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Jessica Albert joined the Newswatch 16 team in June of 2017. She’s excited to see and experience all that northeastern and central Pennsylvania has to offer.

Jessica grew up about 30 miles outside of our nation’s capital in Northern Virginia. She’s made quite a few stops before landing in Pennsylvania. Jessica’s first job in television news took her several hours away from home to Tupelo, Mississippi. As a reporter there, she covered a series of deadly tornadoes that ripped through the Magnolia State in 2014 and won her first AP award for best feature photography. Her next stop took her to the beach! She served as a bureau reporter for WCTI NewsChannel 12 in Jacksonville, North Carolina, which is the home of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. She’s a huge supporter of our active-duty military members and veterans.

Jessica’s passion for the broadcast business began while she was attending James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. She graduated in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in Media Arts and Design with a focus in broadcast journalism. She spent three semesters of her time at JMU interning at Harrisonburg’s ABC affiliate, WHSV.

When Jessica is not working, she loves to try new foods, catching up on her favorite tv shows and spending time with her family and friends.

Have a story idea for Jessica? Email her at or find her on Facebook or Twitter.

Recent Articles
  • Tamaqua Bakery Offering Free Bread for Toy Donation

    TAMAQUA — Padora’s Italian Bakery in Tamaqua is offering a free loaf of bread for a donation of a toy for Toys for Tots. For about 120 years, the bakery in has baked countless loaves of bread each day from scratch. The bread is unique in Tamaqua. It’s made without preservatives in a large coal fire stove. “It’s the best bread around, I can tell you that,” Eugene Perla of Tamaqua said. “Nobody else makes it like they do. I’ve […]

  • Diner Transformed into Church

    HAZLE TOWNSHIP — On the outside, this building near Hazleton looks like a diner, but if you step inside, you’ll discover it is really a church. “We have this kind of excitement built of like, ‘oh, a restaurant is becoming a church? I thought churches had steeples,'” said Chrissie Hetkowski, LCBC kid ministry director. The Hollywood Diner closed in 2014 and sat vacant for about three years until the Lives Changed By Christ Church decided to buy the building. “We […]

  • Local Christmas Tree Farms Prepare for Busy Season

    UNION TOWNSHIP — A Christmas tree farm in Schuylkill County is preparing for the Christmas season. The countdown is on. The Christmas season is on the way. Ringtown Valley Christmas tree farm has been around for more than 80 years. “A lot of the same people and their children and their grandchildren have come back over the years,” tree farm owner Joan Lex said. The owners, John and Joan Lex are preparing for a busy season. They have about 8,000 […]

  • Hazleton Police Get Grant for New Protective Vests

    HAZLETON — The Hazleton Police Department just received a lifesaving grant to help them get some new protective vests. “This is our lifeline,” officer Brett Green said. “We get shot. We get hurt — anything. This protects everything.” The grant is about $6,000 and is meant to pay for 50 percent of each vest the department buys. “So, it’s a savings to the taxpayers,” Chief Jerry Speziale said. “It’s lifesaving for the officers, so that’s really what it is all about.” […]

  • Hazleton Fraternal Order of Police Collecting Toys for Christmas

    HAZLETON — The Hazleton Fraternal Order of Police is collecting toys for children this holiday season. They call it “Blue Santa.” The organization is looking for donations of new, unwrapped toys to hand out to less fortunate children this holiday season. Hazleton’s  Fraternal Order of Police chapter is looking for popular children toys like Shopkins and Legos and toys for teenage children like adult coloring books and electronics. “It’s giving toys to kids who won’t be able to have a lot of […]

  • Spotted Lanternfly Causing Concern for Farmers in Schuylkill County

    SCHUYLKILL COUNTY — About two weeks ago, the Spotted Lanternfly was first seen in Schuylkill County. “It is a piercing, sucking insect,” Penn State Extension Master Gardener Coordinator Susan Hyland said. Hyland said this is a fly the county doesn’t want around. It’s known to kill trees and other crops by sucking the juices out of them. She said the lanternfly goes after fruit trees as well as grape vines. “That’s going to harm the tree,” Hyland said. “It’s going to […]

  • Search in Schuylkill County for Missing Man

    WEST BRUNSWICK TOWNSHIP — State police need your help searching for a missing man from Schuylkill County. He was last seen near Orwigsburg on Saturday. About 40 people gathered to search for Israel Whalen of Orwigsburg. His family is desperate to find him because police believe the 23-year-old man may be a danger to himself. You’ll find many fliers showing a photo of Israel Whalen posted in West Brunswick Township, outside Orwigsburg. “We know in our hearts that he’s out […]

  • Ashland Library Seeking Donations for Flooding Damage

    ASHLAND — Ashland Public Library needs donations for damage to their building after a water main break. Ann Helwig has spent the last 34 years of her life working in the Ashland Public Library. “We consider it a hub in our community,” Helwig said. So when a water main break caused major flooding inside the library, she was devastated. “Oh, it was mud,” Helwig said. “It was terrible. It was a big mess.” The water main broke under the street […]

  • Veteran’s Stolen Service Medals Returned

    HAZLETON — This is a special Veterans Day for Gerald Brekke. Something so dear to him has finally been returned. “I was just proud to get these medals, and I was proud to serve in the military,” Brekke said. Brekke served in the Navy for 21 years. During that time, he earned multiple service medals. But, in 2003 those medals were stolen from him at an estate sale for his son that had just passed away. “That, to me, was a big […]

  • Festive and Energy-efficient Christmas in St. Clair

    ST. CLAIR — A community in Schuylkill County will be debuting new Christmas lights this year. The lights are not only festive they are also energy-efficient. St. Clair’s new Christmas lights have been getting a lot of attention. “I think it is a lot more festive. It brings out the town. It’s a small town, there’s not very much in here so the lights do bring more festivity,” said Michelle Miller. The borough recently bought twelve new energy-efficient Christmas light […]

  • Hazleton Area Students Honor Veterans With a Breakfast

    HAZLE TOWNSHIP — Hazleton Area High School held its annual Veterans Day breakfast and ceremony for local veterans. The high school invited about 150 veterans to the event. “Honestly, it’s an honor to be here,” student Erika Book said. “Just seeing everyone that has come out and we’re just here to thank them really.” The students said it took about a month to put the program together but it was all worth it to honor the veterans. “At the end, once […]

  • Lansford Borough President Charged with Assault

    LANSFORD — The president of Lansford Borough Council has been charged with simple assault. State police have filed simple assault charges against Martin Ditsky, 69, of Lansford.  Ditsky is the president of the Lansford Borough Council.   People who live in Lansford are surprised to hear about the incident. “I don’t know about it and I probably maybe should,” Jennifer Mustacchio of Lansford said. According to court papers, it was back in September when Ditsky went up to a woman who was […]