School Delays across the Tennessee Valley

I’m from Greensboro, North Carolina. In fact, my mom, dad and brother are all natives of the Tarheel state.

We moved to Huntsville when I was in the third grade, because my father got a job with the Army Missile Command at Redstone Arsenal.

I grew up during the heyday of the work developing America’s first missiles, and the Saturn 5 program at Marshall Space Flight Center.

One of my best memories is the way the whole town shook when they tested the Saturn 5’s main engines in the mid-60’s.

I graduated from Huntsville High School and then went to Auburn, where I majored in Journalism, with minors in speech, English, and history. After graduation, I started work in Anniston at a small TV station that no longer exists, WHMA.

In May of 1977, my family moved back to the Rocket City, and I took a job as Sports Director at what was then called Action News 19.

In late 1999 I started making the transition from sports to news at WHNT News 19. I’ve been Senior Reporter, and Special Assignment Reporter, and now I’m the co-anchor of our week day morning news.

Among other things I also do our “Leadership Perspectives” interviews that are posted on WHNT.Com every Friday, and can also seen on our Sunday morning news.

I also do our “Defending America” reports that highlight the work in the north Alabama aerospace and defense community as well as what happens on Redstone Arsenal both in defense and at Marshall Space Flight Center.

My wife Sue is the Office Manager for Retina Services of North Alabama. I have two sons. Chris works at Huntsville Hospital. My other son, Wes, is married with two sons. His family lives in Spring Hill, Tennessee and he works at Caterpillar-Financial in Nashville.

You may see me from time to time, riding my bike on the the streets, and roads of north Alabama.

I collect first edition books, and my wife and I are modest collectors of art…especially by local artists.

I may be from North Carolina, and my wife from Atlanta, but we both consider Huntsville our home town.

Recent Articles
  • Remembering an Army family

    REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. — When you see an Army helicopter flying, or video of soldiers on the patrol or most any illustration of soldiers, it’s sometimes hard to remember that these are people just like you.  Men and women who have families. “Looking back, I had a blast,” said Army Sgt. 1st Class Mark McClanathan. The Sgt. is in the Army now, but the blast he’s talking about is the 5 years he spent in the Air Force as a […]

  • Retired Col. has a new job and the same passion for the Army mission

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Army officers retire regularly in Huntsville and take jobs with local companies that work with the military. It makes sense because they are definitely subject matter experts. WHNT News 19 has talked to Col. John Kuenzli several times over the past few years. He’s the retired commander of what was the Army Materiel Command’s Logistics Support Activity. LOGSA as it used to be called (it’s now the Logistics Data Analytics Center, LDAT). Col. Kuenzli is now retired […]

  • Built at Redstone Arsenal, and protecting lives around the world

    REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. – Raytheon is proud of its Standard Missile and recently celebrated the delivery of the 400th unit. They’re known generally as the SM-3 and SM-6, or any of a number of other variants. The Standard Missile has been on the job for quite a while. “For 60 years it’s been protecting our Navy as it maneuvers around the world,” said Mitch Stevison the Vice President for Raytheon’s Strategic and Naval Systems. Actually, the Standard Missile is deployed […]

  • A Huntsville company gets its name from World War 2

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Huntsville is a great place to start a defense company. Especially if you take a Special Forces veteran, mix in some great workers and add a big dollop of history. 75 years ago,  Allied forces hit the beaches at Normandy in France. It was D-Day, and invasion supported by intelligence gathering and work with the French resistance.  That work was done by what was then called the Office of Strategic Services, the OSS. “Well, I’m a retired […]

  • Making a great Army helicopter… better

    REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. — There are things to know about the Army’s Black Hawk helicopter.  First and foremost it’s the Army’s main utility helicopter and has been so since the early ’80s.  There are more Black Hawks flying for the Army than any other helicopter and this reliable chopper is getting a 21st-century upgrade. “The 60-victor program is a unique opportunity for the Army to take some legacy aircraft, some enduring fleet aircraft and modernize them in a way that […]

  • Army Contracting Command helps ensure soldier readiness

    REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. – Labor Day is a day of rest for those who work hard. Some of those workers support the Army and also save taxpayer dollars. There are hundreds of helicopters in the Army’s air fleet. Different types, different sizes, different missions. But all the same in what you should think when you see one. “They should think that there is a contract behind every single, probably three of four contracts, behind every single helicopter flying,” said Becky […]

  • Redstone Arsenal works for U.S. Allies

    REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. — An M-109 Self Propelled Howitzer is a legacy weapons system for the U.S. Army. We still use a variant today, and so do many of our allies and strategic partners. So does Brazil. “A partner like Brazil is important to us,” said Summer Paquette, the Brazil Program Manager for the United States Army Security Assistance Command at Redstone Arsenal, USASAC. Summer has been on the job with Brazil for several months, and she has been a […]

  • Defending against invincible weapons

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – It’s an acknowledged fact that the Chinese and Russians, two possible adversaries for the United States, are working on hypersonic weapons.  “I think for our nation and for the war fighter and for our customer, it’s a very big deal,” said Kenneth Todorov, The Vice President for Missile Defense Solutions  Business Unit at Northrop Grumman. Obviously, the U.S. Military has been involved in conflicts around the world for the past several years. The attention to all that […]

  • The race to hypersonic

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — You can see one of them parked in front of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. It’s the SR-71 Blackbird, the fastest manned airplane ever. It flew three times the speed of sound, Mach-3.  Compare that to the weapons Russia’s Vladimir Putin bragged about in 2018. He called Russia’s hypersonic weapons invincible. Hypersonic means they travel at Mach-5 or faster. “That’s probably one of the biggest and most important programs that’s in the DOD right now,” said […]

  • Another year and new threats to answer

    HUNTSVILLE, AL – It’s not a criticism to say that each year’s Space and Missile Defense Symposium is very similar to all others.  There are certainly the same kinds of high-tech exhibits and no shortage of people standing near them talking. You could figure it’s not the kind of event that would be on the minds of troops in hostile lands. But you could also think that what goes on at the Von Braun Center for this event, definitely affects […]

  • Getting ready for a dangerous future

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – It is no insult to say the 2019 Space and Missile Defense Symposium will be similar to last year’s event. Just like the 2018 Symposium , or the year before that, or even next year, the symposium is about the future.  It’s about preparing for possible adversaries, and threats. “I would say we have a very, very capable system currently. The issue is staying relevant as the threat advances and they are advancing quickly,” said Bob McCaleb […]

  • Helping the Army with operational excellence

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -Some people call it 3-D printing, or maybe additive manufacturing. It’s the computer-controlled process of melting successive layers of material, the plastic or metal until a 3-dimensional object is formed. It’s a manufacturing process of the future that is in use right now. The U.S. Army is right in the middle of making it happen. “We’re definitely looking at ways to be more efficient so that’s why I believe this is going to continue to build in the […]

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