Matilyn Mortensen

News Director| Web Manager

matilyn.mortensen@usu.edu

A Utah native, Matilyn graduated from Utah State University in 2019 with a B.S. in journalism and communication. During her undergraduate degree, Matilyn worked at Utah Public Radio as a general reporting intern. After graduation, she covered city and county government at the Logan Herald Journal for a year before returning to UPR. 

When not working to bring you accurate, timely, local news, Matilyn enjoys reading, painting, traveling, and trying new food. 

 

To show support for healthcare workers, teachers and students from school districts in Northern Utah created a collaborative art project they called “The Guardian Project.”

In addition to largely non-refundable pet deposits and additional monthly fees that many landlords charge for animals, some Utah renters are being required to provide their pet’s DNA, according to a report from the Salt Lake Tribune

A West Valley man who prosecutors say was playing with the hammer on his gun when it went off, striking and killing a man, now faces criminal charges, according to a report from KSL. 

Gov. Spencer Cox and Lt. Gov. Diedre Henderson declared that Sunday as Nell Stevenson Bright Recognition day, in honor of Bright’s contributions during World War II as a member of the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots, or WASP. 

Thanks to extreme drought conditions, most of Utah is under watering restrictions which has left some Southern Utah residents wondering why public spaces like parks, golf courses and cemeteries are being watered during the day.

According to a report from Deseret News, a recent Instagram post from Global Map Posts suggests Utah might be one of the youngest states in the country and one of the youngest places in the Western world.

Saturday evening sessions of General Conference for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be discontinued beginning in October. Previously, the Utah-based faith held a session for women during their October general conference and a session for priesthood holders during their April conference. 

Chad and Lori Daybell appeared in court on Wednesday in southeastern Idaho to answer charges related to the murder of Lori’s children, Joshua Vallow and Tylee Ryan, according to reports from the Deseret News. 

First lady Abby Cox was joined by Utah’s Hogle Zoo, the Salt Lake Chamber and representatives from foster organizations to announce the launch of Utah’s “foster friendly” business app at a press conference on Tuesday, according to a press release from Cox’s office. 

The Utah Legislature will gather on Wednesday for a special session. Gov. Spencer Cox issued the call for the special session on Monday and approved 22 topics for discussion, including budget issues related to funds from the American Rescue Plan and technical changes to bills passed earlier this year. The press release announcing the session stated that several bills were added to the list at the request of lawmakers, including the prohibition on face mask requirements in schools and changes to electronic cigarettes. 

On Thursday afternoon the Center for Disease Control announced fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask indoors. 

Utah lawmakers passed a bill earlier this year that prohibited government agencies from mandating COVID-19 vaccines, however, it didn’t say the government couldn’t provide incentives for getting a shot. According to The Salt Lake Tribune, that is exactly what Gov. Spencer Cox wants to do. 

Gov. Cox announced on Tuesday that federal unemployment programs tied to the pandemic will end in Utah next month. This includes the $300 weekly stimulus payment and other federal unemployment programs. 

According to a study from Public Religion Research Institute, three-fourths of U.S. members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints trust their church leaders and two-thirds say vaccinations are a way to love your neighbor but half don't want a COVID-19 vaccine

First lady Jill Biden visited Utah on Wednesday as part of a multi-state trip. During her visit, she stopped at a middle school and a vaccine clinic in one of the State’s most diverse neighborhoods, according to reports from KSL.

Federal judges are being asked by lawyers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to toss out a lawsuit made by James Huntsman in March accusing the faith’s leaders of fraud and demanding the return of millions of dollars in tithing, according to reports from the Salt Lake Tribune. 

Transgender Utahns can now list the sex they identify with on state government records, such as their driver’s license, thanks to a ruling from the Utah Supreme Court on Thursday. 

In response to ongoing concerns about extremely dry conditions, Gov. Spencer J. Cox issued an executive on Monday order forbidding irrigation at state facilities between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., requiring that sprinklers are shut off during rainstorms and making sure landscape watering systems are operating efficiently, according to a press release sent from the governor’s office. The executive order goes into effect immediately.

A woman flying from Salt Lake City to Hawaii unexpectedly gave birth over the Pacific Ocean, according to a report from KUTV

As part of a multi-state trip, first lady Jill Biden is scheduled to visit Utah on Wednesday, according to the Deseret News

Courtesy of Intermountain Healthcare

As vaccine availability continues to outpace demand in Utah, organizations like churches or businesses will now be able to sign up to host mobile vaccine clinics. 

The Utah Democratic Party Chair, Jeff Merchant issued an apology today on behalf of the state party to “several women who came forward years ago with (sexual harassment) allegations (that) were not treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.”

pixy.org

In an effort to help Utahns, especially women, who want to return to the workforce, Gov. Spencer Cox and Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson announced a new returnship program on Thursday. 

Derek Brown, the chair of the Utah GOP, announced on Tuesday that he will not seek reelection. In a statement, Brown wrote that while he had been encouraged by many people to run for another term, he and his wife Emilie decided the best way to meet their family’s needs was for him to conclude his service. 

During a press conference on Thursday, Gov. Spencer Cox said all Utahns should be able to sign up for a vaccine by April 1. He also urged residents to remain cautious and respectful of one another.

In an effort to help people get vaccinated, UTA announced on Wednesday that through June 30, any of their forms of transportations will be free to users on the day of their confirmed COVID-19 vaccine appointment. 


Sen. Mike is criticizing the massive election reform bill that passed the United States House of Representatives earlier this week, saying it was “written by the devil himself” on Fox & Friends this morning, according to a report from The Salt Lake Tribune. 

Utahns who receive the COVID-19 vaccine and experience side effects can call the Utah Poison Control Center for assistance. The center is staffed 24/7 and is prepared to answer questions about adverse reactions to the vaccine as well as make reports about such incidents.

A Utah business owner is calling on Gov. Spencer Cox to veto the bill that would end Utah’s mask mandate on April 10 because he says many essential workers who provide face-to-face services will not be fully vaccinated by then. 

A report from Vice this week stated that practices of the anti-human trafficking group with ties to Utah, Operation Underground Railroad, may actually increase demand for child trafficking. 

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