Matthew F Smith

Gulf Coast Live Producer

Matthew Smith is a reporter and producer of WGCU’s Gulf Coast Live.

Originally from Delaware, he 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 at stations across Alaska, where 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 the Gulf Coast Live producer in August 2016.

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.

Photo: Rachelle Elsea, U.S. Air Force

The acronym “R.A.P.I.D.” signifies the steps teenage girls are advised to follow in a new course being offered by the Lee County Sheriff’s Department: Respond to a dangerous situation by Assessing your surroundings, Protecting yourself, Identifying defensive strategies, and applying Defensive actions (as a last resort). It's the name of a class that’s LCSO is offering exclusively for teenage years.

Photo: Peter Haden, WLRN

An opioid overdose is an alarmingly frequent call for paramedics and firefighters in South Florida. But according to WLRN reporter Peter Haden, many of those victims came from outside the state to seek treatment for their addiction. With relapses topping 80 percent, many who arrive seeking help today can become tomorrow's overdose victim.

Photos: Wikimedia Creative Commons

While most of the complaints about Southwest Florida's recent rainy weather center on the comeback of the annoying mosquito, the rain brings out another animal that can pose a serious threat to dogs: the cane toad, whose poison glands can sicken pets. Even the tadpoles can be highly toxic if ingested. 

Stephen Ausmus / USDA

A fungus spread by an invasive beetle species has destroyed 500 million trees since it first arrived in North America 15 years ago. The fungus that causes laurel wilt disease, spread by  the redbay ambrosia beetle, threatens South Florida's avocado crop and the countless trees that call the Everglades home.

Photo: Mark Foley via MyFloridaHouse.gov

Lawmakers left Tallahassee after a three-day special session earlier this month that saw resolutions on medical marijuana, education spending, budgets, and more. Today on Gulf Coast Live, Rep. Ray Rodrigues (R-Fort Myers/Estero) joins the show to review how his bills fared this year, and the decisions that defined the 2017 session of the Florida legislature.

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