Susan Sharon

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

Every year, several thousand adventurous souls set out to hike all 2,190 miles of the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. But in March, thru-hikers were kindly asked to put their dreams on hold because of the pandemic.

"We asked people that hadn't started their hike to postpone it and we asked people who were on the trail to please leave," says Sandi Marra, president and CEO of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, which manages and protects the trail.

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.

One hundred years ago Woodrow Wilson was president, and women were on the verge of getting the right to vote. Dorothy was the third most popular name for girls in 1919, according to the Social Security Administration, and the chance of a baby girl born that year living to age 100 was 1.9%.

So imagine the odds of three girls named Dorothy, all born in 1919, growing up in the same hometown (Auburn, Maine), graduating from the same high school in 1937, and celebrating their 100th birthdays together in 2019.

Every summer, a handful of interns and research assistants are selected from hundreds of applicants to camp in primitive conditions on a tiny, treeless island several miles off Maine's coast. Their job description calls for "a sense of humor and love ... of adventure, the outdoors and birds."

The coveted jobs are with the National Audubon Society's Project Puffin, an unusual seabird restoration project that got its start on Eastern Egg Rock in the 1970s.

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

Thanks to Nat King Cole, it's hard to think of chestnuts without conjuring an image of them "roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose." These days, tough, you'll be hard-pressed to find anyone roasting American chestnuts over an open fire. The trees and the nuts have all but disappeared.

But now, scientists are excited about the discovery of an American chestnut tree in the woods of western Maine, a record-breaking tree that's giving them hope for the future.

Maine was among the first states to legalize same-sex marriage at the ballot box — and now, LGBT groups are hoping voters there will break new ground by electing the nation's first openly gay governor in November.

But Democratic candidate Mike Michaud only recently came out, and he hasn't always been a gay-rights supporter.

Responding to what he called a "whisper campaign" about his sexual orientation, the six-term congressman did something dramatic last November: He outed himself in a series of newspaper op-eds.

When actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died of an overdose in February, the New York City medical examiner ruled that his death was the result of "acute mixed drug intoxication." Heroin, cocaine and a widely prescribed class of drugs known as benzodiazepines, or benzos, were found in his system.