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Life through the lens. For more than 20 years I have been fortunate enough to be a member of the WHNT News 19 family. The best part, I’ve been able to do so in the area I grew up in – “The Shoals”. A Florence native, I attended Florence City Schools and graduated from Coffee High School before attending the University of North Alabama (Roar Lions!).

In high school the photography bug latched on and I learned the craft of still photography and developing pictures while working on the yearbook staff. Those skills evolved into an interest in videography and journalism while in college. I had a family member working in the news industry at the time, so I was able to tag along to events and get the behind the scenes culture.

Nearing the end of my college career, I landed my first television job at WOWL TV-15 in Florence. At the time, the station produced two newscasts a day and was the Shoals NBC affiliate. I learned everything from running master control to teleprompter, shooting news video and honing my skills of editing and writing. There’s nothing like the first television job and being exposed to all facets of the building.

After my time at WOWL, I packed up my car and headed to Tupelo, MS for a photographer position with WTVA News 9. While there, I built my skills of photography and editing. Covering most of north Mississippi, I was exposed to all sorts of news events, validating my decision of making this a career I would love.

Months after arriving in Mississippi, WHNT News 19 called me home. Starting as an editor/photographer in Huntsville, I quickly proved myself and was promoted to the position of photographer in the Shoals Bureau. While working in the bureau I have had the chance to work with many distinguished journalists and received numerous state awards from my peers.

Telling the story of our residents in the Shoals is what makes each and every day so fulfilling for me. Which is why in December of 2015, I decided to move from behind the camera and begin reporting full time as Shoals Bureau Chief for WHNT News 19. This was a step of faith, and so far I have loved it. Our residents and viewers here have been so supportive in this new role, which makes me wonder why I didn’t do it sooner.

If you ever have a story idea, please reach out to me through one of several ways. You can email me at carter.watkins@whnt.com, or contact me through social media. My official Facebook page is “Carter Watkins WHNT” or on Twitter at “WHNT Shoals”.

What do I enjoy away from work? I love Jesus, wood-working, home projects, nature and theatre. My family and I are active members of Faith Church in Florence. I also volunteer with the Gingerbread Players of the Shoals Theatre (a children’s theatre group).

Recent Articles
  • Leaders await options for downtown Russellville building facade collapse

    RUSSELLVILLE, Ala. – Nearly three weeks ago, the front of a downtown Russellville building came tumbling down, narrowly missing the owner and a small child. Unable to fix the building himself, the owner gave the property to the city. Orange cones continue to cordon off the area. Keep out signs are stapled to the temporary facade. Structural engineers have studied the D.L. Daily building from top to bottom. Mayor David Grissom says the building, built in 1904, can be saved but at […]

  • Road to Riches: Will new I-269 corridor pave the way for a lottery discussion in Alabama?

    The next Powerball drawing jackpot this week is $107 million, and the Mega Millions — $106 million. And as those numbers grow, so does the number of Tennessee Valley residents traveling just over the state line for tickets. With an election cycle comes new talk about bringing a state lottery here to Alabama. By the end of 2019, Alabama will be surrounded on all borders with lotteries and other gaming. At this point, does it make sense for the state […]

  • Bus stop incidents emphasize the need for drivers to pay attention

    COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. – This week, 5 children have died in school bus stop incidents across the nation. As horrific as that number is, school bus drivers and trainers say they are not surprised. They see drivers not paying attention while buses are loading and unloading on a daily basis. While a lot of focus is put on school safety, just as much or more is put on school buses. Kenneth Franks is head of bus driver training for the Colbert […]

  • Arson suspect turns himself in to Colbert County authorities

    COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. – Arson suspect Haden Lawrence Duncan turned himself in to authorities Thursday night. According to the Colbert County Sheriff’s Office, Duncan was taken into custody at a residence on Duncan Lane. Haden Duncan has been on the run since Monday, that’s when investigators say he set fire to a mobile home, travel camper, and truck. Leighton Police and the State Fire Marshall’s Office secured arrest warrants for arson and burglary yesterday. Haden Duncan is being held without […]

