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.

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.

House Speaker Mitzi Johnson says passage of a property tax reform package is a top priority for this session
Angela Evancie / VPR file

How will Vermont control education spending? Solving that puzzle will be on House Speaker Mitzi Johnson's docket as she heads into the 2018 legislative session, especially as Gov. Phil Scott considers higher staff-to-student ratios.

"Spreading Manure," captured in Kirby, Vt. in 1973. One of the many photographs in Richard Brown's new book "The Last of the Hill Farms."
Richard Brown, courtesy

Photographer Richard Brown moved to Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom in 1971, where his photographs of the people, places, and landscapes of this corner of rural Vermont captured a disappearing way of life for the state's fading hill farms. 

Whether its limiting the number of pills in a prescription or accessing treatment and therapy, insurance providers play a central role in the opioid crisis.
Fuse / Thinkstock

The stories of America's opioid crisis are sadly familiar: stories of addiction, overdose, and suffering. But what role do insurance companies play in this struggle? 

Gov. Phil Scott says he would support a "libertarian approach" to legalizing personal possession of small amounts of marijuana.
Angela Evancie / VPR

Gov. Phil Scott told Vermont Edition Friday that he will support efforts to legalize the personal possession of marijuana in the opening weeks of the 2018 legislative session.

Angela Evancie / VPR FILE

Live call-in discussion: Gov. Phil Scott closes out the year with a long to-do list for 2018. Friday on Vermont Edition, we're taking your calls and questions as we ask the governor about budgets, taxes, and his priorities for the coming year.

Katherine Welles / iStock

Who gets to call themselves "Vermonters"? We're having a conversation about newcomers, old-timers, and those who have been in Vermont for generations.

Person with arms extended looking at a sunset.
Irudayam / Flickr Creative Commons

On the day before Thanksgiving, what are are you grateful for? Wednesday on Vermont Edition, we're exploring who and what makes us feel gratitude, and how we can turn feelings of gratefulness into action.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., on Capitol Hill in April 2017.
Alex Brandon / AP

Taxes, gun control, judicial appointments and federal spending: The final weeks of 2017 will bring a full slate before Congress, with many decisions likely to come down to close votes in the Senate.

Lauren Victoria Burke / AP

Republican leaders in Congress want their plan to overhaul the country's tax system finished by Thanksgiving, but Congressman Peter Welch says he opposes the bill. It's just one of many issues on the congressional docket that's setting a dizzying pace through the end of the year.

Creative Commons / Pexels

powerful wind storm raked Vermont a week ago, reminding many just how vulnerable the state's electric grid can be to severe weather. As climate change models forecast more unpredictable weather in the future, are Vermont utilities ready for the challenges of climate change?

Baker and author Martin Philip, head baker at King Arthur Flour in Norwich, has written a book that's part memoir and part cook book. It shares what he calls 75 recipes of "a baker's journey home."
Julia Reed / Harper Wave, an imprint of HarperCollins

Before he became head baker at King Arthur Flour in Norwich, Martin Philip trained as an opera singer and worked for an investment bank in New York City. Now the baker and author is sharing his expertise and answering questions for aspiring bakers.

Robert Siegel spent more than 40 years working in radio news, and has reported from across the country and around the globe. Senior host of NPR's All Things Considered since 1987, he'll be stepping away from the mic in January 2018.
Stephen Voss / NPR

Robert Siegel, senior host of NPR's All Things Considered, is speaking to the Vermont Humanities Council this week, reflecting on more than four decades working in radio newsrooms. It's an apt time for reflection for the seasoned host, as he prepares to step away from the mic and retire in January 2018.

A lineman from Burlington Electric Department repairs downed wires on a transmission line in Williston Tuesday.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Thousands of Vermont households and businesses are still without power days after Sunday night's fierce windstorm. Green Mountain Power and other electric co-ops say they're making progress restoring power, but caution frustrated customers that the wait for power to return could last into the weekend.

Deicing winter roads by applying salt is poisoning Vermont's ecosystems, and experts say it’s over-salting by private contractors in parking lots and other urban areas that are increasingly the source of the salt.
Modfos / iStock

Salt used for deicing and winter road management is poisoning Vermont's ecosystems, but it isn't coming from where you'd think. Parking lots and congested urban areas are increasingly the source of the salt, winter managers say. Drivers expecting visibly salted roads, and a lack of standards for private companies offering salting services, has many calling for tough standards to stop the problem cold.

In this file photo from 2014, signs are seen in the office of Mike Spillane of IBEW that describe past labor actions. On this "Vermont Edition," we're talking about the state's labor history and unions today.
Steve Zind / VPR File

Roughly one in 10 employed Vermonters belong to a union, and nearly half of those jobs are in public sectors like government and teaching. The role of organized labor has changed dramatically in recent decades, with union jobs declining in Vermont and nationwide. But organized labor, and how employers have responded to it, has profoundly shaped Vermont's history and culture.

A pasture full of cows overlooks the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon, Vt. Robbie Leppzer's film "Power Struggle" documents efforts to close Vermont Yankee; the plant was closed in 2014.
Robbie Leppzer /, courtesy

The Vermont International Film Festival is screening a documentary on Sunday chronicling the grassroots movement to close the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, and the events both global and local that surrounded its closure in 2014.

The cast of "Mill Girls" at the Champlain Mill in Winooski. There will be free performances of the show at Saint Michael's College in November.
Jerry Swope / Saint Michael's College

A new play premiering at Saint Michael's College tells the story of the women who worked the textile mills in Winooski and across New England in the mid-1800s. But it's also a story about America's shift from small towns to big cities, how women were treated and compensated in the country's earliest factories, the fight for workers' rights and the mills' connections to slavery before the Civil War.

Mike Stewart / AP

Millions of Americans were only vaguely aware of the credit bureau Equifax until earlier this month, when the company revealed that the personal data of more than 147 million people was exposed in a massive data hack.

Wikimedia Creative Commons

What do the Vermont companies King Arthur Flour, Gardener's Supply, PC Construction, and Switchback Brewing have in common? They're all employee-owned businesses.

The Boy Scouts are opening their program to girls. Vermont Edition talks about scouting for boys and girls in Vermont Monday, Oct. 23.
gloch / iStock

The Boy Scouts of America this month officially welcomed girls for the first time in their century-long history. Girls will be able to enroll in the entry-level Cub Scout program by 2018, with a path toward ranks like Eagle Scouts in the coming years. But after decades of declining membership, is it a bold move toward inclusion or a necessary change for a struggling organization?