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Catherine Awasthi joined WHNT News 19 in October 2013 as a producer and multimedia journalist. Born and raised in New Orleans and Palm Beach, she is excited to continue her career in the South.

Catherine is a graduate of the University of Florida where she anchored and reported for WUFT-TV, a PBS affiliate. She also provided local news updates for NPR’s Morning Edition.

While still at UF Catherine started her career reporting for WGFL-TV/WNBW-TV, a CBS/NBC affiliate in Gainesville. She has covered breaking news while interning in New Orleans, including the rising Mississippi River crisis. During her internship with CNN International in New Delhi, she worked with environmentalists on the issue of trash incineration.

When Catherine is not in the field or producing your weekend news, you can find her at Monte Sano State Park with her newly adopted dog, Chey. She's also usually planning her next big trip across the globe!

You can usually catch Catherine on air Wednesday-Friday evenings at 5, 6, & 6:30.

Got a news tip or story idea? Send it to Catherine! She loves to hear feedback from WHNT viewers. You can also find her on Twitter @cat_awasthi.

Recent Articles
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    First countywide ambulance service now taking calls in Franklin County

    FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – A countywide ambulance service is now fully operational in Franklin County. Shoals Ambulance Service started dispatching response crews from their Russellville office, Wednesday. It’s the first time the county has signed a contract with one ambulance service to care for almost all the residents in the area. “After six months of searching, we won the bid for an exclusive contract for the ambulance service for Franklin County,” said Blake Hargett, Director of Shoals Ambulance operations. […]

  • Lauderdale County 911 Center

    Colbert County EMA: ‘A perfect storm’ for 911 failure

    COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – A critical 911 system failure has Colbert County Emergency Management officials rethinking their backup plan. The system went down Monday night during a round of severe weather. Colbert County EMA Director Mike Melton said is was a perfect mix for disaster. The call center has AC power, a generator backup, and battery backups. It’s all a precaution, to ensure they can continue to answer calls and send crews out to help during disasters. They all failed […]

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    TVA working to restore sirens for severe weather in Lauderdale County

    LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – TVA sirens near the Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant are usually used in case of a TVA related emergency. However, the Lauderdale County EMA has a partnership with TVA and will use those sirens in event of a tornado warning. With the most recent round of severe storms, they ran into some issues. “During a recent test, there was a communication issue with the three sirens we have in the eastern part of the county,” […]

  • Damage at Chevron on Woodward and 2nd St. Power lines down, no through traffic. (Photo: Catherine Awasthi/WHNT)

    Major storm damage in Colbert County, gas station hit hard

    COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – The severe storms that hit the Tennessee Valley Monday night left a mess in Muscle Shoals and caused damage throughout the county. Trees and power lines were downed across the area and many roadways were blocked. Colbert County 911 service was down for some time, but was eventually back up and running. Crew responded to a possible tornado that touched down at Woodward Avenue and Second Street. The Chevron gas station on the corner was hit hard. […]

  • Jury finds Damien Shipley guilty of capital murder

    COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – A jury found Damien Deandre Shipley guilty of capital murder Friday, after only deliberating about an hour. Shipley was charged in the shooting death of 28-year-old Dorian Hamilton during a home invasion in February 2013. Hamilton’s grandfather was there where the jury read the verdict. “I wish I was anywhere but this courthouse on this day,” said Cliff Hamilton. “The verdict doesn’t make me happy. It just brings a closure to that part of my […]

  • Florence Middle School

    School leaders prepare for building updates, assess Florence Middle

    FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) –  Florence City Schools leaders are investing time and money into the future of the Florence Middle School campus. They’ve hired an expert from Atlanta to evaluate the older building, to see what changes they’ll have to make. Florence City Schools Superintendent Janet Womack said it’s part of their capital plan project. They are inspecting buildings and making renovations as needed. “Certainly with an aging facility, there are problems,” said Womack. “We want to know if the […]

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    Florence Police officer on administative leave, fired two shots

    FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – A Florence Police officer is on paid administrative leave follow a shooting Wednesday afternoon. Officers responded to a call of a man with what looked like a gun. The caller said a the man approached his family in their vehicle on North Eclipse Street and was acting erratic and pointed a rifle at his family. When officers arrived, video from the dashboard camera shows the man was not cooperating when they asked him to put the […]

  • campus

    UNA officials search for person responsible for death threat

    FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – University of North Alabama officials need your help to find the person responsible for a death threat that prompted officials to shut down the campus Thursday. UNA was not open to students, faculty or some staff on Thursday. Campus will remain closed Friday for fall break. Campus officials shut down the campus after someone made a death threat on the wall of a men’s bathroom in Collier Library on September 26. According to campus Police Chief Bob Pastula, […]

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    Killen community copes with loss of Brooks High School student

    KILLEN, Ala. (WHNT) – The small town of Killen lost a young community member Wednesday. An 18-year-old Brooks High School student took his own life Wednesday morning, according to Killen Police Chief Brian Hammond. Chief Hammond confirms the teen never went to school that morning. Chief Hammond told WHNT News 19 neighbors heard a gunshot, and found the boy dead in his front yard. The family is well known and active in the Killen community. They have not yet released the […]

  • Planting roots at Phil Campbell High School

    PHIL CAMPBELL, Ala. (WHNT) – The New Phil Campbell High School is standing strong. And on Wednesday, they were reminded of their hard work since the April 27, 2011 tornadoes. The reconstructed high school opened its doors just last month, after an EF-5 tornado swept through the town of Phil Campbell killing several and destroying everything in it’s path in 2011. The Appalachian Regional Commission held their conference in Florence this year. They chose recognizing recovered tornado-hit areas as their service project. […]

  • New district lines, new House races for Franklin County voters

    FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – With the November general election less than a month away, Franklin County officials want to prepare voters for some changes. For the first time in  decades, Franklin County will have two legislators representing residents for the Alabama House. That breaks the county into two districts, 18 and 7. The new district lines come after the 2010 census. Franklin County Probate Judge Barry Moore wants to make these changes clear to voters well before election day November 4th. […]

  • Jury selected, capital murder trial to start for Damien Shipley

    COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – A jury trial is underway this week for a Sheffield man indicted by a grand jury for capital murder. Damien Deandre Shipley is charged with the the shooting death of 28-year-old Dorian Hamilton during a home invasion in February 2013. Monday, the defense and prosecution selected jurors to hear the case against Shipley. Opening arguments are set for Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. in Judge Jackie Hatcher’s courtroom. Shipley is one of four people who police say […]


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