Luli Ortiz - NEWS9 Reporter
Luli Ortiz joined the NEWS9 team as a multimedia journalist in Sept. 2014. She was born and raised in the city recognized for its warm climate - Miami, Fla. She graduated on the Dean's List with a B.S. degree in Communications and Psychology from the University of Miami.
Her love for broadcast journalism began after working for the university's Emmy award-winning television station, UMTV, as a lifestyle anchor and reporter. While in college, she interned at multiple stations around South Florida, such as WTVJ NBC 6 and Telemundo network.
After graduating, she landed a prominent role at WSVN, a FOX affiliate in Miami, where she wrote, produced and edited breaking news for the morning, dayside and evening newscasts. She also served as a freelance, bilingual reporter covering local stories in her community. Adding to her writing experience, she also worked for a prestigious real estate company where she covered stories for a local newspaper about the South Florida market.
When she is not out in the field gathering news, Luli enjoys traveling, cooking up her grandmother's Cuban recipes and spending time with her family and friends.
She is thrilled to be reporting in the Ohio Valley.
Connect with Luli:
Sarafina Brooks - NEWS9 Reporter
Sarafina Brooks joined the NEWS9 team in August 2014 as a Multimedia journalist.
Sarafina is from Pittsburgh, Pa., where she graduated from Point Park University with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and Mass Communications.
Sarafina's interest in journalism started when she won several writing contest, including the 2008 NAACP Human Rights Dinner scholarship.
While attending Point Park University, Sarafina spent her time producing, directing and reporting for the university's newscast. She also managed to do some feature writing for Point Park's newspaper, The Globe.
In 2009, Sarafina had the opportunity to cover the Pittsburgh Steelers NFL Kickoff, where she interviewed country singer Tim McGraw, the Black Eye Peas, Will.I.Am, and former NFL player Shannon Sharp, but Sarafina still claims her meeting with GMA's morning show host, Robin Roberts, was the highlight of the event.
Sarafina also interned with Pittsburgh TV stations KDKA and WQED. While attending college, she also interned as a Multimedia journalist for the Pittsburgh branch of NEED, and was thrilled when the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust afforded her the opportunity to film a segment for the Pittsburgh Jazz Live International Festival in 2012.
Sarafina caught the journalism bug only after she was an avid violinist for 12 years. She began playing the violin at the late age of 8 and attended music preparatory school at Carnegie Mellon University and Duquesne University where she studied Music theory and Classical violin. In 2005 and 2006, Sarafina was chosen to become a member of the West Virginia University Honors String Orchestra. Just before going off to college in 2008, she also studied with Jazz Great Kenny Fisher and the Pittsburgh Jazz Lions.
When Sarafina isn't working, she enjoys traveling with friends and finding new adventures whenever possible. Sarafina also enjoys catching up with her family and telling stories that will make them laugh.
Sarafina is excited and thankful to be a part of the NEWS9 family and hopes that her life experiences and diverse background will bring creativity and passion to her work. She looks forward to getting to know the Ohio valley and reporting your daily happenings.
Connect with Sarafina :
Jessica Guay - NEWS9 Reporter
Jessica Guay joined the NEWS9 team as a multimedia journalist in January 2014.
She was born and raised in Hockessin, Del., which is about 45 minutes from Philadelphia. Jessica graduated with cum laude from West Virginia University in December 2013 with a degree in television journalism.
While attending WVU, she was a reporter and main anchor for WVUs student-run award winning newscast, WVU News. Jessica interned at WBOY-TV in Morgantown, W.Va. She also interned at WDEL News Talk Radio in Wilmington, Del., as a one-man-band reporter, where she got the chance to create video packages and articles for their website. She knew she wanted to become a news reporter when she discovered her love for doing research and conducting interviews with new people.
Jessica is very excited for the opportunity to join the NEWS9 team and cant wait to share stories with the Ohio Valley.
