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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
  • Overflow crowd at Thursday's West Morgan East Lawrence Water Authority Board of Directors meeting gathered near WHNT News 19's sat truck in an effort to hear what was going on inside. (Photo: Al Whitaker, WHNT News 19)

    Crowd outside water board meeting found more questions than answers

    DECATUR, Ala. – A packed room and people standing outside. That’s how crowded it was at the West Morgan East Lawrence Water Authority Thursday morning. The board of directors held their monthly meeting. Those folks wanted answers and so did we. The overflow crowd inside meant the only way a lot of people could hear what was happening was to gather around our satellite truck parked outside, and many of them were willing to share their concerns. “There has not […]

  • West Morgan East Lawrence Water Authority General Manager Don Sims at June 2nd news conference. (Photo: WHNT News 19)

    West Morgan East Lawrence Water Board holds meeting, manager keeps job

    DECATUR, Ala. – Despite rumblings that West Morgan East Lawrence Water Manager Don Sims might lose his job at a Thursday meeting, the efforts against him gained little traction. Crowds gathered around WHNT News 19’s satellite truck at the meeting. Everyone who showed up couldn’t fit in the meeting room, so our truck let them listen in. One customer blamed the authority’s manager, Don Sims, “Statements he made, created panic and uncertainty among the water board customers, and the way […]

  • Al Benn talks with WHNT News 19's Al Whitaker about the 50th anniversary of Decatur's Spirit of America Festival.

    Al Benn, the man who conceived Decatur’s Spirit of America Festival, attends 50th annual celebration

    DECATUR, Ala. – In Decatur, they celebrated the 50th Annual Spirit of America Festival on Monday. The festival came about at a time when patriotism may have been at an all time low in this country. But one man stepped forward saying there was no better time to celebrate all that made this country what it is. It happened one morning just over 50 years ago. Al Benn, a former Marine and veteran journalist of the Civil Rights era, was having […]

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    Environmentalists sue 3M, Decatur & Morgan County to, “Take that river back.”

    DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) – Yet another lawsuit is filed over the PFOA and PFOS contamination in the Tennessee River. This time it’s the environmental group Tennessee Riverkeeper suing the City of Decatur and Decatur Utilities, Morgan County, 3M and a host of others. Unlike other lawsuits thus far, this one is not seeking money. This lawsuit was filed in Federal District Court under the Resource Conservation And Recovery Act, and is intended to stop the pollution of the Tennessee River. “Tennessee […]

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    Grassroots group organizes to address water contamination

    COURTLAND, Ala. – Strength in numbers. That’s what some residents in Lawrence and Morgan Counties are counting on. At least three organizations are coming together now to demand clean drinking water and an end to the pollution in the Tennessee River. This was their organizational meeting. The North Alabama Concerned Citizens, the Concerned Citizens of the West Morgan East Lawrence Water Authority and the Warriors for Clean Water are joining forces to make certain what comes out of the tap […]

  • Remart Motors, Grant, AL (Photo: Al Whitaker, WHNT News 19)

    Taking Action to help a Scottsboro man get a car title

    GRANT, Ala. – A Scottsboro man tells us he’s been trying for nine months now to get the title for a truck he bought and paid cash for. Gerald Carter says the dealer has come up with an unbelievable list of excuses, but so far – no title. Carter is quick to tell you the exact date his troubles began, “Since November 22, 2015.” That’s the day he bought the Chevrolet pick-up from Remart Motors, in Grant. Carter says he […]

  • Ron Mixon surveys the Tennessee River's Wheeler Basin Tuesday. (Photo: Al Whitaker, WHNT News 19)

    Petition seeks to close Morgan County landfill, regulate river flow

    HARTSELLE, Ala. (WHNT) – A group of residents in Morgan and Lawrence Counties say they have no more trust in local or state officials regarding the quality of the water they’re drinking. They’re starting a petition drive to ask for federal intervention in the ongoing West Morgan East Lawrence Water Authority issue. Ron Mixon says the environmental group Warriors for Clean Water developed the petition, but he says concerned customers of the West Morgan East Lawrence Water Authority have pledged […]

  • Ron Mixon surveys the Tennessee River's Wheeler Basin Tuesday. (Photo: Al Whitaker, WHNT News 19)

    Environmentalist: Does stagnant Tennessee River promote pollution?

    DECATUR, ALA. (WHNT) – Is it a mistake to refer to the Tennessee River as a river? Some environmentalists think so. One tells us that’s why so much pollution can be found in the waters of Wheeler Basin near Decatur. When we went out on the river early Tuesday morning, Ron Mixon explained we were actually on a lake, a “dead pool,” as he calls it. “We’re sitting here dead still right now, even with the wind we’re sorta just […]

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    New Report: West Morgan East Lawrence Water Authority tests below warning levels

    A release from the West Morgan East Lawrence Water Authority says they’ve seen test results come back that put their system’s water below health advisory levels set by the EPA. However, WHNT News 19 has been told the authority has not yet lifted it’s “do not drink” warning. An advisory issued last month said the West Morgan East Lawrence Water Authority’s (WMELWA) water contained unsafe levels of PFC compounds PFOA and PFOS. Both compounds are suspected of causing cancer, birth […]

  • Water escapes from the Morgan County Landfill (Photo: Al Whitaker, WHNT News 19)

    If 3M stopped making PFOA and PFOS more than a decade ago, how’s it still getting into the Tennessee River?

    DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) – Dangerous contaminants prompted an EPA advisory for drinking water, and more of those contaminants appear to be leaking into the water. 3M says it quit making PFOA and PFOS more than a decade ago, but the compounds persist and are the basis behind the current water crisis with the West Morgan East Lawrence Water Authority. The manager of that system advised his customers to stop drinking and cooking with the water because of the contaminants. So […]

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    Local doctor’s office pleads for help to fix phone issue with Comcast

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – When you call your doctor’s office, the last thing you want to hear is a recording saying the number has been disconnected.  However, that’s what a local OB-GYN’s staff dealt with for a full week, until they called WHNT News 19. It’s important for expectant mothers to be able to reach their doctor.  However, patients of Huntsville obstetrician Dr. Leon Lewis were forced to go a week without being able to call his office. When patients tried to call […]

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    Warriors for Clean Water reveal test results of chemical waste in river

    HARTSELLE, Ala. (WHNT) – The group Warriors for Clean Water say they are glad the West Morgan-East Lawrence Water Authority issued the advisory not to drink the water. Members of the water watchdog group say they’ve been trying to bring attention to the condition of the Tennessee River for years. In fact, last year the group commissioned a study to test the river water. “It’s a lot worse than we thought it was, Al,” Ron Mixon explained. Mixon and the […]