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.


5:45 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

LePage Pitches 'Welfare to Work' at Lewiston Homeless Shelter

LEWISTON, Maine — Republican Gov. Paul LePage visited a homeless shelter in here Monday to make the case for his food stamp reform initiative that he's calling "Welfare to Work." The governor views the effort as a way to help people, not hurt them.

The governor says the initiative won't affect people with disabilities, single parents, or those with several children. But it will require able-bodied people between the ages of 19 and 49 to work or volunteer 20 hours a week.

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Border children
5:52 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Colbert Spoofs Maine Gov's 'Border Children' Concerns

Gov. Paul LePage's displeasure with the placement of unaccompanied minors in Maine has become fodder for late night political satirist Stephen Colbert. Colbert used his Wednesday night cable TV show to poke fun at Gov. LePage and his characterization of the effect they could have on state resources.

  With more than 52,000 unaccompanied children from Central America in federal custody, and as many 90,000 expected by the end of the year, Colbert says the humanitarian crisis at the Texas border is a flood - a flood like El Nino is raining actual "ninos."

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11:49 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Colbert Pokes Fun at LePage's Concerns over Unaccompanied Children

Political satirist Stephen Colbert used his Wednesday night TV show to poke fun at Gov. Paul LePage over the governor's concerns that eight undocumented, unaccompanied minors have been placed in the state without his knowledge.

"Out of the 52,000 children in federal custody, Uncle Sam is unfairly saddling Maine with a whopping eight of them - eight!" Colbert said, provoking laughter.

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Undocumented minors
5:37 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Maine Still Seeking Information About Undocumented Minors

One day after Gov. Paul LePage says he learned that eight undocumented, unaccompanied minors have been placed in Maine, state officials say they're still trying to get more information about the children.  Maine Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew says the state received no advance notice about the children, what their health status is, how long they'll be here or where they are in Maine.

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Tar sands oil
5:33 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Battle Over South Portland Tar Sands Ordinance Not Over Yet

An oil tanker makes its way into the harbor in South Portland.
Credit Susan Sharon

When South Portland Mayor Jerry Jalbert announced the 6-1 vote to approve a measure that will block the loading of raw crude, including Canadian tar sands oil, onto tanker ships in the southern Maine city, residents and supporters, who had filled the community center, rose to their feet and gave the City Council a standing ovation.

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6:55 am
Tue July 22, 2014

South Portland Tar Sands Ban Enacted

A tanker makes its way recently into the harbor in South Portland.
Susan Sharon MPBN

The South Portland City Council has voted to ban the export of Canadian tar-sands crude through the city, effectively ending any attempt to bring the crude from western Canada through a pipeline into the city. While there are no such plans in the work, Portland Pipeline Corporation Vice-President Tom Hardison spoke against the proposal.

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Tar sands oil
5:42 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Lawsuit Looms as South Portland Tar Sands Ordinance Poised for Passage

A section in South Portland of the pipeline that's at the heart of a dispute in the southern Maine city over tar sands oil.
Credit Susan Sharon

Environmentalists are anticipating passage later tonight of a local ordinance that blocks Canadian tar sands oil and other raw crude from being loaded onto tanker ships.  The South Portland City Council's action could complicate plans to use a controversial pipeline that runs across northern New England.  But Canadian crude has other avenues into the region.

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General Assistance
5:32 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Forced to Flee for Their Lives, Asylum Seekers Cling to Maine Lifeline

Asylum seeker Suavis Furaha says she was forced to flee Burundi to save her life and the lives of her four children.
Credit Courtesy: ACLU of Maine

Two women from Burundi, now living in Maine, have asked to join a lawsuit against the Department of Health Human Services.  DHHS recently announced that it would no longer reimburse communities that provide General Assistance to asylum seekers and other immigrants.  Since then, the Maine Municipal Association and the cities of Portland and Westbrook have filed suit against the Department. 

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General Assistance
5:51 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Asylum Seekers at Heart of Maine's General Assistance Dispute: Who Are They?

Ana Pemba, right, at the Lewiston City Council meeting Tuesday night.
Credit Susan Sharon

The city of Lewiston, home to one of the state's largest immigrant and refugee populations, will continue providing General Assistance to all new Mainers, at least for now. The Department of Health and Human Services recently issued a directive advising cities and towns to deny GA to undocumented immigrants. Several communities are openly defying the policy and have joined a lawsuit against the state. But Lewiston's City Council has chosen to wait at least another month before taking an official stand. In the first of two reports, Susan Sharon looks at who these new immigrants are, why they're here and what's at stake.

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Kayak journey
6:01 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Maine Grandmother to Paddle 2,500 Miles on Behalf of Poverty-Stricken Children

Deborah Walters prepares to embark on a 2,500-mile journey on behalf of poverty-stricken children in Guatemala.
Credit Susan Sharon

This weekend a 63-year-old grandmother from Unity is embarking on an unusual solo expedition that will take her across half a continent and take nearly a year to complete.

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