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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
  • Second level of zip lines at Lake Guntersville State Park in the works

    GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. — The second level of zip lines over some of Alabama’s prettiest views is in the works in Marshall County. This is the second part of the zip lines course at Lake Guntersville State Park. “There’s going to be upwards of maybe eight new zip lines, that’s going to be offering extreme zip lines that is high-speed, and somewhere between 1,700 and upwards of 2,600 foot,” said Park Superintendent Michael Jeffreys. “The folks with American Adventure Park Systems […]

  • Albertville Police: Two men die of carbon monoxide poisoning

    ALBERTVILLE, Ala. — In what police are calling an uncommon accident, two young men are dead from what officers believe to be carbon monoxide poisoning. A mailbox holding untouched mail marks Colby Lang’s home on Rose Road near Albertville. Across from it is where police found his body. “Right now, what we believe is going to be an accidental death,  of two young men due to carbon monoxide poisoning,” Albertville Police Assistant  Chief Jamie Smith said. Lang and another young […]

  • Guntersville City Schools participates in Hour of Code

    GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. – Students across Guntersville City Schools aren’t just getting a lesson in computer science, they’re also teaching one as part of this year’s Hour of Code. Guntersville Elementary School second grader Hannah Champion sits at a table in the school’s gym intently staring at a computer. She’s learning computer coding, a form of computer science. “So what we’re doing here today is technically, we’re showing the middle schoolers what we are learning about coding,” she explained. Across the […]

  • Courtesy: Parker family

    Marshall County family found their dog on their porch with mouth & front legs taped

    ARAB, Ala. – A Marshall County family wants answers after they came home to their dog lying on their front porch, her mouth and front legs taped. “She loves to be petted. If she see anybody whether she knows them or not, she’d typically run up to them wanting them to pet her, ” said Shanda Parker. That’s how she described her family’s dog, a rescue named Darlin’.  “She’s typically fairly quiet,” Parker added. That adds to the list of […]

  • Courtesy: Willis family

    Marshall County family’s home damaged during EF-1 tornado

    UNION GROVE, Ala. – A Marshall County family is going into a new week glad they are all safe, even though their home doesn’t look like it used to. Damage from an EF1 tornado is still evident. In the six minutes it was on the ground, an EF1 tornado damaged Keaton and Katie Willis’ Union Grove home in a way they never thought they would see. The family was staying with relatives when the storm came through last week. “We […]

  • “We barely got out of this alive” – DeKalb Co. newlywed couple’s home destroyed in tornado

    IDER, Ala. — The people affected by the tornadoes that hit multiple communities this week can each recount their own story, unique, but also similar. If it weren’t for a quick decision, a DeKalb County couple wouldn’t have an experience to tell, but instead, they have a story of determination and faith. The path of a tornado when it disrupts lives is clear. Twisted metal hangs like garland in treetops. Fluffy insulation lies like melted cotton candy in fields. Remnants […]

  • Fort Payne High School (WHNT News 19 file)

    Fort Payne High School’s band director placed on administrative leave

    DEKALB COUNTY, Ala. – The band director of Fort Payne High School, Mark Andrews, has been placed on administrative leave. WHNT News 19 spoke with Fort Payne City Schools Superintendent Jim Cunningham, who said Andrews was placed on leave this week. Cunningham would not release any other details. We are working to get more information on this developing story.  We’ll update as soon as we learn more.

  • Governor Robert Bentley tours tornado damage in Ider

    Governor Robert Bentley tours tornado damage in DeKalb, Jackson Counties

    IDER, Ala. –   Thursday Governor Robert Bentley toured damage sites in three counties affected by tornadoes. State and local officials drove with Governor Bentley through Ider in DeKalb County on Thursday. They stopped at homes that were caved in, homes that were shifted off of the foundation, and a daycare that was destroyed. “I’ve been to so many places since 2011 and seen probably 100 tornadoes, and when people’s lives were saved the only thing that would be saved […]

  • “It can be replaced. People cannot.” – Family of Ider tornado victims says they’re recovering, future of daycare uncertain

    IDER, Ala. – Crews are assessing damage in multiple counties, trying to piece together what the tornadoes left behind. A business in Ider was destroyed but among one family, the belief that things happen for a reason and items can be replaced is holding strong. Words don’t come easily to convey exactly what you see or exactly what you feel when you walk through tornado damage. Video doesn’t capture what your senses do. Pictures don’t adequately display what you can see. […]

  • Tornado damage in Ider

    UPDATE: Dozens of homes, buildings damaged or destroyed in DeKalb Co. tornado, several people injured

    IDER, Ala. – The storms that killed three people in Rosalie continued on and hit again near Ider in DeKalb County, injuring several people, knocking out power, and destroying homes. The path the tornado took when it touched down early Wednesday morning near Ider is clear: twisted trees like broken toothpicks still stand, branches litter the ground, and a trail of debris marks a clear direction. The National Weather Service confirms at 12:13 a.m. a tornado touched down in Dekalb […]

  • Gatlinburg wildfires / courtesy of Cassie Burgess

    “If your family is packed, leave now” – Marshall Co. family forced to evacuate Gatlinburg during vacation

    ALBERTVILLE, Ala. — A Marshall County family is glad to be safely back home after what was supposed to be a week-long visit with family in Gatlinburg was cut short. In their words, they’ve never seen anything like what they experienced. Cody and Cassie Burgess woke up Tuesday after a long night of driving, just glad to be safely home in Albertville. The family of three drove away from Gatlinburg overnight, praying they would make it back home to Alabama. […]

  • Image courtesy of MGN Online

    UPDATE: Fires started during storms Monday night in Sand Mountain area are controlled

    NORTHEAST ALABAMA — The Alabama Forestry Commission says all of the fires in north Alabama are controlled. Forestry officials say 130 fires were reported Monday statewide, and 80 of those were reported after four o’clock. Crews battled a fire in Fyffe near County Road 521/524 Monday night.  The Dekalb County EMA understands the fire started because a tree fell on some power lines.  Crews were forced to protect homes. EMA officials report another fire started in Mentone during the storm […]