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Laura Christmas is a Multimedia Journalist for WHNT News 19 and the Sand Mountain Bureau Chief. A Florida native, Laura attended the University of Florida and will always be a Gator at heart. While attending UF Laura reported and produced for a NPR affiliate, Florida’s 89.1 WUFT-FM; a PBS affiliate, WUFT-TV; and ESPN 850 WRUF. Laura also anchored local news updates for NPR’s Morning Edition. She also completed a concentration in Political Science.

While still at UF Laura started reporting for WGFL-TV/WNBW-TV, a CBS/NBC affiliate in Gainesville. That job turned full-time after she graduated from UF in December 2012.

Laura is proud to call the south home. She grew up in a small town in Central Florida and enjoyed the experiences that afforded her. She was homeschooled for ten years before attending a public high school and then UF.

When she isn’t finding stories in Marshall, DeKalb and Jackson Counties Laura enjoys being outdoors, especially on Lake Guntersville. She enjoys reading, particularly historical novels and works on the Supreme Court.

She is thrilled and blessed to be able to find and share stories that matter in the Sand Mountain Region and to be a part of the WHNT News 19 team.

Have a story idea for Laura, or merely want to see if you can beat the record for the best ‘Christmas’ joke she’s heard? Email her at

Recent Articles
  • Guntersville Fire and Rescue working to ‘Fill the Boot’ for MDA this weekend

    GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Guntersville Fire and Rescue is helping the community in a different way this weekend with its ‘Fill the Boot’ campaign. “For 60 years firefighters across the nation have helped out with MDA and raising money, so Guntersville Fire is going to continue that tradition this year with our boot drives,” says Fire Marshal Buddy Pettry. Friday, Saturday and Sunday the firefighters will be out doing just that with their Fill the Boot drive. “The boot drive […]

  • Barry Whitton, during a past court appearance (WHNT News 19 file)

    Jackson County man charged with first wife’s murder has pretrial hearing, trial scheduled to begin Sept. 9

    JACKSON COUNTY, Ala. – A man charged with his first wife’s murder appeared in court Thursday, ahead of the planned start of his trial next week.  Barry Whitton is also suspected in the disappearance of his second wife and step-daughter. Whitton, who has faced a number of charges over the years, is charged with murder in the 1997 death of Michelle Townson Whitton.  Her body was found partially buried about six weeks after she was reported missing. A grand jury indicted […]

  • New STEM program in Guntersville City Schools is making futures even brighter

    GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — With help from the community students in Guntersville City Schools are taking on the school year with a new experience that’s helping them step into a career field – starting in kindergarten. Inside a Guntersville High School classroom Wednesday morning community members, students, and staff officially celebrated a new program that is giving students a step up. “Project Lead the Way is a nationally recognized engineering program that teaches students science, technology, engineering and math,” Guntersville High […]

  • The worker was killed by electrocution on 12th Ave. NE in Arab.

    Power restored in eastern portion of Arab; worker killed by electrocution Tuesday

    ARAB, Ala. – Power has been restored to eastern Arab after being out for about four hours. Earlier Tuesday, a contract worker was electrocuted on 12th Avenue while repairing a line. The Marshall County Coroner identified the man as William Shane Galloway, 36, of Boaz. “This morning we received a call that a male had been electrocuted in a bucket truck on 12th Avenue NE,” Arab Police Chief Ed Ralston said. “It was an individual who was working with a contracting […]

  • September marks National Preparedness Month, EMA officials encourage families to take note

    DEKALB COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — September marks the start of National Preparedness Month and local EMA officials are encouraging families to get ready for any emergency situation. “It’s a time when we remind everybody that it’s really time to get ready, because we are in the process now of preparing for the fall severe storm season,” DeKalb County EMA Director Anthony Clifton says. Clifton says National Preparedness Month is also thinking about other emergency situations and how your family can […]

  • Series of classes teach DeKalb County and state officials how to better work together in an emergency situation

    FORT PAYNE, Ala. (WHNT) — Responders from DeKalb County and across the state are learning how to better work together to handle any emergency situation. The representatives from different agencies are going through a series of classes. Held in Fort Payne and put on by local and national entities, the classes are geared toward teaching where each agency and responder fits in, to better work together in the event of an emergency or weather situation. “We all work under the same […]

  • Adrian Renteria leaves a courtroom in Marshall County after a judge ruled Renteria will be tried as an adult. (Photo: Laura Christmas/WHNT News 19)

    Man ordered to stand trial as adult in 2013 Guntersville crash that killed 4 people

    Note: The above video of Adrian Renteria was shot after the youthful offender status hearing, not during the proceedings.  MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. – A young man charged in the deaths of four people following a 2013 wreck in Guntersville had a court hearing Monday.  Adrian Renteria, 22, was seeking youthful offender status, but the judge denied, that, ruling that Renteria will stand trial as an adult. Renteria is charged with four counts of manslaughter and three counts of assault.  The charges […]

  • About 40 animals in danger of being put down in Marshall County; program asking for adoptions, donations

    MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — There are a lot of animals in Marshall County that need help because by the end of the month, many of them will have to be put down. “Right now Marshall County has about 40 dogs and cats that are in danger of being put to sleep by the end of the month,” Mary Harris says. Harris and Linda Morris are doing everything they can to prevent that. The two ladies run Friends of Marshall County […]

  • Albertville and Guntersville leaders say ‘yes’ vote for Sunday alcohol sales means economic boost

    MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — Two Marshall County cities are looking to the future after residents in Albertville and Guntersville approved measures allowing Sunday alcohol sales. “All the time, people come in from the Huntsville area since we’re right on 431, and they’ll come in and we’ll have to tell them no,” says The Bridge Cafe owner Beau Pendergraft. He’s talking about a common experience on Sundays when guests hoped to buy alcohol. After Tuesday’s vote, that’s changing in Guntersville and […]

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    Jackson County leaders, agencies, discuss future in light of looming cuts

    JACKSON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — Jackson County officials are discussing what’s next for the county and this week, briefed county employees on what to expect in light of a failed one cent sales tax increase vote. This week budget discussions are at the forefront for several Jackson County leaders. Tuesday county employees heard about what kind of cuts they might be seeing in the near future. “An update of where we’re headed, how those cuts are going to be made, […]


    NEW DETAILS: Car thefts, chase led up to officer involved shooting, people involved identified

    CULLMAN COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – Multiple agencies are investigating a shooting that left an Arab Police officer wounded and an Arab man dead. The man killed in the Sunday evening Cullman County shooting is identified as Christopher Ray Tompkins, 36 of Arab. Marshall County Sheriff’s Office officials say Sissy Amanda Vaughn is facing a theft of property charge stemming from the events that took place prior to the shooting. Officials say there had been numerous reports of stolen vehicles in […]

  • Overcoming ‘can’t’: Albertville High School band member with hearing loss is defying odds

    ALBERTVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) —  A Marshall County teen is overcoming the word ‘can’t’ and following a passion by doing something some people said shouldn’t and couldn’t happen. On a rainy Monday cars slowly slosh past a sign with the words “Albertville High School” boldly written beside an entrance to the memorable architecture that is the school. Inside, the hallways are quiet. School hasn’t let out for the day. The band room is lit up brightly, and the faint taps of a […]


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