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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The mother of a teenager who says she was sexually assaulted says her daughter’s attack should have been prevented. Ashanti Lymon is charged with criminal sexual conduct in her case, and in another one. WCCO investigated and discovered Lymon previously pleaded guilty in a similar case, but was allowed to stay in a program for at-risk teens. WCCO’s Jennifer Mayerle investigates why parents of kids in the program weren’t warned.
Investigators suspect a long-time Lyon County couple who died in a house fire were intentionally killed. Jim and Cathy Hively were found Thursday in their burned home. Three men have been arrested in connection with the fire.
Recent high-profile officer-involved shootings have raised the issue of when police should use deadly force. Minneapolis Police officers go through training, a scenario simulator and using live rounds to prepare for making split-second decisions.
A 46-year-old Ramsey man accused of sexually abusing several children in the north Twin Cities metro committed suicide Saturday, according to authorities. His trial was scheduled to begin Monday.
A Twin Cities man believes he was targeted at his workplace because of his race. Lee Jackson says Lunda Construction hired him to work on the St. Croix Crossing project that will replace the Stillwater Bridge. After just a few months, he says he discovered a noose at the job site.
It’s something many Minnesotans grew up with and many still enjoy today: hot dish.
It’s become an annual contest among the state’s congressional delegation. On Wednesday, Sen. Al Franken hosted the 5th annual hot dish competition in Washington, D.C., putting partisanship aside in favor of a culinary tradition. Rep. Betty McCollum’s “Turkey, Sweet Potato, and Wild Rice Hot Dish” took first place.
A dad who police said he’d rather give his baby weed than Tylenol is in jail.
Ramsey County charged Richard Martin and his wife, Molly, with child endangerment. Richard Martin also faces a charge of selling marijuana. Police found several marijuana plants in his mom’s St. Paul basement, where they were living.
Taking a deep breath is something most of us take for granted. Nikki Dumonceaux learned at age 5 that it was something that would become harder and harder for her to do on her own. Eventually, she was put on the lung transplant list. Today, Nikki celebrates life while honoring her donor.
A program that encourages troubled teens to find the best in themselves has an opportunity to reach even more people. The non-profit Urban Boatbuilders offers apprenticeships to 16- to 19-years-olds for six months.
The baseball home opener is a time when Twins fans can dream big. A sold-out crowd filed into Target Field full of excitement Monday afternoon, in anticipation of what this season will bring.
We now know more about where a Coon Rapids teenager got a gun used to accidentally shoot his girlfriend, then take his own life. Alantae Arnold’s girlfriend told police he was playing with a .357 Magnum when he accidentally shot her on March 9. Police tell WCCO the gun was stolen from a Coon Rapids home.
A Twin Cities non-profit dedicated to spaying and neutering pit bulls and Rottweilers hopes you can help.
The trailer used for the “Get Your Fix” program was stolen over the weekend and, with it, $4,000 to $6,000 worth of supplies.
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.