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Life through the lens. For more than 20 years I have been fortunate enough to be a member of the WHNT News 19 family. The best part, I’ve been able to do so in the area I grew up in – “The Shoals”. A Florence native, I attended Florence City Schools and graduated from Coffee High School before attending the University of North Alabama (Roar Lions!).

In high school the photography bug latched on and I learned the craft of still photography and developing pictures while working on the yearbook staff. Those skills evolved into an interest in videography and journalism while in college. I had a family member working in the news industry at the time, so I was able to tag along to events and get the behind the scenes culture.

Nearing the end of my college career, I landed my first television job at WOWL TV-15 in Florence. At the time, the station produced two newscasts a day and was the Shoals NBC affiliate. I learned everything from running master control to teleprompter, shooting news video and honing my skills of editing and writing. There’s nothing like the first television job and being exposed to all facets of the building.

After my time at WOWL, I packed up my car and headed to Tupelo, MS for a photographer position with WTVA News 9. While there, I built my skills of photography and editing. Covering most of north Mississippi, I was exposed to all sorts of news events, validating my decision of making this a career I would love.

Months after arriving in Mississippi, WHNT News 19 called me home. Starting as an editor/photographer in Huntsville, I quickly proved myself and was promoted to the position of photographer in the Shoals Bureau. While working in the bureau I have had the chance to work with many distinguished journalists and received numerous state awards from my peers.

Telling the story of our residents in the Shoals is what makes each and every day so fulfilling for me. Which is why in December of 2015, I decided to move from behind the camera and begin reporting full time as Shoals Bureau Chief for WHNT News 19. This was a step of faith, and so far I have loved it. Our residents and viewers here have been so supportive in this new role, which makes me wonder why I didn’t do it sooner.

If you ever have a story idea, please reach out to me through one of several ways. You can email me at, or contact me through social media. My official Facebook page is “Carter Watkins WHNT” or on Twitter at “WHNT Shoals”.

What do I enjoy away from work? I love Jesus, wood-working, home projects, nature and theatre. My family and I are active members of Faith Church in Florence. I also volunteer with the Gingerbread Players of the Shoals Theatre (a children’s theatre group).

Recent Articles
  • 082916 LD Jail Overcrowding 6pm PKG

    Commission forced to take strong look at new Lauderdale County Detention Center

    FLORENCE, Ala. – The warning bells have been rung in Lauderdale County. Jail overcrowding has reached the point in which a plan has to be instituted, or more prisoners will have to be released. In 2015, the Lauderdale County Detention Center averaged more than 220 inmates a day. During a recent fire marshal inspection, the jail was housing more than 260. Trouble is the detention center was only designed for 203. In the spring, Sheriff Rick Singleton suggested to the […]

  • Corey Dorsey (Photo: Lauderdale County Sheriff's Office)

    Sex offender caught on campus of Brooks High School; had been doing electrical work at Lauderdale County Schools

    KILLEN, Ala. – The Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office says a school resource officer caught a registered sex offender on the Brooks High School campus Thursday.  It turns out the man has worked at a few schools in the area recently, doing electrical work. According to the Sheriff’s Office, Brooks School Resource Officer Johnny Morrow saw a vehicle on campus yesterday and found Corey Dorsey, who is employed by PG Wells Enterprise as an electrician. The company has a contract with […]

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    Theft suspect sought after hitting a Muscle Shoals car wash

    MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. – Police and an anxious business owner need help identifying a possible theft suspect. Early Monday morning, cameras caught the man driving the silver Nissan pictured breaking into a change machine at PawnDaddy on South Wilson Dam Road. The car pulled up just after 8 a.m. and actually circled through a couple of the stalls. Their biggest lead at this point is the silver Nissan. It’s either a Altima or Maxima. The business owner said this is not […]

  • 082516 LD Louisiana Donations 630pm PKG

    Shoals residents asked to help flood victims in Louisiana

    FLORENCE, Ala. – Five years ago this past April, a nation rallied around Alabama after tornadoes ripped through several communities. Local volunteer organizations are now rallying behind Louisiana, spearheading supply drives for them. Days after an EF5 pushed through Hackleburg, Phil Campbell and on through north Alabama, a warehouse in Russellville began to fill up with supplies. The United Way of Northwest Alabama helped organize efforts then to help residents. Executive Director Beth Haddock said it’s time to help those […]

