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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
  • Taking Action and Getting Results for Gibson’s BBQ

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – One of Huntsville’s most iconic restaurants reached out to us for help with a problem recently. Gibson’s BBQ on the Parkway switched internet providers. But their new service provider tried to saddle them with more service and equipment than they needed, or wanted. And then the bills came in. Gibson’s BBQ has been a part of the Huntsville landscape for more than 60 years. Earlier this year, they decided to switch telephone and internet service providers. “AT&T […]

  • Limestone’s Smart-911 gets help for man too ill to speak

    ATHENS, Ala. – It has been about three years now since the Limestone County 911 Board invested in the Smart 911 software for their system. Smart 911 allows residents to plan for an emergency by providing dispatchers with critical information before the emergency happens. And just recently, it paid off. Brian Burrus and his wife visited the Limestone County 911 Center Thursday afternoon to say thank you. “I started having seizures in 2012,” Brian explained. Earlier this month he suffered […]

  • Tiny town of Courtland faces huge bankruptcy issues

    COURTLAND, Ala. – A North Alabama town is poised on the brink of bankruptcy. The Lawrence County Town of Courtland is selling assets and laying off workers, all in an attempt to keep the once thriving town afloat. But money and optimism are both in short supply. Courtland is a little town with big problems. “It’s bad because we ain’t got enough business in town, and we’re struggling,” says Mayor Clarence Logston. Earlier this week, the town council took steps […]

  • WMEL Water Authority receives EPA award, expresses concern for future

    DECATUR, Ala. – The water utility that warned customers not to drink its water last year has won an award for going above and beyond the call of duty to provide safe water. The Environmental Protection Agency has recognized West Morgan East Lawrence Water Authority for what the EPA calls “optimized performance” in 2016. But from the top, we need to tell you this award has nothing to do with the crisis the water authority faced last year. In June, […]

  • North Courtland town clerk suspended Friday, reinstated by town council

    NORTH COURTLAND, Ala. – There’s trouble in the Lawrence County town of North Courtland. Late last week, the mayor suspended the town clerk amid allegations of insubordination. That led to a specially called council meeting Tuesday night, and there was only one thing on the agenda. North Courtland Mayor Riley Evans was the first to arrive for the meeting. Neither he nor Town Clerk Tabitha Bailey would make any comment as they entered the building. Mayor Evans suspended Bailey Friday, […]

  • Attorneys disagree on effects of exposure to PFC compounds

    DECATUR, Ala. – For all we know about pollution in the Tennessee River, there are still many important questions. Over the last two nights we’ve been breaking down a scientific report confirming the presence of various PFC compounds used to make non-stick coatings. But what’s not yet known are the effects of these chemicals on people, aquatic life, and the environment, in general. That question promises to keep attorneys busy for years to come. To the interested layman, there’s little […]

  • Study reveals previously unknown PFC compounds in Wheeler Lake

    MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. – A new scientific report on pollution in the Tennessee River at Decatur reveals just how saturated the Wheeler Basin is with certain PFC compounds. Those compounds, including PFOS, were used in the manufacture of various products such as Teflon and Scotchgard, and even the foam used to fight certain types of fires. But the report also reveals the presence of previously unknown chemicals, substances our investigative team suspected were there, but until now, we had no […]

  • Report details extent of pollution in Wheeler Lake

    DECATUR, Ala. – Researchers at Auburn University have published an important paper on pollution in the Tennessee River at Decatur. We knew it was bad. We just didn’t know it was this bad. The report, “Novel Polyfluorinated Compounds Identified Using High Resolution Mass Spectrometry Downstream of Manufacturing Facilities near Decatur, Alabama” showed up recently in the publication Environmental Science and Technology. It proves what we’ve suspected all along. The pollution in Wheeler Lake on the Tennessee River is already well […]

  • Panel discusses local opioid crisis

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – There is no simple or singular solution to the opioid crisis facing the United States. At least, that was the consensus at a panel discussion in Huntsville Friday, sponsored by the Partnership for a Drug Free Community. One panelist, Madison County Coroner Tyler Berryhill, told the audience, “From 2015, we were seeing a drug related death occur once every 7 days in Madison County. In 2017, we are seeing a drug related death occur once every five […]

  • A Taking Action Investigation: The Mayor Strikes Again!

    JACKSON COUNTY, Ala. – Electrical problems, plumbing issues, and shoddy workmanship. This is what retired nurse Wanda Smith found herself living with after hiring a contractor. That remodeling job left her home in worse shape than when it started. The man she hired was none other than Hollywood Mayor Jerry Adkins. But she’s not the only one having trouble. Once our first story aired in May, we began hearing from some of his other customers. They tell us the mayor […]

  • Trial date set for lawsuit over Tennessee River pollution

    MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. – It’s almost two years away but a court date has finally been set regarding the pollution in the Tennessee River. If successful, the lawsuit could lead to major efforts to clean up the river in and around Decatur. But there are still some major hurdles yet to overcome. Decatur Utilities’ waste water treatment plant has a state permit to dump an unlimited quantity of chemical compounds known as PFC’s directly into the river. That includes the […]

  • #GoPlayHSV: July is Parks and Recreation Month in Huntsville

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Okay, we all work pretty hard, right? Well, sometimes you just have to take a little time and chill out. Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle Wednesday morning proclaimed July is Park and Recreation Month in the Rocket City. To help promote the city’s many recreational opportunities, and facilities, there’s a challenge – complete with prizes. Mayor Battle says recreational opportunities equate directly to the area’s quality of life. “Whether it’s our 27 miles of greenways, or whether it’s […]