Susan Sharon

Deputy News Director

Deputy News Director Susan Sharon is an experienced newsroom leader and reporter who has worked in both radio and television.  She's covered a wide range of subjects including politics, environmental policy, the opioid crisis and criminal justice as well as human interest stories.  Her work has been nationally recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists, Public Radio News Directors, Inc and by the Society of Environmental Journalists for breaking news, enterprise and beat reporting.

Susan is a graduate of the University of Montana School of Journalism. She's received additional training in management, newsroom leadership and editing from Central Maine Community College, Poynter and NPR..

Got a story idea? E-mail Susan: ssharon@mainepublic.org. You can also follow her on twitter @susansharon1

Ways to Connect

BRIAN BECHARD / Maine Public File

Maine's Department of Corrections says it's received the results of 221 COVID-19 tests on prisoners and staff at the Maine Correctional Center in Windham, and all tests so far have been negative. Additional results are expected in the next several days as the state testing lab runs the 484 samples the DOC submitted.

All prisoners, staff and contractors at the prison have submitted for testing, officials say. The tests were in response to the discovery at the facility of the first confirmed case of a prisoner with COVID-19.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Maine health officials are reporting another 58 new cases of COVID-19 since Wednesday, for a total of 1,877 positive diagnoses since the pandemic began.

Brian Bechard / Maine Public/file

The Maine Department of Corrections has confirmed that a prisoner at the Maine Correctional Center in Windham has tested positive for COVID-19.  This is the first positive diagnosis of a Maine prisoner.

Kevin Bennett / For Maine Public

Before the pandemic turned the world upside down, more than 13% of Maine households struggled with food insecurity — the highest rate of hunger in New England and the 12th highest in the country. But with so many people out of work, that number is projected to grow to 18 percent.

Susan Sharon / Maine Public

With the depletion of certain items on grocery store shelves and the disruption to the supply chain, there is one thing the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted, and that is the importance of locally grown food. In Maine and around the country, small farms in particular are seeing a surge of interest in what they have to offer, and membership sales in community supported agriculture are especially attractive right now.

Susan Sharon / Maine Public

A Bethel brewery owner who defied a state emergency order not to allow dine-in customers in his pub until June 1 has been issued a temporary suspension of his license to serve food by Maine’s Health Inspection Program.

via Chris Greeley

Holden Police Chief Chris Greeley makes it a habit to give out his cellphone number to residents in his community. But during the recent pandemic and the governor's stay-at-home order, Greeley has been taking additional steps to try to connect with the people he serves by reaching out and calling those who may be especially vulnerable.

via Troy Barnies

For some people, life during the pandemic has meant hunkering down with family members and, if you're fortunate, working from home. But when you happen to be a newlywed separated from your wife by an entire ocean and a professional athlete whose career in Europe is uncertain, priorities have a way of coming into focus.

Rebecca Conley / Maine Public

Around the country, the rise of coronavirus cases is accelerating in prisons and jails. Over the weekend, the state of Ohio reported nearly 2,000 inmates have now tested positive at one prison alone, making it the largest reported source of the infection in the United States.

Maine DOC

County jails in Maine have seen a 38 percent decline in their prison populations over the past several weeks, and the Maine State Prison system has had an eight percent drop, according to the latest figures on the Department of Corrections website.

Rebecca Conley / Maine Public

Multiple local and state emergency agencies were to an explosion at the Androscoggin Mill in Jay Wednesday afternoon that sent a plume of smoke into the air and scattered pulp debris miles away.

Susan Sharon / Maine Public file

Life in any congregate setting right now poses additional risks for residents and staff from COVID-19. That’s also true of jails and prisons.

Susan Sharon / Maine Public

Living with all the troubling effects of the pandemic — social distancing, the toll on health care workers, the anguish for the sick and the economic fallout — retired Navy veteran Robert Bott of Lewiston says there's no doubt it can test your faith. But Bott, who is Catholic, says he and his wife have found comfort in online prayer groups, and he's trying to make the most of the time they have to spend together:

Susan Sharon / Maine Public

Around the state extraordinary efforts are underway to help care for people during the pandemic. One example is in Lewiston where high school students with the Regional Technical Center's culinary arts program are making and distributing 400 meals a day to those who either can't get around or who don't feel safe going out in public. It's a student-led initiative that's being supported by donations of all kinds.

For some Mainers, especially those who are elderly and immunocompromised, the coronavirus pandemic is especially frightening. Factor in the rules of social distancing, and trying to “stay safe” in rural Maine can feel like a lonely odyssey.

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