HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Who likes sending emails and talking on the phone all day? Both come with the territory when you work for a station whose mission is “Taking Action, Getting Results.” WHNT News 19’s Venton Blandin receives thousands of emails and hundreds of phone calls.
He won’t much longer. Thursday, June 26 was Venton’s last day with WHNT News 19.
He’s moving on to a bigger television market. He has accepted a reporting position at a station in Birmingham. He has done a tremendous job for us and you, our viewers.
Venton has gotten a lot of satisfaction fighting for viewers when they couldn’t get results for themselves. He’s gotten state agencies to change how they do things, big companies to hand over money and some people to simply do what’s right. He says it’s been an absolute pleasure. Here are just a few that stick out to him.
The days are getting hot around here. We all appreciate a cool breeze. Venton appreciates Willie Bell Turner. Installers put in the wrong-sized air conditioner unit in her home.
“It was hot and the thermostat stayed on 80 degrees and would not go to 73 like I had it set on,” said Turner.
Venton’s boss let him hire independent contractors to measure and test Turner’s home. He took those readings to the company where Turner bought the A/C.
“I feel great. I feel relieved that fighting for you, you Vinnie and Channel 19 have fought for me. Now I am getting what should have been done in the first place,” added Turner.
One story made Venton think about asking his boss to hire a child as a ‘Fighting for You’ assistant.
“We called him and texted him. We got in touch with him, but he is still not here like he said he would be two months ago,” said Azia Jones.
Jones wanted Venton to track down the handyman they hired. He picked up her brother’s TV to make repairs, but never returned it.
“I know how it is and to see the story, it was so touching,” said Glenn Butler.
Butler bought a 50-inch TV for the 54-inch boy to right someone else’s wrong.
“I just figured that’s something he could use, treasure and really enjoy because it is nice and big for him and the family to enjoy it,” added Butler.
The boy was almost speechless.
Shane Dutton wanted some potentially dangerous telephone poles replaced in his yard.
“I’m afraid if the pole breaks or gives, the pole can fall and hurt one of the four kids. It can hit one of our vehicles, the corner of our house, you know,” said Dutton.
A spokesperson with the phone company in question listened to Venton.
“It is awesome. One would have been fine. Like I said, you all take action and get results and I needed results. You all made it happen for me,” said Dutton.
Venton also took action to get Gisela Burnett a driver’s license.
“I was told it was not recognized because it did not have an expiration date on my resident alien card,” added Burnett.
She married a U.S. soldier and left her native Germany. She’s held licenses in other states the last 25 years until she moved to Alabama.
Venton called the state, got help from the Madison County Licensing Director and Burnett got her Alabama driver’s license.
“You rock. WHNT, Taking Action, Getting Results, rocks. I have to say that. I really want to thank you all,” added Burnett.
It was a bittersweet day as WHNT News 19 said goodbye to Venton. He has made a big impact during his 5 ½ years here.
Venton told viewers he thanks God for making it happen and he also thanked them. He wanted to really thank his church family at Huntsville’s True Light Church of God in Christ. Venton thanked his bosses, Stan, Denise and David for supporting him in his decision to leave for Birmingham.
He understood viewers saw his name on the TV every day, but reminded them about 100 people work behind the scenes at the station. He thanked all of them including ‘Fighting for You’ producers Lisa and Tiffany and ‘Fighting for You’ photographer Gregg.