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

A retired Marine general and expert on national security is in Maine Thursday to discuss what he sees as one of the biggest threats to stability: climate change. General John Castellaw says there are currently 32 locations around the world where conflict, aggravated by climate change, is affecting U.S. interests, and he sees a few ways to restore order.

Castellaw spent 36 years in the Marines. He says his view of climate change as a national security threat was shaped over time, and that he's not alone. He says his peers in the military share his assessment.

A district court judge has granted a protection from abuse order against Seth Carey, a Rumford attorney who is running as a Republican candidate for district attorney in Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford Counties.

The Lewiston Sun Journal reports that the victim believed she was in “immediate and present danger” from Carey, who she said sexually assaulted her in the home they shared.

Reached by telephone Monday, Carey said the allegations are “100 percent false.” He said the woman is a friend who was trying to get out of an abusive relationship and had nowhere else to go.

Mark Humphrey / Associated Press File

The Trump administration is expected to announce next week that it will relax greenhouse gas emissions and fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks that were last approved more than five years ago.

Caitlin Troutman / Maine Public

A crowd estimated at several thousand marched down Congress Street and gathered at the steps of Portland City Hall Saturday. Fired-up students, fed up with gun violence in their schools, led the crowd in chants of "Enough is enough!" and "Hey-hey, ho-ho, the NRA has got to go!"

Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press/file

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg broke four days of silence Wednesday by posting about the Cambridge Analytica controversy involving a data mining company linked to the Trump campaign.  Zuckerberg says Facebook has a "responsibility" to protect users' data, and that "if we can't then we don't deserve to serve you."  That may come as a relief to many aficionados of the social media platform, but others say it may be time to bid farewell.

Attorneys for unionized workers at the closed Downeast Correctional Facility (DCF) in Machiasport are asking a judge to clarify her recent order requiring the LePage administration to keep the prison "operational" until the Legislature decides otherwise.

Attorney David Webbert says the administration disclosed Tuesday that it intends to recall five out of 55 workers who were laid off from DCF last month and return a "small population of inmates" who were abruptly transferred to other facilities in February.

Photos courtesy of the Chesuncook Lake House

A fire that leveled a 150-year-old inn on a remote lake over the weekend has torn out a long and storied chapter of Maine history.

The Chesuncook Lake House first served as a base camp for loggers, and then as a wilderness retreat for outdoor enthusiasts wanting to experience the North Woods as they were at the turn of the century.

Gov. Paul LePage says he’s “readjusting” operations at the Downeast Correctional Facility in Machiasport now that a judge has ruled that his administration lacks the authority to unilaterally close the prison. But while the governor suggests he’ll return some inmates who were transferred and rehire staff who were let go, it’s not clear how many, and an attorney for the workers is concerned because the statement is so vague.

Tom Porter / Maine Public/file

Maine's highest court has thrown out a Sydney man's guilty plea and 50-year-sentence for child sexual assault because of improper communications between a judge and a prosecutor. That means the defendant, who's been incarcerated for several years, gets a shot at a new trial.


The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Maine has filed suit against the Long Creek Youth Development Center, the Department of Corrections, and medical and dental providers on behalf of an 11-year-old boy who was allegedly beaten by corrections officers. The ACLU’s complaint also says the boy was denied adequate medical treatment. The case is prompting a call for possible legislative or judicial oversight of Long Creek.

Susan Sharon / Maine Public

The manager of an Auburn IHOP wants customers to know that everyone can expect to be treated with respect in his restaurant and no one will ever have to pay upfront for a meal. 

"And we're trying to let everybody know that we're not racist," says Melvin Escobar. "We treat everybody the same and basically we're here to serve you and give you the best experience ever."

Melvin Escobar, a native of Guatemala, says he has suspended a server for one week without pay after he learned that she had asked a group of black teenagers to pay for their meals upfront.

A superior court judge has found that a Native American employee of Day's Jewelers was subjected to a hostile work environment during the many years he worked there because of his race. The judge did, though, dismiss several other related claims, saying they were not the result of race-based harassment.

Susan Sharon / Maine Public

The recent school shooting rampage in Parkland, Florida is reviving the long-simmering debate over gun violence across the country.

Mal Leary / Maine Public

Less than a month after the LePage administration announced a controversial plan to overhaul the county jail system, the governor is backing away from the proposal, which was billed as a way to save $10 million.

State funding for county jails runs out at the end of June, and it’s unclear where lawmakers go from here.

A company that was the subject of a Portland Press Herald investigation after it won the right to bid on a lucrative energy contract at the University of Maine has withdrawn from negotiations.