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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
  • The Sandwich Generation: Caring for children and aging parents

    Huntsville, Ala. – Born in 1976, I always considered myself part of Generation X. But in December 2011, I entered another generation. The Sandwich Generation. That’s when my grandfather, the man who raised me, was officially diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. At the time, my son was less than a month old. The Sandwich Generation is an inclusive club. Over the years, it’s welcomed everyone from Gen-X’ers to Baby Boomers. Millennials – your invitation is coming. The term dates back to at […]

  • Tonight at 10: Melissa Riopka looks at caring for children and aging parents in “The Sandwich Generation”

    A few months ago, my son and I were talking about superheroes. Specifically, what if we were superheroes. Who would we be? What kind of power would we want? It’s the kind of conversation I love most. The few minutes we spend in the car on the way to or from school, chatting about nothing and everything. His sister taking a catnap. No subject too absurd. From the wonders of medieval sewer systems to who would win – Great White or Killer Whale? Before I […]

  • Get your tickets to the tastiest party in town, and help give Alabama babies a fighting chance

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The Signature Chefs Auction returns to Huntsville this Thursday, raising money for the March of Dimes. It’s a fun evening at the Stone Event Center at Campus No. 805, featuring a culinary showcase by some the area’s top chefs. WHNT News 19 is a proud sponsor. Organizers say “each tasting is thoughtfully created to tantalize the palette of even the savviest ‘foodie’ and highlight the chef’s unique and exceptional talents.” The party also includes entertainment and auction […]

  • Out of the Darkness Walk for Suicide Prevention Sunday, October 1 at Ditto Landing

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – When you walk in the Out of the Darkness North Alabama Walk, you join the effort with hundreds of thousands of people to raise awareness and funds that allow the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) to invest in new research, create educational programs, advocate for public policy, and support survivors of suicide loss. Thanks to walkers and donors, AFSP has been able to set a goal to reduce the annual suicide rate 20% by 2025. Join […]

  • Family, friends gather to remember veteran killed in recent wreck

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Family and friends gathered together on Thursday to remember Ron Creech. They held a vigil near where the 33-year-old Iraq War Veteran died in a motorcycle wreck. The wreck happened on Triana Boulevard on September 15th. “I knew something was wrong when I got there and the doors weren’t opened,” remembers Sheri Layne, the general manager of Durham School Services. “Something in my heart said I need to go check and see what’s going here because Ron’s not […]

  • 2017 Angel Tree program making some changes, but need for volunteers remains the same

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The Salvation Army Huntsville Corps is making some changes to its annual Angel Tree Registration this year. Families who would like their children (must be 12 or under as of Christmas) to receive gifts from the program must call 256-536-5576 to schedule an appointment. Appointments are being accepted now. Appointment times are 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Monday-Friday, at 2114 Oakwood Avenue. The Salvation Army will ask for the following documents Clothing and shoe sizes; and two wish […]

  • Son of legendary football coach Frank Broyles aims to offer help, hope to local families dealing with Alzheimer’s

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Jack Broyles, son of the legendary University of Arkansas head football coach, Frank Broyles is coming to Huntsville to share his family’s story of Alzheimer’s. Jack, Chairman Emeritus of the Greater Dallas Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, lost his mother and father to Alzheimer’s and is passionate about educating the public about this disease. There will be two presentations on September 19 at 1:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. The event at the US Space and Rocket Center […]

  • A new school year, a renewed commitment to end distracted driving

    MADISON, Ala – James Clemens High School hosted WHNT News 19 and our partners at Morris, King and Hodge this week. We were so glad to visit some of the students there as part of our Distracted Driving Project. It’s our first presentation of the new school year and we thank them for their hospitality!

  • 3 family members arrested on drug trafficking charges after 6-month investigation in DeKalb County

    DEKALB COUNTY, Ala. – Three relatives are in jail facing drug charges, and investigators say the case could keep them busy for the next five years. DeKalb County Sheriff Jimmy Harris announced the arrests this morning in cooperation with the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI. 49-year-old Pedro Pascual Andres is in the Marshall county jail on a quarter million dollar bond. He faces numerous drug charges, including trafficking meth. His nephew,  Pedro Gomes Andres is there with him. […]

  • 5 Points Blok Party Returns to Huntsville

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – On Saturday, August 19th, you’re invited to the 5 Points Blok Party at Lowe Mill. This third annual event is a multi-cultural arts festival, highlighting music, art, urban fashion and more. It’s all happening from 2:30 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. In addition to the line up of music acts and a DJ showcase on the First Floor Connector, there will also be vendors, live art, food and the latest looks from Urban Couture Fashion Brands. Also, on […]

  • Honoring the 2017 winners of the Morris, King & Hodge driver safety scholarship program

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Friday morning, WHNT News 19 welcomed some very special guests to the station. Michael McMeen, Bethaney Jackson and Tyler Behrens are the 2017 winners of the driver safety scholarship program from Morris, King & Hodge – our partners in the Distracted Driving Project. Michael McMeen is a senior at Grissom High School, planning to study applied mathematics at Auburn University. He used his interest in mathematics to do research for his essay, which he titled Driving Blind. […]

  • “Hairspray” Coming to Lee High School Main Stage Theatre

    Huntsville, Ala. – Lyrique Music Productions is bringing the Broadway musical “Hairspray” to the Lee High School Mainstage Theatre. Set in 1960s Baltimore, “Hairspray” tells the story of a young girl who achieves her dream of performing on a TV dance show and works to integrate the show. This production involves 60 cast members, mostly local high school and college students. It will run July 21-23 and July 26-30. Click here for show times and tickets.