Melissa Payne joined WHNT News 19 as a reporter in December 2011 after working as a weekend anchor and reporter at KDLT News in Sioux Falls, SD. Before heading south, Melissa also worked as a reporter at News 25 in Evansville, IN. Now, Melissa is ready to explore all of northern Alabama, as she covers the Shoals for WHNT News 19.

Melissa spent her college years cheering on the Cardinals at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. While at Ball State, Melissa studied telecommunications and reported and anchored for NewsLink Indiana.

Melissa also interned at WTVW in Evansville, Indiana and WANE-TV in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Always ready for an adventure, Melissa studied abroad in the Ghana for five months. Melissa says her experience in the African country was truly eye opening and humbling.

“This experience was more challenging than I ever expected, but I was excited to stretch myself to new lengths, step outside my comfort zone, and experience a culture so different than my own,” said Payne.

While abroad, Melissa traveled all over West Africa, visiting rural villages, meeting tribal chiefs, and volunteering her time with Planting Technology International, a non-profit organization that builds computer labs and donates computers to schools in rural villages.

As a reporter, Melissa wants to tell the stories that mean the most to you. You can e-mail her your story ideas, and for news updates throughout the day, you can follow Melissa on Twitter: @melissapayn

Recent Articles
  • Pharmacy Burglars Use Similar Methods

    TUSCUMBIA, Ala. (WHNT) – With hundreds of items stocked at Fred’s on Woodmont Avenue, Tuscumbia Police say the thieves were after just one thing: precription pills. According to investigators, the burglars broke through the pharmacy drive-through glass, which was nearly an inch and a half thick. Detectives say a similar method was used over at Family Pharmacy on Avalon Avenue, just a few weeks later. According to police, this time the burglars pried open the drive-through window, and again, targeted […]

  • Phil Campbell High School Construction Ahead of Schedule

    FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – As students headed back to class in Phil Campbell Monday, they headed back to mobile classrooms.  The temporary school is the only option right now, after a deadly tornado outbreak, destroyed the high school on April 27th, 2011. School leaders are hopeful, this year will be the last time students must walk the halls of a modular school. “On April 27th of course we didn`t know where to turn, of course a lot of water […]

  • Agencies Seek Tips In High-Profile Cold Cases

    COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – State crime statistics show crime is slightly decreasing in the Shoals.  However, law enforcement agencies say there are several high-profile cold cases they still need help solving. The death of an elderly man inside his home shook Tuscumbia to its core last August. Dozens of tips flooded the police department after Elbert Davis was found beaten to death.  The one-year anniversary is approaching, and authorities say the trail of clues has gone cold. Also in […]

  • Statistics Show Crime Decline In the Shoals

    SHOALS, Ala. (WHNT) – The state crime statistics are in, and at first glance, crime seems to be on the decline in the Shoals. “The Shoals area is a very safe place.  We have great people who live here and we have great professional, hard working law enforcement agencies,” said Sergeant Cliff Billingsley with the Florence Police Department. After reviewing the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center’s latest statistics, Billingsley reports about a five percent decrease in overall crime. The report […]

  • Sheffield Man Charged In Girlfriend’s 2012 Death

    SHEFFIELD, Ala. (WHNT) – It’s been more than a year since a Sheffield woman died at her boyfriend’s home.  Now that man is accused of the woman’s death. The autopsy came back as undetermined, but new information allowed prosecutors to hand down an indictment. According to police, Bradley Wade Hill called 9-1-1 on June 4th, 2012, and EMT’s were dispatched to his home on Jackson Court. Emergency responders found Tina Vendetti unresponsive.  Police believe she had been dead for nearly […]

  • Hostile Social Media Posts Concern Lauderdale County Investigators

    LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – As new details emerge about the officer involved shooting, authorities tell WHNT News 19 Mitchel Campbell had a gun in his hand, when law enforcement arrived to the scene, Saturday. Deputies responded to County Road 277 in the Central community for a shots fired call. This case has sparked a lot of emotion and law enforcement say they are now concerned about threats being made on social media sites. Detectives are monitoring the threats, and […]

  • Authorities Release Details In Weekend Shooting Death

    LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – Authorities say the man shot by a sheriff’s deputy was hit three times in the chest. Mitchel Campbell died Saturday night. Deputies responded County Road 277 where authorities say Campbell was firing shots when they arrived. Authorities say Campbell fired at least ten shots as deputies approached. Law enforcement stopped a few homes away from Mitchel Campbell’s residence. The scene was dark, but authorities say the threat was clear.  According to sources, law enforcement heard […]

  • Shoals Nightclub Closes Down, Police Chief Cites Safety Concerns

    SHEFFIELD, Ala. (WHNT) – Party-goers in the Shoals, have one less option. The Sheffield City Council voted to shut down JD’s nightclub on Nashville Avenue. Police Chief Greg Ray calls the club a hot spot for criminal activity. “We composed a file of all the calls we`ve had, it`s this thick,” said Ray as he shows a manila folder full of call reports.  “Just dozens and dozens and dozens and it taxes our resources completely.” Incident reports document fights, drug […]

  • Police Believe Gas Station Robberies Connected

    SHOALS, Ala. (WHNT) – Florence Police think the same robber hit two different gas stations. In both cases, surveillance cameras got a good shot of the suspect, and the gun he pointed at the clerk.  Detectives believe this will help the public identify the man. Just after nightfall, Saturday, August 3rd, police say a robber walked into the RK Food Mart on Florence Boulevard, covered in a black jacket and mask. Cut to two days later at the Citgo on […]

  • Russellville National Guard Armory Demolished; Many Memories Remain

    RUSSELLVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Construction crews spent the day leveling the old Russellville National Guard Armory. The armory had been part of the city’s landscape for nearly six decades. However the building sat empty for years, and the facility’s deteriorating condition didn’t meet city codes. As Wallace Construction Service workers reduced the building to rubble Wednesday, the Russellville National Guard Armory building will always stand strong in the memory of veterans and community members. “It played a very important part […]

  • Family Speaks After Mistrial Denied For Convicted Murderer

    COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – A small victory for a Colbert County family, as a judge denies the motion for a new trial, for the man convicted of their daughter’s murder Ronald Weems is currently serving a life sentence for killing Amanda Taylor. In court, Weems outlined five reasons why he believes he deserves another chance before a new jury. Weems says his trial should have been moved out of Colbert County, and claimed half the jury was bias. Claims, […]

  • Judge Denies Mistrial Motion For Colbert County Murderer

    COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – Ronald Eugene Weems’ attorney’s asked for a new trial on his behalf.  During the motion’s hearing, Weems took the stand and outlined five reasons he believes he deserves a new trial. Weems was convicted of the murder and dismemberment of Amanda Taylor.  Judge Jackie Hatcher sentenced Weems to life in prison in May. During the brief court appearance, Weems told a judge his defense attorney, John McKelvey was ineffective.  Weems also says McKelvey had a […]