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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
  • National magazine to follow Moulton hair salon’s reopening following arson & burglary

    MOULTON, Ala. (WHNT) – Detra Smith says a national magazine geared towards the fashion and hair styling industry will follow her journey as she rebuilds her business following a series of burglaries, thefts and arson that destroyed the salon she had operated for 11 years. Smith says she received a phone call the night of June 20th telling her the Hannah & Me Hair Salon, on East Street in Moulton, was on fire. When she went to the scene, she […]

  • Lonnie Bailey is led from the Lawrence County Judicial Center Wednesday afternoon. (Photo: Al Whitaker, WHNT News 19)

    Lonnie Bailey’s guilty plea brings closure to 10-year old Lawrence County murder case

    MOULTON, Ala. (WHNT) – A 10-year old Lawrence County capital murder case came to a close Wednesday. Lonnie Bailey plea of guilty to a reduced charge of murder and was immediately sentenced to 20 years in prison. His brother, Wayne Bailey, will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars. “Anything you want to say or anything you’d say to the victim’s family?” Lonnie Bailey replied, “Yes, I’m very sorry for their loss. Very much. Thank you, sir.” And […]

  • Morgan County teachers get lesson in abject poverty

    PRICEVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Getting ready for the start of another school year, Morgan County teachers got a lesson in abject poverty today. It was an exercise designed to show teachers the burden some students will carry with them to class. Each teacher and administrator was assigned a new identity for the exercise. They would either be a parent or a child living in an impoverished home. “So they can have a better appreciation of the challenges that their students […]

  • Limestone coaches learn CPR

    LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – It’s a skill they hope to never have to use, but one that can save lives. Coaches and athletic staff from throughout the Limestone County school system got together this morning to learn CPR. It can happen anywhere, anytime, the result of illness, accident, even an undected birth defect. If someone stops breathing, would you know what to do until help arrives? The coaching staff at Limestone County schools do, thanks to a class offered […]

  • Ryan Denham is escorted to the Lawrence County Jail Wednesday night. (Photo: WHNT News 19)

    Lawrence County residents detain wanted man at gunpoint

    LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – A three-day crime spree in Lawrence County came to an abrupt Wednesday night. An accused crook emerged from a wooded area and directly into the gunsights of armed neighbors. “It started at his grandfather’s house where he robbed and assaulted his grandfather,” according to Lawrence County Sheriff Gene Mitchell. That was Sunday. Sheriff Mitchell says Ryan Thomas Denham also stole his grandfather’s car but wrecked it a short time later. “Then on Monday afternoon, he […]

  • Alabama Farmers Cooperative in Decatur, AL (Photo: Al Whitaker, WHNT News 19)

    Four Alabama Farmers Co-Op employees face federal indictments for falsifying harvest load weights

    DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) – A federal grand jury Wednesday indicted four employees of a north Alabama farmer’s cooperative for making false statements to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance, of the Northern District of Alabama in Birmingham. The release says in separate indictments filed in U.S. District Court, the grand jury charged Aaron Blake Williams, 25, and Tyler Thomas Glaze, 26, both of Decatur, James Edward Toon Jr., 35, of Elkmont, […]

  • Calhoun Community College to offer Waste Water Tech certification course

    DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) – If you’re looking for a new career we’ve got something you probably never considered. In fact, there’s a shortage of qualified people for this particular line of work. But we’ll warn you, it’s not for everyone. Slade Sparkman is one of several people who operate a multi-million dollar facility in Decatur that most folks might take for granted. It’s an important job, though, and a very important facility. In fact it touches every home and business […]

  • Decatur Police recruits moments before receiving their badges and being sworn in Monday morning. (Photo: Al Whitaker, WHNT News 19)

    Decatur PD swears in 7 new officers, including the third member of one family

    DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) – Decatur Police swore in seven new police officers Monday morning. Among them is a young man who’s name is well known among the officers. He has a legacy to fulfill. Among the speakers during Monday morning’s ceremony was Morgan County District Attorney Scott Anderson. “You have chosen a career that is a very high calling.” Seven new faces answered the call and join the ranks of Decatur’s finest. Their families were on hand to celebrate the […]

  • A friend raises $40,000 to buy couple wheelchair accessible van

    HARTSELLE, Ala. (WHNT) – In Hartselle Saturday, a young couple drove home in a brand new van specially equipped for their severely handicapped daughter. But the real story isn’t so much what happened, but how it happened. Ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Aaron Andrews is the minister at a small Lauderdale County church, a husband, and the father of 3 children. “Laura was born, she’d had 3 strokes prior to birth. And we didn’t know until about 12 hours after […]

  • Photo: Al Whitaker WHNT News 19

    Decatur Police confirm two people shot during attempted murder-suicide

    DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) – One man is dead and a woman seriously hurt after an attempted murder-suicide in Decatur. Morgan County Coroner Jeff Chunn released the names of those involved. Chunn said 84-year-old James “Jim” Jones shot his wife Irma Jones, and then shot himself. It happened shortly before 6:00 p.m. Friday at a home on Tammy Street. Police say Irma  was able to run from the home to a neighbor’s house.  While a neighbor was attending to her wound, a second gunshot […]

  • Firefighters battle Saturday afternoon blaze in Limestone County. (Photo: Al Whitaker, WHNT News 19)

    Fire destroys isolated Limestone County home

    ELKMONT, Ala. (WHNT) – Fire raced through a rural brick home in Limestone County Saturday afternoon leaving nothing behind but ash and broken dreams. Volunteer firefighters from several departments, including West Limestone and Pleasant Grove, rushed to the home but say the house was already fully involved by the time they arrived. It was a well isolated home, near the end of Little Tom Road. That’s located off Cairo Hollow Road near Sportsman’s Paradise. One firefighter speculated the isolation likely […]

  • Rolando McClain talks with reporters after his trial on Friday, July 25. (Al Whitaker/WHNT News 19)

    Rolando McClain found guilty in trial; heads straight to Cowboys practice

    DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) – Rolando McClain, the former Crimson Tide standout and current Dallas Cowboy, was found guilty in a short trial Friday morning.  He then got in a car to head to the airport to catch a flight for NFL practice. McClain will fly to California, where he’s expected at a Dallas Cowboys practice on Saturday. McClain’s trial lasted about an hour in Decatur Municipal Court.  It was for two misdemeanor charges, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, from a […]


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