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Melissa Riopka is an Alabama native with strong ties to the Tennessee Valley. A graduate of Cullman High School, she received her broadcasting degree from the University of Alabama.

From there, she traveled (slightly) north to Tennessee. After a great eight years as a reporter/anchor in Chattanooga, Melissa went to work at a Birmingham television station.

In 2010, it was time for another move following her husband’s job transfer. Now she and her family are happy to call Huntsville home.

Melissa currently anchors WHNT News 19 at 5 with Greg Screws and WHNT News 19 at 6:30 with Jerry Hayes.

When she’s not at work, you can usually find Melissa outside with her family, enjoying the hiking trails around Monte Sano or the waters of Lake Guntersville.

You can reach Melissa on Twitter @MelissaRiopka or at melissa.riopka@whnt.com

Recent Articles
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    Young professionals working to change attitudes and behaviors behind the wheel

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - WHNT News 19 is Taking Action against a killer in our community. All this month, we'll be showing you special content highlighting the dangers of distracted driving. The goal is to change drivers' attitudes and save lives. It's a goal that's shared by one group of young professionals in the Tennessee Valley.

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    The Distracted Driving Project: David Little’s story

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Last year, Huntsville businessman David Little visited WHNT News 19 with a story to tell.  We realized it was one we needed to share. In 2008, another driver hit the Little family’s Yukon head-on. “The dashboard came in on me and that’s what caused all of my injuries. So, I was trapped for 10 or 15 minutes, maybe 20,” said Little. The other driver admitted he’d been texting at the time of the crash. “I remember him […]

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    Huntsville lawyer speaks about dangers of distracted driving

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – This month, WHNT News 19 debuts a new initiative. We’re Taking Action against distracted driving.  With your help, we can get results. We’re asking you to consider how distractions — from your phone to a quick lunch behind the wheel — can affect your driving. We also invite you to watch some of the special content we’ve put together which examines how such distractions are taking far too many lives, while ruining others. “We are very passionate […]

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    WHNT News is Taking Action to draw attention to the dangers of distracted driving

    Right now, approximately 660,000 Americans are driving while using an electronic device. Maybe you're one of them, or you've glanced at other drivers to catch them doing it. It's not just texting -- it can be anything that takes your eyes off the road, including using a GPS or even talking on the phone. It's time to stop.

  • This wreck happened Jan. 4, 2016 in Priceville.

    Funeral arrangements announced for third victim of recent Morgan County crash

    HARTSELLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Funeral arrangements have been announced for Jacob Dylan Lovell. The 20-year-old passed away Saturday at Huntsville Hospital of injuries suffered in a Jan. 4 crash on Highway 67 in Priceville. Visitation will be Wednesday from 6-9pm at Peck Funeral Home in Hartselle. The service is scheduled for Thursday at 1pm in the funeral home chapel. Also killed in the crash were 19-year-old Dylan Allan and 22-year-old Clara Michelle Fulton. Fulton died at the scene.  Allan was pronounced […]

  • Morgan County Wreck

    Morgan County deputy recounts minutes after crash, thanks Good Samaritans

    PRICEVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Morgan County Sheriff’s Deputy Turk Jones was headed home from his shift early Monday morning, when he came upon a horrific scene – a head-on collision, involving a car and a pickup truck, on Highway 67 in Priceville. As Deputy Jones approached the now burning car, he saw a few people standing outside the vehicle. At first, he thought they were the occupants. Then, he realized they were Good Samaritans who had stopped to help. “At that time, […]

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    Downtown Huntsville will continue to evolve in 2016

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – In less than three years, Downtown Huntsville Inc. has transformed the way many people view the city’s center. Through special events and re-developed properties, the non-profit is bringing more people downtown than ever before. No longer just the province of attorneys and office workers, families and young professionals now regularly gather in the heart of Huntsville. Chad Emerson is CEO of Downtown Huntsville Inc. He says, “there’s so many events going on now – not just Downtown […]

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    Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle reflects on 2015, looks ahead to 2016

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Recently, we sat down with Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle to get his perspective on 2015 and look ahead to what 2016 will bring. Here’s some of what he had to say. How would you sum up 2015? “2015 has been a good year. You know, we’ve gotten a lot of plans in place, strategies starting to work…education is moving forward very well. We got beyond the federal court case and now we’re implementing in the school system, and […]

  • Madison Mayor Troy Trulock

    Madison Mayor Troy Trulock reflects on 2015, looks ahead to 2016

    MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) – Recently, we sat down with Madison Mayor Troy Trulock to get his perspective on 2015 and look ahead to what 2016 will bring. Here’s some of what he had to say. What was your proudest moment of 2015? “Proudest moment of 2015 is probably economic development and growth in the city of Madison. It’s really, if you look around the city of Madison we have businesses and growth happening all across Madison City but there’s two […]

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    Willowbrook Baptist Church preparing for “Christmas at Milton Frank”

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – One of the area’s largest Christmas Eve gatherings is moving. This year, Willowbrook Baptist Church will celebrate Christmas at Milton Frank. The outdoor worship event, which includes Christmas music, a short message and a fireworks finale, has been celebrated at Joe Davis Stadium annually since 2010. In explaining the move to Milton Frank Stadium, Pastor Mark McClelland says, “the school system has done a marvelous job, they’ve renovated it. It seats…over 8,000 people and it’s going to be, […]

  • Santa's beard gets tested during his visit to the YMCA Downtown Early Childhood Education Center in Huntsville

    HEMSI teams up with Santa for special school visit

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Santa made a special stop at the YMCA Downtown Early Childhood Education Center today but he didn’t arrive in a sleigh. At 10:30am Tuesday, a HEMSI ambulance pulled up to the building on Vernon Street in Huntsville and out jumped Santa, much to the delight of the children lined up in front of the school. With the help of a few EMTs, he quickly began passing out presents to each child. This is the eighth year Santa […]

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    United States Postal Service’s Shipping Deadlines Fast Approaching

    Christmas is fast approaching and so are the deadlines to ensure your holiday cards and packages reach their destinations by Christmas Day. Tuesday, December 15, is the US Postal Service deadline to send less-than-urgent deliveries and oversized packages anywhere in the United States for delivery by Christmas. Saturday, December 19, is the final day for standard-sized, single-piece envelopes and small packages weighing up to 13 ounces in three business days or less. Priority mail, which delivers in one, two or […]


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