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 this Morning with Steve Johnson.

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

Recent Articles
  • Tickets now on sale for Huntsville Botanical Garden’s “Fresh from the Garden” fundraiser dinner

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Put on your best garden casual attire and leave the heels at home for a relaxed yet refined evening of music, mingling, cocktails, a silent auction, and a meal prepared by Chef James Boyce. The Huntsville Botanical Garden’s 7th annual “Fresh from the Garden” dinner fundraiser is Friday, September 27th. From 6:00pm-10:00pm, you can enjoy music from Mike Ball, pre-dinner cocktails, a silent auction, and a four-course meal with paired wines in the Celebration Garden. James Boyce, […]

  • “Bundles of Hope” benefit dinner this Saturday, featuring parents of Albertville sextuplets

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – You’re invited to join the Bundles of Hope fund for a night of great entertainment and fun while supporting a wonderful cause. The Bundles of Hope fund helps support the 1,000 plus families with babies in the Neonatal ICU at Huntsville Hospital for Women and Children annually. On Saturday, July 20th, a benefit dinner will be held at the Limestone County Event Center in Athens. The evening will start at 6pm with appetizers and a silent auction. […]

  • Third annual Hope Gala coming to the Jackson Center on Friday, July 26

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – On Friday, July 26, 2019, the Jackson Center will sponsor the third annual Hope Gala. The silent auction and social hour begin at 6pm with music provided by fusion violinist, Winslow Davis. Doors open for dinner at 7pm with a dessert and coffee Bar to follow, provided by the Jackson Center Culinary Staff. Proceeds from the Hope Gala will go to Manna House and Not One More Alabama. Manna House is a 501(c)3 Public Charity that provides […]

  • Help send WWII veterans to the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – This December will mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge. From December 1944 to January 1945, the German army led an offensive along a 75-mile front in the Ardennes Forest. US soldiers, stationed in Luxembourg and Belgium and camped for the winter, found themselves tested as German troops tried to turn the tide of war back to Hitler’s favor. Instead, the German army’s effort to divide the Allied front was thwarted. Forever Young Senior […]

  • Huntsville Community Chorus presents Mamma Mia! July 12-21, 2019

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Mamma Mia! Huntsville Community Chorus is bringing the smash hit musical to Randolph Thurber Arts Center. The premier local production of “Mamma Mia!” covers the enchanting tale of love, laughter, friendship and weddings set to the timeless songs of ABBA. The show will run July 12-21, 2019 with Stephanie Braly-Beutjer in the role of Donna Sheridan, owner of a taverna on a Greek island. She is the mother of Sophie, who is about to get married and […]

  • Catch him if you can, Frank Abagnale coming to Huntsville on July 18 for free presentation about avoiding scams

    HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – Join AARP Alabama and the Better Business Bureau of North Alabama for a presentation by Frank Abagnale on how to spot and avoid scams. With imposter scams on the rise and one in five people losing money during the scam, this is a free opportunity to learn the dos and don’ts from an expert. Frank W. Abagnale is one of the world’s most respected authorities on forgery, embezzlement and secure documents. His rare blend of knowledge and […]

  • Faith, Family and a Wish: Elita’s Story

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – It was May 2018 and the Wright family of Athens was getting ready to leave for a trip to Arizona. They were headed west for a relative’s wedding. With seven children, it had taken a lot of planning to arrange the trip and all the kids were looking forward to it. The night before their departure, 13-year-old Elita Wright remembers, “we all tried on our bathing suits. I was walking by a mirror and I’m like, ‘that […]

  • Make-A-Wish: Young hockey player still waiting for his shot

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – We first met Jacob Brown a few years ago, when he took on an important job with the Huntsville Havoc. Jacob started playing hockey at the age of four and was a big Havoc fan. So when, at just 9-years-old, he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, the team reached out. As Jacob recalls, “the Havoc sent over some stuff to help me feel better.” Eventually, Head Coach Glen Detulleo made the big ask. “Once I was […]

  • Make-A-Wish: Carson’s Story

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Carson Corrigan loves tractors and trains. Playground slides and his baby sister. In these and so many other ways, he’s just like any other 3-year-old boy. Except Carson has endured more than most adults could bear. His parents, Erin and Jason, say he was about 18 months old when they noticed him drooling a bit and chewing the inside of his cheek. They thought it had to do with teething. But at their next pediatrician visit, Carson […]

  • Make-A-Wish: Princess Khushi’s family pays it forward

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – We first met Khushi Patel in December 2018, when Make-A-Wish Alabama helped turn the 9-year-old Huntsville girl into a princess. Looking back, Khushi says the best part was “the parade,” then adds “I liked the treasure hunt the most, and the limo.” It’s understandably tough to pick a favorite moment. During the treasure hunt, Khushi and her family made stops around the city, selecting her royal items – including a dress, tiara, scepter and personalized jewelry box. […]

  • Make-A-Wish Alabama: Megan and Dove’s story

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Megan Roberts is one of those people who shines so bright, she nearly sparkles. The only thing brighter than her personality is her smile, as she talks about her best friend. “It’s like I get a wish every day because she’s always with me. She’s always here. So, she can encourage me with things that I’ve had to deal with,” Megan says. Megan has dealt with a lot. At 15, she spent nearly an entire year in […]

  • Make-A-Wish Alabama: Livy and Charlie’s story

    MADISON, Ala. – With the same bright blue eyes and golden hair, it’s clear Olivia and Charlotte Foster are more than sisters. Born in May 2015, “Livy” and “Charlie” are identical twins. There are differences, of course. Parents Trey and Cora Foster say Livy tends to be the more adventurous of the two. She loves the water and anything that goes fast. Charlie loves princesses and Minnie Mouse. But while each has her own unique personality, their shared genetics mean […]

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