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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
  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

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