Don Hammond

Anchor & Reporter

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Don Hammond – WLTZ-TV First News Anchor & Multi-media Journalist

Don Hammond, an Army veteran and an accomplished journalist and broadcaster, joined WLTZ-TV First News in January 2017.

He anchors weeknight newscasts and reports.

Hammond served four years in the 25th Infantry Division from 1974-78.

He was honorably discharged and began his broadcast career at WLVV/WCNW in Fairfield, Ohio.

The attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan in March 1981 prompted Hammond to re-enlist in the Army.

He attended the Defense Information School to become a military broadcast specialist.

1981-84, he rose through the ranks at the Southern Command Network eventually becoming the nightly news anchor at SCN in the country of Panama.

Hammond also successfully completed the 7th Special Forces Airborne and Jungle Expert courses at Fort Sherman, Panama.

He finished his military career in 1986 as an instructor at the military broadcast school specializing in voice and diction.

Don re-entered civilian broadcasting as a radio news anchor at WKRG in Mobile, Alabama and then WQID in Biloxi, Mississippi.

In 1987, he joined WLOX-TV in Biloxi, Mississippi as a television news reporter. He was soon promoted to weekend news anchor.

In 1989, Don joined KCRA in Sacramento, California as morning and noon news anchor.

Hammond also served as a television news anchor at KENS-TV in San Antonio, Texas, WKYC-TV in Cleveland, Ohio, KCRA-TV in Sacramento, California, and at other stations.

He served as the Washington DC bureau chief for Sinclair broadcasting.

Throughout his career, former Army SSG Hammond has reported passionately on military and veterans issues. He will continue to do so.

Don is excited to be on the team at WLTZ First News in Columbus, Georgia, in part, because of its proximity to Fort Benning and the support the community provides to the important military mission taking place there.

Don is also glad that several of his army buddies live in the Chattahoochee Valley.

Don is a do-it-yourselfer and most comfortable in his tool-packed truck. He enjoys working on community projects where he can roll up his sleeves and contribute sweat and positive spirit to making life a little better for his neighbors.

If you have a story idea, email it to Don at dhammond@wltz.com.

Articles

Soldier of the Week

He could be the highest ranking soldier of the week the Columbus rotary club has ever honored. Colonel Townley R. Hedrick is the Deputy Commandant of the United States Army Infantry school at Fort Benning. Colonel Hedrick has come up…

Tornado Tree Cleanup Breaks Mans Leg

  Tornado Tree cleanup can be hazardous to your health when things don’t go as planned. First news has learned an Ellerslie, Georgia man suffered a broken leg while working with his neighbor to…

Red Cross Rallies In Support of Tornado Relief

We aren’t forgetting the giant job yet to do in the area hit hard by the deadly tornado outbreak of March 3rd. The Red Cross has delivered more than 8,500 meals and provided essential…

Smiths Station, Alabama Tornado Volunteer Central

The corner of Lee County road  298 and Lee road 430 is Smiths Station Baptist church now a whirlwind of activity  serving tornado victims and volunteers. The all purpose church building has become tornado…

Fort Benning Soldiers See President Trump

It is a major military mission when the Commander in Chief leaves Washington like he did today March 8th, 2019. That’s why officials at the fort worked through the night and into the early…

Columbus Technical College Soldier Surprise

Leaders at Columbus technical college organize a secret military mission to help an army soldier surprise his mother in class. Army Specialist Rudy Holm shocks his mom Denise when he walked into her physics…

Soldier Of The Week

An Army troop with an unusual background has become Soldier of the Week. Army Staff Sergeant Eric Dean initially trained as a combat engineer. Dean went on to become the best of the best in his field by successfully completing…

Dealing With Tornado Damage in Ellerslie, Georgia

Harris County, Georgia residents saw trees toppled like toothpicks when a twister roared through Sunday afternoon March 3rd 2019. There are many trees down and homes damaged along Warm Springs road not far from…

Soldier of the Week

Overseas assignments have helped mold a Fort Benning troop who has become soldier of the week. Staff Sergeant Jonathan Melendez is an instructor at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation known as WHINSEC. Trained as an MP, Melendez has…

Fort Benning Needs More Room To Train Tank Crews

Fort Benning needs some more room to train armor troops in their tanks. Tuesday February 26th 2019 the public had a chance to learn why at a special meeting at the Columbus government center…

Some Fort Benning Soldiers Have Strep Throat

Here is Fort Benning’s Official statement: Fort Benning is aware of the four cases of A Streptococcus also known as Strep with Initial Entry Training Soldiers (IET). These particular cases were complications of Strep infection and should be characterized as…

Let Don Do It In Columbus

Six years after losing her husband Susan can use some help outside her Columbus Home. Large tree limbs were ruining the roof and big rotten trees are lurking in the backyard. I’m trying to…

Soldier Killed in Combat Immortalized on Fort Benning

It’s an uncommon honor for a super soldier killed in the line of duty. Fort Benning’s 3rd Squadron 1st, Security Force Assistance Brigade has named their new headquarters building after a fallen comrade. Building…

Soldier of The Week

Senior NCO’s lead the way training the troops at Fort Benning and that’s where the soldier of the week comes in. Sergeant First Class Morgan Wallace trained as an armor crewman when he first entered the army in 2006. Since…

