Jennifer Mayerle happily returned to Minnesota and WCCO, where she began her career as an intern. The Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist joined WCCO as a reporter in May 2014.
Jennifer likes to tell stories that positively impact the community, to report on ordinary people who act in extraordinary ways, and to investigate problematic situations that can be corrected by an informed public.
Prior to WCCO she worked at CBS46 in Atlanta, where she was recognized for excellence in reporting and for community involvement. Jennifer received an Emmy for her in-depth look at the long-lasting impact of concussions and repeated hits to the head in athletics from the youth to the pro level. Her reports helped prompt Georgia legislators to pass The Return to Play Act, a law designed to protect young athletes.
In 2011, she won an Emmy, a Murrow, and a Georgia Associated Press award for her report on Ann Bartlett, a woman who died in a house fire due, Jennifer discovered, to the failure of firefighters to respond adequately to Bartlett’s 911 call.
One of Jennifer’s reports saved lives. She broke an investigation on counterfeit smoke detectors purchased by the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department and distributed to low-income residents. The highly-publicized series of reports prompted an FBI investigation of the distributor and forced the department to recall and begin to replace more than 18,000 faulty detectors. One of the replacement detectors alerted and saved a family of six from a fire that destroyed their home.
Jennifer received the Apex Society’s 2008 “Power 30 under 30″ award, which honors 30 professionals in Atlanta under age 30 for excellence in their professional and community endeavors. She enjoyed volunteering, emceeing events and serving on boards of directors, including the Atlanta Press Club. She was moved by her journey with Georgia war veterans on their Honor Flight to visit the war memorials in Washington, D.C. and to observe the changing of the guard at Arlington National Cemetery. She also traveled to the District of Columbia to cover the 50th anniversary of The March on Washington.
During her time in Atlanta, you might have caught one of her occasional reports on The Insider and CNN (including one, reporting from Atlanta in January, on the onset of a spell of bitterly cold weather in Minnesota – could that be the story that led her back home?). She also contributed profiles of prominent individuals to The Atlantan monthly magazine.
Prior to Atlanta, Jennifer worked as a weekend anchor/reporter for WKRG in Mobile, AL. There she gained international exposure for her coverage of Hurricane Katrina. She won her first Emmy and Murrow for her interview with Hardy Jackson in Biloxi, Mississippi just hours after his wife was swept from his grasp by the flood waters. It was one of the first stories of human suffering to emerge from Katrina’s wreckage. Jennifer and Hardy became friends, and she maintained her connection to Hardy until his death in 2013. She still keeps in touch with his family.
Jennifer began her career at KWES in Midland, TX, as a weekend anchor/reporter, a smaller market where she learned the value of self-sufficiency and grew to appreciate the beauty of rolling tumbleweeds.
She was born and raised in Edina and graduated from the University of San Diego.
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Two Minnesota gymnasts are among a small elite competing against the world’s best in Italy this weekend. Maggie Nichols and Olivia Trautman train at Twin City Twisters in Champlin. They are part of Team USA competing in the City of Jesolo Trophy, along with three Gold medal Olympians.
State and federal officials have confirmed an outbreak at a second Minnesota turkey farm of a form of bird flu that’s deadly to poultry.
The father of a teen who died of a synthetic drug overdose last year spoke about the dangers of drugs as part of a community forum.
The American soldier at the center of a controversial prisoner swap with the Taliban is being charged with desertion. Last year, the Obama administration traded five Guantanamo Bay prisoners in exchange for the release of Bowe Bergdahl.
A family of three narrowly escaped a house fire earlier this week in Mahtomedi. The Bonifas family woke up to see flames outside their home early Monday morning. They lost five pets in the fire that engulfed their house in minutes.
Two women got DWIs on the same morning for driving the same car.
It happened just after 6 a.m. in Lino Lakes late last month. The incident was captured on dash cam video, as police pulled over the car on the side of I-35 with both women inside.
A Totino Grace student who captured the spirit of her high school football team has been given an award after her death.
On the heels of Target’s announcement to cut thousands of workers over the next two years, Governor Mark Dayton met with Target’s top executive on Monday. Allina Psychologist Lauren Fogel said there are things employees can do when fearing a layoff.
A WCCO story has prompted a state representative to propose a change in the law to help Good Samaritans.
Last summer we reported on a nurse practitioner who stopped to help after witnessing a car crash. She felt penalized when she was stuck with a hefty bill after needing medical attention herself.
The plan to extend the Southwest Light Rail corridor overcame an obstacle Friday to keep the plan on schedule. If an agreement hadn’t been reached, it could have cost the state an extra $100 million or more.
A Minnesota State Patrol officer in northwestern Minnesota is being hailed as a “Super Trooper” after an encounter with an elderly man earlier this week.
WCCO investigates how a gun once in police custody was used to hurt two officers. The shooting happened last month at New Hope City Hall, and the man responsible wasn’t even allowed to own guns.
In times of great grief, we often look for meaning. That came in an unexpected way for a Red Wing woman after losing her husband earlier this month. Brad Einck was an organ donor, and what he shared with one person was particularly powerful.
WCCO has learned about more complaints against Brooklyn Park company Breakaway Sportswear. The company sent over-sized jerseys to a youth hockey team in Wisconsin. The Stoughton Hockey team got the jerseys late, in the wrong color and they were big enough to fit an adult.
A volunteer firefighter was severely injured while responding to a call early Monday morning. Ryan Sabo was responding with the all-volunteer Gibbon Fire Department, offering mutual aid at a welding business in nearby Fairfax. A steel bi-fold door fell on him, pinning him underneath.
There has been an outpouring of support for the family of a man who died recently while playing in a pond hockey tournament. Greg Riebe suffered a heart attack at 46. He collapsed after a game at the North American Pond Hockey Championships on Lake Minnetonka last month.
There has been an outpouring of support for the family of a man who died while playing in a pond hockey tournament. Greg Riebe suffered a heart attack at 46. He collapsed after a game at the North American Pond Hockey Championships on Lake Minnetonka last month. His wife, Kate, says he had an undiagnosed genetic heart condition. And she said it’s the strength from friends and family that keeps her going.
Officials believe terror groups are still here, recruiting in Minnesota. A delegation from the state will travel to Washington next week to be part of a summit on countering violent extremism. The goal is to find ways to engage at-risk communities and to stop extremists from recruiting for terror groups.
Family, friends and classmates of a teenager killed in a car accident gathered Friday night to remember her.
Anna Bird was a 14-year-old freshman at Prior Lake High School.
A Twin Cities day care fed up with repeated break-ins, set up a camera and caught the thief in the act.
A woman known as the nation’s “Serial Stowaway” was arrested Monday after boarding a plane at MSP airport without a ticket, flying to Jacksonville, Fla., and checking into a Nassau County resort under someone else’s name.
There is a place down an old Minnesota country road where musicians from all over the world come to make music. There is a mystique about Pachyderm Studio, where rock legends have made a name for themselves and everyone who walks through the door finds focus, instead of intimidation.
It’s a murder mystery that’s been unsolved for more than 30 years. Hundreds of interviews and hundreds of leads couldn’t crack the case. But new technological advances allowed investigators to identify a suspected killer.
The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office is investigating how a convicted felon had access to a weapon and led authorities on a day-long manhunt that ended with the suspect’s death inside a Jordan home early Wednesday morning.
The family of David Winters is pleading for him to end the manhunt and turn himself in Tuesday night.