling the court found that the EPA did not adequately consider the costs to about 600 affected utility companies.

But Taryn Hallweaver of the group Environment Maine says the rule also would have prevented an estimated 11,000 deaths each year from dirty air.