Kai Jackson - Special Correspondent
Kai Jackson is a veteran journalist with more than 27 years of experience covering local, national and international news as well as stories for affiliate and network television news.He's currently a national correspondent for Sinclair Broadcast Group. Previously he was an anchor and reporter for 20 years at WJZ-TV in Baltimore.He's covered some of the biggest stories of our day including the September 11th attack on America.
Jackson is the co-founder of a film company called DocYourmentary dedicated to telling unusual and untold stories of people and history.
He's a member of several professional organizations including; The Society of Professional JournalistsThe National Association of Black JournalistsThe International Documentary AssociationKappa Alpha Psi Fraternity
Kai received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from South Carolina State College. He received a Masters Degree in Film from American University.Kai is an avid gardener and reader and practices Shotokan Karate. He and his wife live in Maryland with their two daughters.
Jennifer Black - NEWS9 Anchor/Reporter
Jennifer Black joined the NEWS9 team as a reporter and Saturday morning anchor in July 2013.
She is proud to be part of the WTOV9 family and is eager to share the stories of our viewers in the Ohio Valley.
Prior to coming to WTOV9, Jennifer worked as a political reporter in Austin, Texas. She covered the 2011 legislative session for four television markets across the state of Texas and interviewed Gov. Rick Perry leading up to his bid for the presidential election.
Jennifer's on-air career began at the FOX and ABC affiliate in Johnstown, Pa. From there, she migrated south to Charlottesville, Va., where she worked as a reporter and main anchor for the Charlottesville Newsplex. During her time there, she helped cover high-profile stories including the disappearance of Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington, and the University of Virginia lacrosse murder. Jennifer also worked on a weekly segment called Jennifer's Heroes, where she brought the stories of unsung heroes in the community to the forefront.
Jennifer graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a degree in communications media and journalism. She interned at WPXI in Pittsburgh, Pa., where she obtained an exclusive interview with Oprah Winfrey.
When she is not working, Jennifer can be found spending time with her friends and family (five dogs included) outside of Pittsburgh. She enjoys the arts, running, traveling and testing out new recipes. If you have a story idea for Jennifer, she would love to hear from you!
Kevin Carter - Severe Weather Team 9 Meteorologist
Kevin Carter has been Chief Meteorologist at WTOV9 since September 1991, but his interest in weather began years before.
Kevin grew up in Painesville in the snow belt of northeastern Ohio, and quickly became interested in weather after enjoying many snow days as a youth. Kevin pursued his love of meteorology at the Ohio State University, where he earned a Master of Science degree in Atmospheric Sciences.
After several years working as an air pollution meteorologist in Columbus, Ohio, Kevin eased into his broadcast meteorologist career with a few freelance appearances on WBNS-TV in Columbus. That led to a full time position in the great north woods in Presque Isle, Maine at WAGM-TV. At WAGM, Kevin received the American Meteorological Society (AMS) Television Seal of Approval.
Kevin returned to his native Ohio in 1991, when he joined the NEWS9 Team as Chief Meteorologist. This reunited Kevin with family and friends and enabled him to more closely follow his beloved Ohio State Buckeyes and Cleveland sports teams. He has grown along with the station in his 20 years here, adapting to the changes in technology while staying in touch with the basics of meteorology, and becoming a Pittsburgh Penguins fan as well! In 2007, Kevin upgraded his Television Seal of Approval to the Certified Broadcast Meteorologist designation, a higher level of professional standard in broadcast meteorology established by the AMS.
Crissy Clutter - NEWS9 Reporter
Crissy Clutter has been with WTOV9 since July 2013 and is NEWS9's Ohio County newsroom reporter.
Clutter is an Ohio Valley native born and raised in Wheeling. She attended West Virginia University and West Liberty University.
She began her television career at WDTV in Bridgeport, W.Va., as an executive producer. Clutter moved back home to Wheeling to work at WTRF-TV as the weekend anchor/reporter, where her late father began his career.
She then moved to West Virginia's state capitol and anchored on weekends at WOWK-TV. While in Charleston, she reported on criminal cases and political stories. Just before coming to WTOV9, she worked as a freelancer at WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh.
