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.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Last summer, Springfield Medical Care Systems, the parent organization for Springfield Hospital and the local community health center network filed for bankruptcy.

As the bankruptcy proceedings continue through this winter, Springfield Hospital hopes to emerge as one entity, with Springfield Medical Care Systems emerging as another, which controls medical and dental clinics in Springfield, Londonderry, Ludlow, Chester, Rockingham and in Charlestown, New Hampshire.

"Vermont Edition" gets an update on what's moving in Montpelier, from an Act 250 overhaul to taxing marijuana to a vote to override Gov. Scott's veto of a minimum wage increase.
Gerold Hinzen / Add Weed / Alexander Schimmeck / Unsplash

Key bills are moving in Montpelier. A contentious Act 250 overhaul has collapsed. A bill to establish a tax-and-regulate marijuana marketplace will soon see a vote on the House floor. And lawmakers just voted to override Gov. Scott's veto of a minimum wage increase. We're talking with reporters about the veto override vote, the Act 250 update and what lawmakers are thinking about when it comes to taxing marijuana.

Hyttalo Souza / Unsplash

The flu is hitting children especially hard this year: more than 100 child deaths have been blamed on the virus this season, according to the CDC. While there have been no flu-related child deaths in Vermont this season, the virus is still having and outsized effect on the young: 86% of flu cases have been reported in people under the age of 24, and so far 35 schools have seen flu outbreaks.

Four wooden figures, representing a couple two children, stand on a white paper heart torn in half, symbolizing, obviously, divorce.
Nazan Akpolat / iStock

People getting divorced often feel overwhelmed. And the pain of divorce can leave many vulnerable and wondering where to turn. That’s why the idea of “collaborative divorce” is gaining ground, a way to separate in a deliberate process outside of a courtroom and often mediated by lawyers, mental health professionals and others. We're talking about collaborative divorce and the help—legal, financial, and psychological—the process offers.

Silhouetted supporters wave signs at a campaign rally in Iowa ahead in January 2020.
John Locher / Associated Press

How important are so-called “moderate swing voters” in a presidential election? Some argue these voters are the key to winning, while others say energizing the base is the best way to secure victory. Coming up, we discuss new theories on swing voters and whether they'll be a central or nonexistent part of the 2020 campaign.

Author Shawna Potter and the cover of her book Making Spaces Safer.
photo courtesty of author / book cover courtesy AK Press

Author and punk rock political activist Shawna Potter is coming to Vermont to talk about her new book—Making Spaces Safers: A Guide to Giving Harassment the Boot Wherever You Work, Play And Gather—and the visit kicks off a series of discussions at Vermont libraries about sexism, harassment and how to stop it. We’re talking with Potter about the book and what individuals and organizations can do to make their spaces safer from harassment.

Long dark stains run down a brown grassy hill.
Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, courtesy

For decades, the federal Clean Water Act — and Vermont state law — have made it illegal to have farm waste enter the water stream. Farms of all sizes face permitting and inspection requirements to prevent run-off.

But how, exactly does the state regulate its water? And how are violations investigated? VPR senior reporter John Dillon found the oversight system split between two state agencies can lead to confusion, delayed enforcement and ongoing pollution. 

An older man and woman hold hands while cresting a hill overlooking a green rolling landscape.
Halfpoint / iStock

The number of Vermonters over the age of 65 is projected to jump by 50% over the next decade. Is the state ready for this demographic shift? We're talking about the Older Vermonters Act, legislation aimed at making policy choices and identifying services to help older Vermonters remain as independent as possible.

A number of hands drop ballots into a ballot box.
z_wei / iStock

Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders is a leading contender for the presidential nomination, especially after his first-place New Hampshire finish. But it's a primary for a party Sanders is only nominally a part of. What does he owe Democrats if he isn't the eventual nominee? We're talking about how voters — and candidates — think about allegiance to parties or people heading into the 2020 election.

A triptic of Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, and Mayor Pete Buttigieg
Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Robert F. Bukaty / Mary Altaffer / Associated Press

Sen. Bernie Sanders claimed victory in Tuesday's New Hampshire primary, but only just: he and former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg will each get nine pledged delegates, while Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar was within 5% of the front runners, claiming six delegates. But New Hampshire voters were open about their concern as to whether the party would unite behind a centrist candidate or, as one voter phrased it, if they're starting to "spoil for is a real left versus right fight."

