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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
  • Adrian Renteria in court during the trial

    Day 2 of testimony in Adrian Renteria manslaughter trial: witnesses recount deadly crash, say Renteria was driving aggressively

    GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. — Witnesses involved in the crash that killed four teens took the stand in day two of testimony in the Adrian Renteria manslaughter trial in Marshall County Thursday morning. Renteria is accused in a July 2013 two vehicle crash that left four teens dead and others seriously injured. The crash involved a group of young people, many of whom were friends or acquaintances. The crash happened on U.S. Highway 431 as the group was headed in two vehicles to […]

  • Adrian Renteria leaves the courtroom in previous hearing

    Day 1 of testimony in Adrian Renteria manslaughter trial underway in Marshall County

    GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. — Day one of testimony is underway in Marshall County in a trial for a young man accused in a July 2013 crash that left four teens dead and others seriously injured. The proceedings started Wednesday morning around ten o’clock as dozens of potential jurors filed their way into Courtroom One at the Marshall County Courthouse in Guntersville.  Adrian Renteria, facing seven charges including four counts of manslaughter, sat in the front of the courtroom. An hour later, […]

  • Jackson County Courthouse, Scottsboro

    Jackson County Commission plans to move forward on improving, expanding county park

    SCOTTSBORO, Ala. — The Jackson County Commission is planning to move forward to improve and expand its county park. The bids for the project were higher than anticipated, but commissioners believe the expected revenues garnered from the improvements will cover the expenses for the project. Initially there had been some discussion as to how to proceed. The project is designed to move forward without using taxpayer dollars, so the higher-than-expected bids were a concern. The goal is to expand and remodel […]

  • Adrian Renteria leaves the courtroom in previous hearing

    Jury selection underway in trial for Marshall Co. man accused in July 2013 wreck that left four teens dead

    GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. — Jury selection is underway in Marshall County in a trial for a young man accused in a July 2013 crash that left four teens dead and others injured. Courtroom One in the Marshall County Courthouse in Guntersville was packed Tuesday morning as the defense and prosecution sifted their way through the dozens of potential jurors who will ultimately decide Adrian Renteria’s fate. Prosecutors say Renteria is to blame for the two-vehicle wreck that killed four people, 19-year-old Ryan […]

  • Zip line course at Lake Guntersville State Park to open to public May 26

    GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. — The zip line course at Lake Guntersville State Park will be open to the public Thursday, May 26. A zip line course that has been under discussion for years and under construction for months zig zags its way through areas of Lake Guntersville State Park. The course is the first phase. On Thursday, it will be open to the public. “What we’ve been able to do is partner with a private business to bring a new recreational opportunity […]

  • Savannah’s Story: Strong community support takes a Rainsville teen from her life changing car accident to graduation

    RAINSVILLE, Ala. — Many high school seniors across the valley are getting ready to take their next steps into a new chapter of their lives. One young lady in DeKalb County is not any different, but her story is. It’s one of challenges, determination, and an army of support. Just about every parent of a high school senior has a tangible memory of the end of a chapter proudly displayed, in the form of the inevitable senior photos. Savannah Willingham’s family is […]

  • Shaw Industries, Valley Head

    DeKalb Co officials say Shaw plant’s closure will impact more than Valley Head

    VALLEY HEAD, Ala. — Nearly 200 employees at Shaw Industries in DeKalb County are now looking for a new job, and Shaw Industries representatives say the company will be offering multiple avenues for job opportunities and retraining. DeKalb County officials say the plant’s closure will affect not only Valley Head, but the county as a whole. Wednesday, employees at the Shaw Industries plant in Valley Head went to work one day after learning they would have to find a new […]

  • Dr. Mark Isley, Boaz Superintendent of Education (Photo: Laura Christmas/WHNT News 19)

    Boaz Superintendent Mark Isley says his job status is “up in the air”

    BOAZ, Ala. – Dr. Mark Isley, Boaz Superintendent of Education, has three years left on his contract.  However, we’re hearing his time with the school system could be coming to an end. WHNT News 19 spoke with Dr. Isley by phone on Wednesday.  He confirmed he is on medical leave at the moment and will be until June.  He did not disclose the reason. Isley confirmed his status as superintendent is “up in the air.”  He said he was informed this […]

  • High Falls

    DeKalb Co. Sheriff’s Office warns of potential dangers at the county’s popular summer destinations

    FORT PAYNE, Ala. — It’s that time of year when dozens of people will head out to enjoy the multiple beautiful summer destinations DeKalb County has to offer. But be warned -there are some risks involved too. A few days ago, a man drowned at Martha’s Falls near DeKalb County. That unfortunately isn’t the first drowning in northeast Alabama over the last several months. This year, hundreds of people will come to that location and others across nearby DeKalb County […]

  • Shaw Industries is Valley Head's largest employer. (Photo: Carson Clark/WHNT News 19 file)

    Shaw Industries to close plant in Valley Head, 183 jobs impacted

    VALLEY HEAD, Ala. – Shaw Industries is closing its DeKalb County facility, impacting 183 jobs, WHNT News 19 learned Tuesday afternoon. Shaw Industries Group Inc. announced its plan to shift production from the plant in Valley Head into other facilities across Georgia and Alabama. The consolidation will impact 183 employees, and will close the plant. The process will begin in May and the plant will cease operations in July. This comes almost a year after the company announced 160 jobs cuts at […]

  • Kratom

    Officials say Kratom officially off of most shelves, law enforcement agencies tracking down any last bit of the illegal substance

    GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. —  Law enforcement agencies across the state have been instructing merchants to  pull the now illegal drug Kratom off shelves. Possession is now the equivalent of the possession of meth — a felony. You would be hard pressed to find Kratom in Marshall County now, or for that matter, across the state of Alabama. Last week Governor Robert Bentley signed a bill making the substance illegal. Shortly after, officials across the state went from store to store, informing merchants […]

  • Hospice of Marshall Co. Shepherd’s Cove offers second annual family focused grief camp

    ALBERTVILLE, Ala. — Everyone deals with loss in a different way, and that’s one reason for Camp Hope. Hospice of Marshall County Shepherd’s Cove offers the free camp to children and their families and the second annual event will be held Saturday, May 21. The event is family focused. “A one day grief day camp for families in our area who’ve experienced a significant death in their life and are living in a season of grief,” Bereavement Director Stacey Johnson […]


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