Clutter says she owes her television career to her late father, Pat, who was a sports reporter and news director for more than 25 years in Wheeling. He passed away from cancer in 1997 and she co-founded the Pat Clutter Memorial Scholarship and Golf Scramble soon after. The scholarship was created in her father's name to benefit communications students in the Ohio Valley who choose to continue their education in the broadcasting field.
Clutter is a hockey fan and worked for several years with the Wheeling Nailers ECHL hockey team until she moved to Charleston to further her career.
Crissy is excited to continue her career while living in her hometown of Wheeling with her two miniature dachshunds, Maggie and Gracie. She enjoys attending as many Steelers, Pirates, Penguins and WVU Mountaineers games as she possibly can!
Aly Cohen - NEWS9 Sports
Aly Cohen started at NEWS9 in November 2012.
Aly comes to NEWS 9 after spending the past four years working for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
She was an in-game host on the PNC Park videoboard and did feature stories for the teams website and on-demand cable. She also covered Duquesne basketball for Sportsradio 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh.
Aly is a 2005 graduate of Taylor Allderdice High School in Pittsburgh, where she was a 1,000-point scorer in basketball. She earned City League honors during all four years of high school.
She is a graduate of Chatham University, where she earned an MBA in marketing with a focus in communications.
In her free time, Aly enjoys attending sporting events, yoga and traveling.
Kate Davison - NEWS9 Anchor/Reporter
Kate Davison joined NEWS9 in February 2011.
After getting the "news bug" while attending St. Clairsville High School in Belmont County, Kate attended The Ohio State University, where she majored in strategic communications.
Throughout school, Kate obtained several internships at television stations, including one at NEWS9. She also interned with The Ohio State University Athletic Communications, where she covered football, men's and womens basketball, swimming and rowing. Kate feels that she gained valuable experience and cherishes the friendships she made through her internships.
An avid sports fan, Kate cheers on the Buckeyes and is a football and baseball enthusiast. In her spare time, she loves to cook, exercise, travel and spend time with family and friends.
Kate is dedicated to her job as a reporter and hopes to serve the people of the Ohio Valley the best way she knows how!
Ryan Eldredge - NEWS9 Anchor/Reporter
Ryan Eldredge joined the NEWS9 team in December 2011.
Currently, you can catch him on a number of newscasts -- whether its NEWS9 Sunrise, NEWS9 Live at Five, NEWS9 at Six or NEWS9 Tonight.
Ryan is originally from Chester County, Pa., about 45 minutes outside of Philadelphia. He attended Temple University, where he earned a degree in broadcast, telecommunications and mass media.
While at Temple, he was active in all things related to sports and television. He was one of the first members of an all-sports newscast called Owl Sports and was part of a sports radio talk show for the campus station, WHIP. One of Ryans favorite college experiences was his internship with Comcast SportsNet in Philadelphia, where he worked with players and professional teams.
After college, Ryan spent the better part of a year in Harrisburg, Pa., working as a news producer.
Ryan says there is no way he would be here today if it wasnt for the love and support of his family. When hes not at work, he likes to run, play soccer, baseball or football, and he also enjoys creative writing.
Kristine Frazao - Reporter
Kristine Frazao is an Emmy award winning journalist, with more than a decade of on-air experience. As the National Correspondent for Sinclair Broadcast Group, Kristine
reports on the top political stories of the day along with investigative reports on government waste, fraud and abuse.
Prior to joining the Sinclair news team, Kristine was the White House Correspondent for RT America. She covered the 2010 and 2012 elections both on the road and in Washington, and anchored nightly newscasts on RT for three years as well. Also during her time at RT, she reported extensively on the impact of hydraulic fracturing or fracking in Pennsylvania, as well as the tragic rate of teen suicide on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.
Kristine was born and raised in San Diego, CA, where she also worked for four years as a general assignment reporter, working for the Fox affiliate (XETV) as well as the NBC affiliate (KNSD) where she received an Emmy for coverage of the Wildfires of 2007.