  • Elbert Davis

    Who killed Elbert Davis remains a mystery to Tuscumbia Police

    TUSCUMBIA, Ala. – Four years ago, an 88-year-old Tuscumbia man was found dead in his home, the victim of homicide. Since that hot August day, police have worked daily to bring the people responsible for Elbert Davis’s death to justice. He was an avid golfer and a friend to everyone who knew him. That’s what makes Davis’ death so tragic. “A person who had done so much for this community, to have his life taken senselessly and it’s one of those things; it’s […]

  • 082416 LD Drug Bust 3

    Agents seize synthetic marijuana from woman they call a ‘major’ supplier in Florence

    FLORENCE, Ala. – Following the path as to how synthetic marijuana is hitting the streets of Florence, drug task force agents said they have found the likely supplier. Packs of potpourri, designed to attract young buyers, lined a desk of Florence Police Department’s roll call room Wednesday afternoon. Agents with the Lauderdale County Drug Task Force seized them earlier this week from a home on East Lee Avenue. It’s not actually potpourri in the pouches, it’s synthetic marijuana – 4,000 grams worth […]

  • 082316 CO Fox Murder Suspects Fox

    Muscle Shoals capital murder suspects appear in court for the first time

    TUSCUMBIA, Ala. – Two capital murder suspects were in court Tuesday morning in Colbert County. Erica Fox and Ronnie Credille are charged in the shooting death of Fox’s husband Jason more than one week ago. During their first court appearance, you could feel a chill in the air between Erica Fox and Ronnie Credille as they sat just feet apart. Just before 9-am, authorities escorted Ronnie Credille into the Colbert County Courthouse with heavy security. Moments later, Erica Fox was […]

  • 082216 CO Social Media Blowup 6pm PKG

    Administrators tell Colbert County parents to go to law enforcement about cyber-bullying

    COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. – A school system in northwest Alabama is taking a stand against cyber-bullying. It’s going as far as telling parents to file complaints with law enforcement for inappropriate comments and posts on social media. With classes at Colbert Heights High School just a few weeks into session, Principal Thomas Casteel decided it’s time to squash cyber-bullying. Over the weekend, a flurry of posts about students at his school prompted his own post on Facebook. “I told parents, if […]

  • Erica Fox, Ronnie Credille (Photos: Muscle Shoals Police Dept.)

    Marital problems, affair lead to killing in Muscle Shoals capital murder case, court documents show

    MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. – Felony complaints have been filed in the capital murder arrests of Erica Fox and Ronnie Credille in Colbert County. The two are accused of conspiring to murder Fox’s husband Jason on August 12 in Muscle Shoals. In an eight page complaint filed in Colbert County District Court late Monday, Muscle Shoals detectives outline the events which led to Jason Fox’s death. On the second page of the document, police said Jason Fox sustained an apparent gunshot wound […]

  • Erica Fox, Ronnie Credille (Photos: Muscle Shoals Police Dept.)

    Muscle Shoals Police say investigators worked tirelessly to bring 2 arrests in Jason Fox murder

    MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. – Muscle Shoals Police Chief Robert Evans said investigators worked tirelessly to secure two arrests in the murder of 40-year-old Jason Fox. This weekend, two people were charged with capital murder.  One is Fox’s wife, Erica Rae Fox.  The 39-year-old was arrested early Sunday morning.  Ronnie Lee Credille, 39, was arrested later in the day.  Both are being held without bond in the Colbert County Jail. Chief Evans spoke at a news conference Monday.  He wasn’t able […]

  • russellville situation

    Man dies of self-inflicted wound after standoff with Russellville police; fire under investigation

    FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ala. – The suspect in a standoff with Russellville Police is dead after authorities say he secluded himself in a room. The man was discovered with what appeared to be a self-inficted wound after the house caught fire. The standoff was at a home near Wilson Boulevard and Tim Street. It started around 10 a.m. when police were called to the home to investigate a domestic situation. The resident at the home was having problems with his grandson, according to Russellville Police […]

  • 081916 CO Fox Murder Investigation 5pm PKG

    Update: Muscle Shoals Police continue building case in Fox murder investigation

    MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. – For one week now, Muscle Shoals Police have worked tirelessly to bring the person responsible for a murder to justice. On August 12, you could see the shock and dismay on neighbor’s faces. A murder investigation in its infancy was unfolding in front of them. 40-year-old Jason Fox was found by his wife, dead inside their Grand Avenue home, the victim of a homicide. Muscle Shoals Police Chief Robert Evans said Friday investigators have interviewed upwards of […]