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.

Christy Mihaly's first illustrated book for children is a rhyming picture book about making hay.
Holiday House publishers, courtesy

Vermont’s farms are the stuff of legend. The iconic barn, the determined farmer, the sturdy tractor and fresh-cut fields bursting with towering bales of hay. But you wouldn't be the first to realize — hey, there are no stories about hay!

East Calais author Christy Mihaly's new illustrated children's book aims to fill that gap in your child's bookshelf.

Dan French has worked in Vermont schools for more than 20 years. He took over the job of Secretary of Education on Monday, Aug. 13, 2018.
Vermont Agency of Education, courtesy

Dan French took over the job of Vermont's Secretary of Education just last week, but he's no stranger to the state's schools: he's taught in the Northeast Kingdom and worked as a superintendent in Southern Vermont for nearly a decade.

We're talking with the state's new education secretary about merging districts, shrinking enrollment and his vision for Vermont’s schools. 

The mural in Burlington reflects 400 years of Vermont history but has drawn criticism for lacking diversity.
Adam Fagen / Flickr

The mural should move: that's one of several recommendations from a seven-member task force convened by the Burlington City Council to look at the controversy surrounding the Everyone Loves A Parade! mural on Leahy Way, just off of Burlington's Church Street pedestrian thoroughfare. 

Novelist Anna Katharine Green, top left, and her late 1800s novels like "The Leavenworth Case" and "Marked Personal" created the template of modern detective fiction.
Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

You may have never heard of the novelist Anna Katharine Green. But if you’ve ever read a detective novel, or followed the sleuthing exploits of Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple or even Inspector Gamache—you’ve been enjoying the countless authors who followed in Green’s footsteps.

The Passumpsic River overflowed its banks in 2002, washing out roads and flooding homes in and around Lyndonville in 2002.
Vermont Emergency Management, courtesy

Flooding is Vermont’s most frequent and costly natural disaster, but seven years after the devastation of Tropical Storm Irene, just how ready are homeowners and towns for future floods? We're talking about the threat of flooding in Vermont and planning for flood resilience.

Rep. Peter Welch, left, and challenger Dan Freilich are vying to be the Democratic nominee for U.S. House after a third candidate dropped from the race Thursday.
Anna Ste. Marie / VPR

The field of Democratic nominees for Vermont’s seat in the U.S. House narrowed Thursday after one of the three candidates abruptly withdrew from the race. 

Challengers Dan Freilich, left, and Ben Mitchell, center, will debate incumbent Rep. Peter Welch in the Democratic primary for Vermont's sole seat in the U.S. House.
Freilich campaign / DEBORAHANNE MAYER courtesy Mitchell campaign / Liam Elder Conners, VPR file

Three candidates are running to be the Democratic nominee for Vermont's only seat in the U.S. House. As part of VPR's coverage of contested statewide and federal races, Vermont Edition hosts a debate between Dan Freilich, Ben Mitchell and incumbent Rep. Peter Welch.

Incumbent Gov. Phil Scott, left, and primary challenger Keith Stern debate their case to be the Republican candidate for governor.
VPR file

We're beginning our series of live debates for selected statewide and federal offices with the Republican candidates for governor: incumbent Gov. Phil Scott and challenger Keith Stern.

A vehicle in Canada waits for a gate to rise while crossing into Derby Line, Vermont from Stanstead, Quebec in July 2018.
Charles Krupa / AP

Arrests of immigrants attempting to cross the Canadian-Vermont border have more than doubled this year, with most of those arrests coming from people trying to enter the U.S. illegally, according to reporter Elizabeth Hewitt's story with VTDigger

Author Rick Winston's book "Red Scare In The Green Mountains" looks at the era of McCarthyism in Vermont from 1946 through 1960.
Rootstock Publishing, courtesy

Blacklists and attacks on the free press. Intolerance and fear used for political gain. The Red Scare and anti-communist McCarthyism flourished across America—and Vermont—in the 1940s and 50s. We're talking with author Rick Winston about his new book looking at instances of "red scare" and "red-baiting" in Vermont.

The Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program office in Colchester requires overseas health screenings before refugees arrive in the U.S., but increasing rates of suicide among resettled Bhutanese refugees is alarming health officials.
Meg Malone / VPR

More than 92,000 Bhutanese refugees now live in the U.S., relocated after enduring years of deplorable and often deadly conditions in refugee camps after being expelled from their home country. Now, federal health officials have tracked a troubling trend among this group of New Americans: a rate of death by suicide nearly twice the national average. And Vermont's 2,500 Bhutanese refugees are not immune. 

Bristol Democrat Ethan Sonneborn is 14 years old and running in the Democratic primary to be the party's pick for governor.
courtesy Ethan Sonneborn

Bristol Democrat Ethan Sonneborn is one of four registered candidates seeking the party's nomination for governor in the Aug. 14 primary. At 14 years old, he's by far the youngest, which he hopes will engage more young people in politics. We're talking with the candidate about his platform and why he's seeking the job of governor.

Manchester real estate broker Lawrence Zupan is one of four Republicans vying to win the party’s nomination for U.S. Senate.
courtesy Lawrence Zupan

Lawrence Zupan is a Manchester-area real estate broker and self-described “political novice” who’s one of four candidates to be the Republican nominee to the U.S. Senate. We're talking to him about his background, experience and what he would aim to achieve as Vermont's junior senator.

An image of the Vermont state flag.
btgbtg / iStock.com

A new VPR-Vermont PBS Poll out Monday takes the pulse of Vermonters ahead of the upcoming 2018 elections. We're digging into the poll results and looking at what issues Vermonters say are most important.

The aftermath of a fire at the Vermont Standard office.
David Jordan / Associated Press

The conventional wisdom in journalism is that a reporter or news organization shouldn't make the story about themselves — but sometimes there's no choice. 

Such was the case for the Vermont Standard, the state's oldest weekly newspaper, which had to do some reporting on a story about its own misfortune when a fire swept through its Woodstock offices Monday in a complex that also houses other businesses and apartments.

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. 

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