Kelly Vaughen is a multimedia journalist at WHNT News 19. Originally from Virginia, the east-coaster is thrilled to make Alabama her home.

Kelly earned her master’s degree in journalism and public affairs from American University in Washington D.C., and her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Hofstra University in New York.

If you run into Kelly stop and say hi! She is excited to meet people in the community, and is always looking for new places to check out.

If you have a news tip, story idea, or just want to chat, email Kelly at

Recent Articles
  • As CDC warns of increase in measles cases, Tennessee Valley doctor urges parents to stay vigilant

    HUNTSVILLE Ala. — More than 100 cases of measles have been diagnosed this year across the country, including Tennessee and Florida. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said these rates are high compared to recent years. In just the first half of this year, the CDC has recorded almost as many cases of measles as it did in all of 2017. From January 1 to July 14, the CDC recorded 107 measles patients across in 21 states and Washington D.C. […]

  • Attorney General presents Alabama’s plan to fight opioid addiction

    HUNTSVILLE Ala. — Alabama ranks the highest in the country in the number of opioid prescriptions per capita. According to the Centers for Disease Control, Alabama has more opioid prescriptions than people. Attorney General Steve Marshall met with healthcare professionals to layout Alabama’s plan to deal with opioid overdoses and addiction in the state. “It’s alarming that we’re number one in opioid prescriptions,” said Marshall. “But I think the more compelling question is, why?” He said he doesn’t have a great answer as […]

  • Helping veterans make the transition into the civilian workforce

    HUNTSVILLE Ala. — Transitioning into civilian life after serving in the armed forces can be difficult. Veterans have many things to adjust to and for some, that includes finding a new job. “I decided to serve and join the army because I needed direction, I needed structure,” said Sergeant Major Heather Smith, of the Space and Missile Defense Command. “I needed to go and do something greater.” Now, almost 25 years later Smith is transitioning out of the Army. She […]

  • Church opens new location in old Huntsville high school

    HUNTSVILLE Ala. — Butler High School was once the site of math tests and basketball championships. Now the school has been transformed into a new church. The Rock Family Worship Center has its grand opening Sunday morning. The 240,000 square-foot facility was once Butler High School. The school moved to its location on Holmes Avenue in 1967 and closed in 2015. The Rock Family Worship Center purchased the property two years ago for $4 million. After renovations, it reopens as a church […]

  • Adding more oversight for Madison County Jail inmate medical billing

    MADISON COUNTY Ala. — There’s about a $17-million budget for the Madison County Jail, with $3-million being spent on inmate medical and dental services. The Madison County Commission signed an agreement Wednesday they say could cut back on inmate health care costs and save taxpayer money “When folks are incarcerated yes they get sick. We’re seeing some of those that have alcohol problems, mental health problems, whatever it may be,” said Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong. “We want to cover what […]

  • School resource officers to return to Madison County Schools

    MADISON COUNTY, Ala. – Before students get back in the classroom, county officials are working to ensure the schools are safe. The best ways to ensure school safety have been widely debated, but Madison County schools say they have it figured out. As Madison County students head back to school on August 1st, school resource officers will be heading back as well. “School resource officers are something that you’ve got to have at schools, especially the ones that have very large […]

  • South Memorial Parkway construction in its final steps

    HUNTSVILLE Ala. — You’ve probably sat in the traffic backups and road closures from the South Memorial Parkway construction, but it may not be for much longer. Construction on the project started over 2 and a half years ago. ALDOT representatives say the wait is almost over, and it will be well worth it. “We’re getting very close,” said Seth Burkett with the Alabama Department of Transportation. “When you look at the fact that this project was initially expected to […]

  • Popular snacks recalled due to possible salmonella contamination

    MADISON COUNTY Ala. — The United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has issued a public health alert from concerns that the products may be contaminated with salmonella. Ritz Crackers, Goldfish, Swiss rolls, and frozen dinner products have all been recalled in the past days. The culprit behind the list if recalls, is potentially salmonella-contaminated whey powder. “Generally it most severely affects the young, infants and even children up to five, elderly people, and especially people who are immunocompromised,” […]

  • Sinaloa Cartel activities in Alabama

    MADISON COUNTY Ala. — Earlier this month, authorities discovered the bodies of Oralia Mendoza and her 13-year-old granddaughter, Mariah Lopez. Investigators told WHNT that Mendoza had ties to the Sinaloa drug cartel, and had traveled to Georgia days before her murder to pick up methamphetamine. This is not the first time the Sinaloa Cartel has had activity here in Alabama. The Sinaloa Cartel is a Mexican drug gang, with a large reach in the United States. Our news partners at […]

  • Boy pleads for dog’s safe return after it was allegedly stolen

    HUNTSVILLE Ala. — A woman and her grandson are pleading for information to get their pet dog back. 68-year-old Carolyn Cotton said she was assaulted on her front steps and had her dog taken from her arms. Bella, the one-year-old chihuahua, was stolen on Saturday. “I just want my dog back, he misses her, and I miss her,” said Cotton. Carolyn Cotton and her 9-year-old grandson Andre said they found the dog 6 months ago in her old neighborhood. She said the pound told […]

  • Non-Profit brings hunting and the outdoors to wounded and disabled veterans

    MADISON COUNTY, Ala. — A national non-profit is working in the Tennessee Valley to bring the power of the great outdoors to those they call our most deserving citizens. The National Whitetail Warrior Project mission is to help get wounded and disabled veterans into the great outdoors, enjoying hunting, and connecting with their community. The National Whitetail Warrior Project president, Shawn Prickett, said it’s not just about hunting or spending time in nature, it’s also about connecting. “I think any time you’re around somebody […]

  • Merrimack Hall needs to raise 30K in 30 Days for expansion plans

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Merrimack Hall Performing Arts Center is raising money to renovate unfinished space in their building. Merrimack Hall first opened in Huntsville back in 2007 as a performance space, but fast forward 11 years, and it has become a hub for children and adults with specials needs. Now, Merrimack has more changes planned for the future and needs a little help to bring visual and performing arts education to even more students. Debra Jenkins is the founder of […]