ISIS : Another U.S. journalist beheaded
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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
  • Lawrence County School Superintendent Heath Grimes, surrounded by staff and students, announce this year's ACT test scores in front of Moulton Elementary School. (Photo: Al Whitaker, WHNT News 19)

    Lawrence County Schools post impressive ACT Test score improvements

    MOULTON, Ala. (WHNT) – A lot of Alabama schools are talking about their most recent ACT test scores today, but in Lawrence County, they are celebrating. Students there recorded the largest increase in test scores in many years, one of the largest increases in the state! But their excitement is tempered with the reality of what may lie ahead for the school system. Lawrence County School Superintendent Heath Grimes was so excited about the test scores, he gathered students and […]

  • Calhoun’s new apprenticeship program paying dividends for students and industry alike

    LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – What if you could enroll in college and be guaranteed a part-time job while studying and then full-time work once you graduate? Toyota first came up with the idea but now it has spread to other industries, creating a number of opportunities for people looking for not just a job, but a career. This is the first group of students to enroll in the Advanced Manufacturing Technician Apprentice Program at Calhoun Community College. More than […]

  • International Paper at Courtland closed earlier this year. (Photo: Al Whitaker, WHNT News 19)

    International Paper donates to Lawrence County Schools

    MOULTON, Ala. (WHNT) – When International Paper closed its mill in Courtland earlier this year, it meant the end of some 1,100 jobs. The lost tax revenue has hit the county’s school system especially hard. International Paper is giving the school system thousands of dollars worth of furniture and supplies it no longer needs. School officials say they’re grateful but it doesn’t come close to what the system has lost. We only saw a few of the items at Lawrence […]

  • Congressman Mo Brooks tours Elkmont auto parts plant, defends police use of military weapons in Ferguson, MO

    ELKMONT, Ala. (WHNT) – Congressman Mo Brooks was in Limestone County Monday to tour an automotive parts manufacturing facility. EFI Automotive produces a number of specialty parts for engines and transmissions. But as WHNT News 19 learned the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri was also top of mind. Congressman Brooks got a first hand look at the research and development of automotive parts design and production in Elkmont. He admitted Elkmont is not the first place that comes to mind when […]

  • Limestone County launches free “Smart 911″ service to pre-plan for emergencies

    ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) – A new safety initiative goes on-line in Limestone County. Smart 9-1-1 is designed to get critical information to responders as quickly as you call for help. ((sound of phone ringing)) “911, what’s the location of the emergency?” Just that fast, and emergency dispatchers have critical information right at their fingertips. Limestone County’s new Smart 9-1-1 service allows residents to customize the information that will show up on the dispatcher’s screen. (r.v. white, limestone county 911 22-27) […]

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    At least $5 million lost in IRS telephone scams, warning reissued

    WASHINGTON, DC (WHNT) – The Internal Revenue Service is renewing its warning about telephone scams to individuals demanding payment for past due taxes. The IRS and Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) say they’ve received 90,000 complaints through a telephone hotline set-up to receive reports of these fraudulent schemes. A release from the IRS says 1,100 victims have been identified who have lost an estimated $5 million from these scams. “There are clear warning signs about these scams, which […]

  • 2014 Daikin Industrries Homestay students pose for group photo Wednesday. (Photo: Al Whitaker, WHNT News 19)

    Daikin Industries Homestay students impressed with people of Japan

    DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) – Remember last month we introduced you to the high schoolers who were headed to Japan as part of this year’s Daikin Industries Homestay Program? Well, they’re back and all of them say it was an amazing trip. They got together today to share some lunch and their many experiences. 13 students, 2 teachers and 10 days on the other side of the world. “And the people, they were very nice and polite and it was weird […]

  • Huntsville Hospital poised to demolish Hartselle Medical Center building

    HARTSELLE, Ala. (WHNT) – The Hartselle Medical Center Hospital closed a number of years ago. That’s when Huntsville Hospital bought it leaving some to hope they might eventually reopen the facility. But now, it appears the hospital may be torn down. A spokesperson for the Huntsville Hospital System confirms it’s now considering the demolition of Hartselle’s Medical Center Hospital. Huntsville Hospital bought the facility a little more than two years ago, right after it closed, saying even then it was […]

  • Students working through construction maze at Clements High School

    LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – Ready or not, here they come – could have been the battle cry at Clements High School in Limestone County. Classes back in session last week with the school right in the middle of a five million dollar renovation project. But as WHNT News 19 learned, everyone is adapting. This is how Clements High School looked just a few short weeks ago. Major renovations underway here. Some people mistakenly thought the April 28th tornado had […]

  • First Response now looking to expand into Lawrence County

    MOULTON, Ala. (WHNT) – Decatur’s First Response Ambulance Service wants to expand into neighboring Lawrence County. At Tuesday night’s county commission meeting, the company explained how it might improve ambulance services there. A spokesperson for First Response Ambulance told Lawrence County commissioners it would improve emergency medical services in Lawrence County, if it’s allowed to operate there. “We just finished an EMT class at First Response Ambulance Service and some of the students in my class are from Lawrence County. […]

  • Morgan County to seek Attorney General’s opinion on county-wide ambulance service

    DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) – Morgan County authorities moved closer to creating an exclusive territory for emergency medical services. The proposal would grant exclusive rights to one ambulance service to answer calls throughout the county. The only thing standing in the way right now is an attorney general’s opinion on how far the county can go. Authorities in Morgan County are convinced – the only way to insure there will always be adequate EMS service available throughout the county is to […]

  • Hartselle Police sponsor workshop on sexting and social media dangers

    HARTSELLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Parents in Hartselle gathered  Monday night for a special workshop aimed at keeping their children safe while they’re on-line. More specifically, the discussion will focus on sexting and social media. It may seem harmless enough to the young and innocent, but a number of teenagers across the country have had to face felony criminal charges all because someone took an explicit photo of themselves and sent it to a friend, or boyfriend. “The purpose of the […]

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