She got her on-air start working in beautiful Savannah, GA at WJCL/WTGS, where she worked as the political reporter, covering City Council and County Commission. She also traveled to Gulfport, Mississippi to cover the damage and devastation from Hurricane Katrina.
Kristine loves living in the Washington, DC. area and covering politics. She spends her free time traveling, reading and going on adventures with her black lab , Chomsky.
Connect with Kristine:
Sheila Gray - Special Correspondent
Special Correspondent Sheila Gray reports on issues affecting women and families in Sinclair Broadcast Groups Family 411 reports.
Sheila is a native of Columbus, Ohio and studied at the prestigious Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, graduating Magna Cum Laude.
She began her career in Charleston, West Virginia, eventually being named the 6 & 11 p.m. anchor at WSAZ-TV. She was recognized by the West Virginia Associated Press for her reporting.
Sheilas next stop was Cincinnati, Ohio, where she co-hosted the Fox 19 Morning News.
She is happy that her alarm is no longer sounding at 2:30 a.m. and is looking forward to this new chapter in her career, and a new broadcasting family with Sinclair.
Sheila and her husband Ric are the parents of four children, Kasey, Kari, Katie, and Kari.
Connect with Sheila:
Rob Metzger - NEWS9 Sports
Rob joined the NEWS9 Sports team in February 2007 as a sports anchor and reporter, making a bitter sweet returned home to the Ohio Valley.
The New Philadelphia, Ohio native brought his passion for local sports back to the Valley after working as Sports Director at WWAY-TV in Wilmington, North Carolina. There he covered a number of exciting sporting events, including UNC-Wilmingtons run to the 2006 NCAA Mens Basketball Tournament. Before stopping at the beach, Rob first became familiar with the sports scene in West Virginia, serving as Sports Director at WOAY-TV in the southern part of the state. While there, he had the opportunity to provide live coverage of two WVU trips to the Gator Bowl.
Rob is a 2003 graduate of Ohio Universitys Scripps School of Journalism, and a 1999 graduate of New Philadelphia High School.
His parents still reside in Tuscarawas County and has one younger brother who is a graduate of Malone University in Canton, Ohio.
Rob and his wife, Kim, were married in June of 2012 and they reside in Hancock County, WV.
Rob would love to hear any local sports story ideas, so feel free to contact him at the station or via his Twitter or Facebook page.
Erica Mokay - NEWS9 Anchor/Reporter
Erica Mokay joined the NEWS9 team in December 2011.
She currently anchors NEWS9 Live at Five, NEWS9 at Six and NEWS9 Tonight.
Erica is proud to say she grew up in Belle Vernon, Pa., a small town south of Pittsburgh. She graduated from Belle Vernon Area High School in 2008. Her interest in reporting the news started in middle school when she was given the duty of delivering the morning announcements.
Erica attended West Virginia University, where she obtained a degree in television journalism with a minor in communication studies in 2012.
While attending WVU, Erica anchored and reported for West Virginia University's student-run award winning newscast, WVU News. Erica also worked as a reporter at the campus radio station, WWVU-FM/U-92. There, she served as the assignment director and assistant news director of the news staff. Erica interned at WDTV in Clarksburg, W.Va., and KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh. Erica was also a member of the Pittsburgh CW Green Team where she starred in several commercials.
Erica has won a few awards as a student journalist. The Broadcast Education Association named Erica "Best Television Anchor" for her work on WVU News. She placed 10th nationwide in the 2010-2011 Hearst Journalism Competition for her radio news pieces about Morgantown sidewalks and the controversial alcoholic energy drink, Four Loko. She was awarded honorable mention by the Broadcast Education Association for her piece on student emergency escape routes. Erica was also honored by her peers at U-92 when she was named the 2010-2011 Reporter of the Year.
Erica is excited to be part of the WTOV9 family and bring the news to the people of the Ohio Valley. When she isn't busy following her dreams, Erica loves spending time with her family and friends.
