Matilyn Mortensen

News Director| Web Manager

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. 


Cox for Governor Campaign

Spencer Cox became Utah’s 18th governor on Monday, the 125th anniversary of Utah’s statehood. The former lieutenant governor took the oath of office at the Tuacahn Center of the Arts in Southern Utah. Cox is the first Utah governor to be sworn in outside of Salt Lake City. He said he wanted an outdoor venue because of pandemic safety precautions and as a part of an effort to show he is governor of the entire state.

“Essential services” is one of the 2020 buzzwords that it is very unlikely any of us were thinking about before the global pandemic. But in March, as COVID cases began to spread throughout the U.S. and as business and organizations began to shut down, defining what had to stay open became crucial. 

Incoming Gov. and Lt. Gov., Spencer Cox and Deidre Henerson, announced names for 19 cabinet and senior staff appointments on Monday, including nominating current Cache County Executive, Craig Buttars to be the commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Food.

The final Utah State University football game of the season was canceled last week after players expressed concerns over comments they said President Noelle Cockett made about the religious and cultural background of interim coach Frank Maile.


Many social issues have been on the forefront of people’s minds this year, including human trafficking and protecting children. One Cache Valley non-profit is taking a step to help those in need this holiday season.

In less than 24-hours, many Utahns have come together virtually to raise tens of thousands of dollars for people in the state who are in need.

Not only is mask-wearing shown to help slow the spread of COVID-19, but a report released by the University of Utah’s Eccles School of Business on Monday shows how mask mandates can positively impact the economy.

A new state of emergency went into effect in the state of Utah at 1 p.m. on Monday as part of the efforts to ease the burden of COVID-19 on the state’s hospital system.

To address hospital overcrowding as COVID-19 cases continue to surge in the state of Utah, Gov. Gary Herbert issued a new state of emergency on Sunday night. The order includes a state-wide mask mandate and limits all casual gatherings to members of the same household for the next two weeks. 

Spencer Cox stands at a podium in front of a green background with his wife Abby and three of their children standing in the background.

As was expected, Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox won Utah’s gubernatorial race on Tuesday evening. Due to COVID-19, he and his running mate Senator Diedre Henderson addressed supporters through Facebook Live from Fairview, Utah. 


As the election approaches, we want to hear from you. Today, we're inviting you to join us on Access Utah to share your thoughts and feelings leading up to the election which is, now, one week away. Which candidates are you passionate about? What issues are top of mind? Which races are you following most closely?

On Tuesday new campaign ads for Utah’s gubernatorial race began circulating online. The ads—paid for in part by Republican candidate Spencer Cox’s campaign—feature both Cox and Democratic candidate Chris Peterson speaking about shared values and urging Utahns to choose civility.

Brecklynn Brown

Susan Page of USA Today wrote all the questions she used as moderator for Wednesday’s vice presidential debate, except for the last one. For that question, she read the words of a Utah middle schooler, Brecklynn Brown.

The University of Utah

When it comes to topics for tonight’s vice presidential debate, associate director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics, Morgan Lyon Cotti, said she is anticipating discussion on big topics like the economy and health care-- issues she identifies as important to suburban voters. 

The University of Utah

Aside from the topic on everyone’s mind-- the coronavirus pandemic-- Jason Perry, the director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics, said he anticipates the economy will be an important discussion point during tonight’s debate vice presidential debate in Salt Lake City. 

Matilyn Mortensen

The COVID-19 pandemic meant officials at The University of Utah had to significantly scale back opportunities for community and student involvement during this week’s Vice Presidential Debate. However, there is still a limited number of student volunteers participating in making the event happen.

Blue and white face masks

According to an audit from the state auditor’s office released earlier this week, Utah was insufficiently prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic and that the chain of command was unclear as the emergency unfolded. 

Uintah Basin Teen Reporter Corps

Sep 21, 2020

The Uintah Basin Teen Reporter Corps is open to students in grades 7-12. During this eight-week program, students will produce a three to five-minute audio news piece. Students will receive support from the Utah Public Radio team as well as one-on-one support from a mentor as they develop a story idea, interview sources for the story, write the story, and produce the final audio piece. Completed stories will air on Utah Public Radio.

At 911 confirmed cases of COVID-19, Utah saw it’s largest single-day increase in coronavirus numbers today. A new outbreak of the virus in Utah county among 15-24-year-olds was also reported to now be spreading among all age categories. 

National Women's Party


“With everything going on in today's political world and in the world in general with our pandemic, what would she think? What would she tell me to do? What kind of actions would she be taking and what kind of actions should I be taking and am I taking? I need to carry on her legacy. It's almost like, I don't want her to haunt me.”

Another special session of the Utah Legislature begins on Thursday, marking the fourth time the legislature has met since finishing the 2020 legislative session in March.

Utahns whose employment has been impacted by COVID-19 may be eligible for short-term training programs at Utah colleges and universities.

Thanks to CARES Act funding, Summit County is launching two grant programs to help organizations impacted by the coronavirus.

Logan is a small city that is thriving in the United States, despite the pandemic, according to a recent article on

Courtesy of Canyon 2 Canyon Ride

Communities like Bryce Canyon City, just outside of Bryce Canyon National Park in Southern Utah, rely heavily on tourism. With the coronavirus putting a pause on international tourism, community leaders and business owners are looking for ways to bring more Utahns to town. 

Five mink infected with SARS-CoV-2, the animal virus linked to COVID-19 in humans, were identified at two Utah mink farms. This is the first confirmed case of the virus in mink in the United States.

Photo by Karl Hgh. Copyright Utah Shakespeare Festival 2019.

After cancelling the 2020 season due to the coronavirus, officials from the Utah Shakespeare Festival announced the shows for the 2021 festival on Monday. The event will mark the festival’s 60th Anniversary and celebrate founder Fred C. Adams who passed away earlier this year.

Last month a bull moose was illegally killed in Rich County and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources is asking for the public’s help in gathering information. 

Utah State University

Laurens Smith was named vice president for Utah State University Statewide Campuses by USU President Noelle Cockett on Friday. 

Fire restrictions in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest to reduce the risk of man-made wildfires began on Thursday.