  • Lauderdale County Courthouse receives security enhancements

    LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. – Enhanced security measures are now in place at the Lauderdale County Courthouse. Law enforcement say the changes will better protect the public and employees. Walk up to the courthouse and you will notice the first change. The main entrance is now exit only. Visitors will enter through new doors and straight into a security checkpoint. Sheriff Rick Singleton knew when he came into office security needed a major upgrade. “If we’re going to do courthouse security, […]

  • Colbert County authorities identify arson suspect connected to 3 fires

    COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. – Authorities in eastern Colbert County continue the search Tuesday morning for an arson suspect in the LaGrange community. On Monday, police said 28-year-old Haden Lawrence Duncan set fire to a vehicle, camper, and a residence in which his sister was living. Shortly before 12:30 Monday, volunteer fire departments responded to two residences, one on Hammer Lane, the second on Duncan Lane. When firefighters arrived on Duncan Lane they found a mobile home fully involved. On Hammer […]

  • Deshler High School fan honored by administrators and community

    TUSCUMBIA, Ala. – Deshler High School paid a tribute Friday to a long-time figure in their athletics department – decades after he left school. Amos Malone is one of the most dedicated Deshler Tiger fans you might ever meet. He spent years umpiring basketball, baseball and even one softball game. Malone says he never charged the school for his services. But his biggest passion has always been watching what happened on the gridiron. “If you watched many games there, you know […]

  • Woman found guilty of capital murder for conspiring to kill her husband

    COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. – A Colbert County jury deliberated for 2-hours before finding Erica Fox guilty of her part in the plot to kill her husband Jason Fox. Jason Fox was found shot to death in his home in Muscle Shoals in August of 2016. Court records show that during the investigation, Erica Fox admitted to having marital problems with Jason, and even admitted to having an affair. She told police her longest affair had been with Ronnie Credille. The court […]

  • Lauderdale County burglary get-away car needs identified

    LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. – The Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help. A car used in a burglary was caught on camera and they are pretty sure someone will recognize it. Sheriff’s investigators just released this surveillance picture. In the distance a larger white sedan could be seen parked in front of Q-Gas on Cloverdale Road. For some reason it quickly speeds across the street – giving investigators and you a perfect look. Whatever spooked this person […]

  • Russellville building owner gives thanks to God for no injuries in collapse

    RUSSELLVILLE, Ala. – WHNT News 19 is continuing to follow a bizarre story out of downtown Russellville this evening. A building owner and his 6-year-old grandson escaped major injury after the front of a building gave way Wednesday afternoon. The scene is jaw-dropping. Three stories of bricks fell from the front of the 100-plus-year-old Sherman Department Store building in downtown Russellville. Building owner Wayne Miller was 18-feet up on a ladder when the bricks came tumbling down. “When I hit the […]

  • Erica Fox capital murder trial underway in Colbert County

    COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. – More than two years after discovering her husband dead inside their Muscle Shoals home, and Erica Fox’s capital murder trial is underway. Fox is accused of plotting Jason Fox’s death with a lover. Prosecutors opened their statements by telling the jury Jason Fox’s death was the result of lies, deceit, betrayal, and cheating. Although their statements can’t be used as evidence, prosecutors and defense attorneys outlined their cases moving forward. Assistant District Attorney Angela Hulsey took […]

  • Colbert County murder evidence headed to private forensics lab

    COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. – It’s been almost one month since WHNT News 19 first told you about the Colbert County Sheriff’s Office in a dispute with state forensics. To help solve an open murder investigation, the sheriff was wanting to send evidence to a private lab for testing and a state official said “no”. “It’s real frustrating to know the state could do something and they won’t,” stated Sue Johnson, the wife of the victim John Edward Johnson. Her husband […]