News Anchor/ Producer
Amanda Decker decided early on that she wanted to be a journalist. But, it wasn’t until she went to college and stepped into the newsroom that she was positive that’s where she wanted to be.
Amanda was born in Canton, Ohio and moved to Indianapolis, Indiana at a very young age. She graduated from Ball State University with degrees in broadcast journalism, journalism writing and political science. She also studied musical theatre and performed in a few musicals in college. She began her career in broadcasting at WIPB, the PBS affiliate in East Central Indiana, then became the morning and noon anchor at WCJB in Gainesville, Florida. Amanda enjoys working inside and outside the newsroom. She enjoys volunteering and giving back to her community. Outside the newsroom, Amanda especially enjoys sports. She started playing tennis and began dancing at just five years old. She is also a huge fan of college football, especially the Crimson Tide. Amanda also loves to travel. Her favorite place in the world is Sydney, Australia. Watch Amanda weeknights at 6 and 10 during ABC 31 News on KLAX TV.
Kris knew at an early age that he wanted to learn more about the weather. Kris was born and raised in Long Grove, Iowa. He spent a lot of his childhood on his grandparent’s farm, and they were always watching the weather. The way that the weather changed almost daily peaked his interest.
Kris graduated from Northern Illinois University with a bachelor’s degree in Meteorology. During his junior year, he did an internship at a local TV station in Davenport, Iowa. After graduation, he was hired at that station to update the station website and also to do fill in work for the weather department. He was eventually promoted to Weekend Meteorologist, and spent 6 years doing that. He then changed career paths and worked for an insurance company for 7 years. He recently decided to get back into broadcasting the weather.
When Kris is not busy keeping up with the weather in Central Louisiana, he loves to spend his time working out, golfing and bowling. He has bowled several 300 games. Watch Kris weeknights at 6 and 10 during ABC 31 News on KLAX TV.
Christopher Swaim was born and raised in Central Indiana. When he was younger his father would take him out on his boat where weather was always a major factor in open water. Instead of being scared of thunderstorms, Christopher wanted to learn more about them and possibly chase them. This lead him to pursue his degree in meteorology at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.
Christopher was also a member of the Ball State Storm Chase Team where he chased storms throughout the country.
Christopher joined the KLAX team in 2014, and is very excited to be forecasting weather here in Central Louisiana! Watch Christopher weeknights at 6 and 10 on KLAX TV, ABC 31 News.
Mike Gillespie joined KLAX after spending five years as an anchor and play-by-play announcer at the University of Florida. Gillespie joined the Gator Sports Network as a play-by-play announcer in 2009 for the University of Florida Gator softball and lacrosse teams. He served as the radio play-by-play announcer for the Florida Gator lacrosse team from 2009-2012, where he announced the 2012 ALC Championship Game in Evanston, Illinois. In 2013, Mike was named the official public address announcer for University of Florida lacrosse.
Mike also held two internships in New York at CBS Sports Radio Network/WFAN and SportsNet New York (SNY) where he reported on notable sports events including the 2013 Alex Rodriguez biogenesis scandal, the appointment of Jason Kidd as the Brooklyn Nets head coach and the 2013 MLB All-Star Game. He once made CC Sabathia cry (unintentionally).
Mike finished his fifth season as an announcer in 2014 for Florida Gators softball having announced over 100 softball games with the network. He called mostly non-conference games and the beginning of the Southeastern Conference schedule on the radio network and GatorVision.
Mike graduated from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications with a bachelor’s in telecommunication and a master’s in journalism. He’s an avid lover of all sports, but describes himself as a die-hard college football and basketball fan. He loves “Family Guy,” “House of Cards,” and “Arrested Development,” but he’s behind on “Mad Men” and “Orange is the New Black.”
Watch Mike weeknights at 6 and 10 on KLAX TV, ABC 31 News.
Babs Zimmerman has been in news just about as long as she can remember–in newspapers, wire service and later television.
She is a graduate of LSU and completed graduate work there, too. Babs is a native of North Louisiana but has lived all over the state, including New Orleans and Baton Rouge. She is an avid reader on every subject, likes to cook for friends and family and spends time with her husband Jim and their dog plus two cats.
News Photojournalist/Editor/IT Tech
Jerry wears lots of hats at KLAX-TV where he is a photojournalist, news editor and computer technician/engineer.
Jerry spends a portion of his day zipping around Central Louisiana shooting stories for news, then back to the station for editing; you can also see Jerry occasionally on-air reporting the news. He is an Operation Desert Storm veteran and is fast becoming a veteran actor around town. His work in radio gave him an excellent voice which he now projects on the stage. He and his wife have three active boys, and most of his spare time is spent with his family.