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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
  • SFC David Beier is assistant state director of Bugles Across America

    Volunteer buglers providing final service to veterans, families

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – It’s been fifteen years since Congress determined any honorably discharged veteran was entitled to receive military funeral honors, that included the playing of Taps. However, it quickly became apparent there were not enough buglers available to provide this final service. In a report, the Department of Defense noted there were only about 500 buglers in the entire US military, while veterans were dying at the rate of more than 1,800 a day. In response, the DoD authorized the […]

  • File Image: Jeremy Freeman/CNN

    After peaking in May, gas prices expect to drop through summer

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Gas prices in Alabama are up about 20 cents over last month but they are still the lowest Memorial Day prices in at least five years. That’s according to AAA, which tracks daily fuel costs and trends. Looking at the current retail price, Clay Ingram of AAA Alabama says, “it’s a dollar less than it was this time last year; a welcome sight for any of us who are going to be on the highways this […]

  • Children play at Athens Pool

    Summer brings increased risk of injury to children, experts offer top tips for staying safe

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Of all the dangers children face, unintentional injuries are the greatest. They are the leading cause of death for children ages 14 and under. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, “These injuries escalate in the summer, with children facing increased risks from drowning, falls, biking and other wheeled sports, being in and around motor vehicles and being pedestrians.” With that in mind, here are some of the top risks to children during the summer months and ways to […]

  • Butler

    Your chance to own a piece of Butler High history

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – With the closing of Butler High, Huntsville City School administrators were tasked with deciding what to do with decades of school memorabilia. In going through the gym and field houses, school system employees found everything from baseball uniforms to signed basketballs, cheerleading megaphones to 1950s team photos, even the old City Football Championship trophy. Recognizing the items’ sentimental value, district officials were loath to throw anything away. Property Asset Management Coordinator Lontrell Harris says, “we want to treat these […]

  • The Huntsville Museum of Art is one of many area locations offering summer youth volunteer opportunities

    Huntsville teens find valuable experience in summer volunteer opportunities

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – This summer, many teenagers will be content to spend their mornings sleeping in and their days, hanging out with friends. More and more teens, however, are looking for meaningful summer opportunities.  For those unwilling or unable to commit to a full-time job, volunteering is a popular option. A volunteer position can be a great way to give back to the community, while still building a college resume.  Around the Tennessee Valley, there are hundreds of volunteer […]

  • Huntsville City Schools making, saving money through property management

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Within the Huntsville City School system, there is a division known as Property Asset Management (PAM). While PAM may not be well-known outside the system, it’s gaining quite a reputation within the district. Division employees are responsible for managing 225,000 items of school system property, valued at around $81 million. But the job doesn’t stop there. In 2012, PAM began a new approach to dealing with surplus property. No longer would schools simply dispose of old, unwanted […]

  • Huntsville family shares their struggle with lupus, seeks to help others

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – May is National Lupus Awareness Month. Lupus is considered one of the most unpredictable and misunderstood of all diseases. According to the Lupus Foundation of America, it’s a “chronic autoimmune disease that ravages different parts of the body.” While no two cases are alike, the organization reports that common symptoms include joint pain, skin rashes, overwhelming fatigue and fevers that can last for weeks. Outwardly, there may be no sign the person is sick. An estimated 1.5 […]

  • Governor Robert Bentley addresses a Huntsville-Madison County Chamber of Commerce luncheon (Photo: Shane Hays/WHNT News 19)

    Governor Bentley visits Huntsville to rally support for tax proposal

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Governor Robert Bentley returned to Huntsville Wednesday, marking his third trip to the area in just two weeks. The governor has been meeting with groups around the state, trying to rally support for his $541 million tax proposal. Speaking before more than 800 members of the Huntsville-Madison County Chamber of Commerce, the governor said, “this crisis is real and it’s been real for decades.” Bentley told the crowd the time for “band-aids” has passed. He claimed […]

  • Teen Summer Job Outlook

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – With the end of school fast approaching, many teenagers are looking for summer jobs. According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., teens should have an easier time with their search this year. During the recession and in the post-recession period, a large number of young people found themselves competing with older, more experienced workers for even entry-level, seasonal jobs. A report from the Chicago-based global outplacement firm finds, “an improving economy and falling unemployment should significantly improve the job […]

  • From forensic science to filmmaking, new summer enrichment program offers unique learning opportunities

    MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) – Madison City Schools is introducing a new summer enrichment program for rising 5th through 9th graders. Called Summer @ the Den, it begins June 2 at Liberty Middle School. Assistant Principal Dr. Kary Roberts says the idea came from the LMS Parent Advisory Committee. “One of the things we’ve heard from students and parents is they would like an opportunity during the summer to enhance the learning that takes place during the regular school year,” Dr. […]

  • Wheeler Wildlife Refuge encompasses 35,000 acres

    Summer cleanup campaign planned for Wheeler Wildlife Refuge

    MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – With the end of term approaching, college students are making their summer plans. For one UAH student, that means getting back to nature. Tyler Clemons is organizing a summer-long cleanup campaign at Wheeler Wildlife Refuge. We first introduced you to Clemons last year, when he led an effort to clean up litter along County Line Road in Madison. This summer, he hopes to get enough volunteers to make a dent in the trash at Wheeler. It’s a […]

  • Photo: Greenestreetmarket.com

    Greene Street Market at Nativity open for business and still growing

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – The 2015 season is underway at the Greene Street Market at Nativity. The market re-opened Thursday afternoon at the corner of Greene Street and Eustis Avenue. The weekly event, held each Thursday from May to October, started in 2010 as an outreach of the Church of the Nativity, Episcopal in Downtown Huntsville. Recalling that first season, Market Manager Marilyn Evans says, “it doesn’t seem like that long (ago), because we have such a good time.” Customers and vendors say it’s […]


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