Jeff Oechslein - Severe Weather Team 9 Meteorologist
Meteorologist Jeff Oechslein, pronounced X-Line, started working at WTOV9 in May 1998.
You can catch his forecast weekday mornings on NEWS9 Sunrise and NEWS9 Midday.
Jeff became fascinated with weather at an early age growing up in nearby Bethel Park, Pa. His favorite type of weather is snow. Jeff learned his first meteorological equation at a young age and that's Snow = No School! Snow days actually sparked his interest in weather. He would watch the weather on television and make his own weather maps. He eventually turned the family basement into a makeshift TV studio. Jeff's father would run camera while his younger brother reluctantly read the news. Take a guess at who played weatherman?
His dream and goal was to become a TV meteorologist. He pursued that goal by attending Penn State University in 1993, studying meteorology. While in college, he interned at WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh. Jeff graduated from Penn State in 1998 and the very next day delivered his first forecast on NEWS9.
Jeff is a member of the American Meteorlogical Society and the National Weather Association. He currently holds the National Weather Associations seal of approval. Jeff serves as a liaison with the local National Weather Service and local Emergency Management officers.
During the school year, Jeff and his buddy Snowbird often head to area classrooms educating Ohio Valley students about the weather.
When Jeff is not at work he enjoys spending time with his wife Amber and son, Declan. Amber and Jeff actually met at WTOV9 and wed in May 2007.
Mary Ours - Severe Weather Team 9/Reporter
Mary Ours joined the NEWS9 team in November 2013.
Mary grew up in a small town about 45 minutes from Pittsburgh, Beaver Falls (most-known for Joe Namath). Mary went to high school there for three years then graduated from Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School in 2008, where she majored in musical theater.
Mary is working on her broadcast meteorology certification through Mississippi State University and is a 2012 graduate of Point Park University in downtown Pittsburgh. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in broadcasting with an on-camera concentration.
At Point Park, Mary reported, anchored and did the weather for numerous U-View programs for the university. She was also part of Point Park News service where she reported and wrote stories. Mary had the opportunity to study the European International Media in Prague for two weeks while in school as well.
During her summers while still in college, Mary interned in Philadelphia at the Michael Smerconish Program, where she was able to work closely with the producer and on-air radio talent, while also being able to edit columns for the Daily Inquirer. She also worked with Jeff Verszyla at KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh where she studied the weather.
Mary has always been interested in helping people ever since she was young, including starting her own event to help victims of 9/11 when she was 12 years old.
She loves the movies Deep Impact, Twister, and The Wizard of Oz because of her fascination with weather phenomenon. In Mary's spare time she loves to sing and spend time with her two nephews, family and friends.
Mary is very thrilled to be a part of WTOV9 and also be close to home. She is ready to bring you the best news coverage and your Severe Weather Team 9 forecast on the weekends and fill in for NEWS9s meteorologists from time to time and help track down those storms to keep you safe.
Rich Pierce - NEWS9 Anchor/Reporter
Rich Pierce joined NEWS9 in May 2013.
He graduated from Kent State University with a degree in broadcast journalism.
During his time at Kent State, Rich served as news director when his college station TV2-KSU won "Station Of The Year" from the College Media Association. Rich won "Best Sportscast" from the College Media Association and College Broadcasters Inc. in 2012. He was also awarded Collegiate Sportscaster Of The Year from the Broadcast Education Association in 2013. In 2012, he won second place in the same category.
He anchored newscasts and hosted the station's weekly sports program, "Sports Corner," for four years.
Upon graduation, he was awarded the station's "Carol Costello Outstanding Achievement Award, named after the CNN anchor and TV2-KSU alumna.
Rich interned with the KDKA-TV Pittsburgh sports department in summer 2011. There, he covered Pittsburgh sporting events and conducted interviews for the station.
Rich lives with his family in Beaver County, Pa., and graduated from Hopewell High School. He married his high school sweetheart in October 2013.
He is excited to be part of the NEWS9 family!
