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.

A Vermont State Police cruiser watches for speeding drivers on I-89 in September 2015.
Steve Zind / VPR

Vermont lawmakers are taking up a new highway safety bill that could make failure to wear a seat belt a "stoppable offense," as well as introduce tougher penalties for young motorists using cell phones while driving.

The push comes after a third of victims in Vermont's fatal crashes last year weren't wearing seat belts, in what was the deadliest year on Vermont roads in four years.

Gov. Scott delivered his 2018 budget address before a joint session of the Vermont Legislature.
Emily Alfin Johnson / VPR/file

Calling for consensus to avoid a property tax increase, Gov. Phil Scott's budget address outlined his spending priorities and principles for the coming year.

Vermont Edition digs into the details of just what the governor is proposing with his new budget, and how the math works out to pay for it without raising taxes or fees.

More than 100,000 Vermont workers don't have a workplace reitrement plan, according to AARP estimates.
USA-Reiseblogger / Pixabay

As many as 45 percent of Vermont private-sector workers don't have a retirement plan through their employer. To help Vermonters save — and to reduce reliance on public services when Vermonters go to retire — State Treasurer Beth Pearce is in the final phases of launching a new retirement plan aimed at Vermont's self-employed and those working for small businesses.

In addition to “widespread” flu outbreaks across the country this winter, the flu vaccine is only about 30 percent effective this year, according to Vermont Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine.
Toby Talbot / AP

Vermont and nearly every other state in the U.S. is experiencing "widespread" flu outbreaks this winter, and the state health commissioner says the peak of flu season is still to come.

mohamed_hassan / Pixabay

Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan has joined a lawsuit challenging the Federal Communications Commission's rollback of so-called “net neutrality” regulations. 

A new report finds enforcement of health and safety standards lacking in Vermont's rental homes.
Creative Commons / Pixabay

A third of Vermonters rent their homes, but a new report on substandard housing shows Vermont's aging rental stock and tight rental market can lead to poor health and few options for those facing health or safety violations in their rentals.

Vermont Edition looks at what happens when a rental problem becomes a health hazard, and why it can be so difficult to get it fixed.

For four years, terminally ill patients in Vermont have been able to seek a doctor's help in hastening their death. In that time, 29 Vermonters have taken the patient choice prescription.
Pamela Moore / iStock

It's been four years since Vermont started allowing terminally ill patients to seek the help of a doctor to end their own lives. We're looking at how patient choice at the end of life is working in our state, and how Vermonters have used the program since it began in 2013.

Poverty in Vermont has steadily increased over the last ten years.
Dirty Dog Creative / iStock

Poverty is on the rise in Vermont, with roughly one in nine Vermonters struggling to make ends meet. It's a trend that's steadily increased over the last decade. A new report shows more Vermonters are struggling to pay for basics like food, housing, and child care. What policies will best help those who are struggling the most?

Sheldon Raiders Homemaker's Club, courtesy

More than 200 barn quilts—painted pieces of plywood that use the simple geometric patterns common to quilting on a barn-sized canvas​—now blanket Franklin County. But the colorful landmarks that now make up the Franklin County Barn Quilt Trail have their genesis with one woman and her summer road trip through the midwest.

Sen. Joe Benning (R- Caledonia, left), Sen. Francis Brooks (D-Washington, middle), and Sen. Ann Cummings (D-Washington) peruse a list of bills before the Senate on the first day of the 2018 Legislative session.
Emily Alfin Johnson / VPR

Lawmakers began the 2018 legislative session by putting landmark votes like legalizing marijuana at the top of their docket. Gov. Phil Scott outlined his own goals for the new year in his Thursday State of the State address.

The Vermont Statehouse with snow around it.
Henry Epp / VPR File

While the weather outside has been frightfully cold, things are heating back up at the Statehouse with the start of the second year of the Legislature's biennium. And Vermont Edition will be there for the opening day.

Local salvage crews work with the U.S. Coast Guard in mid-December to remove a vessel wrecked during Hurricane Maria in Fajardo, Puerto Rico.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Lara Davis / U.S. Coast Guard

More than three months after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, the island of around 3.3 million U.S. citizens is still struggling to recover. One Vermont songwriter is releasing a song to help raise awareness of, and funds for, the ongoing plight of residents of the island territory. 

Moose in Vermont and across New England are dwindling due to more deaths from parasites like winter ticks, which are also linked to poor calving rates and low survivorship among new calves.
George Bosworth / Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department

As Vermont's moose population continues to decline, state wildlife biologists say a warming climate is behind an explosion in winter ticks and "skyrocketing" levels of brain parasites, both of which are keeping moose mortality high and calving rates low.

Faced with a dwindling population and mounting threats, what does the future of moose management—and moose hunting—look like in Vermont?

Retro cassette tapes piled in front of a patterned wallpaper.
DutchScenery / iStock

It's almost time to take down that 2017 calendar, but before Vermont Edition takes a break ahead of the new year, it's time for the annual music show.

A Jersey heifer peers through a door used to push manure into a manure pit.
Emily Corwin / VPR

A leading source of contamination in Vermont's lakes is nitrate pollution leeching from animal manure on dairy farms. Now VPR Investigative Reporter Emily Corwin has found those nitrates are also finding their way into groundwater and private wells across the state. 

Accountants say the federal tax overhaul could not only change your tax bill, but also influence the choices homeowners, nonprofits, and businesses make.
U.S. Air Force

A major overhaul to how our country collects taxes has passed through Congress and now awaits the President's signature to become law. What does it mean for Vermont taxpayers? Vermont Edition dives into the details of the new tax plan with an accountant and the state tax commissioner.

Creative Commons / Pixabay

Just how open are Vermont's public records? Vermont Edition delves into what it's like to access—and fight for—public records in our state.

Two people holding hands in comfort.
PeopleImages / iStock

The holidays can be stressful as we juggle work, family, money concerns and travel. But it can be an especially difficult time for those experiencing loss.

The Vermont Supreme Court. The Vermont Supreme Court overturned the conviction of a man who left KKK recruitment flyers at the Burlington homes of two women of color. The court said the state failed to prove the action constituted an immediate threat.
John Dillon / VPR File

Who is legally recognized as a parent? That's the question at the heart of a recent Vermont Supreme Court decision that a family law expert says exposes the gaps in Vermont's laws that affect modern families.

Crafts, spirits, food, and more: what are you favorite "Made in Vermont" gifts?
From left: Vermont Holiday Craft Shop; Silo Distillery; Wikimedia Commons; Boutin Snowshoes

What makes a perfect gift that shares the spirit of Vermont? Vermont Edition is showcasing the handiwork of the Green Mountain State with a show dedicated to "Made in Vermont" gifts.

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