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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
  • “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 […]

  • Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle reflects on 2018, looks ahead to 2019

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – It’s been an eventful year for Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle. WHNT News 19 recently sat down with the mayor for his perspective on 2018 and his thoughts on what 2019 will bring. Asked what word he would choose to sum up the past year, Mayor Battle responded, “growth. We have had incredible growth, industry, jobs…people moving into the area. One of the things we try to do, that we work on every day, is make sure we […]

  • Toys and gifts still needed for local foster children

    Huntsville, Ala. – Foster children face many challenges, forced to carry burdens far too heavy for such small shoulders. Since 1985, Foster Children’s Alliance (FOCAL) of Madison County has been working to ease some of those burdens for foster children and their families. While foster families receive funding to provide for the children in their care, it’s only enough to cover basic needs, without consideration for things such as field trips, school supplies, band instruments or Christmas gifts. FOCAL helps […]

  • Looking for a last-minute gift? Huntsville Art League has just the ticket

    Huntsville, Ala. – If you’re looking for a last minute gift for the art lover in your life, the Huntsville Art League has just the ticket. For more than 30 years, the Huntsville Art League (HAL) has held the Collector’s Draw. Area artists donate works valued at more than $175 each for the Draw. From January 10th to February 9th, the artwork is on display at the HAL Gallery at Lowe Mill so ticket-holders have an opportunity to prepare a […]

  • The North Pole Express to Winter Lumberland, offering holiday dining and family fun

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – From now through December 28, you and your family can dine aboard a 1924 railcar, then wind your way through a maze of holiday lights to a sweet ending. AM Booth Lumberyard is offering a special experience for the holidays called “The Lumberyard’s North Pole Express to Winter Lumberland.” Dinner includes turkey with gravy, mashed potatoes and stuffing, green beans candied yams and cranberry relish. Included in the price of a “golden ticket,” is access to the […]

  • Sensory Santa Toy Drive Underway Now

    MADISON, Ala. – KultureCity, with the help of Madison behavior Therapy, is once again hosting a Sensory Santa event – allowing those with sensory sensitivities and their families to enjoy the holiday tradition. Founded in 2013 and based out of Birmingham, Alabama, KultureCity is a non-profit “with the mission to inspire the community to join in creating a world where all autistic individuals can be accepted, included and fulfill their potential.” As part of the local Sensory Santa event, the […]

  • Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas sparkles with 5 million lights, new Glacier Ridge

    PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. – After earning its 11th consecutive Golden Ticket award for Best Theme Park Christmas Event, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana is growing with the addition of Glacier Ridge. Through January 5, 2019, guests can experience the Smokies at Christmas in a new and glittering way. Glacier Ridge is an immersive lighting experience that pushes the park’s total count to more than five million twinkling lights. The experience is spread throughout Timber Canyon, Wilderness Pass and […]

  • Bank Street Players presents “Humbug! A Christmas Carol” November 29 – December 1

    DECATUR, Ala. – Bank Street Players presents the 2nd Annual production of “Humbug! A Christmas Carol” November 29 – December 1 at the historic Princess Theatre, 112 Second Avenue NE in Decatur. Written and composed by Decatur native Chuck Puckett, the show is a musical retelling of the classic Dicken’s tale. With 15 original songs, the family-friendly show follows Ebenezer Scrooge and the spirits that set out to transform his soul. “Humbug! A Christmas Carol” will be performed: Thursday, November […]

  • Manna House hosting Thanksgiving Day Community Dinner

    Huntsville, Ala. – Manna House is once again hosting a Thanksgiving Day Community Dinner. The non-profit public charity provides food assistance to those in need and is dedicated to ensuring no one in our community goes hungry. On Thanksgiving, there’s also the opportunity for fellowship. Anyone who needs a place to go and a holiday meal is invited to Southside Baptist Church, 209 Marsheutz Avenue in Huntsville on Thursday, November 22. The dinner will begin at 12pm in the gymnasium. […]

  • Mojo’s “Bikes or Bust” going on now outside Ashley HomeStore to help local children in need

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The WZYP “Bikes or Bust” event is underway! Now in its 16th year, “Bikes or Bust” has provided thousands of bicycles to local children in need. This year’s event started Thursday at 11am when Mojo went up on a scissor lift outside Ashley HomeStore, located at 3020 South Memorial Parkway in Huntsville. He won’t come down until Monday at 6pm. During that time, people are invited to stop by with the gift of a new bike. You […]

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