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
  • 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 […]

  • Morris, King and Hodge P.C. announces 2019 winners of Driver Safety Scholarship

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – For the fifth year in a row, a Huntsville law firm is helping send some deserving high school students to college, while also sending a message about the dangers of distracted driving. Morris, King & Hodge P.C. has announced three winners of its 2019 Driver Safety scholarship, selected from more than 80 entries. Emily Mann, a senior at Huntsville High School, was awarded the first place scholarship.  Her essay touched on the pain of losing a friend […]

  • The 27th annual Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive is Saturday, May 11

    Huntsville, Ala. – On the second Saturday in May, letter carriers across the country pick up donations of non-perishable food items to be given to families in need. All donations stay local and Huntsville-area letter carriers hope you’ll take part in this year’s event on Saturday, May 11. To participate in the 27th annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, just set out your non-perishable food well before your letter carrier’s normal pick-up time. The earlier the better! He or she […]

  • More than 80 critically ill children in North Alabama are waiting for their wish to come true

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – A few months ago, WHNT News 19 was honored to meet Princess Khushi, as she reigned over the Huntsville Christmas parade.  We were so inspired by her journey, we wanted to learn more about the group that made her dream come true, Make-A-Wish Alabama. While Make-A-Wish America is a national non-profit, it’s money raised in Alabama that goes to Alabama’s children. And, for every critically ill child, like Khushi, who has a wish granted – dozens are […]

  • “An Acoustic Evening with Lee Brice and Randy Houser” on May 9 to benefit Huntsville Hospital Heart Institute

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Two country chart-toppers are headlining the 31st annual Huntsville Classic. “An Acoustic Evening with Lee Brice and Randy Houser” will take place at 8:30pm on Thursday, May 9, at the VBC Propst Arena. Concert tickets start at $15 and can be purchased at the VBC Box Office or Ticketmaster.com. Lee Brice has sold more than 12 million albums and singles, with five No. 1 hits including “A Woman Like You,” “Hard To Love,” “I Drive Your Truck,” […]

  • Community Free Dental Clinic holding inaugural golf tournament on May 17

    Huntsville, Ala. – The Community Free Dental Clinic is preparing to host its first golf tournament, in hopes of serving even more patients. The tournament will honor the memory of Colonel William Stirling, with 100% of the proceeds going directly to the clinic. Colonel Stirling’s daughter is a volunteer dental hygienist at CFDC, which opened in 2013 to serve the working poor in Madison County. In the greater Huntsville area, there are thousands of adults who desperately need dental work […]

  • Dive into a world of wonder at the new Tennessee Aquarium exhibit

    Chattanooga, TN – Dive into a world of uncharted wonders at Island Life, the new exhibit opening March 15 at the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga. During the island-hopping journey, guests will be led by a colorful new guide, Leon the Chameleon. This green-skinned guru of island knowledge will appear on graphics and interactive elements, sponsored by Unum, to point out fun facts, encourage interactive learning and pose questions that add new dimension to these fascinating ecosystems. The centerpiece of the […]

  • “Growing Hope: Casino Knight” returns to benefit New Hope Children’s Clinic

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Save the date. Another beautiful evening on the mountain is coming up, benefiting New Hope Children’s Clinic. The clinic is a non-profit, school-based health clinic that provides comprehensive medical care for children in the New Hope community of Madison County, as well as portions of Marshall, Morgan and Jackson counties. “Growing Hope: Casino Knight” is its biggest annual fundraiser. This year’s event will take place Friday, March 29, 2019 at Baron Bluff, Burritt on the Mountain. Doors […]

  • “Completing the Story” for Alabama’s Bicentennial

    Huntsville, Ala. – Alabama is in full swing of celebrating its 200th birthday as events roll out all over the state. This includes the local area as the committee, African Americans for Completing the Story in Huntsville-Madison County, debuts events to celebrate black history in the region. A subcommittee of the Huntsville-Madison County Bicentennial Committee, African Americans for Completing the Story in Huntsville-Madison County want to educate local residents about the history and contributions of blacks in this area from […]

  • How a lovely evening out can help some local “sweet peas”

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Make a date for February 16, 2019 from 6:00 to 11:00 pm. Everyone is invited to the first “Dancing in the Rain with Project Sweet Peas,” helping local NICU families. Bring your sweetheart or a sweet friend and enjoy an evening of music, dancing and dinner. The black-tie gala event will take place at the Stone Event Center at Campus No. 805 in Huntsville, Alabama. Cocktail hour begins at 6:00 pm. Enjoy your favorite drink and put […]

  • Sitting down with Madison Mayor Paul Finley for some year-end reflections

    MADISON, Ala. – In the last year, the city of Madison has landed a minor league baseball team, secured funding for four big road projects and come up with a proposal to build new schools. Asked to sum up the last 12 months, Mayor Paul Finley says, “accomplishment.” “It starts with what we did coming into office in 2016…and that’s working with the city council and our department heads to come up with an understanding of what we want to accomplish […]

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