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Al Whitaker joined the WHNT News 19 news team in September, 2012, following a decade as the Media Relations Director at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.

"The Space Center kept me close to journalism, getting to work with producers, photographers and reporters from all over the world, but I missed the work and jumped at the opportunity to become a part of the 19 News team," Al says.

Aside from the stint at the Space Center, Al has spent his entire career in broadcasting, starting with an AM radio transmitter he built from a kit at age 7 (learning rather quickly that a wire stretched across the roof of his parent's home greatly enhanced the range of the little rig), to those first paying jobs in radio at WANA and WDNG in Anniston while still at Anniston High School.

After college, he worked as News Director at WEYY in Talladega before moving "home" to North Alabama to become News Director at WQLT and then at WVNA.

It was during that time Al made the jump to television journalism and over the years has gained experience as a reporter, photographer, and even News Director, winning a number of awards along the way for both his photography and his reporting.

Al covers Limestone, Morgan and Lawrence Counties exclusively. He and his wife, Kim, live in Elkmont. Together they have 5 children and 5 grandchildren.

You can reach Al on Facebook or email al.whitaker@whnt.com and on Twitter @noozguy.

Recent Articles
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    Cold produced problems for Limestone firefighters, school officials

    ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) – The single digit temperatures created problems for firefighters and school officials alike in Limestone County. Patches of ice covered with salt left near a fire hydrant on O’Neal Road in Limestone County, the result of a house fire just down the road Wednesday night. Volunteer firefighters spent several miserable hours trying to save the home. The occupants got out okay but many of their belongings were lost. There was trouble on the road, or getting on […]

  • Mental health foundation prepares to break ground on new patient homes in Athens

    ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) – It’s been eight years in the planning, but soon crews will break ground in Athens on a new home for the mentally challenged. It will house up to nine residents who otherwise would face extended hospitalization or life out on their own. “These are people that are completely disabled because of their mental illness. These are folks that cannot live independently on their own. These are folks that need help on a very regular basis,” says […]

  • Athens Limestone Animal Shelter full, staff pleading to adopt or foster animals

    ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) – There is an emergency at the Athens Limestone Animal Shelter. It is full, beyond capacity. That means animals are having to be euthanized in order to make room for more. Here’s what you can do to prevent even more animals from being put to sleep. There are no empty pens here at the shelter, no room at the inn. In fact, a few of the pens have two and three dogs housed in them. The same […]

  • Gun sales up, pistol permit sales decline in Limestone County

    ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) – Gun dealers say it was another great Christmas shopping season. Gun sales were extremely strong this year. So why are fewer people buying pistol permits in Limestone County? Black Friday this year was one of the busiest days ever for gun dealers across the nation. The FBI reports they were doing as many as three background checks per second. We went by the sheriff’s office, and even on New Year’s Eve, people were coming in to […]

  • FBI tracking “staggering” number of threats against police

    ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) – We’re learning more about the environment our police are working in these days. The FBI is tracking literally hundreds of threats made against police officers in the wake of police protests across the country. Turns out the so-called social media pages aren’t so social after all. It was a post on our Facebook page that led us to start asking questions. Police investigators who saw the said it would not result in criminal charges but they say […]

  • Noah Sawyer hopes to turn this old house on Hwy. 72 in Limestone County into a homeless shelter. (Photo: Al Whitaker, WHNT News 19)

    On his own, man working to open homeless shelter in Limestone County

    LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – Noah Sawyer says he got a taste of what it’s like to be homeless, after his home was hit by a tornado several years ago. Since then its been his dream to open a homeless shelter somewhere in Limestone County. His dream may become a reality. Sawyer walks through the old house that he tells us he has leased, looking at what needs to be done. There’s a lot that needs to be done. “Because […]

  • Limestone County Courthouse in Athens. (Photo by Al Whitaker, WHNT News 19)

    Athens continues downtown revitalization efforts

    ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) — The City of Athens is defying the odds. While downtown activity is declining in many smaller cities, downtown Athens is alive with business and entertainment opportunities. And, city officials say they plan for it to only getting better. The streets of downtown Athens are quiet on this Christmas Day.  But, that’s only because of the holiday. The revitalization efforts underway for several years now have brought merchants and shoppers alike back to the area around and […]

  • Sharon Wellington (Courtesy photo)

    Two years later, Athens Police continue search for Sharon Wellington’s killer

    ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) — Athens Police investigators are taking a day off to spend time with their families.  But, there’s a case that’s never far from their minds. That’s because the person who murdered 32-year-old Sharon Wellington is still at-large. The investigators tell WHNT News 19 the case is still very active. Her violent murder horrified her friends and other residents of the Elmwood Apartment Complex in Athens where Sharon Wellington lived alone. On November 30th, 2012, one of her […]

  • Decatur Utilities experimenting with Smart Meters

    DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) – Something new for customers of Decatur Utilities. They’re going to install a number of so-called smart meters to replace the normal electric meters customers now have. The smart meters can be read and controlled from a distance. For about as long as we’ve had electric meters, we’ve had meter readers. These guys traverse the entire system every month or so checking our gas, water and electric meters. Our utility bills are based upon what they record. […]

  • Hartselle eyes downtown traffic woes, plans public hearing to review options

    HARTSELLE, Ala. (WHNT) – When you think about traffic jams, Hartselle is probably not the first place that comes to mind, unless you live there. Highway 36, or Main Street through the downtown area often looks more like a parking lot. Now, efforts are underway to try to ease the problems. Hartselle is a city divided by a railroad track. Doesn’t matter which side of the tracks you’re on, when there’s a train coming it’s the wrong side. It just […]

  • Athens City Council to hear Ad Valorem tax increase proposal Monday

    ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) – The Athens City Council will entertain a resolution next week that could mean higher property taxes. This tax would be used to build two new schools and renovate others. It’s a proposal we’ve been following for months and we have an update. Most notably, the additional property taxes would go to build a new high school in Athens. The school board envisions the new state of the art facility as more than just a schoolhouse. It’s […]

  • Facing budget crisis, Lawrence County looks to create a virtual school

    MOULTON, Ala. (WHNT) – It’s no secret that Lawrence County schools are dealing with funding shortfalls, the result of the county’s largest employer shutting down. In fact, the full impact of the funding crisis isn’t expected to hit until the start of the next school year. So it piqued our interest to learn the system is not just looking at creating more online courses, or even a virtual classroom, but a virtual school. It would be an entire school that […]


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