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 melissa.riopka@whnt.com


Recent Articles
  • TEDxWilson Park coming to downtown Florence on Aug. 24

    Florence, Ala. – On August 24, 2019 at The Mane Room in downtown Florence, TEDxWilsonPark attendees will hear from a carefully curated selection of speakers. These speakers, from Alabama and across the country, represent diverse fields. They’ll share big, bold ideas of how they’re making good in the world around them. TEDxWilsonPark will also feature local artists and musicians. The day will be a unique, intimate gathering of thinkers, doers, creators and makers – to allow the conversation to continue […]

  • Grissom Band alumni invited to celebrate 50th anniversary with a special weekend September 20-21

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Grissom High School is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and the band is doing something very special. The band is calling all alumni, from 1969 through 2019, to reunite during a special weekend September 20-21. Band alumni who would like to participate are invited to click here for more information and to register. You can buy tickets for the whole weekend or a la carte, if you can only make certain events. Either is fine. They’ll […]

  • CASA of Madison County still helping neighbors remain independent and safe at home

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – For 40 years, CASA of Madison County has been helping neighbors remain independent, safe and a part of the community. CASA (Care Assurance System for the Aging and Homebound) is a non-profit agency located in Huntsville that provides services to individuals age 60 and older and to the homebound (wheelchair and bed bound) of all ages. What began in 1979 as an effort to assist senior citizens with transportation has grown to include many other services, allowing […]

  • Get your tickets now! Rocket Chef returns to Huntsville on August 12

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Get ready for another year of fierce fundraising and culinary expertise when the 6th annual Rocket Chef returns to Huntsville this August. Rocket Chef is based on popular and contemporary food television challenges and showcases local chefs from a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences. Their cooking ability is tested in a time-pressured environment using ‘mystery’ ingredients. This all takes place on a stage in front of a live audience of more than 300 people and three […]

  • Bank Street Players presents Guys and Dolls at Princess Theatre July 25-27

    DECATUR, Ala. – The Bank Street Players present Guys and Dolls, July 25-27 at the historic Princess Theatre. Shows are Thursday-Sunday at 7:00pm, with a 2:00pm matinee on Sunday. The musical is a Broadway classic that brings the glitz and grime of old New York to the stage. A romantic comedy, “it tells the overlapping stories of high-roller Sky Masterston, who falls in love with mission worker Sarah Brown, and lovable rapscallion Nathan Detroit, engaged for 14 years to Miss […]

  • 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 […]

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