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.

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 / PowerStruggleMovie.com, 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?

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/CI Lab, courtesy

It was a violent collision hundreds of millions of light years away, the likes of which forged the gold found in our jewelry and the uranium in our stockpile of nuclear bombs. Scientists around the globe announced Monday groundbreaking observations of two neutron stars crashing together at nearly the speed of light. A Dartmouth physicist asserts it's the beginning of a new field of scientific discovery.

Rex Butt is the interim executive director of the Pride Center of Vermont.
Pride Center of Vermont, courtesy

After just five months on the job at the Pride Center of Vermont, executive director Susan Hartman abruptly stepped down in early October.

Volunteer and board member Rex Butt has stepped in to lead the organization in the interim, and he said turmoil within the local LGBTQ community contributed to Hartman's swift departure.

We look at the economic and environmental viability of electric vehicles in a rural state like Vermont.
Boarding1Now / iStock

There are some positive virtues of electric vehicles, like reducing carbon emissions created by conventional gas-powered engines. But where does the money meet the road?

Pixabay/Public Domain

Librarian and privacy advocate Jessamyn West was outraged when she heard about the massive data breach affecting 134 million people at credit reporting agency Equifax. So the Randolph librarian decided to sue the multi-billion dollar company in Vermont Small Claims Court.

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