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.

Ways to Connect

Several conservation groups have completed a deal to protect more than 4,300 acres just north of Millinocket off Route 11 in the Katahdin region. The deal will conserve nearly nine miles of the East Branch of the Penobscot River and improve access for recreation.

Made possible by the Butler Conservation Fund, the Open Space Institute and the Nature Conservancy, the land was purchased from Conservation Forestry, a timberland investment firm based in New Hampshire, and from several other landowners.

Maine’s 2nd District U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin has introduced legislation to exempt a hydro system in Washington County from Federal Energy Regulatory Commission licensing requirements.

In a press release, Poliquin says the purpose of the bill is to protect jobs and block what he calls “unfair overreach” by FERC. But others say the bill bypasses necessary oversight.

Susan Sharon / MPBN

One of the many challenges of Maine’s opioid epidemic is getting people into effective drug treatment as quickly as possible. A shortage of treatment providers means that some patients can wait weeks or months to be seen.

But in Brunswick, the Addiction Resource Center at Mid Coast Hospital has figured out how to cut those wait times to just a few days, and the effort appears to be paying off.

Gov. Paul LePage used his weekly radio address to go after the state’s largest environmental organization Wednesday for what he says are its “job crushing, anti-business policies.”

But in the same message he also invited the head of the Natural Resources Council of Maine to meet with him to discuss ways they could work together. NRCM Executive Director Lisa Pohlmann says she’ll accept, on one condition.

Susan Sharon / MPBN

It began as a day for invited speakers to denounce a proposed national monument in the Katahdin region and closed with a decisive show of support from local residents and business owners.

Both a congressional field hearing and a public forum sponsored by national monument opponents were billed as a way to elevate local voices. And they appear to have done just that.

Rick Gray / BRI

For years, researchers have been studying the pressures on one of Maine’s most-loved birds, the common loon. They’ve looked at shoreline development, mercury and fishing fear. And now a potential new threat has emerged: malaria.

The tropical parasite started showing up in healthy loons about a decade ago. But it had never been known to kill a bird, until recently.

C. Schmitt via the Natural Resources Council of Maine

The Republican chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources announced Wednesday that he will hold a congressional field hearing on the national monument proposed for the Katahdin region.

The hearing will be held at the East Millinocket Town Office on June 1 at the request of 2nd District U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, and its announcement comes just two days after lengthy public meetings were held in East Millinocket and Orono on the plan.

Susan Sharon

MILLINOCKET, Maine - The director of the National Park Service is in Maine today to listen to concerns about the possible designation of 90,000 acres of private land in the Katahdin region as a National Monument.

Susan Sharon / MPBN

It’s a question that has divided residents of Millinocket, East Millinocket and surrounding towns for years: how to breathe new life into an economy dependent on papermaking after the paper mills are gone. One possible answer is the creation of a national park.

A company that makes modular homes in Oxford has notified the Maine Department of Labor that it is going out of business.

Keiser Homes says it will close all of its facilities in Maine and several other states. About 120 workers in Maine will lose their jobs. Some had already been laid off earlier this spring.

Julie Rabinowitz, a spokesperson for the Labor Department, says the state has scheduled Rapid Response sessions to try to assist workers with unemployment and other services.

C. Schmitt via the Natural Resources Council of Maine

The director of the National Park Service will come to Maine later this month to gauge support for possible presidential designation of privately owned land in the Katahdin region as a national monument.

Susan Sharon / MPBN

A Sabattus couple wants to operate a social club for medical marijuana patients in the back of their retail smoke shop in Lewiston.

Susan Sharon / MPBN

Second chances often don’t come easily for those getting out of prison. Combine a criminal record with a history of addiction, and finding a job can seem impossible. But that’s where MaineWorks comes in.

Susan Sharon / MPBN

When the Lewiston High School Blue Devils won the state championship in soccer last fall, it was a victory not only for a team made up of Somali, Kenyan and Congolese players, but for their community.

The players and their coach will be recognized Friday night at the Emerge Film Festival with the screening of a documentary and after-party at the Franco Center in Lewiston.

Titled “One Team,” it could be considered a metaphor of the benefits of integration.

Gov. Paul LePage has apologized to the president of the University of Maine Farmington and to longtime former UMF President Theodora Kalikow for what he described in a written statement as “the sequence of events on Tuesday.” Translation? For walking away from the podium during a dedication ceremony at the college.

LePage was addressing a building dedication ceremony in honor of Kalikow when two students in the audience quietly held up signs critical of the governor. He suddenly left the podium, calling them “idiots” as he walked away.