Soldier Of The Week

The state of Georgia has produced some mighty fine army troops. This time the soldier of the week hails from Savannah, Georgia where he entered the army already armed with some marksmanship skills. Sergeant Anthony Heinauer began his army career…

Columbus Workers Out In The Early Morning Cold

29 Degrees in Columbus early Friday morning did not stop about ten construction workers from getting the job done in Columbus, Georgia. The workers have a project going now right in front of the…

Columbus Sweet Potato King

Columbus, Georgia gardener Willie Cochran really out did himself this time. He puts out a garden most every year at his Columbus home but this time he grew some things which are attracting a…

Let Don Do It

Larry From Lumpkin asked for a little help around his family homestead that had a few issues outside. The front step was rotting and so was some siding caused by water damage. The front…

Flooding at The Chattahoochee Riverwalk in Columbus

The Columbus Riverwalk remained closed this afternoon January 2nd 2019 as the waters of the Chattahoochee River continue to cause minor flooding along parts of the walk. The water is now back down below the flood stage of 27 feet…

Searching For an Armed Robbery Suspect

Columbus police need your help identifying an armed robbery suspect. The robbery happened on December 13-th around 11:30 p-m at the Summit Convenience store at 3809 St. Mary’s road. No injuries are reported. If you know the individual in the…

Wreaths Across America At Fort Benning

  Wreaths Across America began in 1992 and is now observed the 3rd Saturday in December at about 1,400 Cemeteries across the nation and now at Fort Benning. Before wreaths are put in place,…

Relentless Rain

Friday featured relentless rain in the Chattahoochee valley. The unwelcome rain made for a soggy drive home from work and school today, December 14th 2018. No reports of flash flooding to pass along. But no question the creeks and streams…

Cops, Kids and Christmas

Law enforcement officers from all over the Chattahoochee Valley in hot pursuit of holiday cheer for hundreds of needy children. Thursday afternoon December 13th the officers met at the Columbus civic center ice rink where some of the kids got…

Christmas at Riverside On Fort Benning

Hundreds of Army families are filled with the holiday spirit after taking part in Christmas at Riverside. Riverside is where Fort Benning’s Commanding General, Gary Brito lives. The Commander invited everyone over Thursday December…

Suspect Arrested In a Valley, Alabama Shooting

On Tuesday December 4th, 2018 Valley, Alabama police arrested a man in connection to a shooting on Greenberry circle. 30-year-old Gartavis Jackson was arrested and charged with attempted murder and discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle. Maurice Clark was…

Fort Benning 1ST Security Forces Brigade Returns From Overseas

The 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade marks their return from a nine month deployment. 1st SFAB Uncased their colors in a ceremony Monday December 3rd, 2018 in support of “Operation Resolute Support” in Afghanistan. Uncasing of colors is a traditional…

Soldier of The Week

West point educated officers have a lot to offer troops under their command and that’s where the soldier of the week comes in. First Lieutenant Craig Ferguson is an Airborne Army Ranger. This young officer has served at the battalion…

House of Heroes 100th Ceremony

A major milestone is reached in the effort to honor and help our local military veterans. The Chattahoochee Valley Chapter of the House of Heroes completes their 100th home improvement project for a worthy Columbus military veteran and his wife.…

Georgia House Explosion

Two men are injured after a Georgia house explodes while they were working under the structure on Sunday. Investigators say the men were working with a torch in the crawl space of a Marietta home when the explosion occurred. Captain…

Funeral Set For Columbus Native, Model And Actress Kim Porter

The funeral arrangements for former model, actress, and Columbus native Kim Porter are set for this weekend. Porter will be buried at the Evergreen Memorial Gardens Cemetery on Saint Mary’s road alongside her mother and grandmother. Her memorial service will…

Romaine Lettuce Warning

If you have romaine lettuce in your refrigerator throw it out. The CDC is warning consumers to *not* eat romaine lettuce as it investigates an e-coli outbreak. This applies to *all* types of romaine lettuce including hearts of romaine and…

Soldier Of The Week

Troops with multiple combat tours of duty have special skills they can pass on to others within the ranks and that is where the Soldier of the week comes in. Staff Sergeant Daniel Davila is a skilled infantry mortar man.…

Soldier Of The Week

It takes an experienced non commissioned officer to help a unit train fight and win and that’s where our soldier of the week comes in. Sergeant First Class Ian D. Becker  first came to Fort Benning in 2003 for his…

Columbus Korean War Soldier Laid To Rest On Fort Benning

The family of a soldier who died in the Korean War finally able to pay their respects at his military funeral. This weekend’s funeral for Columbus native James Silas Streetman Junior took place at the main cemetery on Fort Benning…

Soldier Of The Week

A cavalry scout can be almost essential to successful army armor operations and that is where our Soldier of the week comes in. Sergeant First Class Joshua Norris has served in many leadership roles as a cavalry scout NCO including…

Silver Wings Excite Fall Festival

Who doesn’t like a fine fall festival especially one a year of planing can bring. Hundreds are taking in activities like a dunking booth, life size dinosaurs walking around for kids to talk to and if you feel lucky maybe…