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.

Skitterphoto

Two months from now, the Atlantic hurricane season ends, just as Florida’s tourism season begins.

Gov. Rick Scott announced last month that Florida had the highest number of visitors in a six-month period in its history. Nearly 61 million people visited the state in the first half of 2017.

Jevgenij Voronov / Unsplash

Last week, the Lee County Commission voted unanimously to acquire a 3,922-acre parcel in South Lee County. The $42.4 million acquisition, known as Edison Farms, came days after Hurricane Irma directly hit the west coast of Florida.

Photo: The Laboratory Theater of Florida

The Laboratory Theater of Florida is currently running performances of the black comedy “Sordid Lives,”  an LGBT cult classic about family members dealing with their demons as they gather together after a death in the family. Audiences are invited after Thursday's performance to participate in a ‘talk back’ panel about ideas found in the play, from grappling with an LGBT identity, to gay conversion therapy, to institutionalization.

Photo: NASA

Hurricane Irma cut a swath of blackouts through Florida, from the Keys to multiple counties across the peninsula. An estimated 4.4 million people were without power as days became weeks. That's led some Floridians to consider turning to renewable energy like solar power, installing large-scale battery backups at home, and keeping solar contractors busy as more residents think about going "off the grid" to power their homes.

Pixnio

Last week, Georgetown University released two studies relating to children’s health insurance. One was to announce the nationwide rate of uninsured children has reached an historic low. The other was to point out that Florida’s rate of uninsured children is higher than the national average.

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