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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
  • 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 […]

  • Duo canoeing 1,000 miles to raise money for American Diabetes Association

    ROGERSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – There are any number of ways you might go about trying to raise awareness and donations for your favorite charity. But how about spending your summer in a canoe paddling about a thousand miles? Thats exactly what two young men from Illinois are doing. Nolan McClelland explains, “It’s really, really just soothing to be out there.” Nolan and Pete Stadalsky have spent the last 28 days on the Tennessee River. They are on their way to […]

  • Athens Fire Department's new ATV (Photo: Al Whitaker, WHNT News 19)

    Athens Fire Department takes it “Off-Road” with new vehicle

    ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) – Athens firefighters rolled out a new piece of equipment Wednesday. It’s designed to go where firetrucks and ambulances cannot. It’s a specially designed all terrain vehicle intended to be able to get help into areas where regular emergency vehicles cannot go. The ATV has it’s own water pump which is capable of powering two fire hoses. “Right now we’ve got 70 gallons of water on it for fighting small brush fires up and down like I […]

  • Former U.S. Post Office, Decatur, AL (Photo: Al Whitaker, WHNT News 19)

    Decatur City Schools to sell old Post Office building on Bank Street

    DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) – A part of Decatur’s history changes hands. The Decatur City School Board held a specially called meeting Wednesday afternoon to vote on selling the old Decatur post office. The school system has had the building for about 14 years. But now it may be moving into private hands. Wednesday’s vote was a formality. It allows the superintendent to move forward with the proposed sale. As for the building, we’re told it will undergo some remodeling but […]

  • Athens 5-year plan includes new high school, new elementary school

    ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) – The Athens School Board Tuesday unveiled its plan for the future of education there. It’s not just a plan for the future of city schools but for the future of the city itself. Major improvements are in store for Athens city schools, if officials can secure the funding. The school board proposed a new high school and new elementary school, to replace aging facilities, some more than 50 years old. Superintendent Trey Holladay explained, “I just […]

  • Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin: 96% of those who try to escape meth addiction fail

    DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) – Alarming statistics about the drug problem in Morgan County. Sheriff Ana Franklin says the overwhelming majority of meth users become addicted to the drug the very first time they use it. She says 94% of those who go through drug treatment programs for meth – fail, and never get over their addiction. She told WHNT News 19 Monday we are seeing proof of those statistics in some of the most recent arrests. We asked Sheriff Franklin […]


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