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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 laura.christmas@whnt.com

Recent Articles
  • Jackson Co. officials: No more locally funded paving projects this year if more funding isn’t found

    JACKSON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — Locally funded Jackson County paving projects could be put on hold this year if more funding isn’t found. For years now the Jackson County Commission has made cuts across the board to combat a nearly two million dollar budget deficit. That deficit has decreased substantially. Now though, with other sources of funding  decreasing, like the gas tax, and no other revenue coming in the county is dealing with a very slim budget. As a result […]

  • TVA launches an ecotourism initiative in four north Alabama counties

    TENNESSEE VALLEY, Ala. (WHNT) — TVA is launching an ecotourism initiative in four north Alabama counties with a goal to build on efforts to draw visitors to those areas. Supporting existing travel and tourism efforts while building on drawing more visitors to north Alabama – that’s what TVA’s goal is in launching an ecotourism initiative in Franklin, Colbert, DeKalb, and Jackson counties.  It’s a partnership between different players in those four areas, with TVA as one of the leaders. “So […]

  • Governor Robert Bentley addresses a crowded room at Lake Guntersville State Park Lodge on Monday, April 20. (Photo: Laura Christmas/WHNT News 19)

    Gov. Bentley on state budget: “We have to realize there is a crisis”

      GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Alabama Governor Robert Bentley addressed Marshall County leaders and citizens Monday morning at the Lake Guntersville State Park Lodge.  His topic: Alabama’s general fund budget, and why he says a tax increase is desperately needed. “I have always been honest with the people of Alabama. I am being honest today when I say we are in a fiscal crisis dealing with our budgets, and we can solve the problem,” said Governor Bentley. “I have presented […]

  • Photo: Jackson County Sheriff's Office

    Jackson County Sheriff’s Office remembers one of their own

    JACKSON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office is mourning one of its own. Corrections Deputy Charlie Murphy passed away early Friday morning. “He’s been a reserve with the Sheriff’s Office since 1989,” Sheriff Chuck Phillips says, “He was hired in ’07 to work our road crew, our inmate road crew, to do litter control.” Sheriff Phillips says Murphy traveled across Jackson County for his job. “He’s done a very good job. He’s probably worked in every community […]

  • Students and faculty in Collinsville mourn longtime teacher and coach’s death

    COLLINSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Students and faculty in Collinsville are remembering a longtime teacher and coach. “Josh Burrell, he had been here for ten years as a history teacher, he coached volleyball for nine of those years,” Collinsville Assistant Principal Jason Barnett says. He says Burrell had an impact in the halls and the community. “He has been here for quite a while, and through that time he has built a lot of relationships with students, former students, faculty members, staff […]

  • Amid potential state park closures, park leaders say visitors play a key role

    GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Fifteen state parks across Alabama could soon close if lawmakers can’t find other ways to balance the state’s budget, but in the meantime, park leaders want visitors to know the focus within the parks hasn’t changed. Every year, students from across Marshall County visit Lake Guntersville State Park for a county-wide golf tournament. “This is very local for us, for all of us kids out here,” Douglas High School Sophomore Anthony Lumpkin says. Last year Lumpkin […]

  • Northeast Alabama officials weigh in on impact of potential state park closures

    NORTHEAST ALABAMA (WHNT) — If the potential closure of three northeast Alabama state parks becomes a reality, officials say it would have a substantial economic impact on the respective areas. Fifteen Alabama State Parks are set for potential closure by the 2016 fiscal year. DeSoto, Lake Guntersville, and Bucks Pocket are in northeast Alabama. Officials say they are big economic drivers for the area. DeSoto State Park is a piece in the puzzle that is tourist destinations in DeKalb County, […]

  • Photo: Marshall County CVB

    Bassmaster Elite showing an impact in Marshall County

    MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — Less than a week after its conclusion, Marshall County is seeing a positive impact from the Bassmaster Elite Tournament. The 2015 Diet Mountain Dew Bassmaster Elite held April 9th-12th at the Guntersville City Harbor. The Marshall County Convention & Visitors Bureau was the local host. Area hotels, restaurants, and local businesses were full over the weekend. CVB officials say the crowd attendance was substantial during the event, and say they expect to see a big […]

  • Courtesy: Don's Convenience Store

    Arab Police investigators working to charge 2 people involved in gas station drive-off

    ARAB, Ala. (WHNT) — Arab Police are working to get more information to charge two people involved in a gas station drive-off — over 14 cents. Security camera footage shows it all — last month, two people bought gas from Don’s Convenience Store in Arab. The footage shows them driving off after pumping gas, owing 14 cents, and ruining the pump in the process. Now they’re the subject of a police investigation, and Arab Police are working to get more […]

  • Alabama State Parks

    Alabama State Parks working on contingency plan to close 15 parks, including some in north Alabama

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WHNT) – Budget cuts in Alabama are affecting many departments. As state legislators battle it out in Montgomery, state departments are warning employees of major cuts if the money doesn’t come. The latest potential victim is Alabama State Parks.  WHNT News 19 spoke with Kim Nix, spokesperson for the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, on Tuesday.  Nix confirmed if legislators take funding away, there will be an emergency plan implemented to close a number of parks in […]

  • More Jackson County ATRIP projects are set to start in the next few weeks

    JACKSON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — Through the winter months ATRIP projects in Jackson County were put on hold, and now the county is looking to start up again. “We’ve been on seasonal limitations, basically we’re not able to pave during the winter time so we’ve had to wait on that,” County engineer Philip Widner says. Now Widner says the county is hoping to start on the next three projects in the next few weeks. County officials say they were hoping […]

  • Whitton Hearing

    Judge denies several motions in Barry Whitton case

    JACKSON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – A Jackson County Judge denied several motions filed by defense attorneys for Barry Whitton. Whitton is accused of murdering his first wife Michelle in 1998. Two of the motions the judge denied on Tuesday were one for recusal and another for a change of venue. The judge denied the motion for recusal at this time, saying the decision would be visited at a later date. As for the motion for change of venue, the defense argued this […]


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