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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
  • “Invest in a Girl Celebration” aims to double number served through Girls, Inc. of Huntsville

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Girls Inc. of Huntsville invites the community to celebrate and “Invest in a Girl.” The “Invest in a Girl Celebration” is Thursday, October 18, 2018 at Huntsville Botanical Garden’s Grand Hall. The reception begins at 5:15pm, with the dinner and program starting at 6pm. Special guests include featured speaker Lynn Troy, of Troy 7, as well as Amanda Howard and Dr. Neena James. The event is a fundraiser for Girls, Inc. of Huntsville, which encourages all girls […]

  • 9th Annual Lee Lott Power of Pink Walk this Sunday in Decatur

    DECATUR, Ala. – Decatur Morgan Hospital Foundation announces the 9th Annual Lee Lott Power of Pink Walk will be held Sunday, October 14 at Founder’s Park amphitheater. The event will start at 1pm, with music, food vendors and a silent auction. The one-mile walk will begin at 2pm. Lee Lott is a cancer survivor and advocate who has dedicated her efforts to raising awareness about breast cancer and helping others in the community affected by the disease. Proceeds from the 2018 […]

  • Free conference on Sunday for local kidney patients, caregivers

    Huntsville, Ala. – The Alabama Kidney Foundation will hold a free patient education conference October 14th from 12pm – 3pm in Huntsville. The event, at EarlyWorks Children’s History Museum on Madison Street, will provide kidney patients the opportunity to become more informed on topics related to kidney disease. Speakers will include three nephrology consultants: Dr. Todd Broome, Dr. Roger Coomer and Dr. John Clark. A dietitian will address fresenius kidney care and a registered radiologic technologist will speak about nephcon vascular […]

  • Fantasy Playhouse Children’s Theater Presents “Lyle the Crocodile”

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Fantasy Playhouse Children’s Theater presents “Lyle The Crocodile” October 12-14th and 19-21st. “Lyle the Crocodile” tells the delightful story of the Primm family, who finds their new home on East 88th Street has a big surprise – a crocodile in the bathtub! Lyle the Crocodile is no ordinary reptile but that doesn’t stop nasty neighbor Mr. Grumps from wanting to banish him to the zoo. The musical is a toe-tapping, finger-snapping event that is fun for the […]

  • Stars Dancing for HEALS

    Huntsville, Ala. – The stars return to the Von Braun Center for the 12th annual Stars Dancing for HEALS. HEALS Inc, is a non-profit organization that provides school-based health care for children in Huntsville and Madison County. The on-site medical, dental, optometry care and social services ensure underserved children have the health care they need to grow and thrive. Started in 2007, “Stars Dancing for Heals” has become the group’s most popular fundraiser. Community leaders are paired with local ballroom […]

  • Need weekend plans? The Madison Street Festival is this Saturday

    MADISON, Ala. – The Madison Street Festival returns to historic downtown Madison Saturday, October 6th from 9am – 4pm. Always held on the first Saturday in October, the free event is fun for the whole family, including your leashed pets! The Madison Street Festival is the city’s largest event and a celebration of its people, art, food, and music. Kicking-off with a big, colorful parade, the festival includes an artist alley, car show, children’s area, entertainment expo area, arts and […]

  • Little Orange Fish Presents: Feelings are Real, Expressions in Laughter

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Feelings are real. That’s a central message of Little Orange Fish, a non-profit focusing on mental health issues in our community. On Thursday, October 18th, Little Orange Fish will present: Feelings are Real, Expressions in Laughter. It will be a night of comedy at Stand Up Live Huntsville, a fundraiser for Little Orange Fish. The night includes: 5:30pm – 7:00pm – Pre-show performances by Victoria Jones and Alan Little 7:00pm – 7:45pm – Comedian Mike James performs […]

  • WEDC bringing “Sister Schubert” to the Jackson Center

    Huntsville, Ala. – For the first time, the Women’s Economic Development Council is opening up a leadership training meeting to the public. The WEDC is a group of women business professionals who provide opportunities to women for leadership and economic development through education, mentoring and networking. It exists to strengthen the position of women in business and in the community. On October 11, the WEDC will welcome Patricia Barnes, also known as “Sister Schubert,” as the guest speaker of the […]

  • 5 Points Blok Festival Returns Saturday, August 18 to Lowe Mill

    Huntsville, Ala. – You’re invited August 18, 2018 to the First Floor Connector at Lowe Mill 4th Annual 5 Points Blok Festival! The festival is a free community event welcoming friends and neighbors in the Tennessee Valley. The Blok Party is a multi-cultural arts and entertainment festival. Centrally held in Huntsville, Alabama, the effort aims to stimulate and incubate the arts and culture in the Tennessee Valley and Southeastern Region. Last year, more than 500 people experienced and enjoyed local […]

  • Going ‘Free Range,’ a return to parenting of the past

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – From the cities to the suburbs, a parenting movement is underway. A direct reaction to the ‘Helicopter Parent’ we’ve heard so much about, it’s a return to the parenting of our past. The moms and dads who follow this path — known as ‘Free Range Parents.’ The movement can be traced back to 2008, when Lenore Skenazy let her 9-year-old son ride the subway by himself. Skenazy, a New York journalist, then wrote about the experience. Within […]

  • Meet the 2018 winners of the Morris, King & Hodge driver safety scholarship program

    Huntsville, Ala. – Congratulations are in order for Jordan Jett, John Washington and Sidney Gunter. They are the winners of the 2018 driver safety scholarship contest from Morris, King & Hodge – our partners in the Distracted Driving project. Jordan Jett just graduated from Lawrence County High School and will attend the University of North Alabama this fall, where she intends to major in elementary education. Her winning essay was inspired by personal experience. As Jordan explains, she was on her […]

  • By the numbers: Steep costs of child care put pressure on Alabama families

    If you’re a parent or even a grandparent, you know how expensive child care can be. In fact, many parents find it’s cheaper to have one spouse stay home than spend an entire paycheck, or more, than go to daycare. Other families rely on grandparents to fill in the child care gaps. However, a new report is shedding new light on the scope of the issue in America. The Care Index, a data collaboration, between New America, Care.com and others […]