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

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The state of New York has issued an urgent call for experienced medical personnel to help with the surge of COVID-19 cases that have been filling hospitals for several weeks now. One of those who is answering that call is a trauma surgeon and critical care specialist from Portland.

Laura Withers typically spends half the year working in Maine and the other half volunteering around the world. On Tuesday, she’ll begin a three-week stint at Long Island Jewish Hospital.

Withers spoke with Maine Public Radio News about the assignment.

Nick Woodward / Maine Public

Gov. Janet Mills has issued an executive order mandating travelers to Maine self-quarantine for 14 days to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The order instructs visitors not to travel to Maine if they are displaying symptoms of the coronavirus and advises them not to travel to Maine if they are coming from cities or regions identified as COVID-19 hotspots.

The Togus VA Medical Center is reporting its first death of a patient from complications of COVID-19. The person was identified as someone in their 70s, and no further information is being provided because of privacy reasons.

Nick Woodward / Maine Public

Citing the historic public health threat of the coronavirus, Gov. Janet Mills on Tuesday issued a stay-at-home order for all Maine residents and visitors.

Nick Woodward / Maine Public

Updated March 31, 2020 at 2:25 p.m. ET.

Five people have died from COVID-19 in Maine, according to Maine Center for Disease Control Director Dr. Nirav Shah. At an Augusta news briefing Tuesday, Shah said the state's death toll rose from three to five overnight with the deaths of two people who were hospitalized.

Patty Wight / Maine Public

Germ-killing hand sanitizer is in short supply these days, especially in hospitals, where doctors and nurses on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic need it to protect themselves and their patients from the coronavirus.

Andrew Catalina / Maine Public

The Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands (BPL) has announced that it will close nearly a dozen coastal state parks and beaches on Friday to protect the health and safety of visitors from the threat of COVID-19. The parks will be closed until April 8, but that could be extended.

David Goldman / Associated Press file

The mayors of Portland and Lewiston are calling on landlords to work with renters during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Joel Page / AP

Police, prosecutors and judges in Maine are taking steps to avoid sending non-violent offenders to jail. The spread of the coronavirus has prompted Maine courts to issue orders vacating outstanding warrants for unpaid fines and unpaid restitution.

Wikimedia Commons

Some Maine jails have begun releasing certain prisoners as a way to cope with the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

Office of the Maine Attorney General

With allegations of price gouging rising around the state, Gov. Janet Mills has issued a Declaration of Abnormal Market Disruption that prohibits certain necessities from being sold at inflated prices during the COVID-19 crisis. The order empowers the Office of the Attorney General to investigate the claims and take swift action if necessary.

Joel Page / AP

The Maine Department of Corrections is suspending all visits to its facilities. That includes visits from family, friends and volunteers. In a written statement the Department said it is working on reducing or eliminating phone commission rates during this time.

Maine Coast Heritage Trust

Maine Coast Heritage Trust, a Topsham-based conservation organization, is celebrating its 50th anniversary and the completion of a six-year campaign to raise $125-million.

Susan Sharon / Maine Public

Members of Maine Youth Justice, a campaign to end youth incarceration, are calling on a state task force to recommend closing the Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland by next year. On Tuesday morning they rallied outside the Capital Judicial Center in Augusta, where the task force was scheduled to meet. But that option is currently not among those being proposed to reform Maine's juvenile justice system.

Ice harvesting was a thriving industry in the 19th century, employing tens of thousands of workers in New England alone. Big blocks of ice were removed with jagged-toothed saws from frozen rivers, lakes and ponds, packed in sawdust and shipped around the world.

Having access to ice year-round changed the way people kept and ate food. Then came the advent of electric refrigeration. Cutting natural ice by hand became virtually obsolete. But there are still a few places where the tradition is carried on, places such as South Bristol, Maine.

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