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

Susan Sharon / MPBN

One of the big questions raised by the ballot initiative to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana in Maine is what effect it will have on the state’s medical marijuana program and the mom-and-pop economy it has created.

Democratic leaders in the Maine House and Senate are sharing their vision for what they’re calling “A Better State of Maine.” Some of the ideas are a stark contrast to what Mainers have heard from Gov. Paul LePage at similar gatherings.

At a forum in Topsham Tuesday night, Democrats unveiled a general platform that calls for modernizing and repairing roads, bridges, ports and rail, expanded access to broadband, clean energy and investment in early childhood and K-12 education.

LEWISTON, Maine - A new report finds that Maine's forest products industry supports more than 33,000 jobs and will contribute about $8.5 billion to the state's economy this year, despite recent job losses and mill closures. 

A group of business professionals has formed a new coalition to advocate for better regulation of the marijuana industry.

Maine Professionals for Regulating Marijuana is not taking a position on Question 1 on the November ballot — its members are equally divided — but the group hopes to have a better system in place if the measure passes.

For the third time in recent years, the Maine Board of Environmental Protection is considering new mining rules that are drawing strong opposition from around the state.

Similar rules have twice been rejected by the Legislature, staff from the department say the changes are needed to address gaps and inconsistencies in the existing law.

Susan Sharon / MPBN

New research from supporters of Question 3 on the November ballot finds that unlicensed gun sales are flourishing in Maine through classified and online advertisements in publications such as Uncle Henry’s and

The four-year analysis conservatively estimates that 3,000 unlicensed gun sales take place in Maine each year. But there’s disagreement about whether requiring background checks for nearly all gun sales and transfers would help put a stop to gun violence.

Wednesday morning, before making his apologies, Gov. Paul LePage took another stab at defending his comments over the last week.

In an interview with conservative radio talk show host Ray Richardson on WLOB, LePage was asked why he keeps bringing up race in the discussion around the state’s heroin problem. His response did not reflect any evolution in his thinking.

In the 25-minute interview, LePage was asked, among other things, whether he had any substance abuse or mental health issue and whether he had ever entered rehab. No, the governor said, he had not.

Maine Gov. Paul LePage speaks at a rally for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, Wednesday, June 29, 2016, in Bangor, Maine.
AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty

In Governor LePage’s hometown of Lewiston there is mixed reaction about what next steps he should take to move forward. In a brief and random sampling of opinion by Maine Public Radio, reactions varied, especially by race.

Susan Sharon / MPBN

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell capped off a week-long celebration of the National Park Service with a visit to the nation’s newest national monument: Katahdin Woods and Waters in the heart of Maine’s North Woods. Jewell paddled several miles of the East Branch of the Penobscot River, took a hike in the woods and shared her thoughts about moving past the rhetoric that has clung to the historic project for years.

Copyright 2016 Maine Public Broadcasting Network. To see more, visit Maine Public Broadcasting Network.

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell will be one of the first official visitors to Maine’s Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument that was authorized by President Obama this week. Secretary Jewell will also participate in a dedication ceremony for the new monument.

Jeff Pidot via Natural Resources Council of Maine

Supporters of what’s now known as the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument are celebrating the addition of 87,500 acres to the National Park System Wednesday night.

A view of some of the land donated by Roxanne Quimby to the Federal Government.
C. Schmitt

It appears that philanthropist and entrepreneur Roxanne Quimby is finally getting her wish. Nearly 90,000 acres of land she owns east of Baxter State Park have been transferred to the federal government as of Tuesday morning. Quimby has been hoping to create a national park, and more recently a national monument in Maine’s North Woods, for nearly 20 years.

A federal judge in Texas has sided with Maine Gov. Paul LePage and several other states over their opposition to transgender students’ use of bathrooms and locker rooms of their choice.

In May the federal government told public schools that transgender students must be allowed to use bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity. But Judge Reed O’Connor is blocking the federal directive, at least for now.

Zach Heiden, legal director for the ACLU of Maine, says O’Connor’s decision is unlikely to affect transgender students in Maine.

MPBN file

LEWISTON, Maine - A foundation created by philanthropist and entrepreneur Roxanne Quimby has donated nearly 100 acres to Acadia National Park. 

The park is celebrating its 100th birthday this year.  Next week the National Park Service itself will also turn 100. 

Quimby's son, Lucas St. Clair, is president of Elliotsville Plantation Inc., which put together the gift.  He says it includes 13 separate parcels contained inside or adjacent to the park's boundaries.