AP/Lockheed Martin, Courtesy

A new Pentagon assessment finds the F-35s still have a lot of deficiencies, even after nearly two decades in development and more than $400 billion spent. We speak with a defense analyst in Washington, D.C. for the latest.

Sen. Bernie Sanders is welcomed to the stage by his son Levi Sanders at a campaign stop at Stevens High School on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, in Claremont, New Hampshire.
Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

After the uncertainty of the Iowa Caucus, many are looking to New Hampshire's primary Tuesday for clarity on the Democratic presidential race. In 2016, Bernie Sanders walked away from the primary with a 20-point lead over Hillary Clinton. But this year, there are far more candidates and people are far less certain about who's a frontrunner. 

Six books of different colors arrayed in a pattern.
blackred / iStock

The new novel American Dirt revolves around a mother and son fleeing cartel violence in Mexico and attempting to cross into the U.S. But some critics argue the author doesn't have the right to tell this story. The book's publication has stirred controversy, launched the #DignidadLiteraria hashtag and led to discussion on diversity in the publishing world.

We're talking with Vermont authors about representation, cultural appropriation and diversity in storytelling.

Sen. Bernie Sanders addresses an audience at the Derry Opera House at a campaign rally on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020, in Derry, NH.
Steven Senne / Associated Press

The Democratic primary race shifts to New Hampshire this week, where Sen. Bernie Sanders hopes to repeat his big 2016 primary victory. We'll look at the state of the race after Iowa and ahead of Tuesday's primary with live updates from New Hampshire.

Sen. Patrick Leahy arrives at the Capitol for the final vote of the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. The Senate voted to acquit the president on both articles of impeachment late Wednesday night.
J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

In an historic vote Wednesday, the U.S. Senate voted to aquit President Donald Trump on two articles of impeachment, ending the third-ever impeachment trial of a U.S. president. We're talking with Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy about the outcome of the trial and his thoughts on the Senate's vote for acquittal.

An AR-15 rifle pictured with a 30-round magazine and a 10-round magazine. Vermont law now prohibits the sale and purchase of magazines with more than 10 rounds.
Charles Krupa / Associated Press

The term "sanctuary city" is often used to indicate a city or town that limits its cooperation with federal immigration enforcement. But in a small but growing number of Vermont towns, there's another sanctuary movement taking place: resolutions to make their community a "second amendment sanctuary," a symbolic rebuff of any federal or state laws that would put limits on one's right to bear arms. 

A child wears a facemask on a plane departing China during the coronavirus outbreak in January 2020.
Benjy Renton, courtesy

Coronavirus continues to spread in mainland China and beyond. According to the latest updates from the World Health Organization, in China alone, more than than 20,000 people have been infected and more than 400 have died. The virus has spread to 20 other countries, including the U.S., which now has 11 cases. Foreigners traveling, working, or studying in China have been advised by their countries to leave. And that includes some Middlebury College students who were expecting to spend a semester abroad. 

A basket of blue crabs for sale at Everest Asian Market in Essex Junction.
April Qian / VPR

It will be some time before the official 2020 U.S. census tally of Vermont residents is complete, but whether or not the state population has diversified in the last decade, Vermonters' culinary interests appear more varied. Everest Asian Market in Essex Junction is expanding, and the owner said he's seen sales triple in just the last couple of years.

Patrons at a betting kiosk in the sports betting area of a Rhode Island casino in November, 2019.
Steven Senne / Associated Press

Gov. Phil Scott wants more accessible and affordable child care in Vermont, and he wants to expand the lottery and bring sports betting to the state to help fund it. We're talking with state lottery officials about new gambling proposals to raise that money, and how expanded gambling has fared elsewhere in New England.

A photo of cookbook author Molly Stevens next to the cover of her book "All About Dinner: Simple Meals, Expert Advice."
Photo and image courtesy W. W. Norton

Molly Stevens is a freelance food writer and author of several award-winning cookbooks, the latest of which — All About Dinner: Simple Meals, Expert Advice — offers not only recipes, but tips on cooking essentials, from stocking your cupboard to mastering the basics of scratch cooking. We're talking about her latest book and the larger culinary lessons within All About Dinner.