Matthew F. Smith

Producer, Vermont Edition

Originally from Delaware, Matt moved to Alaska in 2010 for his first job in radio. He spent five years working as a radio and television reporter, as well as a radio producer, talk show host, and news director. His reporting received awards from the Alaska Press Club and the Alaska Broadcasters Association. Relocating to southwest Florida, he spent several months producing television news before joining WGCU as a producer for their daily radio show, Gulf Coast Live. He joined VPR in October 2017.

Matthew studied English and journalism at Villanova University in Villanova, Pa., where he wrote for the school newspaper and other school publications. He taught English as a Second Language for several years in China and the U.S. before pursuing a career in journalism.

Cellist Zoe Keating has released her first new EP in nearly a decade.
Chase Jarvis / Courtesy of the Artist

With the help of a computer and foot pedal, cellist and composer Zoe Keating layers and loops her music to create a symphony out of one solo cello. After experiencing intense grief, she says her music also helped her discover new possibilities.

Stern campaign, courtesy

Keith Stern is the lone Republican challenger to incumbent governor Phil Scott in the party's Aug. 14 primary. Stern has criticized Scott's support for Vermont's new gun control laws and vowed to undo some of them. We're talking to Stern as part of VPR's ongoing interviews with statewide and federal candidates.

Fernald's Cuckoo Bumblebee, Bombus fernaldae, spotted by a Vermont iNaturalist user in July 2018.
beeboy / iNaturalist

Researchers are surveying bumblebees at four northeast National Wildlife Refuges in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maine and Vermont this summer. During the Vermont survey in the Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge in Swanton, surveyors say they made an unusual find: a bumblebee that's only been seen twice before in Vermont.

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard at a meeting with U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in June 2018.
Lance Cheung / U.S. Department of Agriculture

Vermont and Quebec have an important relationship in the region, but it exists in the larger context of U.S.-Canada relations. As those ties become increasingly complicated, we're talking with Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard about border issues, refugees, U.S.-Canada relations and more.

Nurses strike outside of the UVM Medical Center on Main Street in Burlington during the first day of a planned two-day strike.
Ari Snider / VPR

A strike by unionized nurses at UVM Medical Center over wages and staffing entered its second day Friday with hundreds set to return to picket lines and no clear timeline for when negotiations for a new contract would resume. 

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Rick Porcello throws during the first inning of a game against the Kansas City Royals on Sunday, July 8, 2018.
Charlie Riedel / AP

It's been an unpredictable baseball season so far this summer, with the Red Sox and Yankees battling for first place and new measures to speed up the pace of play. Vermont Edition's catches up with the the baseball season from the big leagues to up-and-coming college players with the Vermont Mountaineers.

Cyclists outside the Island House in South Hero.
Luis Vivanco, courtesy

Vermonters can now access more than 200 years of newspapers online after the Vermont secretary of state's office worked with Newspapers.com to make millions of pages of old papers from the 1700s up to 1922 available for free.

The online archive gives readers a glimpse into almost any day in Vermont history. And one scholar at the University of Vermont is using the archive to trace the surprising role bicycles have played in social change in Vermont.

Analog, digital or a combination of the two? We're looking at the digital tools and the analog alternatives we use every day.
elenabs / iStock

Technology shapes how we interact with people and the world around us, but many still feel the pull of the analog in our increasingly digital lives. We're talking about the digital tools and their analog alternatives we use every day and how each affects our thinking in different ways.

Essex Orleans Democratic Sen. John Rodgers is running a write-in campaign to be the Democratic nominee for governor.
Bob Kinzel / VPR

Vermont’s gun control laws were a polarizing issue for many in the state when Gov. Phil Scott signed them into law in April. Essex-Orleans Sen. John Rodgers is making his opposition to some of the state's new gun laws central to his write-in bid to challenge Scott as the Democratic nominee for governor.

The Vermont Statehouse.
DenisTangneyJr. / iStock

With a state government shutdown narrowly avoided, Vermont Edition wraps up this week by talking with political reporters about the details of the budget agreement, what it means for future education and funding policies in our state, and how the Montpelier showdown could affect the 2018 campaign.

Republican Rep. Kurt Wright of Burlington talks about the role House Republican leaders played in the state's budgetary impasse and what the agreement means for the future of education funding.
Angela Evancie / VPR/file

Vermont's weekslong budget impasses is at an end after Gov. Phil Scott said he'd allow the latest budget passed by lawmakers to go into effect without his signature, avoiding a state government shutdown. But while the impasse has been framed as Democratic lawmakers clashing with a Republican governor, leaders of the House Republican minority also played decisive roles in the process.

The Icecube Neutrino Observatory at the South Pole sits atop an array of detectors buried deep within the clear antarctic ice.
Courtesy of National Science Foundation

It's a cutting-edge telescope buried a mile under the ice at the South Pole, but in many ways, the Icecube Neutrino Observatory is hardly a telescope at all. It doesn't point up at the sky; in fact, it points down, looking through the earth. It's just one of the paradoxical parts of a new field of astronomy looking at the universe by tracking the elusive “ghost particle” known as the neutrino. 

The World Health Organization now recognizes what it calls "gaming disorder," but treatment and what qualifies under the disorder is still being defined.
vitapix / iStock

Kids can easily lose themselves in the virtual worlds of video games, but what happens when gaming goes beyond a hobby and becomes a problem? The World Health Organization now recognizes “gaming disorder,” and we're looking at the details of the diagnosis and what it means for kids in Vermont.

Lavender farms, wine routes and natural beauty abound in Quebec's Eastern Townships. What are your favorite destinations in the region?
Flickr / Wikimedia Commons

Summer is a great time to explore new destinations, even ones right in your own backyard. We're touring Québec's Eastern Townships and looking at all that's on offer right on Vermont's doorstep. 

Samel Williams and grandson Walter G. McClain, who donated this photo to the Lowcountry Digital History Initiative.
The McClain Family

Samuel Williams was just a boy when he was liberated from slavery in South Carolina. He eventually made his way to Springfield, Vermont, where he raised a family and wrote a pseudonymous memoir, giving voice to his early life in slavery and the struggles of starting over. 

Fred Tuttle, left, and Jack McMullen squared off in a now-notorious debate during the 1998 Republican primary.
VPR file/Tim Johnson, VPR

Twenty years ago a political debate on VPR pitted a retired dairy farmer against a Harvard-educated Vermont newcomer in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate. We're looking at back on the Tuttle-McMullen debate, how it affected the 1998 election and what the debate says about Vermont politics and values.

David Rosane and The Zookeepers on their tour of Vermont libraries.
David Rosane, courtesy

Although libraries are often associated with tight-lipped librarians demanding quiet, a Vermont band with ties to France intends to pump up the volume with a summer library tour supporting local branches.

At his campaign launch in Barre in May, Democrat James Ehlers touted his policy agenda as the most progressive of the candidates seeking the governor's seat in 2018.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

James Ehlers is one of four Democrats running for governor. We're talking with the candidate about his platform and his priorities as we head toward the state's Aug. 14 primary. 

Hannah Weiss installing automated temperature sensors on a snow pile at Craftsbury Outdoor Center.
Paul Bierman / The University of Vermont

In the heat of summer, snow is the last thing you’d expect to find in the Vermont woods. But at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center this summer, that’s exactly what you’ll find — after a bit of digging — that is.

Vermont has no shortage of talented athletes engaging in compelling competitions this summer. But do you know where to see these athletes run, row and ride? We’re looking at Vermont's summer sports and the games, matches and other opportunities to see athletes perform this season. 

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