Jon Rudder - NEWS9 Reporter
Jon Rudder joined the NEWS9 team in May 2013 as a reporter.
Jon is a 2012 graduate of the Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism at West Virginia University and grew up right here in the Ohio Valley in Wellsville.
Jon credits his start in broadcasting while in middle school when he was a member of the WDMS (Wellsville Daw Middle School) News team.
While in college, Jon worked at the campus radio station, U92, where he served as the women's basketball producer. He was on-air in a variety of ways covering the Mountaineers, and covered the teams final Big East tournament in Hartford, Conn., during his senior year.
Jon was also the sports anchor for the journalism school's award-winning newscast, WVU News. As an anchor for WVU News, one of his stories featuring WVU womens basketball player Asya Bussie aired on national television during the Mountaineers upset victory over then No. 2 ranked Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind.
Jon had two internships while in school: One with the Pittsburgh Penguins Radio Network and the other right here at WTOV9.
While interning for the Penguins, Jon worked alongside Hall Of Fame play-by-play broadcaster Mike Lange, former Penguin Phil Borque, as well as Steve Mears and Bob Grove. He also got to cover the 2011 Winter Classic at Heinz Field.
After graduating in May 2012, Jon worked for the Washington Wild Things of the Independent Frontier League and for the Morning Journal in Lisbon, Ohio.
Jon is thrilled to be back in the broadcast element of journalism and working for the station he grew up watching!
If you see Jon out, be sure to say hello -- especially if you have a story idea!
Don Sloan - News Director
It's hard to believe it has been over two decades since I first came to NEWS9 in the summer of 1990.
My wife Kris and I have a son named Hunter and live in Harrison County. Kris is a graduate of Cadiz High School and Ohio University. I went to high school at A-C Valley in Foxburg, Pa., and attended college at Clarion University of Pennsylvania.
My hobbies include hunting and fishing and my radio is also tuned to country music and my TV is always on for NASCAR.
Deb Witkowski - WTOV9 Entertainment
As the Entertainment Reporter for WTOV9 I let the Ohio Valley, and friends and family across the U.S. that tune in on-line, know what I would do each weekend. And with my on-line only feature, Kidding Around, I let parents know what activities and events might be fun for the whole family. It feels great to know so many viewers tune in to see me each Thursday as everywhere I go people say, Hi, Deb, or sing my theme song.
When Im not at the station or attending movies, plays or concerts, you will probably hear me as I am the singing or speaking voice of many area commercials that Ive created with my husband, Rick, at Studio L, our recording studio in Weirton. Were proud to be involved in the Sports Friday theme and Summer of Fun theme for WTOV9, too.
Ive been a dance club deejay, a self-reliance teacher (known as Mrs. Wonderful), a creative producer (writing and producing advertising spots), but most notably these days I am a Weight Watcher Leader in Steubenville, Wheeling and Robinson Township. I am passionate about making a difference " whether its promoting local events OR a healthy lifestyle.
Just like NEWS9, I am everywhere, so thanks for watching and enjoying What I Do!
Snowbird - WTOV9 Entertainment
My career in television began many years ago, with a walk-on appearance in an episode of Wild Kingdom. This quickly led to a photo spread in National Geographic, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Blessed with a unique ability to communicate with kids, I found a career as a major television personality. I started my career at WTOV9 in 1987. During my time here, I have made hundreds of appearances at local schools and events. My greatest moment in my career is doing television promotional announcements with Kevin Carter, Jeff Oechslein and my best friend Myron. I also enjoy being in local parades.
I am ready at a moments notice when Severe Weather Team 9 meteorologists forecast wintery weather. You can watch for me on WTOV9, WTOV9.COM and Me-TV with your SNOWBIRD REPORT of school delays and cancellations.
Though I winter at the WTOV9 studios, I still maintain a summer home in a quiet suburb near the North Pole. Though most of my relatives live at the South Pole, I prefer the lower rents and less crowded neighborhoods of the Arctic. Besides, I am right down the ice pack from my old buddy, Santa.